anti-Americanism anti-Semitism Benjamin Weinthal Germany

BENJAMIN WEINTHAL: A DANGEROUS MIX OF ANTI-SEMITISM AND ANTI-AMERICANISM………

 

The German media is dabbling in dangerous memes.

Just think of the U.N. on the German national level.

Dangerous mix of anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism

Op-ed: Americans, Israelis and Jews find themselves insulted in pages of one of Germany’s most respected magazines

By Benjamin Weinthal

Published: 01.28.13, 20:36 /

WeinthalBERLIN – Even in the supposedly redemptive days of Barack Obama, Americans and Israelis traveling abroad have grown sadly accustomed to outbursts of anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism and worse.

But it’s uncommon for Americans, Israelis and Jews to find themselves insulted in the pages of one of Germany’s most respected magazines and news outlets. Take the case of Der Spiegel columnist Jakob Augstein. Late last month, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles included Augstein in its annual list of the “Top Ten Anti-Israel/Anti-Semitic Slurs,” beginning Act II of the controversy German novelist and Nobel laureate Günter Grass began last year when he penned an infamous anti-Israel poem entitled “What Must Be Said.”

The Wiesenthal Center’s bill of particulars quotes Augstein claiming that United States foreign policy is run by Jews, and Israel’s government is a warmongering whip master. “With backing from the US, where the president must secure the support of Jewish lobby groups, and in Germany, where coping with history, in the meantime, has a military component,” Augstein wrote in his weekly “When In Doubt, Think Left” column. As a result, he concludes “the Netanyahu government keeps the world on a leash with an ever-swelling war chant.”

Augstein, perhaps Grass’ greatest cheerleader in the German media, expressed his gratitude to the Nobelist for leading the European charge against Israel: “One must, therefore, thank him for taking it upon himself to speak for us all.”

When it comes to anti-American invective, Mr. Augstein is a buffet, and has even become something of a wire service for the Iranian regime in the Federal Republic. Despite mounting International Atomic Energy Agency reports and Western and Israeli intelligence assessments (including German) documenting Iran’s work on nuclear technologies with military applications, he argues that there is no proof that Iran is working on a nuclear weapon.

Though he has no special expertise in the Middle East, the 45-year-old Augstein blames the US and Israel for all the evils of the region. “The fire burns in Libya, Sudan, Yemen…But those who set the fires live elsewhere…Whom does this all this violence benefit? Always the insane and unscrupulous. And this time it’s the US Republicans and Israeli government.”

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