Germany Commemorates the Holocaust by Ignoring Anti-Semitism

Jan. 29 2015

Last Tuesday, German politicians issued noble-sounding statements to commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. But there has been a spate of recent meetings between prominent German politicians and high-ranking Iranian officials, some well-known for their denials of the Holocaust. Benjamin Weinthal writes:

“The Jews, if they’re not dead, should please suffer, admonish, and warn, but not fight back,” Eike Geisel (1945-1997), a critic of [Germany’s] post-Shoah remembrance culture, wrote.

His insight was reflected in a study the Bertelsmann Foundation released on Monday, showing that 68 percent of Germans want their members of parliament to pull the plug on weapons deliveries to Israel. Eighty-one percent of Germans want to close the chapter of the Holocaust so their lawmakers can focus on “contemporary problems,” the survey revealed. . . .

Days before Tuesday’s Holocaust remembrance, Green Party deputy Claudia Roth and Christian Social Union politician Dagmar Wöhrl, a former Miss Germany, met with Ali Larijani, the president of Iran’s parliament, in Tehran. Larijani infamously defended the regime of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying Iran had “different perspectives on the Holocaust.” . . .

In December, Niels Annen, a Social Democratic deputy and foreign-policy spokesman in the Bundestag, met with former Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati to discuss the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program and the situation in the Middle East. Velayati was implicated in the assassination of Kurdish dissidents at the Mykonos restaurant in West Berlin in 1992 and the bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in which 85 were killed and hundreds wounded in 1994. Interpol seeks the arrest of Velayati for his involvement in the terrorist attack at the Jewish center. . . .

In the cases of Roth, Annen, and Wöhrl, Germany’s remembrance culture represents, to quote Geisel, “the highest form of forgetting.” In short, efforts to combat modern anti-Semitism are divorced from the crimes of the Holocaust.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Germany, Holocaust, Iran, Israeli-German relations, Politics & Current Affairs


The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy