Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Germany, Israel and Jews

Two recent vignettes paint a bleak picture of attitudes towards Jews in Germany:

First, well-known Israel basher Felicia Langer, herself a former Israeli Jew, just received a high honor from the German government. Some of her recent views: she has praised Ahmedinejad's calls to destroy Israel, dubbed Israeli settlers 'fascists' and compared the security wall separating Israelis and Palestinians to a Nazi ghetto wall.

The high honor is intended for those who have made a 'special contribution to the Federal Republic of Germany'. Hmm, wonder just what that special contribution was...Especially when the EU agency charged with tracking human rights defines any comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany as antisemitic. Maybe the German government is simply trying to compete with the American one - note that President Obama will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Irish citizen Mary Robinson, who among other things (see this list) presided over the 2001 Durban hatefest.

Second, a prominent German newspaper, with a straight face, presented the radical views of a Central Asian islamist as OK. The islamist's vision: when the global caliphate is established, Christians will be allowed to continue to practice their religion, provided they pay a special tax. Jews, on the other hand, will be exterminated.

That position, by the way, contradicts 1,400 years of Islamic practice in which Jews as well as Christians were 'tolerated' in Islamic countries - eg., allowed to practice their religion as essentially second-class citizens.

(Thanks to John Rosenthal and Clemens Heni.)

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