From one “never negotiable state reason”

From a'niemals verhandelbaren staatsrason'

An interstate anomaly and a little back and forth that accompanies it. German Anti-Antisemitism (Part 2 and conclusion)

The first text of this two-part series addressed German pride in the culture of remembrance and its political-moral use value, which does not diminish. So he also wants to underline his higher justification by the fact that the "historical responsibility" lives on in politicians and burghers who, through their "late birth" clearly separated from the events of remembering.

"No empty words"

This is precisely the reason for our unbreakable bond with the State of Israel: "Germany’s special responsibility for the Jewish state is part of the state reason of my country. This means that the security of Israel is never negotiable for me as German Chancellor.

And if this is so, then in the hour of preservation these words must not remain empty words." Thus Angela Merkel in 2008 before the Knesset – sentences, which were repeated gladly on the occasion of the recent Gaza war, in order to underline Israel’s right, "to defend themselves against the attacks within the framework of self-defense" (government spokesman).

Thereby the oath of allegiance is not misunderstood by the governments in Germany and Israel. "In the hour of preservation" no Bundeswehr reinforcement against Hamas or Iran is to be expected. In Middle East diplomacy, the Federal Republic represents its own interests and not those of Israel, which it tries to use for this purpose.

The attitudes toward the two-state solution and the settlement policy are by no means the same. Berlin and Jerusalem know that the real guarantor of Israeli sovereignty, which continues to be threatened and is therefore continually expanding, is Washington. Germany’s contribution to Israel’s wars is evident in its arms deals, but otherwise consists in the publicity-grabbing declaration of its "defensive character" and in the corresponding monitoring of international resolutions.

In addition, and for this reason, the FRG would like to have more political weight "SPD co-leader Norbert Walter-Borjans demands a say in Israel’s handling of conflicts in return for German arms deliveries". So Germany is by no means practicing Nibelung loyalty – and to the side, the chancellor’s words actually remain a bit empty.

"Non-negotiable" At least in this respect they are: With its unconditional solidarity with Israel, the purified Germany once again certifies itself as a good moral class of its own, which recommends it for the league of world leaders. The guardianship and the claim of definition in the matter of anti-Semitism at home and abroad are included in it.

Burgers doubt

Nevertheless, reports like this are part of everyday life in Germany: "The Middle East conflict is apparently increasingly influencing the Germans’ image of Israel. Only 36 percent of Germans have a positive opinion of the Jewish state – almost half have a negative opinion of Israel. (…) The discrepancy between the official German policy and the attitudes of many federal citizens is grossly" (Bertelsmann study).

And because these Germans have understood the official constriction of anti-Zionism against Israel and general hostility toward Jews in their own way, many of them also find fault with Jews in Germany and elsewhere: "Jews have too much influence in Germany", deplore 15 percent. "To hear again and again about the German crimes against the Jews", argues 49 percent. And "with the policy that Israel makes", 28 percent can understand, "that one has something against Jews" (Survey of the University of Bielefeld) The Marxist Journal Gegenstandpunkt analyzes this as "a civic incomprehension of the nationalist anomaly of an unconditional solidarity bonus against another state", which is otherwise only common within a nation: Right or wrong, my country.

Be noticeable in it "a grown-up, imperialistic state-burger consciousness. It does not come at all from an old or neo-fascist hostility to Jews, did not know at all why it should be anti-Semitic, but also not why a nation like the German one with its world-wide interests because of Hitler and the old stories should let itself be limited in its power-political options by a binding bias for Israel."

This kind of emancipation is thus also a result of the successful "Remembrance culture", which now turns critically and fastidiously against the original object of its attention.

The press complains

German quality journalism also has a challenging and at the same time moderating effect here. Partly it reflects the real dissatisfaction of the German and European governments with their influence on Israel, which is dominated by the USA. In part, he also identifies his own policy measures, in which he finds the development of German sovereignty deficient.

The Suddeutsche Zeitung (17.5.21) complains, "the states of the EU (left) it with the usual appeals, instead of intervening actively as mediators" – as if the attempt to do so already coincided with its success. The Mirror (21/21) takes the occurring confusion and irritating equation of pro-Israeli and past-conscious ideology with their political purposes as "vague relationship, overcomplicated by historical guilt, morality and a good dose of German self-righteousness" true, the "has never been unraveled".

Instead of doing this, the news magazine misses the Israel solidarity that has "obligation to act as an honest broker and to seek a solution, even if the Israeli government does not like it" – as if the German ministers of agriculture did not claim this Bismarckian attitude for themselves. The taz (20.5.21) takes Merkel’s confession before the Knesset "a disturbing subtext: we support Israel not out of conviction or because we think it is politically right, but because against the background of German history, unfortunately, unfortunately, it has to be done".

Because it doesn’t know how this fits together, the newspaper finds it unbelievable: "Credibility means not resorting to ‘German state reason’ but providing convincing arguments for support." Apparently, the taz the practiced state morality nor a rotation of moral. Because the Israeli "Forewarning defense" which, from the newspaper’s point of view, doesn’t quite allow it, admits it in a humiliated way: "Those who can not, could simply say nothing at all" and the asymmetrical Gaza war silent.

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