Dr.Gerstenfeld’s article was first published in Israel National News, and republished here with the author’s consent…
MEDIA AND KARL LAGERFELD’S EXPOSURE OF
MUSLIM ANTISEMITISM IN GERMANY
To what extent did top designer Karl Lagerfeld tell the truth when he attacked German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the Salut les Terriens! (Hello Earthlings!) Show on the C8 channel on November 11 for her policy of open borders for refugees? He observed that one cannot – even if decades pass between these events – kill millions of Jews and put millions of their worst enemies in their place . Lagerfeld added: “I know someone in Germany who took in a young Syrian who after four days said: ‘The greatest thing Germany invented was the Holocaust.’ The young man was thrown out.”1
Lagerfeld also remarked that Merkel already had millions of immigrants who are well integrated thus she had no need to take in another million “to improve her image as the wicked stepmother after the Greek crisis.”2
Lagerfeld’s statement can be summarized as truthful in its core, however, partly distorted. The main truth – in addition to the obvious remark about Germany’s murderous behavior during the Holocaust — is that bringing huge numbers of Muslims into Germany from mainly Arab countries means that a large percentage of them are antisemitic to different degrees.
The distortion in his statements is that the millions of immigrants already in Germany are well integrated. Among them there are significant numbers who do not want to integrate. The percentage of antisemites among Muslim immigrants is probably high as well. One might add that the situation in Germany as far as antisemitism among Muslim immigrants is concerned may not be dramatically different from some other European countries such as France.
In mid-November a study was released about internet antisemitism in the state of Hessen. It found that the number of perpetrators among the extreme right and Muslims were by far the highest at about the same level.3 This despite the fact that both are relatively small groups of the German population. The study is thus one more support for the essence of Lagerfeld’s statement.
Many media limited themselves to report only what Lagerfeld said. It would have been difficult for them to comment without admitting that Muslim antisemitism in Europe is widespread, and in its extreme expressions, violent and sometimes lethal. The more so as all Jews killed in Europe for ideological reasons during the new century were murdered by Muslims. Admitting widespread Muslim antisemitism in Europe is often considered politically incorrect by those who call themselves ‘progressives.’ Negating it when discussing Lagerfeld’s remarks however would expose the extreme whitewashing of hatred by the media.
Nevertheless a few media outlets had no problem in attacking Lagerfeld while ignoring or minimizing Muslim antisemitism. One such outlet was the New York Times. It relegated the issue to its Fashion and Style section. There, its reporter, Valeriya Safronova, wrote: “Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel and Fendi, is known for making tactless and offensive comments.” She then listed a variety of his earlier remarks which had no relevance to his claim regarding Muslim antisemitism and the German willingness to let antisemites immigrate.4
Safronova then wrote about Lagerfeld’s statements “His latest moment of inexplicable opinioneering arrived on Saturday.”5 The media-watch organization, Camera, has over the years published hundreds if not thousands of examples of the New York Times’ bias and manipulations. It can add Safranova’s article to its collection.
A lesser US news outlet which managed to attack Lagerfeld while minimizing Muslim antisemitism in Germany was Salon, a sizable American left wing news and opinion website. The deputy culture editor used more than a thousand words to say that Lagerfeld should be condemned and punished for what he said because he is an Islamophobe.6
Probably the greatest manipulator of the issue was the German private television broadcaster RTL in its magazine Exclusiv. RTL journalist, Marc Sterzenbach, asked why Lagerfeld made these remarks. He answered: “Indeed Chanel is in the hands of a Jewish family, the Wertheimers.”7 The German daily, Die Welt, wrote that RTL used a ‘classic antisemitic cliché concerning the so-called “Jewish world conspiracy.”8
For those who hadn’t understood what the latter meant, it was explained by the Jewish author Henryk Broder in another article in the same publication. He wrote: “Never before had this [television] magazine, which is focused on gossip on celebrities and their problems, mentioned the religious identification of any family which owns a company, for which one or another celebrity works. Besides that, there are quite a few fashion and cosmetic firms which are in ‘Jewish hands’ that have never been noticed by RTL, nor has it disturbed anybody there.”9
After this criticism, RTL apologized. It admitted that it had lacked “semantic sensitivity.” It stated that its choice of words “in no way reflected the attitudes of the author and of course not of the broadcaster.”10
Perhaps the best comment was found in the Austrian daily, Wiener Zeitung. Its guest commentator, Christian Ortner, wrote under the heading, “Can the truth be incitement?”: “The former proponents of the welcome culture of 2015 can still live, though barely, with the fact that it has brought with it high costs, major social problems, and huge hostility toward women. Yet, admitting that it has also caused antisemitism is, in Austria and Germany, unbearable. The more so if it is true.”11
Hundreds of people complained about Lagerfeld’s statements to the French Supervisory Authority of Media (CSA) which now has to handle this hot-potato. If it does not mention the major Muslim antisemitism it will expose itself to justified criticism. The CSA has, however, substantial time to think about what it will say as it has a huge backlog of complaints about other broadcasts.