Shame on Germany (and the United States)

Germany has joined the United States in expressing support for Israel’s brutal bombing of the Gaza Strip.

It is understandable that Germany wishes to avoid any appearance of anti-Semitism, but its support of Israel in a grossly disproportionate response, killing over 300 Gazans, to rocket attacks which have killed less than 20 Israelis, by bombing prisons, universities, and homes appears to accept an equivalence between the state of Israel and the survival of the Jewish people and clearly privileges Israeli violence over Palestinian violence.

It is important to remember that it is Palestinians who were cast from their homes to make way for the founding of Israel, and that some sixty years later, millions remain homeless, while Israel seeks to preserve its identity as a “Jewish state” by excluding them. It is also important to remember that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories brutally contravenes numerous UN resolutions and spins crimes against humanity as acts of self-defense. Finally, it is important to remember that it is Israel that has sought to make life in the Gaza Strip intolerable, most recently through a blockade that failed to allow adequate humanitarian supplies through and which has been underscored in bombings of the tunnels that Gazans constructed to bypass the blockade.

While the United States’ support for Israel can be seen in the context of a long suppressed record of human rights violations, both domestically and abroad, we are to understand Germany as a country that has learned painful lessons from the very experience that Israel’s government has relied upon to rationalize its crimes. But rather than demonstrating sympathy for the victims of ethnic cleansing, Germany joins the US in supporting its perpetrators.

It seems that the millions who died in the Holocaust have died in vain.

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