Ominous Petition Rejected
I don't really keep up with news from Germany but it was hard to miss this item. A group of German academics has requested that Germany cease it's "special relationship" with Israel, i.e. its pro-Israel policy, so that the government can feel free to support the grievances of the Palestinians, who presumably have suffered greatly as a result of the Holocaust. Here are the opening paragraphs from Ynet News:
BERLIN – Twenty five German academics published a petition Wednesday urging their government to loosen its embrace of Israel and start embracing Palestinians in an unprecedented act in the history of the relationship between Germany and Israel.
The academics in question are highly influential professors at the country’s leading universities which were mainly funded by the German government. Many of them are known for their anti-Israel stances.
The academics called on the German government to stop giving “special treatment” to Israel following the Holocaust and warned that the sympathetic attitude could lead to unrest amidst the German people.
The petition was recently published in the German based journal Frankfurter Rundschau owned by the Dumont Schauberg publishing house. The company recently purchased 25 percent of Haaretz’s stocks.
The 25 petition signers called on a change in the character of the relationship between Israel and Germany, which would lead the two countries to have a “friendship free from past burdens,” one which would leave room for expressing criticism of Israel.
According to the academics, the Holocaust binds Germany to not only stand by Israel, but to also stand by the Palestinians. They said this was important since the ramifications of the Holocaust lead to much suffering for the Palestinians over the past 60 years.
Read the rest of the article here.
An article in The Jerusalem Post announces that the German government completely rejects the petition:
The German Embassy rejected on Thursday a call made by 25 German academics for the country to abandon its "special relationship" with Israel in favor of a stance recognizing Palestinian suffering as an outcome of the Holocaust...
A German Embassy spokesman in Tel Aviv, however, dismissed the petition. "It in no way reflects the position of the German government. The position of the German government regarding the special relationship with Israel will not change."
He described that relationship as stemming from German behavior in the Holocaust.
"We accept fully that because of the Shoah, the German people and [government] have a special responsibility to the State of Israel," he said, emphasizing that all of Germany's top leaders have stressed their support for this policy in recent years.
Click Link below for the whole article.
The issue of the so-called "right to criticize Israel" or, to put it differently, the taboo on criticizing Israel, is a topic that arouses angry debates at the French websites. I think the problem stems from the fact that there are two ways of criticizing Israel: one, as a friend and the other as a pro-Palestinian. Within Israel itself the debate rages.
Friends and supporters of Israel were shocked when Ehud Olmert stopped the war in Lebanon long before the job of disabling Hezbollah was completed. Their criticism was aimed at prodding Israel to wake up, rid herself of Socialists, and recapture the patriotic spirit of yore. Enemies of Israel were also critical, but for opposite reasons. The German academics are enemies of Israel; their so-called criticism masks a desire to collaborate with terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah. America is moving in this direction...ominously.