Op-Ed: Europe's Jewish Leaders: How Could You Defend Augstein?
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has just published the black list of the ten worst anti-Semites. For the first time the list doesn’t include only Islamic savages, Arab imams, Iranian clerics, neo-Nazis and Black anti-Jewish haters.
This year the list also indicts a European writer, Jakob Augstein, who is the editor of a leftist magazine and the columnist of Der Spiegel, which was founded by his father, Rudolf, the icon of German democratic journalism.
Mr. Augstein wrote that Israel is plotting to inflame the Middle East, that Gaza is like Birkenau, that the hareidim are like the suicide bombers and the Jewish lobby controls the world. In short, Mr. Augstein demonizes the State of Israel as did Hitler’s Minister of Culture, Alfred Rosenberg, satanized the Polish Jews.
Mr. Augstein is preparing the ground for what Iran’s Ahmadinejad and the Palestinian fascists would like to do to the Jews, as Richard Wagner was responsible for the transition from Bayreuth (the Wagnerian centre in Germany) to Auschwitz's gas chambers.
After the Wiesenthal Center declared war on the Western defamers of the Jewish people, what did Europe’s Jewish leaders, representatives, journalists and rabbis do to support this anti-hate campaign? They stayed silent or they blamed the Wiesenthal Center itself.
Or to confirm the old expression “don’t provoke the Nazis”, some of them even attacked the journalist who had the courage to exposé Mr. Augstein, Henryk Broder.
Salomon Korn, vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said Mr. Augstein’s writings are not anti-Semitic. Despite his “hideous” articles, the inclusion of Augstein trivializes all the others on the list, added Dieter Graumann, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.
Do you remember “Trifles for a Massacre” by Louis-Ferdinand Céline? The French writer in 1939 published this call for Jews to disappear from France: “We will finish off the Jews, or we will die because of the Jews”. A couple of years later the gas chambers began to liquidate Judaism. Céline was then condemned for “collaborationism” and his pamphlet is still banned throughout Europe.
Imagine if then Europe’s Jewish leaders, instead of condemning Céline and working to isolate him, would have reacted like the current leadership did about Augstein. Unfortunately, these new Jews of the establishment care more about their own careers than defending the Israeli people from the monstrous lies published by Europe’s media, Europe’s boycott and the Nazi-like demonology spread all over by the Western intellectuals.
The owner and scion of Germany's most important magazine serves the Jews on a silver plate to Iran's nuclear chimneys and Europe's Jewish leaders stay silent. This is unforgivable.
The same Jewish establishment didn't react when in 2001 Augstein's father, Rudolf, wrote in the Spiegel magazine an article comparing Ariel Sharon to Adolf Hitler.
And what did the same Jewish establishment do when Augstein wrote in 1996 an article which resembles the worst Nazi propaganda? “The experience [after the 1967 war] that they [the Jews] were no longer the ‘underdogs’ driven by the urge to make money, but highly competent warriors, technicians, scientists and agricultural experts, must have completely alienated them from their founder Theodor Herzl… The idea gained ground that they, the Zionists, supported by the financial power of Jewish voters in the United States, were the morally and technologically superior race… The race".
Setting themselves apart from the Israeli masses and posturing as the possessors of greater cosmopolitan wisdom, these “Jewish leaders” willingly accepted again the “Judenrat Sindrome”, whereby victims of the Nazis’ infamous “selections” went along with the process, urged by often well-meaning but misguided Jewish ghetto leaders.
Using this tactic, the Nazis divided the Jews in the ghettoes, undermined their solidarity and got them to cooperate in their own extermination. The “Judenrat Syndrome” implied that some Jews were better than others. We are witnessing the same process in current Europe.
In the ghettoes, those who held the proper SS-stamped documents were allowed to live, at least for the moment, while others were shipped to the concentration camps for extermination. Today those who distance themselves from Israel’s Jews get the chance to preserve their seat in the upper classes. It's the "Augstein Syndrome".
"Augstein is a highly educated man" says Henryk Broder, a journalist for Die Welt. "I personally know children of former Nazis who are wonderful people, and children of perfect social democrats who are horrible anti-Semites. Augstein is the opposite of the SA men. Today it is said that it is not anti-Semitism, but 'criticism of Israel', but all the anti-Semitic stereotypes have been redirected to the Jewish State, from murderers of children to leeches. Augstein demonizes Israel exactly like the Jew was demonized - as a threat to world peace and the cause of all evils".
According to Broder, the Augstein case demonstrates the failure to understand the new hate. "Anti-Semitism is not static but dynamic, it is changing all the time".
What do you expect in the future? "It's going to get worse, soon the Jews of Europe will be asked to distance themselves from Israel. As happened in the Soviet Union.
In the splendid book “Derech Hamelech”, Bar Ilan Professor Hillel Weiss explained that betrayal is part of Jewish history. The current European Jewish leaders, who talk again about the “German-Jewish symbiosis” and continue to fall in the trap of old and new anti-Semitism by exculpating Augstein, resemble the medieval Spanish royalty and churchmen, the German apostates, the Russian Bolsheviks, who thought to wash away the “shame” of their Jewish provenance with the blood of Jews.
These Jewish leaders will applaud the next “road map” with the Palestinians, as their predecessors of the Judenrat willingly boarded the trains to concentration camps. They both believe everything that the Germans told them. But the ordinary Jews living in Marseille, London, Afula, Amona and Shechem will ultimately pay the hightest price.
I, personally, can't abide these so called “Jewish leaders”. They behave like cowards while their enemies are already preparing the next trains.