31/12/09 12:58 PMBeing Leftist and Anti-Semitic in Germany - Susanne UrbanPage 3 of 10http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-32.htm
During the Six Day War, the New Left definitively transformed its hithertomoderate pro-Arab positions into full support for Arab states and thePalestinians, and its fragile pro-Israeli attitudes dissolved into anti-Semiticslogans thinly disguised as "anti-imperialist" criticism of a "fascist state."After 1967, however, not only the radicals but large parts of the GermanLeft turned their backs on Israel. This went hand in hand with protestsagainst the Vietnam War, against the conservative mainstream inAdenauer's Germany and afterward the "Great Coalition" that was headedfrom 1966 by Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger, a former member of theNazi Party.
The New Left also idealized Communist China and Ho ChiMinh, despite their involvement in mass murder against their own people.
Well-known intellectuals who were more moderate leftists tried to dissuadethe New Left from its extreme positions. Ernst Bloch, Jean Amery, HerbertMarcuse, Iring Fetscher, and Jean-Paul Sartre argued with the radicalsand discouraged blind solidarity with the PLO, as opposed to legitimatecriticism of Israeli policies. They warned that notions of Israel's annihilationwere intolerable and linked to National Socialist ideology. However, theywere not heeded by the radicals.
A Friend of Israel, a Foe of Leftists
The publisher Axel Caesar Springer, whose press group included thetabloid daily
and the daily
, as well as many other newspapers and journals, was, according to the Israeli diplomat Asher Ben-Natan, a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people:He expressed opinions I haven't often heard in Germany.... Asthe demands mounted to draw a "bottom line" under theGerman past, Springer thought there could never be
for the crimes Germans had committedagainst the Jews. He himself neither suppressed nor forgot thepast and did not expect the Jewish people to forgive what hadhappened....Neither his moral values nor historical insights nor close relations with Jews and Israel involved benefit for him. Itcame from honest belief....During our conversations he never disguised his hatred for every kind of totalitarian dictatorship,including Communism....After the Six Day War Springer promulgated four guidelines for his employees and hisnewspapers that are still binding for the journalists and editorsworking for Springer publications. One was "Fosteringreconciliation between Jews and Germany and supportingIsrael's right to exist."
Springer was, however, a major target of the New Left, one reason beingthat he and his newspapers were clearly pro-Israeli and condemned theanti-Israeli stream in the New Left. Many in this movement decided: "If Springer is pro-Israeli, we have to be against the state of Israel."
In 1969, on the date marking Kristallnacht, an anarchist-leftist grouppainted graffiti on Jewish memorials saying "Shalom and Napalm" or "ElFatah." A firebomb was also placed in the Jewish community center inBerlin. The leftist groups' common perception was: "Jews who were