The topic in itself one that I had not encountered previously, it was also engaged with in a manner that I found very intriguing. It revealed so many personal, emotions… I would never have guessed just how much the history of the Shoa and its process of grieving and remembering would have impacted them (well, you). How different it is from my own up-bringing in a leftist Danish discourse that is clearly pro-jewish whilst anti-zionist and most certainly pro-Palestine. My german father also never mentioned neither a present nor past readiness to die for Israel, so even this starting point was a foreign concept to me.
Der Antisemitismus in Deutschland ist real. Überall auf der Welt. Er bewegt Menschen zu menschenfeindlichen Gewalttaten, Gewalt in Sprache und Umgang. Wenn jemand auf Grund seiner Religion diskriminiert wird, muss es Aufschrei geben – von allen Seiten: religiösen und nicht religiösen Mitbürgern. Der Islam gibt mir die Verantwortung, stets für Gerechtigkeit einzustehen, auch wenn sie gegen mich selbst sprechen würde oder gegen nahe Verwandte und Freunde.
We can’t assume that all Germans-including Germans with “migration background” feel that antisemitism is the most pressing form of discrimination that should be addressed in the media. The feelings of those who make the German population are clearly not represented in the mainstream media enough. Criticizing Israel seems to be a taboo, but perhaps it would be considered more legitimate or digestible if it is expressed by a Jew/Israeli?
Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in the park with a friend, reading and eating oranges, when a guy of about our age came up to us. On his head he wore a white kippah and in his outstretched hand he held another two, clearly intended for us. “Hello,” he smiled, “we’re doing a protest action against the increased anti-semitic attacks. For this, we invite people to wear kippot, because in the sight of the recent events they have become explicitly political symbols. Would you be willing to put these on as a sign of solidarity, and to feel how it is to be a minority?”. After a brief silence, we took the kippot from him and watched as he walked away, back towards the path where the majority of passersby was wearing the white caps as a police van stood by, at least two police men surveying the area. My friend and I looked at each other for a moment before hesitantly putting the kippot on.
Since I witnessed the ever-lasting motivation of the German society to fight anti-Semitism with their personal feelings and memories of guilt one more, but apparently not for the last time in a remark made by one of the panelists, I’ve been asking myself why this constant sense of guilt exists in Germany to the extent where one even hesitates to critically talk about the matter with a German. The ironical side of the story is that I could not find any answer beyond the emotional aspect of the situation despite all the readings and discussions we made regarding the topic. Therefore, I wanted to take a look at any traces of anti-Semitism in the Turkish society with which I’m obviously more familiar, and accordingly to draw a comparison between these two cases so that I might perhaps get an extra insight into the issue.
The existence of Israel is non-negotiable and to question it should no doubt count as Anti-Semitism. Yet, the systematic abuse of human rights in the name of a state is negotiable and should be discussed. In other words, if the rightful rejection of the debate about Israels’ existence is used for a systematic abuse of Palestinians political change is needed. Let me add that the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad also defended his existence and brutality by claiming that Israel would threat Syria and he would be only one to protect the Syrian and Palestinian people.
I have been volunteering for a year with a German organization which helps the migrants with the complicated asylum process, I learned and experienced a lot about the beliefs and thoughts of the hundreds of people I met and heard their stories during this one year. The majority of all the migrants who have come (and continue to come) to Germany are from the Muslim majority countries, which expelled their Jewish population a long time ago, where anti-semitism appears as the state’s propaganda, where the assumption of anti-semitism is widespread.