by Raymond Deane
A European country that scapegoats a Semitic people, persecutes defenders of human rights by stripping them of employment, and denies freedom of speech to Jews: surely a description of Germany during the Third Reich?
Yes, but unfortunately also a description of Germany at the outset of the 21st century.
In the wake of German Chancellor Merkel’s craven speech to the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) two years ago, I wrote: “a penance is being paid for Germany’s past crimes… by the Palestinians to whose plight Merkel is so indifferent…. By scapegoating the victims of its former victims, Germany is compounding its past crimes.” (Scapegoat upon Scapegoat, Electronic Intifada, 20 March 2008).
Just one year later I described the case of Hermann Dierkes, forced to resign his position as representative of Die Linke (The Left Party) on Duisburg city council after tentatively advocating a boycott of Israeli goods. I commented: “It appears that freedom of speech, supposedly one of the proudest acquisitions of post-Fascist Germany, is readily suppressed when exercised to advocate positive action against the racist, politicidal institutions and actions of the Zionist state.” (A public stoning in Germany, Electronic Intifada, March 2009).