web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Germany’s Iran Lobby


Share Button

Germany needs an Israel Lobby. That was the thrust of Alan Posener’s commentary on Deutschland Radio in late May. Posener, chief columnist for Germany’s largest circulating Sunday newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, attended the yearly AIPAC conference in Washington and posits U.S pro-Israel solidarity as a model for Germany, where “Israel’s Lobby’s consists of six million dead Jews.”

There is a predisposition among a sizable number of Germans to memorialize the destruction of German (and European) Jewry while displaying an aversion to living Jews and the state of Israel. Posener views this German infatuation with dead Jews as “no substitute for six thousand living lobbyists in Germany – lobbyists who would remind us that solidarity with Israel is not part of how Germany deals with its past, but is an investment in Europe’s future.

“If Beirut and Damascus, Cairo and Gaza, would one day look like Tel Aviv, Europe’s freedom would be assured.”

Posener’s laudable goal is a tall order in a nation where 77 percent of the population harbors, according to a recent BBC poll, a pejorative view of Israel – the highest such level in Europe. And the German edition of Mearsheimer and Walt’s The Israel Lobby, just out in bookstores here, will no doubt help push that figure higher. The dust jacket features an American flag with stars of David rather than the conventional five-pointed stars.

Posener, who characterizes the book’s content as “an anti-Semitic diatribe done up in fancy academic terms,” describes the cover as a “scandal” in its own right. In fact, the dust jacket mirrors the cover of the Nazi edition of Powers Behind Roosevelt, which showed stars of David imposed on an American flag and stereotypical photos of Orthodox Jews and businessmen conversing behind a picture of Roosevelt – thus implying that Roosevelt was a marionette of American Jewry. (Johann von Leers, an intellectual gangster and Nazi ideologist, wrote that anti-Semitic tract and, following the war, fled to Egypt where he converted to Islam.)

The chattering classes in Germany are obsessed with The Israel Lobby, and every major newspaper has devoted extensive treatment to its arguments. The book was an instant bestseller here and a discussion of how the “Israel Lobby influences American foreign policy” is, according to major publications like the daily newspaper Die Süddeutsche, long overdue.

The prominent Austrian weekly Profil headlined its cover story: “Why is Israel so powerful?” The Vienna-based online Jewish magazine Die Jüdische (www.juedische.at) and its chief editor, Samuel Laster, sharply criticized Profil for rekindling anti-Jewish clichés. When I called the publisher of Profil, he claimed the Vienna Jewish community had not voiced any protest over the magazine. Yet the chairman of that community, Ariel Muzicant, told me he indeed feels “the cover is anti-Semitic” and explained that after having experienced “similar Profil events” he simply “gave up calling” to complain.

Journalist Robert Misik parroted the standard leftist rhetoric in his Profil article – namely, that American Jewish organizations are waging a worldwide campaign to silence dissent of Israel. Rather than combating anti-Semitism in Austria – where over half the population believes Jews exert too much influence on world events – Misik has developed a cottage industry critiquing the Israel lobby and attacking any imputations of anti-Semitism leveled at critics of Israel.

The recent $22 billion deal between Iran and the Austrian oil and gas company OMV is not on Misik’s radar screen. The machinations of Germany’s Iran Lobby is simply not a story with legs and cannot serve as a profitable whipping boy – in contrast to what Misik calls “the hardliners in Jewish organizations.”

The power of the Iran Lobby is a topic that dares not speaks its name in Germany or Austria. Germany is Iran’s most important trading partner; Lufthansa flights to and from Tehran are routinely packed with business representatives from Volkswagen, Mercedes, Siemens, Hermes, and Dillinger Steel, to name only a few of the thousands of German firms involved in an opulent trade relationship with a reactionary regime capable of utilizing German technology to advance its nuclear program.

What prompts the silence? Ruprecht Polenz is a member of the Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) and chairman of the important foreign relations committee in the German parliament. When I asked him in a recent phone interview if Germany could take a cutting-edge role in imposing a tough economic embargo against Iran – especially in light of Germany’s oft-repeated “historical responsibility” to Israel – Polenz said such an approach is not “sound.”

Share Button

About the Author: Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (www.defenddemocracy.org


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Germany’s Iran Lobby”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.
America Joins Israel in Canceling Talks with PA
Latest Indepth Stories
Palestinian boys stand behind mock jail bars during a rally calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails (but not from Palestinian Arab jails), in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on April 20, 2014.

The Palestinian Authority has jailed more than 350 Arabs for “security” reasons in just 2014.

Rabbi Auerbach seen at a ceremony for the students who have finished the reading of the Babylonian talmud, at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem on July 31, 2012.

Since Torah is the great equalizer, the great reconciler of divergent but valid opinions, this is also the place where common ground is reached.

Dueling Shofarim

Some American Jews feel their community has been hijacked from within by groups waging war against Israel seemingly in the name of the Jewish people.

Al-Aksa Mosque was claimed to be the site from which Mohammed ascended to Heaven, but it was built nearly 50 years after Mohammed died.

Jerusalem only seems important in the Islamic world when non-Muslims control or capture the city.

Jordan’s king is adding fuel to the fire on the Temple Mount, blaming Israel for violence by Muslim Arab rioters.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

More Articles from Benjamin Weinthal
Iran_Oil_Map

EU outlawing of Iranian oil imports is already hurting the Iranian economy. But will it have an effect beyond that?

The German Holocaust foundation Remembrance, Responsibility, Future – EVZ – is in a state of denial concerning misuse of public funds meant to largely compensate the victims of the Shoah but used instead to finance anti-Semitic student exchange programs in Israel and Germany.

In a span of several weeks, a motley group of celebrities ranging from the composer of “Zorba the Greek” to a British fashion designer to an American television actor – as well as the Australian founder of WikiLeaks – have all manifested Judeophobia.

What is this global celebrity outburst targeting Jews all about?

As an Israeli psychoanalyst once noted with bitter irony, the Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz. The corollary to this observation is that Europeans will never forgive the Israelis and the Jews for Auschwitz.

Germany needs an Israel Lobby. That was the thrust of Alan Posener’s commentary on Deutschland Radio in late May. Posener, chief columnist for Germany’s largest circulating Sunday newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, attended the yearly AIPAC conference in Washington and posits U.S pro-Israel solidarity as a model for Germany, where “Israel’s Lobby’s consists of six million dead Jews.”

There is a kind of obsessive national pastime among certain mainstream and left-of-center German dailies that involves, wittingly or unwittingly, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments. The charged debates within American Jewry, ranging from the role of American Jewish organizations to the controversy surrounding intellectual provocateurs like Tony Judt, serve to provide new fodder to those looking to exploit the anti-Israel card in central Europe.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/germanys-iran-lobby/2007/10/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: