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Germany’s Iran Lobby

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And so the rhetoric of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – his denial of the Holocaust, his desire to eliminate Israel – is met with carrots instead of sticks. This political theater of the absurd is notably apparent in the field of cultural exchange with Iran. The Osnabrücker Symphony recently performed a concert in Tehran following a public hanging of gay Iranians and journalists, and Germany’s leading theater director, Claus Peymann, plans to stage Brecht’s play “Mother Courage and Her Children” in Iran.

Peymann apparently is not losing sleep over Iran’s goal of bringing about a second Holocaust because he annually commemorates, in his Berliner Ensemble Theater, the deportation of Berlin’s Jews during the Shoah.

How does one explain this disconnect between the pathological obsession with dead Jews and the painful indifference toward the survivors of the Holocaust, their children and grandchildren, and Israel as an oasis of security for Jews?

The German Jewish Journalist Henryk M. Broder remarked recently, during a panel discussion in the Jewish Community Center in Berlin, that the inaction of a large segment of German society is due to covert admiration for Iran, a kind of Schadenfreude (malicious joy). For the Iranians vow to carry out the Nazi plan of extermination. and Israel, as the permanent reminder of Auschwitz, with the concomitant emotions of guilt and shame for Germans, will disappear.

A better social-psychological explanation has yet to surface to explain German indifference to the Iran Lobby.

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

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