The German Gentile Who Made a Career as a Jewish Critic of Israel

July 21, 2023 | Zeev Avrahami
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The Anglo-Jewish novelist Howard Jacobson has written of the archetype of the “Ashamed Jew,” who loves nothing more than to declare “As a Jew, I am ashamed by the deeds of my fellow Jews.” Most often, the source of that shame is the real or imagined behavior of Israel. A German journalist named Fabian Wolff, who often writes about his experiences “as a Jew,” has spent the better part of his career playing the role of Ashamed Jew. But it has recently come to light that he is not, in fact, a Jew. Zeev Avrahami writes:

After his former partner revealed that he is not Jewish, Wolff published a lengthy article in the magazine Die Zeit this week, in which he exposed the truth about his religious identity and quickly placed the blame on his mother. The perplexed German left rushed to blame Jewish institutions for revealing the truth in their statements.

[Wollf] supports absolving Muslim anti-Semitism of blame, . . . in addition to being an enthusiastic supporter of boycott movements against Israel, such as BDS. . . . Germany, like other countries, loves Jews such as Wolff. Jewish individuals who point accusing fingers at Israel for the current situation in the Middle East, including acts of violence and ethnic cleansing, receive support.

Wolff’s Jewish identity was his ticket to the liberal left. . . . Wolff, who is also a teacher by trade, strongly attacked other Jews, claiming that they were blindly pro-Israel, extreme right-wingers, or racists. He used his fabricated Jewish identity to bash fellow Jews.

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