- About the Film.
In 2015, the German-French cultural channel ARTE commissioned this film. It was scheduled to be supervised by the German public legal broadcaster WDR in Cologne. Joachim Schröder and Sophie Hafner were entrusted with the work. After the film was submitted for review by late 2016, there was no reaction, no justification, and no concrete suggestions, there was only silence.
According to the subtitle “The Hate for Jews in Europe”, it was probably ARTE’s intent to restrict its content to Europe only, and not to conduct half of the research in Gaza and Judea, as the filmmakers had planned.
Joachim Schröder comments on this in Die Zeit, on the 13th of June: „In my opinion, our concept has made it clear that the film deals with anti-Semitism in Europe which is influenced by anti-Zionism; and therefore, it is inextricably interwoven with the Middle East conflict. The focus was on Germany and France. The main tenor of European anti-Semitism today is anti-Zionist resentment. If one wants to try and explain how this has come about, one has to go to the appropriate source. That is what we did. And by doing so we have not missed the topic, as the broadcaster is trying to insinuate.”
Spiegel Online (SPON): „Did Arte and WDR exercise censorship when they decided not to broadcast a documentary on anti-Semitism? Hardly – the film simply has technical flaws. The decision of Bild.de, nevertheless to show it in an unfinished form, was not appropriate“, complaints Spiegel in today’s online edition. “One cannot ask a professional journalist to make a “balanced” report on targeted hate and traditional stupidity. However, he should not negligently leave gaps through which doubt may leak. What is right, must also be clear. It is lack of clarity by which the film weakens its own basis in the heat of the battle. That is why there is no merit in that this documentary is now being shown after taking detours. With a little more work, it could have developed much more momentum. In its present state, it is only something you see on the Internet, which you can or cannot believe. And that is bad.“
How Bild was able to be the first to upload the film online yesterday for 24 hours, is anyone’s guess. This popular paper once again took the lead. For those who have not seen it, here is a subjective summary with the corresponding screenshots and some additions that are subjective as well. I largely renounce the numerous historical backgrounds and interviews, as they don’t bring anything new and are dispensable here.
- The Voices of Science
Prof. Monika Schwarz-Friesel, Communications Scientist at the Technical University of Berlin considers the phenomenon of anti-Semitism from a scientific perspective. „No anti-Semite will stand up publicly and say „Yes, I am anti-Semite”, no one will publicly say that the Jews are very bad people. But the concept is in their minds and they cannot let it go. Anti-Semitism includes a great obsessiveness, a fixation. They do not address it directly, they use indirect speech. They use paraphrases. Not „Jews are the evil of the world“, but „Israel is the evil of the world”. It is not „Jews dominate the financial market,“ but they resort to Jewish names (Rothschild, Goldmann, Sachs). They use abbreviations – before 1945, they used the term International Financial Jewry, now it is referred to as international finance. Instead of speaking directly of Jews, they speak of „those influential circles, the bankers from the east coast, Zionists, the Israel lobby“. Without even mentioning the term „Jew“, everyone knows what is meant.”
Dr. Stefan Grigat, political scientist, attempts to give a sociological – historical – scientific explanation. „The need to relativize National Socialism is even more pronounced among the leftists than among those on the right. There is hardly any greater offense for the leftists than the fact that National Socialism has definitely documented that the revolutionary subject of the proletariat does not fulfill the hope that generations of Marxists had placed in this revolutionary subject. The critical theory of Adorno and Horkheimer is so important; because for the first time, this unbelievable historical defeat, where large sections of the German population, including the working class, took part in the extermination project of the National Socialists, with virtually no significant resistance. They were the first to try and include this in the leftist theory, and tried to account for its meaning. Many leftists simply act as if one could start again from 1932.”
Why do the more than 1,000 NGOs feel so comfortable in Ramallah? Prof. Eugene Kontorovich examines this question. „Anyone in Morocco who would criticize the state or report human rights violations in the Western Sahara would hardly survive. In Israel, an open and liberal country, there is disagreement, contradiction and a multi-party system. Well, a democracy with too many parties. If you come here and criticize Israel, you will not be sent home in a coffin, you will be given a medal. That is easy. (…) Ironically, this is due to the liberal society, which is going through a process of self-criticism and is about to reform itself. This is one of the reasons why Israel gets the largest share, although it needs it the least. But whatever the reasons, the effect is a unique and unparalleled standard set exclusively for the Jewish state. And that is practically anti-Semitic. This does not mean that the motives of the people who are doing this are anti-Semitic, or that one is aware of thinking badly about someone???, but the fact that exactly the State in which the majority of Jews live, is chosen for special treatment by the Europeans, is extremely remarkable.”
Prof. Georges Bensoussan attempts to offer an interpretation from the French perspective. „The anti-Semitism that develops in France is quite different in nature. It is not Nazism and does not resemble Kristallnacht. It is something different. I give you an example for illustration. (….) One has difficulties with the thought that history does not repeat itself and that anti-Semitism will always occur in other forms. This lesson of history, which should help us understand it, keeps us from understanding it. This has to do with education, with the fact that the Jews are always shown to us as victims. It is believed that there is no Jewish culture at all, and that they are here only to die. (…) In short, people do everything as if there exists no Jewish world in and of itself. Literature, ritual, Talmud, Bible, Torah, all of this belongs to the great Jewish culture, which is found not only in the Diaspora, but also in Zionism. The culture of Zionism is declared guilty. By representing the Jews as victims, they are socialized as victims. And by defending oneself, the next persecution is already justified.”
© esther scheiner, israel
© translated by Translation International, Herzlyia