Two years ago, Israel and Germany celebrated 50 years of diplomatic relations and a vivid and rich exchange. Something, that was unthinkable in the respect of the atrocities and unimaginable cruelties, Jews and other „un-arian“ minorities had to face during the Holocaust. In 2008, chancellor Merkel said in her speech at the Knesset, that the “security of Israel is not negotiable” and that this is “a historic responsibility” and thus, a “raison d'état”.
It is no secret, that the post-war German society did not make a u-turn and became a fully pro-Jewish and self-reflected. Until today, the fight against anti-Semitism is real and fought every day; and there are regularly emerging reasons to position yourself against anti-Semitism. Probably, in one month, a new party housing anti-Jewish members will enter the parliament and will give new and intense reason to the whole issue.
Nevertheless, this is not the recent topic, for there is another phenomenon rising, that is bizarre and confusing every time it attracts my attention: nowadays, many pro-Israeli media sites and initiatives draw a positive picture of the state of Israel and emphasize its basic humanistic aspirations, despite the long line of problems resulting of the Middle East's political history and which should be solved for sure and soon, hopefully. Of course, these problems and issues cannot be solved by writing a blog and this is not its task, but it's quite shocking and sometimes incredibly inciting, what is written and stated in an alleged expression of Israel-solidarity.
If we as Germans have a reasonable responsibility for our history and therefore for the advance of humanism, how is it possible, that so many people mistake Israel-solidarity with anti-Arab racism?
Sometimes, when thinking about this, I catch myself asking me, if the cultural development of Germany has an inherent need for chauvinism and by supporting Israel, it even gets equipped with a certain humanism. This sounds harsh and critically, but what you can find on the internet sometimes, does not allow any other conclusion. It's a little like repentant parents, who beat up their second kid assuming, this could recompense the former atrocities against their first child.
I am pretty sure, that this was not meant with “historic responsibility”.
Basically, it is following the usual pattern of the cultureless, barbaric and anti-Semitic Arab, that is driven solely by his or her wish to destroy Israel and to annihilate everything Jewish around the globe. This is no more true than their counterpart's assumption, Israel is a fascist state. Maybe it's just my own perception, but since the so-called refugee crisis in Europe it seems that there is a massive increase in devaluating everything Arab and constructing a counter-image of the “exotic orient” as the literal Mordor threatening the peaceful and pure world of Europe, with Israel as its very outpost.
I want to quote an original statement regarding the opening of the Palestinian Museum north of Ramallah:
“Was hätte die PA zu bieten um es im Palästina-Museum ausstellen zu können? Bilder von Terroristen, Tunnelgräber, illegale Waffenwerkstatt, Kassam-Raketen, Messer, Äxte, Autos aus Terroranschlägen gegen Israelische Soldaten und Juden. Mehr wäre da an “Kultur“ wohl kaum zu finden und weil dem so ist, wird da wohl auch in zehn Jahren kaum ein Besuch lohnen.”
Analogous translated, it says, that the only exhibits in this museum, the PA could offer, would be those of images of terrorists, tunnel diggers, weapon manufactories, knifes, axes, cars from terrorist attacks. In the words of the writer, that this would probably be the only “culture” to expect and that a visit would not be worth in the next ten years. Another commentator supposes, that it's probably not cultural exhibits that will be stored in the museum, aiming at the Hamas' abuse of schools and hospitals as firing positions...
Another aspect that is prominently supported in Facebook's comment section, is the intensely desired idea of transferring every Palestinian towards Jordan, making space for a Greater Israel.
Not to get me wrong: the entire discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian matter is confusingly complex and barely manageable and I do not want to take a stand for one certain party in this conflict, but: is it just me, or is there something bitter in this kind of support, especially when it comes from a German mind? Is it okay, to express a boundless solidarity with the Jewish state by falling back into racist reflexes?
To me, it makes no sense in a democratic culture, to atone a society's turpitudes by just relocating these reflexes caused by a mistaken ethos of humanism. Interestingly, the “other side”, the pro-Palestinian factions support anti-Semitism, accidently or not, by speaking and acting against Israel, but driven by a certain perception and understanding of humanistic values. One of the most grotesque terms in this respect is “Zio-Nazis”, something, that is not worth to explain nor is it somehow explainable by their originators.
In Germany, the whole issue is discussed emotionally and intensively, and the discussion will probably still go on, if there is already peace in the Middle East. And the most bizarre aspect is the inability to embrace every party in this conflict and therefore reproduce racism and anti-Semitism even though both factions claim to actively fight these emanations.
For years now, I observe every new round of rhetoric clash and try to understand, but it's unbearable to see, how we in Europe, far away from the physical conflict and all its consequences, equipped with libraries, time and a democratic culture, are not able to any kind of empathy towards one's own “enemy”, be it Israel or Palestine. Simply said, we tend to cartoon democracy in the name of democracy. Someday, I hope, that, between the annual Al-Quds march in Berlin and the PEGIDA like anti-Arab resentments, there will be space for a real democratic and humanistic discourse without the irresistible urge to devaluate one's supposed “sworn enemy”.