Right of Reply: 'Jubelperser' for Israel

Germany's Left Party does not have a single position toward the conflict in the Middle East.

anti-Israel Germany 248 88 (photo credit: Sacha Stawski/Honestly Concerned )
anti-Israel Germany 248 88
(photo credit: Sacha Stawski/Honestly Concerned )
Jubelperser (cheering Persians) is a well-known expression in Germany. It originated during the shah's visit in West Berlin in 1967, when a group of Iranians were hired to cheer in the crowd. The Jubelperser escalated the situation by clubbing protesters under the eyes of the police. The same evening, the police killed a student, which led to massive student protests in West Berlin and West Germany. Today Jubelperser describes people who indiscriminatingly copy phrases and statements from other important persons, especially governments. In the article "Let the Left go forward" (December 10) by Benjamin-Christopher Krüger and Sebastian Voigt, the federal spokesmen of the so-called BAK Shalom, Krüger and the sympathizer Voigt discuss the attitude of the German Left toward the State of Israel from their point of view and then advertise for their working group which carries the friendly name "peace." They say that this group within the Left Party's youth section (solid) "aims to fight anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, anti-Americanism and regressive anti-capitalism." These are noble motives. But the two do not mention how they themselves behave in this fight. This group often refuses discussion. An interview proposed by the leftist newspaper Junge Welt (Young World) was rejected - officially due to the paper's attitude toward the situation in Zimbabwe. The absurdity of this argument is evident. The only "policy" of solid's working group BAK Shalom is to defame politicians who have different political positions. The BAK Shalom sees anti-Semitism on every street corner. This is the perfect way of preventing every discussion and defaming political opponents. Benjamin-Christopher Krüger once avoided a serious discussion by saying to me: "I could try to enlighten you - but I think this would not help you!" EVEN LYING does not seem to be off limits if their trustworthiness is at stake, as Kruger and Voigt proved recently by first accusing Norman Paech of anti-Semitism and later denying the calumniation. The Left Party does not have a single position toward the conflict in the Middle East. It is nonetheless common sense that violence is not a way of solving problems. While the Trotskyist platform marx21 still discusses its position regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a first contribution to the discussion proposed that the Palestinians and the Israelis should live in a unified democratic state. The Left Party's spokesman for international affairs, Wolfgang Gehrcke, tends to the solution of the Geneva Accord. The more reformist party leader Gregor Gysi is in favor of solidarity with Israel but also warned of apartheid in the Holy Land. The BAK Shalom does not present any solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The executive committee of solid already tried to punish the BAK Shalom because its political actions are excessive by common standards. This reflects best the status of this group within the Left Party. Also, the above-mentioned article doesn't say how many members this group has. The party has about 76,600 members (solid has about 8,300), while the working group has about 30 members. It is common sense within the Left that the BAK Shalom is not leftist. BAK Shalom is a group of Jubelperser - but not cheering the Islamic Republic of Iran but the State of Israel, whatever policy is made by the Israeli government. The writer, a student of politics and history, is spokesman of the SDS Greifswald, member of the state board of the Left Party in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and has published several articles in different media.