Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: From time to time, I do meet some very brave Jews, people who fight for humanism while stripping themselves of any trace of choseness and exeptionalism. Evelyn Hecht-Galinski is such a person.
From De-Nazification to 'De-Antisemitification'
After 1945, my father issued a 'Denazification Certificate' to the then GDR leader Erich Honecker, amongst others.
In today's sad present, a point is already reached where critics of Israel have to be provided with a 'Antisemitism-free Certificate' in order to kosherize them.
A point is already reached where representatives of Jewish interests are pressing to prevent public appearances of any such critic perceived as dangerous to them for simply working on the basis of facts.
A son of German Jewish immigrants, Prof. Ilan Pappe was banned by the highest representative of the city of Munich, Mayor Christian Ude (Social Democratic Party, SPD), from delivering a public talk in a local cultural centre. In Vienna the 'Wiener Zeitung' (Vienna newspaper) called him a 'controversial' historian with the aim of challenging his appearance at a conference right from the start. Public funding is being withdrawn in order to nip all criticism of Israel in the bud. In Freiburg, it was only by means of a court order that the cancellation of a Nakba exhibition in public spaces could be averted. Then the city of Düsseldorf staged a replay of its inglorious past: the early eighties had already seen the enforcement of a ban on performing Joshua Sobol's “The Palestinian Girl” at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus (Düsseldorf theatre) at the instigation of Mr. Scheinmann, president of the local Jewish community. Even my public protest, e.g. in WDR-TV and in various print media, didn't succeed in lifting the ban. It was, however, possible to get "asylum" at the theatre in Bonn (general director Volker Canaris from Düsseldorf). In these days, it is again Düsseldorf that prevented a Nakba exhibition.
But it doesn't end there: A boycott campaign against Gilad Atzmon, one of the best jazz musicians in the world and a Israel critic gifted with analytical sharpness, is in full swing. This fabulous artist is due to perform with his Orient House Ensemble at a jazz festival in Göttingen on 12th November. Immediately after the announcement of the event, the Jewish community of Göttingen distributed a pamphlet flyer brimming with smear and vilification of the worst kind in order to press for the cancellation of Atzmon's much anticipated performance. In my assessment, the real reason behind all this is that Atzmon has written a wonderfully sharp and trenchant book: “The Wandering Who” (at present, unfortunately available only in English) against which those people with all their 'factoids' and sundry concoctions are simply powerless and which is already beating all records on the Amazon hit list.
Such is the treatment given to Israel's critics in Germany. From book burning to book destruction ('Don't read anything written by critical Jews').
Books, however, scribbled up by the islamophobic porn author H.M. Broder are presented even in the august German Bundestag (parliament) by a member of the political party 'DIE LINKEN' (The Left), Mrs. Petra Pau, and are widely disseminated by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung) with taxpayers' money. When Mr. Döpfner, CEO and chairman of the publishing house Springer and Broder's boss, introduced the latter's book to the public, then 'tout” Berlin – i.e. the whole of Berlin - rushed to join the event including the Israeli ambassador: what belongs together, is growing together.
Does the Israel lobby really think it commands the sole right of representation for all Jews when it comes to decide on boycotting those critics of Israel the lobby chooses to dislike?
Is it not just those lobbyists who are so vehemently fighting Israel boycotts with invocations of absurd historical references like “Do not by from Jews”? Obviously, boycott is allowed only on the condition that it is practised by the Israel supported front. 'Boycott for Jews only'? No and no again! Boycott against states founded on and committing injustices like the Jewish state of Israel, as long as it tramples international law and human rights!
Why should Iran be punished with a boycott because she desires that the Zionist regime disappear?
Iran never called for the destruction of Israel neither did Hamas. Both demand only that the State of Israel retreat to the borders of 1967. This is a legitimate demand, which I support fully!
What is the difference between the Iranian Guardian Council and a settler council in Israel? What is the difference between extremist ayatollahs suppressing "only" their citizens and extremist rabbis who call for the killing of all Palestinians? Racist Zionists are given free rein while so-called islamistic leaders are subjected to targeted killings around the world.
From no-fly zone to drone attack killing zone
The West, the U.S. and Israel always have the license to kill because they claim to represent democracy and spread it all over the world. And indeed, two veritable Nobel 'Peace' Prize winners have found each other - Obama and Peres. Obama has almost surpassed his predecessor in 'peace' (aka war) creating measures while Peres, father of the Israeli settlement building project and the Israeli atomic bomb, keeps on representing the so-called 'only democracy in the Middle East' in old freshness.
This 'democracy' voted together with the United States and Germany against the admission of Palestine to the UNESCO. In doing so, Germany, i.e. Chancellor Merkel and foreign minister Westerwelle, once again showed its disregard for the Palestinians. Only 14 countries voted against the admission, including, besides Germany, the Netherlands (think of Wilders) and Canada. 107 states voted for it, among them Russia, China, Brazil, India as well as, surprisingly, France (the French election campaign and North African and Arab voters seem to beckon). 52 countries abstained. A disgrace for Germany, especially in view of our responsibility towards Israel and the Palestinians as well. Together with Israel and the U.S., Germany stands now isolated on the side of those unwilling to commit themselves to peace. Once again, the U.S. and Germany as the largest financial contributors to UNESCO are marching together against a just peace for the Palestinian people. What concept of democracy is this? Threatening to block funds, then translating it into action, but still remaining in the UNESCO. Has our understanding of democracy - together with that of the U.S. - degenerated into accepting the use of sheer blackmail against politically not suited states and/or as punishment for any disliked action? While Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State had already threatened beforehand that it was forbidden for the United States to fund organizations with Palestinian members (based on laws of 1990 and 1994 against the PLO), now after Palestine's admission to the UNESCO, they went the whole hog blocking the November contributions in the amount of $ 60 million. Nor is there anything good the Palestinians have to expect from Congress and Senate: Already for a long time now, the Israel lobby (AIPAC) has been engaged in aggressive election campaigning with the aim of promoting the Jewish/Israeli cause.
Thanks to Israel and its intransigence towards the Palestinians, the so-called peace process has been destroyed or no longer exists at all. The Middle East Quartet should be dissolved finally admitting that no peace negotiations with Israel are possible anymore. A black day for Germany's foreign policy and a beautiful day for the Palestinians. A day of joy in the struggle for Palestinian self-determination and a breeze of a Palestinian spring awakening.
If Israel really wants to be a democracy - here I can only agree with my friend Gilad Atzmon - then any professed democratic voter should not vote for undemocratic policies. When looking at states committing injustice the picture is rather clear – just like in the case of Germany that went through the painful experience of the Nazi era when it certainly couldn't be described as a democracy.
Israel, the 'only democracy' bars Jewish professors like Finkelstein, Chomsky and others from entry. Why? What do they fear from these intellectuals? Unpleasant truths shattering Israeli propaganda myths?
But what good at all can we still expect from one of the leading leftist like Mr. Lothar Bisky, who agrees to a no-fly zone, or from a senate in Berlin under a 'red, social democratic' leadership, which - without any even whispery resonance - adopted a so-called ‘protective custody’ law on placement in a detention situation, a law extending detention from two to four days without any criminal suspicion.
My and my husband's ancestors had already been in ‘protective custody’ without criminal suspicion.
We all know where this is leading to in the end.
Publicist Evelyn Hecht-Galinski is the daughter of Heinz Galinski, deceased in 1992, a former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. With this commentary she continues her series which she writes from the 'Hochblauen' (the High Blue), her 1186 m high "home mountain" in the Baden region of Germany.
The Wandering Who- available on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
translated by Andreas Schmidt, linguisticresearch