The German Parliament attacks Israel


By Blacklisted Dictator
July 3, 2010
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http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=180182

BERLIN – The German parliament was slated on Thursday evening to discuss and vote on resolutions slamming the Jewish state for its interception of a flotilla heading for Gaza in open violation of a naval blockade.

In what appears to be precedent-setting German parliamentary action against Israel, the major parties – ranging from the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union and its governing coalition partner the Free Democrats, to the Social Democrats and the Green Party – drafted a resolution urging Israel to agree to an international inquiry and end its blockade of Gaza.

The Central Council of Jews on Wednesday issued an angry condemnation of the German parliamentary resolutions.

“This behavior is unparalleled in the history of the friendship between Germany and Israel and worsens the conflict in the Middle East, instead of facilitating peace prospects,” wrote the heads of the council.

The German Jewish organization criticized all the German parties, saying “the planned joint motion by the CDU/CSU, FDP, SPD and Alliance 90/The Greens, as well as a separate motion by the Left Party, are based on incomplete information and a mixture of half-truths and public prejudices.”

The Central Council termed sections of the media and the public as engaging in a “one-sided bias against Israel.”

According to the text of the draft resolution of all parties, there is a call “to support the demand for an international investigation of the operation against the ‘solidarity fleet,’ as was again demanded by the secretary-general of the United Nations, which would consider the behavior of both sides...”

The resolution further criticized Israel for “violating the principle of proportionality” by employing violence against the radical activists aboard the Mavi Marmara.

“The blockade of Gaza is counterproductive and does not serve the security interests of Israel,” wrote the party leaders.

The Israeli Embassy declined to comment on the resolution. An Israeli diplomat, however, said privately that the political situation has dramatically shifted against Israel in Germany.

Alex Feuerherdt, a German expert and author on German-Israeli relations, sees the German parliament applying a double standard to Israel.

Israel did not demand an international investigation into Germany’s deadly bombing of civilians and Taliban fighters in Kunduz last September, he noted.

He further criticized the German parliament for demanding in a resolution that Israel agree to an international inquiry into the Gaza flotilla raid, noting that Israel is a democratic state, which can conduct its own investigations.

The largely anti-Israeli Left Party, two of whose MPs, Inge Höger and Annette Groth, were aboard the Mavi Marmara, submitted a second resolution attacking Israel in even harsher terms than the mainstream parties. Groth and the Left Party’s foreign policy spokesman MP Wolfgang Gehrcke are two of the sponsors of the anti-Israel resolution.

The Left Party calls for “Israel to issue compensation to the victims of the attack” on the vessel as well as for an independent investigation of the violence on the Mavi Marmara and an immediate end to the blockade of Gaza.

A number of sponsors of the Left Party resolution, including Gehrcke, have attended pro-Hamas and pro-Hizbullah demonstrations and equated Israel with Nazi Germany.

Writing this week in a Berliner Zeitung commentary, Anetta Kahane, the chairwoman of the Amadeu-Antonio-Stiftung, a foundation fighting racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism in Germany, sharply criticized the two female members of parliament for forming an alliance with reactionary “Turkish-Islamic organizations, enemies of women, killers of gays, and anti-Semites” aboard the vessel.

Kahane noted that Höger and Groth accepted their “assignment” to a women-only deck on the ship. The Left Party considers itself to be a pro-feminist party free of sexism.

COMMENTS

Blacklisted Dictator

Sat, 07/03/2010 - 22:02

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Let's hope that they lose to Spain in the semis.


jose (not verified)

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 04:56

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I am amazed at this use of an inexistent "principle of proportionality" that excludes self-denfence. What can be less proportional than taking the life of someone who attacks you? And how can one act 'proportionally' once an aggressor has taken his life? And should a policeman wait until a person with murderous intent takes a life before he protects innocent people?


Joshua18

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:04

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From The Jerusalem Post in 2004:

"Six decades after the mass extermination of six million Jews in the Holocaust by Nazi Germany, more than 50 percent of Germans believe that Israel's present-day treatment of the Palestinians is similar to what the Nazis did to the Jews during World War II, a German survey released this weekend shows.

51 percent of respondents said that there is not much of a difference between what Israel is doing to the Palestinians today and what the Nazis did to the Jews during the Holocaust, compared to 49% who disagreed with such a comparison, according to the poll carried out by Germany's University of Bielefeld.

The survey also found that 68 percent of Germans believe that Israel is waging a "war of extermination" against the Palestinians, while some 32% disagreed with such a statement."

Link no longer live


Blacklisted Dictator

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:14

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Joshua,

One might conclude that the latest prononuncements from the German parliament is their revenge for the holocaust.


Joshua18

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:21

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"One might conclude that the latest prononuncements from the German parliament is their revenge for the holocaust."

Oh, I don't believe there's any doubt about that.

One of FDR's advisers suggested that Germany should be dismantled after World War II. What a shame his advice wasn't taken.


Blacklisted Dictator

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:37

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Was Margaret Thatcher right to fear a united Germany?

Documents published last week highlight the former prime minister's concern that the fall of the Berlin Wall could be a risk to Britain's national security. Was she right to be worried, asks historian Andrew Roberts

By Andrew Roberts
Published: 7:00AM BST 13 Sep 2009

According to documents leaked from the Politburo, Margaret Thatcher believed that the fall of the Berlin Wall would lead to 'a change to postwar borders [which] could endanger [Britain's] security'

"We do not want a united Germany," Margaret Thatcher told President Gorbachev at a lunch meeting in the Kremlin in September 1989, two months before the fall of the Berlin Wall. "This would lead to a change to postwar borders, and we cannot allow that because such a development would undermine the whole international situation and could endanger our security."

Among the 1,000 transcripts of Politburo and other high-level papers smuggled out of Russia by Pavel Stroilov, a researcher in the Gorbachev Foundation, and published for the first time last week – in what The Times described as a "bombshell" – was Thatcher's admission to Gorbachev that although she supported German reunification in public, in private and off-the-record she felt "deep concern" about the "big changes" afoot.
In fact, far from being a scoop, each of these points were contained on pages 792 and 793 of The Downing Street Years, Lady Thatcher's autobiography published in 1993. But what the smuggled Russian documents do is highlight the accuracy of Thatcher's own account of those heady days of two decades ago.
Writing of the meeting with Gorbachev, she says: "I explained to him that although Nato had traditionally made statements supporting Germany's aspiration to be reunited, in practice we were rather apprehensive."
In reply, "Mr Gorbachev confirmed that the Soviet Union did not want German reunification either. This reinforced me in my resolve to slow up the already heady pace of developments. Of course I did not want East Germans to live under Communism, but it seemed to me that a truly democratic East Germany would soon emerge and the question of reunification was a separate one, on which the wishes and interests of Germany's neighbours and other powers must be fully taken into account."
That this did not happen – because, instead, Chancellor Kohl forced through speedy reunification – is a matter of history, and no one appreciated her utter defeat more than Thatcher herself: "If there is one instance in which a foreign policy I pursued met with unambiguous failure, it was my policy on German reunification," she later admitted.
Yet before Thatcher is criticised for myopia, and even worse xenophobia, over her German policy, it is worth considering the dangers that Western leaders believed they might face when the tectonic plates of 45 years shifted overnight.
Margaret Thatcher's first concern was over the future of Nato, which had kept the peace in Europe since 1949, for it was widely feared that a reunited and thus much more powerful Germany might leave Nato to pursue its own security arrangements, perhaps as part of a deal with USSR.
In a long phone conversation with President Bush on February 24, 1990, Thatcher emphasised that Germany had to remain in Nato and that the Soviet Union must not be made to feel isolated. She saw how the balance of power in Europe might change overnight, and warned that "looking well into the future, only the Soviet Union – or its successor – could provide such a balance".
Another fear was that a strong Germany might replace Britain as America's closest ally in Europe, a suspicion that had been inflamed by a speech of President Bush's in May 1989, in which he had referred to Germany as America's "partner in leadership". Although he later added that Britain was a partner in leadership too, in Margaret Thatcher's view, "the damage had been done". Any power likely to usurp Britain's role as America's ally, in effect to kill off the Special Relationship, was likely to raise Thatcher's ire.
Then there was the undoubted threat that a far more powerful Chancellor Kohl would have a far louder voice in the counsels of Europe, where Thatcher was fighting a long rearguard action against closer European integration, something that was to trigger the party coup against her a year later. "In the longer term, the emergence of free, independent and anti-socialist governments in the region would provide me with potential allies in my crusade for a wider, looser Europe," Thatcher later admitted, "but the immediate effect was to strengthen the hand of Chancellor Kohl and fuel the desire of President Mitterrand and M. Delors for a federal Europe that would bind in the new Germany to a structure within which its preponderance would be checked."
In order to understand why this was so, Thatcher tried to look into the German psyche.
She felt that Germany's desire for a wider and deeper European Union was, as she put it, "partly a demonstration that the new Germany would not behave like the old Germany from Bismarck to Hitler. In this cause, the Germans were prepared to see more powers for the Commission and they gave special importance to increasing the power and authority of the European Parliament. So the Germans were federalists by conviction."
In order the better to try to understand the Germans, Thatcher invited several historians of Germany to a meeting at Chequers on Sunday March 24, 1990. Lord Dacre, Norman Stone, Fritz Stern, Gordon Craig, George Urban and Timothy Garton Ash gave her and foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd a crash course in German national characteristics. According to the memorandum of the meeting drawn up by her foreign policy advisor, Sir Charles Powell, this included "angst, aggressiveness, assertiveness, bullying, egotism, inferiority complexes and sentimentality".
Although there was a media storm when the memorandum was leaked soon afterwards, Thatcher stood by her decision to try to understand the German mentality. "I do not believe in collective guilt," she said. "It is individuals who are morally accountable for their actions. But I do believe in national character, which is moulded by a range of complex factors."
The fact that Germany only became a country relatively late, under Bismarck in 1871, meant that, in Thatcher's view, it "has veered between aggression and self-doubt. The true origin of German angst is the agony of self-knowledge."
When the news came through in early 1990 that Helmut Kohl had refused to sign a border treaty with the Poles that recognised their 1945 frontiers, shockwaves went through the chancelleries of Europe, and prompted particular worries in France. One colleague of Mitterrand, Jacques Attali said he would go to live on Mars if reunification occurred.
Nor were these fears wholly eradicated when the German-Polish treaty was finally signed in November 1990, the same month as Thatcher's fall. Because of Germany's eastward expansion in the economic sphere, Thatcher was still of the belief in 1993 that, in her words, "by its very nature, Germany is a destabilising, rather than a stabilising, force in Europe".
Her memories of sitting around her father's radio set as a young teenager listening to Churchill's speeches in 1940 had gone deep. The Thatcher household was very opposed to the appeasement of Germany in the 1930s, and Margaret's views were strongly influenced by that period of her life.
Her sister Muriel had an Austrian Jewish penfriend called Edith. After the Anschluss in March 1938, when Hitler annexed Austria, Margaret's father, Alfred Roberts, persuaded the Grantham Rotarians to take in Edith, and for a period she stayed with the Thatchers in Grantham. "She told us what it was like to live as a Jew under an anti-Semitic regime," Margaret recalled. "One thing Edith reported particularly stuck in my mind: the Jews, she said, were being made to scrub the streets."
As a result, the Thatcher household "wanted to see Hitler's wickedness ended, even by war if that was necessary". Yet it was always sober geopolitics, rather than anti-German paranoia, that actuated Margaret Thatcher's policies.
She recognised that postwar Germany had evolved into a responsible, peace-loving democracy and she forged working relations with Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Kohl, though they were never particularly personally warm.
By the end of Thatcher's prime ministership, her concerns about Germany had not been borne out. It has not left Nato; indeed, it has sent troops to Afghanistan. Nor has it destabilised Europe, or needed ''balancing'' by the Russians. Nor has it (yet) forced Britain into the EU economic and monetary union that she so stoically set her face against.
Yet simply because genuine British and French fears were not in the end realised, it does not follow that Thatcher was wrong in wanting to try to steer events more carefully and slowly than the great groundswell of German support for reunification in the event permitted.
"These events marked the most welcome political change of my lifetime," she wrote of the fall of the Berlin Wall. "But no matter how much I rejoiced at the overthrow of Communism in eastern and central Europe, I was not going to allow euphoria to extinguish either reason or prudence."
Those are words of calm statesmanship, and leave intact Margaret Thatcher's hitherto very high reputation for the management of foreign affairs.


Joshua18

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:43

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"Was Margaret Thatcher right to fear a united Germany?"

Yes.


Blacklisted Dictator

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:51

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Yes, of course she was.


happygoldfish

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 10:45

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Blacklisted Dictator: The resolution further criticized Israel for “violating the principle of proportionality” by employing violence against the radical activists aboard the Mavi Marmara.

this (jerusalem post) report appears to be untrue: that criticism does not appear in http://dipbt.bundestag.de:80/dip21/btd/17/023/1702328.pdf, nor anywhere else that i can find (for example, http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/07/02/2739891/german-parliament-demands-israel-end-gaza-blockade)

can anyone find a source confirming that the bundestag resolution did say this?

incidentally, the phrase "principle of proportionality" seems to have a different meaning in germany, and really to mean "principle of doing no more than reasonably necessary" … from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_proportionality

The principle of proportionality is a political maxim which states that no layer of government should take any action that exceeds that which is necessary to achieve the objective of government (Regardless of intent of objective). It was initially developed in the German legal system.
It is a fundamental principle of European Union law. According to this principle, the EU may only act to exactly the extent that is needed to achieve its objectives, and no further. This principle has underpinned the European Communities since their inception in 1957. In the presently applicable primary law, the principle of proportionality is clearly formulated in the third paragraph of Article 5 of the Treaty establishing the European Community as follows:

Any action by the Community shall not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives of this Treaty.
This principle is also explicitly specified in the proposed new Treaty of Lisbon.

anyway, could everyone possibly stop demonising germany until we're sure that there's actually some basis for it?


jose (not verified)

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 16:19

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I don't speak German, but it seems that the resolution does mention a violation of "proportionality" (3rd item, first page):

"There are strong indications that the use of ciolence, the principle of proportionality has been violated."

(sorry, that is Google Translate)


happygoldfish

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 18:24

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thankyou, jose , i hadn't noticed that!

yes, the bundestag has gone no further than saying that there is a strong indication that israel has breached the principle of proportionality, and that therefore there ought to be (see item 1 on page 3) …

an international investigation of … the action of both sides, including possible connections of organizers to the radical Islamist Hamas and other radical Islamist organizations

this seems fairly even-handed, and no worse than obama

it is non-condemnatory, open-minded (despite strong evidence), and reasonable, and is certainly not the same as saying

Blacklisted Dictator: The resolution further criticized Israel for “violating the principle of proportionality” by employing violence against the radical activists aboard the Mavi Marmara.

the anti-german prejudice of some previous posts is without any real excuse

hearing something unlikely, and then condemning on the basis of it without checking, is at best bigotry and at worst racism

people hear obviously unlikely things about jews which they want to believe (eg that british jewish students serve in the israeli army on holiday, that jewish volunteers in haiti steal human organs, and the standard blood libels) and repeat them without question

(and the arab population of israel would be far higher if arabs hadn't believed their own radio broadcasts about jewish rape and mutilation in 1948 … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkhSHiwzaIY)

jews shouldn't behave in the same way


Blacklisted Dictator

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 19:10

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happygoldfish,

The unwillingness to follow the basic laws of punctuation (why don't you use capital letters?), is far worse than bigotry or racism. Your writing actually contravenes the laws of grammar. On that basis alone, even though I tout myself as someone who believes in freedom of expression, I would consider banning it.


Blacklisted Dictator

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 19:25

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happygoldfish,

Moreover, you actually go to the trouble of adding smiley and sad faces, at the same time as you consistently break the most important grammatical rules (no full stops and no capital letters.)

As far as I am aware, you are not James Joyce. You are posting comments on The JC. You are not writing an experimental novel.

Why should anyone respond to your comments, when you do not have the decency to add punctuation?


jose (not verified)

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 20:32

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it is non-condemnatory, open-minded (despite strong evidence), and reasonable, and is certainly not the same as saying

No, it is expressing prejudice and asking the same as the prejudiced UN. Obviously, the Turkish-origin voters must be wooed. They are a major component of the Green Party in Germany, as you know, and Angela Merkel majority is rather thin. And there are not so many Jews in Germany, after all...

Frankly, you interpretation looks like delusion, while BD's looks closer to the meaning (and he didn't use the word "condemn" but "criticize").


jose (not verified)

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 20:38

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Of course, that doesn't mean I consider Germany to be "evil". I'm just saying that it is now joining other Western governments in their cowardly attitude, wanting to attract the vote of their Muslim minorities and wishing to avoid troubles with Ben Ladens and with oil-rich countries (to no avail).


Blacklisted Dictator

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 20:46

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Happygoldfish's contempt for grammatical rules is an indication that his/her education stopped very early in life. I conclude that the "fish" in qustion is functionally illiterate, swimming around a bowl of politically correct nonsense whilst condemning others of racism and bigotry. Such "fish", of course, are ironically enough, the true racists and bigots, but they obscure their own prejudices by accusing others of such traits.


Blacklisted Dictator

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 20:53

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Jose,
The entire blog was taken from The JPost. I supplied the link, and copied and pasted the article. None of the words are mine.


jose (not verified)

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 21:12

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The entire blog was taken from The JPost. I supplied the link, and copied and pasted the article. None of the words are mine.

Well, obviously I don't change a word of what I wrote, except "BD" to "Jpost"! :)


Blacklisted Dictator

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 21:17

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Readrers of my blog should be aware that comments might be closed down at anytime by the authorities. You had better get your comments in quickly!


Blacklisted Dictator

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 21:24

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It feels as if I am blogging in Iran. Or in China.


Blacklisted Dictator

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 21:28

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If you never hear from me again, please understand that I am probably still alive. I am not blogging from the UK, and have not, as yet, been taken into custody.


mattpryor

Mon, 07/05/2010 - 11:12

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People think that by throwing Israel under the bus we can avoid the wrath of Islamist terror. If we can't beat them, let's join them.

Shameful, cowardly, treacherous. Ashamed to be European.


happygoldfish

Tue, 07/06/2010 - 06:53

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Blacklisted Dictator: happygoldfish ... why don't you use capital letters?

goldfish don't use capital letters

goldfish believe that all letters are equal

(and in the torah there are no capital letters )


Blacklisted Dictator

Tue, 07/06/2010 - 07:02

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goldfish,

Try to write English. Not biblical Hebrew.

But if you are determined to blog with the brain of a goldfish (happy or not) then there really is no hope whatsoever. It is inevitable that you will write nonsense.


happygoldfish

Tue, 07/06/2010 - 10:50

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if you are determined to blog with the brain of a blacklisted dictator then it is inevitable that you will be shunned by humanity!

Blacklisted Dictator: Try to write English. Not biblical Hebrew.

hmm … you really do dictate!!


happygoldfish

Tue, 07/13/2010 - 11:26

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hmm … blacklisted dictator seems to have been banned from jcblogs (i assume it was for his intolerance of other bloggers' punctuation ), so i suppose his original misquotation of the bundestag doesn't matter any more …

so back to the plot

principle of proportionality

i've just come across this useful summary of the principle of proportionality, by president barak of the israeli high court in his 2005 security fence judgment (http://www.zionism-israel.com/hdoc/High_Court_Fence.htm) …

4.         Proportionality
 
30.       How shall this balancing be performed?  The answer is that this balancing raises no problem unique to belligerent occupation.  It is a part of a general problem in law (see A. Barak A Judge in A Democratic Society 262 (2004)[Hebrew]).  The solution to it is universal.  It is found, inter alia, in general principles of law, including reasonableness and good faith. 

One of these basic principles which balances between a proper and fitting goal and the means for realizing it is the principle of proportionality (see The Hess Case, at p. 461; The Bethlehem Municipality Case, paragraph 15; The Beit Sourik Case, at p. 836; The Gaza Coast Regional Council Case, paragraph 102 of the opinion of the Court). 

This principle draws its strength from international law and from the fundamental principles of Israeli public law. 

The principle of proportionality is based on three subtests which fill it with concrete content. 
The first subtest calls for a fit between goal and means.  There must be a rational link between the means employed and the goal one is wishing to accomplish. 
The second subtest determines that of the gamut of means which can be employed to accomplish the goal, one must employ the least harmful means. 
The third subtest demands that the damage caused to the individual by the means employed must be of appropriate proportion to the benefit stemming from it.

Note that "at times there is more than one way to satisfy the proportionality demand.  In such situations, a zone of proportionality (similar to the zone of reasonableness) should be recognized.  Any means which the administrative body chooses from within the zone is proportional" (The Beit Sourik Case, at p. 840).

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