Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Whoa, here's a surprise -- Germany is promulgating anti-Jewish material

You always have to worry when Germany gets involved in "setting the record straight" about something involving Jews. Matthias Kuntzel has a Transatlantic Intelligencer article both about the German government's wholehearted embrace of a movie sympathetically portraying Palestinian homicide bombers at the mercy of an evil Israel, and about the skewed, ill-informed booklet Germany distributes to all movie-goers to help explain the bombers. How can one not appreciate a German government that does things like this vis-a-vis the Jewish state:

In the movie, all Israelis are evil perpetrators, and all Palestinians are good-natured victims. The terrorist propaganda that is portrayed remains uncontradicted and gets integrated into this dichotomous framework. Thus, the designated suicide bomber Khaled legitimates his actions with the argument that Israel “[does not want to] accept any two-state solution.” The Palestinians, he maintains, have “exhausted every political means” to achieving this goal. Because they have gotten nowhere, there is no longer an alternative to suicide bombings. Any, as Thomas Kruger puts it, “critical reception“ of the film should have disputed such a presentation. The Jewish side supported a two-state solution not only in 1937 and 1947, but also in 2000, when, in the course of the negotiations at Camp David over Prime Minister Barak’s Middle East peace plan, this solution was closer to being realized than ever before. However, Yassir Arafat left the negotiating table, and immediately thereafter gave the green light for the second Intifada. Instead of correcting the mistakes in the film’s presentation, the BPB lesson plan pursues the historical revisionism still further. Thus, “Camp David” is not even mentioned in the included “Time Table of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. As though these efforts to achieve peace had never taken place, the chronology lists only the following events: * 15.1.1997: Hebron Agreement * 24.5.2000: Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon * 28. 9. 2000: Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem leads to the beginning of the second Intifada This gives the impression that the subsequent string of suicide bombings was not set in motion by Arafat’s breaking off negotiations, but by an opposition politician from Israel. This “time table” is also manipulative in other respects. For example, concerning the key year 1967, students learn the following: “June 5-10, 1967: Six-day War against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.” Is, then, the occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank supposed to have been the result of Israeli aggression? One does not have to be a friend of Israel to reject the use of this kind of historical distortion for instructional purposes. Instead of encouraging students to maintain a critical distance from “Paradise Now”, the BPB reproduces the movie’s anti-Zionist fury in its own “worksheet” for instructional use. In the presentation for the students, the policy of dialog and negotiation with Israel is not even mentioned as an option. Instead, Assignment 1 offers the following three statements for discussion: “Whoever fears death is already dead”, “No freedom without struggle”, and “Resistance can take many different forms”. Students are supposed to work in small groups to gather arguments that "either support or refute" these statements and to illustrate their arguments with examples. Resistance against Israel, struggle against Israel, killing yourself against Israel – just as in the movie, no other form of conflict resolution makes an appearance in this lesson plan.
There's more (unsurprisingly) but this will give you a taste of yet another disastrous German foray into Jewish relations. Hat tip: American Future