By Theodore Shoebat
In a recent poll taken by the European Council on Foreign Relations, 53% of Germans agreed: “Americans cannot be trusted”, revealing a more widening gap between the US and Germany. As we read in a report by Steven Pifer:
Opinion surveys show that German citizens share these questions about America. In a late 2020 poll commissioned by the European Council on Foreign Relations, 53 percent agreed or strongly agreed that “after voting for Trump in 2016, Americans cannot be trusted.” The poll had 71 percent of Germans agreeing that the U.S. political system was somewhat or completely broken, though 48 percent believed that America could overcome its internal difficulties and contribute to solving global problems. However, when asked whether they trusted in Europe or the United States, 53 percent opted for Europe compared to 4 percent for America.
There is a struggle taking place that does not meet the superficial eye. On one side you have the Americans and the Jews, and on the other the Europeans and the Turks. Diplomatic language is definitely being maintained, but underneath it all, when one reads between the lines, there is a will to break free from American control, and in this longing for independence, there is a rage that points to the Jew as a threat to this aspiration.
Germany wants to do business with Iran, but there is a pro-Israel lobby in Washington that intensely worked to make sure that the US leave the Iran Deal and, in turn, the Americans threatened sanctions on European countries for insisting to maintain business ties with the Iranians. Moreover, there is a strong pro-Israel lobby within the German government that has pressured members of the Bundestag to purge out the anti-Israel BDS movement under the threat of accusations of antisemitism. This has been to the ire of many German MPs because this lobby is seen as a foreign influence that is there to pressure Germany to the will of Israel which (and this too has caused a stir in Berlin) sent tens of millions of dollars to fund this lobby. All of this is an impediment to Germany’s goal of independence from the Americans. Thus, Germany’s struggle for autonomy will eventually be a struggle against the Jews — be they in Israel or within the lobbying apparatus. In the midst of all of this, there is a growing hatred against the Jew. Holocaust denial is disturbingly popular, and a greater support and sympathy for fanatical, nationalistic ideologies has seen a surge within recent years.
We can talk about antisemitism in the Muslim world, but we would simply be pointing to the obvious. What we strive to do is get people to see what their cultural conditioning refuses to show them, and that is that the European can turn back to the demons that once possessed him in the first half of the 20th century. This hatred is not just in the Middle East, where the world is accustomed to seeing anti-Jewish sentiments, but has seen a resurgence in the Western world. We say resurgence because hatred toward the Jews in Europe was once common, and the Germans butchered millions. Who is to say, then, that with Germany’s will to freedom from the American yoke being hindered by a pro-Israel agenda, in the atmosphere of intensifying nationalism and pan-Europeanism, that the European will not turn on the Jew again? Even the Bible foretold that Europeans will butcher the Hebrews. Balaam made the prophecy that “ships shall come from Kittim and shall afflict Asshur and Eber; and he too shall come to utter destruction.” Eber denotes the Hebrews, and according to Josephus “all islands, and the greatest part of the sea-coasts, are named Cethim by the Hebrews,” (Hist., 1.6.1) and in this he is referring to European coastlands. The fact that the greatest extermination of the Jews was done by a European nation — Germany — is telling. And since history does rhyme, perhaps the chaotic symphony that the world has been composing will lead us back to the grim past, when the European tried to exterminate the Jew.
One of the most polarizing events between the US and Germany was the American withdrawal from the Iran Deal (known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). Germany wants to do business with the Iranians while the Americans continue to pressure other countries not to do so. This anti-Iran policy is greatly influenced by the pro-Israel lobby and by Israel itself. Thus, if Germany is pursuing independence, then it will have to ultimately collide with the Jews, be they in Israel or the ones pushing for Israeli interests within the German government.
The Iran Deal limited Iran’s nuclear activities and in exchange allowed the Iranians to conduct commerce with other countries in the Western world. The United States left the Iran Deal, resumed sanctions on Iran and pressured other countries to not do business with the Near Eastern country, which was to the ire of the Germans who still wish to maintain commerce with Tehran. This stoked up tension with the Germans because America was imposing its will on them. The anger towards America’s pressure truly comes from the desire to be autonomous from US control. Hence why after the US withdrew from the Iran Deal, Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, wrote that it is essential “that we strengthen European autonomy by setting up payment channels that are independent of the USA, creating a European Monetary Fund and building an independent Swift system”.
Maas also called for Germany to have more responsibility in security issues “In which we counterbalance where the US crosses red lines,” and “In which we bring our weight to where America withdraws.” In a 2020 interview with Der Spiegel Maas complained that America’s policy against Iran has been not helpful at all, and he specified against the US’s threats of sanctions on European companies who do business with Iran:
“There has been no progress on any issue with Iran – on the contrary. We have seen how little the nuclear deal is worth when the U.S. fights against it from the sidelines – with sanctions against Iran and threats against European companies doing business in Iran.”
Maas, in the same interview, spoke of the need for European autonomy from American global power, stating: “The U.S. will not return to the role of global police force.” And: “European sovereignty – or strategic autonomy, as the French call it – is currently a motto of our German EU presidency. It is a prerequisite for the trans-Atlantic relationship to function again, not a contradiction.” It is clear that the contention for Germanic autonomy from American power is underscored by American pressure to have no business with Iran and German desire to have commerce with the Iranians.
The Germans want to do business with the Iranians and the Americans are demanding them to stop. This upsets the Germans, not because they really care about the Iranian economy, but because it presents American control over Europe. What we are essentially witnessing is a German rebellion against the American empire. This rebellion was expressed in 2018 by then President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, when he declared in a speech some of the most hardline rhetoric that we have lately been seeing coming out of Europe: “At this point, we have to replace the United States, which as an international actor has lost vigor, and because of it, in the long term, influence”.
Germany’s drive for independence is also underscored by the conflict between it and Germany over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Germany wants a pipe line that will transport natural gas directly to it from Russia. The Trump administration responded to this by imposing sanctions on any European companies involved in the construction of the pipeline. In the midst of this situation, there was talk in Germany about America acting like a mafia against the Germans. German parliamentarian, Klaus Ernst, stated: “Their [the American’s] actions resemble those of a mafia … It’s not about our security; it’s about Americans seeking to sell us their liquified gas, their slate gas that harms the environment… and is more expensive”. He then went on to say that the US “does not see its partners as partners but… as unwelcome competitors or as servants … This must be stopped once and for all. We cannot stand anything like this … Everything else leads either into a dead end or into submission.” (Ellipses and brackets mine). In other words, the Germans no longer want to be in a state of submission under the Americans and want to break free to pursue its own business dealings, be it with the Russians or the Iranians.
There is a report from 2019 that expresses this desire for independence from American power. It is entitled, Strategic Autonomy of Europe and it was written by numerous researchers for the European Union. In this report, the desire for autonomy sparked by America’s withdrawal from the Iran Deal is made clear: “the dispute with the Trump administration over the nuclear deal with Iran makes it clear how difficult it is for the EU to defend its own security and regulatory ideas against political and economic pressure.” It speaks of a deepening of Franco-German ties as a response to America’s spite towards the Iran Deal: “Since the US administration terminated the Iran nuclear deal, Berlin and Paris have come closer to each other on essential foreign and security policy issues.” The report gives further remonstrance: “The US government is currently forcing European companies out of the macroeconomically insignificant Iran business, but this is already undermining the credibility of European foreign policy.”
The report describes America as a rival to a rising autonomous Europe that will be a pole of power in the emerging multipolar world where America is no longer the sole global force: “With the claim to strategic autonomy, Europe defines itself as a pole in an unstable multipolar world order that is increasingly determined by a Sino-American rivalry.” It also talks about a more contentious political atmosphere between the US and Germany wherein the Germans must be conditioned to having conflicts with the Americans: “Europe and Germany have to adjust to increased controversies, more open and contentious debates and also conflicts with the USA.” So, we know that the Germans don’t expect relations with the US to return to normalcy; that conflict will continue, that tensions will increase; and we know that one of the major points of contention is doing business with Iran. And what country has influenced the US against the Iran Deal more so than any other country? It is obviously Israel, the biggest influencer for the US leaving the deal. When Marko Papic, a geopolitical analyst, was working for Stratfor (a think-tank that specializes on conflicts between countries) he made the observation in an email revealed by Wikileaks that it was Israel, and not just the US, that was pressuring Germany to leave off trading with Iran:
“Trade with Iran is not something Germany throws away easily. Data we have point to a robust trade relationship, particularly in this one sector. HOWEVER, pressure from the U.S., plus also Israel (we need to at least mention it…) is forcing Merkel to shift here.”
Israel is thus becoming a hinderance to Germany’s aspiration for being independent, since it is Israel’s opinion that influences the US’s pressure against Germany’s business with Iran. Thus, if Germany wants to be autonomous from American control, it also has to assail Israeli outrage. It is not only Israel that pressures Germany, but a very active pro-Israeli lobby within Germany. This has been the case even before the Iran Deal. In 2008, Germany wanted to establish several liquid natural gas (LNG) plants in Iran, but his was opposed by the pro-Israel lobby within Germany which consists of two organizations — the German-Israeli Friendship Society and the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin — as was observed by a report referenced in Wikileaks:
“critics of the Islamic Republic including the German-Israeli friendship society say the deal’s approval was unnecessary and even harmful. They have urged the gas contract be rescinded to further isolate Iran over its nuclear enrichment activities.
“The Steiner deal just shows that existing sanctions have been ineffective,” said Jonathan Betkerle of the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin, a nonprofit group supported by Jewish organizations.
Betkerle said his group will lobby German politicians to help overturn the government decision.”
There has been a growing frustration in Germany with these two pro-Israel lobbying groups, so much so that Der Spiegel wrote an in depth article on this subject entitled, How two clubs want to influence German Middle East policy. This article had a particular focus on the controversy regarding the anti-Israel BDS movement. BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanction, which is what this movement wants to impose on Israel. The German parliament (Bundestag) already made a joint declaration against antisemitism in which the BDS movement was condemned. But, in May of 2019 the Christian Democrats, alongside the SPD, FDP and Greens collectively voted in favor of a statement condemning the BDS movement specifically and not just in a general statement against antisemitism. The statement was titled, “Resolutely opposing the BDS movement – fighting anti-Semitism”. While the support for the resolution was overwhelming, there were 103 parliamentarians who looked upon it with suspicion. Why, they asked, was it necessary to have this separate resolution when they had already condemned antisemitism? While they were incredulous, they still voted in favor of it since to do otherwise would have meant bad publicity, more specifically accusations of antisemitism.
One of the movers pushing the resolution on the Bundestag was Elio Adler, a dentist and the chairman of the “Values Initiative”, an association founded in 2018 which, according to its own information, represents “Jewish-German positions”. Adler is also on the board of the “Middle East Peace Forum”, which was founded in 2009, and lobbies in favor for Israeli demands. According to the Der Spiegel article: “The organization questions German Middle East policy and promotes positions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.” Such an article denotes a foreign — Jewish — influence on Germany which, desiring to be autonomous from outside power, would definitely find it in its interest to neutralize such an influence. Months before the vote transpired, the Values Initiative of Adler lobbied aggressively for the Bundestag to classify the BDS movement as antisemitic and to prohibit its funding. One German MP was offended by this and described it as “systematic influence”. The Der Spiegel article speaks of how funding in the tens of millions from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs & Public Diplomacy has financed the Middle East Peace Forum in Germany, and even ties in the Mossad with this operation:
“The ministry has provided the equivalent of around 30 million euros, and even the Mossad secret service is said to be involved, according to media reports. Pressure was exerted on banks, particularly in Europe and the USA, to close the accounts of groups that support BDS. So-called front organizations in the countries are said to have helped.”
Since Germany has been adamant about rising above American control, it would not be surprising that they also would work against the influence of pro-Israel lobbying. This countering against Israeli influence was expressed by major Christian Democrat parliamentarian Andreas Nick when he stated, regarding pro-Israel lobbying: “I have never seen such a systematic attempt to influence the Bundestag … It is obviously ultimately a matter of shifting the German position in the Middle East conflict in the interests of Messrs. Trump and Netanyahu and thus dividing the EU on this issue.”
Germany’s longing for freedom can thus be perceived as being impeded by Israel and a group of Zionists with a loud voice. Merkel spoke of how “we Europeans must fight for our own future and destiny,” but it appears that this fight will ultimately be against Israel and her acolytes within Germany. The anger towards the Jew is not only at the governmental level, but in the street as well.
Recently, in Germany, around 3,500 people gathered together to demonstrate against Israel and express support for the Palestinian cause. People shouted, “Muhammad’s army will return” and “Take aim at Tel Aviv!” Many of the demonstrators wore the Palestinian kaffiyeh and some even wore camouflage clothing or Salafist attire. Left-wing fanatics also attended, marching with the red, communist flag with its hammer and sickle. Others waved the flag of Turkey and made the hand sign of the Grey Wolves (Bozkurt), a Right-wing ethno-nationalist group that believes in the superiority of the Turkish race. Just to demonstrate how racist this latter group is, the official magazine of the Grey Wolves, Bozkurt, once said:
“What is our ideology? The Turkism of the Grey Wolf (Bozkurt). What is the creed of the Bozkurtcu? They believe, that the Turkish race and the Turkish nation is superior. What is the source of this superiority? The Turkish blood.”
So what we have in such a rally are a mix of Islamist, Turkish nazis and Communists, all against Israel. Turkish anti-Jewish sentiment can be a mixed bag between Islamism and Nazi ideology, hence why Mein Kampf was a best seller in Turkey in 2005.
Rageful hatred against the Jew is very prevalent in the internet. One Jewish person who lives in Berlin received a comment on Instagram saying: “I miss Hitler. He should come back for a quick extermination.” Der Spiegel quotes an anti-Israel comment made on social media by a German born Muslim that reads: “You sons of whores, you schmucks, Hitler didn’t f**k you enough!”
Anti-Jewish violence has been increasing in Germany. According to central crime statistics, attacks on Jews have risen each year since 2015. In that year the number of violent attacks on Jews was 1,366 and now in 2021 it is at 2,351, a two-thirds increase. While police believe that almost 95% of the attacks have been done by Right-wing radicals, when the assaulter cannot be identified they are frequently believed to be Right-wing extremists (according to a survey by the Independent Expert Group on Anti-Semitism in German parliament, most Jews in Germany believe that the majority of these attacks have been by Muslims).
Levi Israel Ufferfilge, a 32 year old German Jew who runs an elementary school, has described the persecution he has endured in his country, such as being called a “sh*t Jew” in places as common as a supermarket, the train and at the bus stop. He recounted how he was chased by a gang of Arab men who threw rocks and bottles at him as he was walking home from a cinema. He was more disturbed by the reaction from police officers when they asked him if he had “given the youths a reason” to be violent towards him.
However, Ufferfilge specifies that it is not just Muslims who have attacked him, but Germans as well who have expressed hatred towards him. Rebecca Seidler, a German Jewish woman who heads a liberal Synagogue, recounts of how a man with an Arabic accent called the parish office and threatened to light the synagogue on fire. She also recalled how congregation members have been scolded at work, at school and on the streets with statements like: “What you are doing in Gaza is just as bad as what the Nazis did to the Jews,” or “If Israel didn’t exist, we would have peace in the world.” She spoke of recent protests against Israel and “how many Turkish flags are also being waved.”
Dervis Hizarci, an educator who works to dissuade Muslim and Turkish youths from anti-semitism was an observer at the recent anti-Israel demonstration that took place in Neukölln and he knew many of the youths present there: “There were more of them than in past years at similar events, and the anger was greater”. Burak Yilmaz, another educator who tries to persuade youths away from antisemitism lays the blame on Turkish clerics who are influential in Germany: “Fundamentalist clerics, in particular, have lots of followers and call for hatred there. There are imams whose content is shared thousandfold.” In some Turkish TV shows, he explains, the Jew is always the enemy. “These are the things that shape people.” One of those influences is the major imam Ali Erbas, Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) in Turkey, who spoke in Ankara: “The tyranny of Israel, the baby killer who mercilessly destroys and annihilates houses of worship, must be stopped as soon as possible.” A few days later Derbas entered the Hagia Sofia with a sword.
Anti-Jewish sentiment is very common amongst Turkish youths in Germany, and its fashionableness is illustrated in the soccer culture of young Turks. For example, the Turkish soccer club team, Fenerbahçe, was warming up while wearing shirts that read “Ozgur Palastina” or “Free Palestine.” One of the players wearing the shirt was the German born Mesut Ozil, who used to play for the German national team and is a strong supporter of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ozil is very popular amongst ethnic Turkish youths in Germany and his rage against Israel is a reflection of a wider animosity towards the Jewish state. There were 1.4 million Turks in Germany who voted in the most recent Turkish presidential election, and of those, 65 percent put in their vote for Erdoğan.
There are Turks who are also involved in stoking Nazi fury. Attila Hildmann is an example of this. An ethnic Turk who was adopted by German parents, Hildmann was once a celebrity vegan chef who now describes himself as an “ultra right-winger” and overtly shows his hatred against Jews. He recently made a poll for his followers asking if Jews are humans or parasites. 2,500 people responded and 60% of them said that Jews are parasites.
Enmity towards Israel in Germany can also be found within the political sphere of the country. In 2019, the official Twitter account (“Germany in Ramallah”) for the representative of Germany’s mission to the Palestinian territories “liked” posts made by American white nationalist David Duke and other antisemites. The one directing the account, Christian Clages, “liked” as a “must read” an article that compared the Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem to the historical accounts of “totalitarian states” . Clages also “liked” a post by David Duke in which the former klansman told a Palestinian follower that “Jewish racists” would have “mutilated innocent Palestinians, raped and led through Jewish villages before they were executed”.
According to Bild, Clages praised a tweet showing “a video of a two-minute mob attack on Israeli soldiers captioned with the words ‘Hats off!’” The fact that the representative for Germany in the West Bank is a fan of David Duke tells us that support for the Palestinian cause can most definitely have a Nazi underpinning that positions itself at the governmental level. In Germany, there is a growing sense of aggravation towards the emphasis on remembering the Holocaust that has been so maintained in the society given the fact it was the country who orchestrated the genocide of the Jews and other ethnicities.
This frustration was expressed by the biggest Right-wing nationalist party in the country, the Alternative for Deutschland party or AfD. In 2017, in a beer hall meeting in Dresden, AfD leader Bjorn Hocke praised his party as the last hope for Germany: “The AfD is the last revolutionary, the last peaceful chance for our fatherland”. His words were greeted with “Jawohl!” (“Yes sir!”) from the crowd. He then began to reflect the simmering animosity towards the country’s focus on Germany’s Holocaust history: “German history is handled as rotten and made to look ridiculous,” to which the crowd replied with cries of “Deutschland, Deutschland.” Vexing against his country’s national guilt for the Holocaust, Hocke lamented that Germans were “the only people in the world to plant a monument of shame in the heart of its capital,” referring to a memorial to murdered Jews in Berlin, adding that Germans had the “mentality of a totally vanquished people.”
Mr. Hocke’s agenda against Germany’s national guilt was also seen when he disavowed a famous 1985 speech by Richard von Weizsacker (then the German president) that declared that the victory of the Allies should be esteemed as the liberation of Germany. Hocke described Weizsacker’s speech as “a speech against his own people, and not for his own people.” Hocke’s words assume that his people are Nazis. That a leader for a major political party in Germany is raging against the emphasis on the Holocaust is an indication that such sentiments are growing. When people want to belittle genocides, it is because they wish to repeat them. We see this in Turkey where the official narrative of the government is that the Armenian Genocide did not take place, and yet Armenia is still the enemy in Turkey’s eyes, signifying the desire to resume the extermination of that nation. We have also seen this in Japan where major parliamentarians deny that there ever was a massacre of the Chinese.
The denial, or the minimizing of massacres and genocides is only done by those who aspire to have the evil repeated. Hocke’s beliefs are shared by Thomas Schlick, Chairman of the AfD in Wolfsburg, who expressed his desire for Germany to say “nein” to demands for reparations to Jews for the Holocaust: “We have heard quite often recently that the past and the lessons learned from it are important and that this may not be forgotten. … The fear of saying ‘no’ to an association from time to time [ … ] must not lead to economic considerations no longer playing a role out of pure guilt!” This is another thing that must be factored when analyzing the simmering anger against the Jews: how the European (more specifically, the German) are growing vindictive of the many calls for reparations for the Holocaust. There has been an intensification of the ‘get over it’ attitude towards the Holocaust in Germany in recent decades. Christoph Schult, who has been quite active in studying German-Israeli relations, wrote of this growing sentiment:
“A large share of Germans — perhaps even the majority — offer their one-sided support to the Palestinians, not seldom as a way of trying to relativize Germany’s responsibility for the Holocaust.” At some point we need to get over it,” is one popular refrain.”
An enmity towards monuments commemorating Germany’s past crimes is definitely present within these nationalists. For example, the AfD parliamentary group for the city of Braunschweig collected signatures against the planned establishment of a “Garden of Remembrance” to commemorate war crimes committed by soldiers of the 92nd Infantry Regiment from Braunschweig in Roselies, Belgium during the First World War. The AfD parliamentary group lamented the “nonsensical monument cult” and rejected the memorial site: “To this day, there is no clearly proven connection between the events in Roselies and those in Braunschweig or our city. A memorial is therefore out of place. “
There have been AfD politicians exposed as blatant Nazis. One politician, who has gone unnamed (because of Germany’s privacy laws) had to resign because pictures came out showing him on a “pilgrimage” to sites connected with Hitler. In one photo he is holding a candle in front of Hitler’s birthplace in the Austrian town of Brannau am Inn. He is also seen near swastikas and SS rune-bearing banners as well as being photographed near the Berchtesgaden Alpine retreat frequented by Hitler. Another AfD politician, Jessica Biessmann, had photographs of her posing next to wine bottles bearing Hitler’s image.
Lars Steinke had to resign from his position as the leader of the AfD’s youth organization in Lower Saxony, after he said in a leaked conversation that Hitler was justified in invading Poland, stating that “every politician would have acted just like Hitler.” And given all of this, with such people growing in numbers, perhaps they, too, will act like the tyrant they praise.