martin luther king.
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Is criticism of Israel anti-Semitic? The Six Day War sparked a wave of anti-Zionistic reactions, triggering the Left's denial of solidarity with Israel, a stance that holds until today. In August 1967, Martin Luther King wrote in Letters to an Anti-Zionistic Friend:
"You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist'... When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews - this is God's own truth. Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind."
Jean AmÃ©ry criticized the elitist anti-Zionism of the Left as being nothing more than run-of-the-mill anti-Semitism. In a speech in 1969, AmÃ©ry stated, "Anti-Semitism was once the socialism of the stupid guys. Today it is about to become an integrating ingredient of socialism as such, and thereby every socialist turns himself, by his free will, into a stupid guy. Anti-Semitism has become respectable again, but there is no such thing as respectable anti-Semitism!"
In 1975, well-known literary scholar and dedicated leftist Hans Mayer wrote, "Whoever attacks Zionism, but by no means wishes to say anything against the Jews, is fooling himself and others. The State of Israel is a Jewish state. Whoever wants to destroy it, openly or through policies that can effect nothing else but such destruction, is practicing the Jew hatred of yesterday and time immemorial."
Unfortunately, these 30-year-old texts still hold true today.
THE ENTIRE Middle East would have become a Jew-free German protectorate called "Greater Arabia" had Rommel's Afrikakorps not been defeated at el-Alamein 66 years ago on November 4, 1942. The "Einsatzkommando Ã„gypten" (SS Task Force Egypt), a subgroup of the Afrikakorps, was under the command of SS ObersturmbannfÃ¼hrer Walter Rauff, infamous for his large trucks converted into mobile gas chambers which murdered hundreds of thousands in an excruciatingly painful manner in Russia and Serbia the previous year. Rauff was given the authority to carry out "executive measures on the civilian population," which was the Nazi euphemism for the mass murder of the Palestinian Jews. The move was agreed upon with Grand Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini, a friend of Hitler and Himmler, and the Arab population was supposed to actively participate.
Rauff's extermination unit followed Rommel's army to Tunisia, but the allied Italian army prevented the mass murder of the country's 80,000 Jews.
To this day, the war criminal Husseini remains the ardently cherished idol of the Arab people. During the war, he was the supreme field chaplain of all the Muslim SS divisions and a relentless enemy of the Jews, not just in Palestine. He is also the ideologue behind the genocidal hatred of the Jews of all Islamists today, including Hamas and Hizbullah.
IN LIGHT of this Arab collaboration with the mass murderers of the Shoah, the comparison of the lives of Palestinians in the occupied areas with the starvation and murder of Jews in the ghettos of Europe living under a death sentence is impudent and the product of possible deliberate ignorance. These claims pain and insult us, the survivors of the Shoah, in particular. The war in the Middle East will end when the Palestinians lay down their weapons. If the Israelis were to do the same thing, Israel would no longer exist. This is something that Norbert BlÃ¼m, the bishops Gregor Maria Hanke and Walter Mixa, and the others who compare the lives of the Palestinians with the Jewish ghettos should ponder. They should worry about the insidious de-Christianization of the Holy Land from their fellow Christians fleeing the Middle East instead.
They might also examine more closely the accusation of Islamophobia.
Arab propaganda invented this term, designed to create an association with the persecution of the Jews. The millions of Muslims living in Europe are in no way subjected to persecution. Quite the opposite, they enjoy the Western freedoms denied the Christians, Baha'i and Jews living in their countries of origin.
Media outlets contribute to disinformation with their exaggerated criticism of Israel. Unfathomable genocidal hatred of the West and the Jews streams from the antennas of the Arabic TV stations Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya and Al-Manar, even into homes in Germany. Its effect can be seen in the attacks on those in Germany who are recognizable as Jews.
Islamic anti-Semitism should not be a worry solely for the Jews, because there are forces at work in Europe that want to bomb our civilization back into the Middle Ages. Islamic scientist Bassam Tibi explained, "Not until the German people have fought against this threat in an appropriate manner will we be able to say that they have really understood the lessons of the German past."
Anti-Semitism in Germany gives us reason to worry even today. There appears to be an increased acceptance of right-wing populist propaganda that argues anti-Semitic beliefs.
The hate, the violence against Jews and their institutions, fill me with pain and anger. In this year alone there have already been more than 800 violent and other criminal acts, but not a single arrest. I myself am a witness to the permissiveness of our judicial and constitutional bodies. On November 1, 2007, Vanity Fair reprinted a 10-page interview with Nazi ideologue Horst Mahler and also published the entire text of over 20 pages on its Web site. Much of what Mahler said there, such as his denial of the existence of Auschwitz, was a punishable crime. I filed a request for his prosecution, but the public prosecutor's office refused.
ALLOW ME to make a personal reflection here. When I co-founded the Jewish community in Frankfurt over 50 years ago, I never would have dreamed that today, many years later, our kindergartens, schools, synagogues and meeting halls would have to be guarded by the police. Thank God, Jesus and Muhammad that mosques and churches do not need this protection. Isn't it time that the German Constitutional Court judges started playing hardball when dealing with enemies of our constitution and democracy? I don't just mean the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD), but also the Islamofascist centers, such as the one in the city of Neu-Ulm, which disseminates anti-Semitic and anti-constitutional propaganda under the cloak of multiculturalism.
What will happen next? The UN's third World Conference against Racism was held in Durban, South Africa, in September 2001. It turned into a festival of anti-Western extremism and hatred of the Jews. Zionism was condemned there as a contemporary form of Nazism and apartheid. The next conference will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 20-24 of this year. The scandal in Durban will be aggravated there even more, as anti-racism degenerates into the ideology of the totalitarian movements.
The dictators and despots of countries such as Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Cuba and Venezuela, with their automatic majority, have taken over UN institutions. They have started a new inquisition, called "the denigration of religion," which of course only applies to Islam. They are misusing anti-racism for obscurantism and Islamism that will only result in the further suppression of religious minorities and women. Several countries, such as Canada and Israel, will not be attending the planned betrayal of human values in Geneva. How will the German government respond? We can hardly wait.
The writer, born in 1924 and a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, is a leading historian (The Red Book: Stalin and the Jews) who lives in Frankfurt.