Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Left and The Extreme Right
Wedded in the Bliss Of Anti-Semitism

From Marlowe's Shade:

There is an old political saw that far right and far left aren't extreme ends of a spectrum but the point were a circle meets. Nowhere is that more apparent or dangerous than in Germany. And if that wasn't enough of a cause for concern, Jew-hatred is the gasoline being poured on the fire.
Here is a history of this phenomenon on the German Left:
Anti-Semitism was never exclusive to the Right; Communism, for its part, often vilified Jews as capitalists. Communism in East Germany, as elsewhere, denied the right to practice the Jewish religion and sought to eradicate religion in general, including Judaism.
East Germany's anti-Semitic policies first became evident in January 1953 when the Stasi - the state security service - confiscated documents of the Jewish communities, searched the homes of Jewish leaders, and spoke of a "Zionist conspiracy." After the Six Day War, East Germany officially adopted an anti-Zionist stance. However, no serious data on East German anti-Semitism is available before the reunification in 1989.
Although West German left-wing anti-Semitism also increased steadily after the Six Day War, before then the West German Left supported Israel generally, and specifically the Wiedergutmachung (Reparations Agreement of 1953) and the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1965.
This friendliness was, however, based on an idealization of Israel, kibbutzim, and pioneering and was not on genuinely firm ground. Opposition to the conservative government of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer also played a role in this left-wing philo-Semitism.
During the 1960s, the West German Left divided into a more "conservative" wing and a New Left trend. Whereas Chancellor Willy Brandt was said to be a true and unwavering friend of Israel, many young leftists took radical positions and opposed Brandt's "establishment" Social Democratic Party.
In 1966 they founded the Nonparliamentary Opposition (APO), a popular movement that sought to "renew" German politics from the outside. Many of its members and supporters later showed sympathy for the RAF, a leftist terrorist movement that had ties to the PLO and whose cadres trained in terrorist camps in Lebanon.
During the Six Day War, the New Left definitively transformed its hitherto moderate pro-Arab positions into full support for Arab states and the Palestinians, and its fragile pro-Israeli attitudes dissolved into anti-Semitic slogans thinly disguised as "anti-imperialist" criticism of a "fascist state."
After 1967, however, not only the radicals but large parts of the German Left turned their backs on Israel.

Go read the rest over at Marlowe's Shade.