Sunday, 26 May 2019

The Mossad and Austria’s VICE…chancellor

As soon as the story emerged about the entrapment of Austria’s Herr Strache, rumours started circulating that the Mossad is behind it.

In the past, rumours about the Mossad being behind a variety of clandestine operations, the outcome of which was deemed to be in Israel’s interest, pleased some, amused others, made some Israelis and diaspora Jews proud and probably strengthened the preconception about Israel’s all-powerful secret service. Antisemites who believed in a Jewish world domination conspiracy will also have had this pet theory of theirs reinforced.

These days, it has become fashionable to see Antisemitism everywhere and one finds various commentators speaking of this Mossad rumour as antisemitic. Relax, it ain’t necessarily so.  

Whoever did it, Israelis generally are pleased by the notion of a successful Mossad that gets whatever it wants. Moreover, the Mossad itself has been said to occasionally take credit for operations that were not theirs. Planting false stories in international media is all in a day’s work for secret services.  

Monday, 20 May 2019


At this time when Putin from Russia and Steve Bannon from the USA are working to break Europe up – it is in all our interest to strengthen our still democratic and liberal European home. If you have a vote: GO and VOTE. We do not want to end up as a Putin Russia or a Trump USA.

Vote for a pro-European party: in the UK this is not easy, and the best bet is to vote for the Liberal Democrats. In Germany, there are more choices. So take your pick and VOTE.

A Question to Mrs Merkel

FRAU MERKEL: If you take a wine bottle from the supermarket shelf and notice that it was produced in a Jewish settlement in the Occupied Territories, would you buy it or put it back on the shelf?

My guess would be that Merkel would put the wine back and my second guess is that she will try not to have to say so loudly. If that is the case, then Mrs. Merkel and all other politicians who act similarly, are moral cowards. 

Can a journalist be found to ask that question?

Germany and its warped Relationship with the Jews

Nothing seems to have changed. Only the direction of its pathological warpedness. A recent decision of Germany’s parliament is a point in case: In its immense wisdom, the Bundestag decided to define BDS as antisemitic. BDS is a Palestinian civil society movement calling for unarmed actions, such as boycott, divestment and sanctions, to fight Israeli occupation.

BDS – perhaps deliberately – is an unclear entity, some believe that it calls for the State of Israel to cease to exist, others that it aims for a departure of Israel from those areas it conquered in 1967 and has been occupying since and in which it has settled more than 600,000 of its own (Jewish) citizens. I doubt not that there are many Arabs who would prefer for Israel not to exist – a wish that I do not share. I do, however, share the wish for Israel to get out of the occupied West Bank. One may not share the demand, but there is nothing antisemitic about the demand to penalise Israel for the occupation. Let a thousand Bundestags repeat the folly: it can also decide that the earth is flat or that it was created by God in six days, 5779 years ago.

Whatever BDS’ aim may be, they do not try to achieve it by with armed violence. Instead, they try to get Israel boycotted into submission. An effort which has up to now, not been very successful. The Israeli government, however, has been panicking about BDS and together with several Jewish lobby organisations is bullying whoever they can into delegitimizing BDS. The instrument used to vilify BDS is one frequently used by Israel to shut up critics: blaming the critics of Israel or its actions as anti-Semites. What has happened last week in Germany is a spectacular success of the Netanyahu regime. In an obscure joining of souls, Angela Merkel’s CDU has, together with its coalition partner, the SPD (social democrats), joined forces with the ultra-right-wing AfD, in handing this coup to Mr. Netanyahu.

Germany’s political class still operates with a need to show that they atone for the country’s past and in this case, the price is paid by the Palestinians: Germany is helping Israel to eradicate Palestinian civil society’s agitation for their cause.  

More than only Schadenfreude?

Everyone (I know) seems mighty pleased about the fact that Austrian FPÖ’s leader Strache was forced to resign, after a secret video showing his alleged entanglement in a serious corruption scandal, came to the light.

I do not share this feeling of satisfaction, beyond my natural shadenfreude, at the fall of a member of the mighty: let many others fall in his footsteps.

The real issue with Austria is not that one politician was found out to be corrupt. The real problem are the right-wing tendencies of its population – a phenomenon that can best be explained by Austria’s historical refusal to accept responsibility for its fascist and Nazi past. They always saw themselves as victims of Nazi Germany instead of accepting the truth, which is that they were part of the Nazi machine in ideology, in action and in fervour. As a result, there is a lot of the same still to be found in that country. FPÖ had 26% of the popular vote in the last general election and was evidently a natural bed-fellow of the country’s conservative party, Sebastian Kurz’s ÖVP (31%).

Now, the Chancellor has called for a snap election. Will we find that Austrians are longer attracted by racism, Islamophobia and populist rhetoric? I doubt that. There is, as yet, nothing to be happy about. Much work still needs doing.