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> Could it be that the German elitès left and right are desperately
> looking for ways to exorcise Germany from the demons of the past?

Yes. And not only the Germans but the Europeans at large. Want proof? Please head over to http://www.seconddraft.org/movies.php and download the three movies. (There are four movies, but one is just a French version of another one.)

Please watch them in their creation order:
Pallywood
Al Durah
Icon of Hatred.

In the last one, fairly at the end, you get your answer. But to really comprehend the whole story, you really need to watch all three movies. Quite a sobering experience it will be, I guarantee.

Vilmos

A rather bad example of how to "interpret" a text when the text itself doesn't state what you want it to state. And a nice addition of general remarks that are not supported by this text either.

You state for example that "The U.S. and Israel make convenient scapegoats ".
I agree fully with that observation when it comes to certain circles in germany. Sadly it is so !
The problem is only that here in this case its just plain nonsense.
Nobody spoke about the US. This generalization or "misuse" of this example for your "wider" message is unserious.

Just as the headline itself...
Israel behaves like Nazis"
What is this supposed to mean ?
Did anyone claim that they gased arabs ?
Was the berlin wall by the way built by Nazis ? Would be new to me.
Or is the fact that they mentioned two getthos in one sentence the big evil here ?

What is stated here by those bishops is simply that they see the arab GETTHOS as just that... inhumane ghettos. And since Israel is the occupier they see it as its fault. Thats a legitimate opinion. One can argue if its correct or not. But starting to pick this here and make such a wide sweep about german exorcism ... is somewhat too much.

My 5 cents.

Note from David: I didn't claim the bishops attacked the U.S. - I just made the general observation that "references to the holocaust are increasingly used in political statements from Germany when actions of the U.S. or Israel are addressed."
As to the headline - it's taken from the article I link to. Most of the reporting - even in the German media - interprets the bishop's remarks as equating Israel with Nazism. Also, in the posting I link to a statement from Kardinal Lehmann, who apologizes for the comparison of Israel and Nazism. Blame him, please...

Deist, would the fact that the fence around the Warsaw ghetto was supposed to keep the jews in and the fence around Israel is supposed to keep the Palestinians out make any difference to you? Would the fact that the 'occupiers' have managed to unoccupy Ramallah, really have an effect on you? Is your complaint only based on the fact that the Palestinians are incapable of operating from a position of strength and the Jews, who are used to being brutally attacked (do you remember any history?), are focused on making sure that history doesn't come back to haunt them? Do you really think that expressions like 'drive them all into the sea' are peans of love? Do you really?

Hi Mike,
shortly ... a difference allways makes a difference.
First question: It makes a difference for me, it is one
Second question: I guess it depends on the definition of "unoccupy" but generally "yes" it makes one
Third question: no (regardless of whether this is a "fact" or not)
Fourth and fifth question: no, i think they are expressions of hatred

Now my question:
Did you ever ponder the question if any of those remarks you made above have anything to do with what I stated ?

Or to put it perhaps a bit too blunt:
Why is it that every time there is some dissent about a statement made the other one is stupid, foolish, antisemitic, leftist or something the like ?
Don't you make it a bit too easy for yourself here ? ;-)

DIEST: "Why is it that every time there is some dissent about a statement made the other one is stupid, foolish, antisemitic, leftist or something the like ?"

The fact that your statements are labelled as anti-semitic does not imply you are anti-semitic, nor is the fact that they are leftist imply your are a leftist. If you keep the distinction clear, we will all have made some progress. You do not sound like an anti-semite to me, and I do not know whether you are a leftist, but your view of history is a gross distortion which has been assiduously foisted upon the world by the left and by the Islamofascists for decades---it has now become accepted as 'fact'.

You call Israel, for example, 'occupiers'. Well, they are, in the sense that, say, the Allies occupied Germany after a war--provoked by German fascism, just as the Arab-Israeli wars have been provoked by the surrounding Arab countries. Oh, you do not believe that is a valid comparison? The Palestinians are just fighting for their freedom from the Jews? Well, why don't you read some history written from the less-heard viewpoint (perhaps you don't because you call it propaganda by lackeys of the Zionists, but wouldn't that be prejudice--a pre-judgement?) Try reading some of the articles by Prof. Kuntzel (http://www.matthiaskuentzel.de/contents/kategorie/english/), in particular on the Nazi origins of Arab anti-Zionism; those Arabs almost all of whom were impoverished serfs of absentee Turkish landowners when Zionists began buying up land at inflated prices in the swamps and deserts that the ancient land of Israel had degenerated into.

You think that Israeli men and women like to be drafted away from their everyday lives to 'occupy' Ramallah? Like Germans occupied Paris. Perhaps Ramallah the Paris of the Orient?

Have the Palestinians made ANY substantial effort for peace. What have they voluntarily done that is comparable to, say, the evacuation of the Gaza strip. You probably think--aha, didn't the Jews occupy in Gaza strip?---as in foreign forces of occupation. Possibly you should learn the strip's Egyptian history. Possibly you should consider the closeness of the Strip to Israeli population centers and realize how well founded the Israeli fears were--e.g. the recent daily rocket attacks, the arms smuggling from Egypt.

To use the word 'occupier', with its overtones of aggression, without any statement of historical context, is to be, in fact if not intent, anti-semitic.

And Just one more remark--out of many, many that could be made: The use of the word Ghetto is blatantly anti-semitic--the user is shoving it back in the face of the Jew in such an abvious fashion--and by a German and by a Bishop??? This kind of word usage does not give you pause?

Is Ramallah a ghetto? Yes. Is it comparable to the Warsaw ghetto? No.

I don't want to excuse the bishops, however, the article you quote is slanted. It was one out of 27 bishops drawing the comparison to the Warsaw ghetto, not all. The other comments compared it to their experience with the Berlin wall, Meisner professed experiencing nightmares in the night before:

Der Kölner Kardinal Joachim Meisner bemerkte: "Ich dachte nicht, dass ich in meinem Leben noch mal so eine Mauer sehe." Er habe in der Nacht Alpträume gehabt, in denen Erinnerungen an die Berliner Mauer und sein Leben in der DDR hochgekommen seien. "So etwas macht man mit Tieren, nicht mit Menschen." Doch die Mauer werde fallen - wie in Berlin auch.
(from the kath.net link below)

Suggested further reading:
An article in the FAZ that reports the quotes and reactions a bit more in context.
An article on kath.net from Tuesday, March 6, documents the unabridged(?) retraction by Bishop Hanke and the statement by Bishop Lehmann. Apart from the apology, I think this part bears reading, as it explains to an extent the reason for the German Bishop's reactions. Bishop Lehmann writes:

Wir wissen um die Angst der Israelis, die von Terrorismus bedroht sind und deren staatliches Existenzrecht von manchen immer noch in Frage gestellt wird. Bei unseren Besuchen in der Westbank haben wir aber auch die erschreckende, geradezu katastrophale Situation kennen gelernt, der die Palästinenser ausgesetzt sind: eine Arbeitslosigkeit von bis zu 60%, drastische Behinderungen der Bewegungsfreiheit, die manche Familien auf Dauer voneinander trennen, eine Praxis an den Kontrollpunkten, die viele Palästinenser als demütigend empfinden – all dies lässt viele in Hoffnungslosigkeit versinken und befördert auch eine politische und religiöse Radikalisierung. Besonders schlimm haben wir die Lage in Bethlehem erlebt, wo sich die Menschen angesichts des Verlaufs der Sicherheitsanlagen geradezu als eingeschlossen empfinden.

The comments of Arcbishop Ludwig Schick of Bamberg have not been reported in the mass media so far. He had given an interview to Radio Vatican during the stay in Israel/Palestine:

Gerade auch für uns Deutsche: Wir haben Mauer, Stacheldraht, Minenfelder für Jahrzehnte erlebt und das als sehr bedrückend erfahren, sind so froh, dass das zu Ende ist... und sehen jetzt hier, dass in einem Staat, der uns sehr am Herzen liegt, und von Menschen, die uns sehr am Herzen liegen, das genau wieder geschieht. Das ist sehr bedrückend. Wir müssen wirklich alles tun, damit das nicht weitergeht, sondern damit die Mauer möglichst bald fällt. Aus dieser Mauer müssen Brücken werden zwischen Palästinensern und Juden, zwischen Christen und Muslimen - das ist unsere Zukunft. Und natürlich darf das jüdische Volk dabei nicht vergessen werden. Wir haben eine besondere Verpflichtung für das jüdische Volk einzustehen, jeden Antisemitismus auszurotten und dem jüdischen Volk sein Selbstbestimmungsrecht zu verteidigen.

Gerade auch für uns Deutsche: Wir haben Mauer, Stacheldraht, Minenfelder für Jahrzehnte erlebt und das als sehr bedrückend erfahren, sind so froh, dass das zu Ende ist... und sehen jetzt hier, dass in einem Staat, der uns sehr am Herzen liegt, und von Menschen, die uns sehr am Herzen liegen, das genau wieder geschieht.

This is one of the biggest pieces of crap that one can utter, and anyone who finds an ounce of "logic" in this is just as crappy. Only a hallucinatory mind can see a parallel between the German Mauer and the Israeli security wall.

"Could it be that the German elitès left and right are desperately looking for ways to exorcise Germany from the demons of the past? This would go a long way to explain the sometimes (make that: often) exaggerated and vitriolic German critique of American and Israeli politics."

Whether your "exorcise" theory is valid or not, you cannot draw that conclusion based on "exaggerated and vitriolic German critique" since you can replace the word "German" with many other nationalities, leftist groups world-wide and Islamists. Exaggerated and vitriolic critique of American and Israeli politics is par for the course just about everywhere, including within the U.S. and Israel themselves.

Hi Sagredo:
"You do not sound like an anti-semite to me, and I do not know whether you are a leftist,but your view of history is a gross distortion ..."
Thanks for the first two remarks. I was wondering however how you came to think you knew my view of history.
You started with the following example:
"You call Israel, for example, 'occupiers'. Well, they are, in the sense that, say, the Allies occupied Germany after a war--provoked by German fascism, just as the Arab-Israeli wars have been provoked by the surrounding Arab countries. Oh, you do not believe that is a valid comparison? The Palestinians are just fighting for their freedom from the Jews? Well, why don't you read some history written from the less-heard viewpoint (perhaps you don't because you call it propaganda by lackeys of the Zionists, but wouldn't that be prejudice--a pre-judgement?)"
I stop quoting here and cut this short because i think you are running in the wrong direction here. I called (and call) Israel occupiers because technically they are. According to normal history they occupied territory not originally belonging to them during a war. Note (please DO think about it) that i did NOT make any "judgment" on them being occupiers. The term is NOT per negative !
I used the term in my first post because i get the impression the bishop thinks it would be the occupiers responsibility what happens in occupied territory.
Thats all.
Everything you stated as well as the questions you asked do not at all fit with me.
I do not believe in "zionistic propaganda" nor in some jewish conspiracy nor in the protocols of the elders of zion or anything that might come to some peoples mind.
I neither claim israelis are the devils or inhumane nor (just to make that clear as well) arabs per se are. Both have their faults, both are humans. Generally i tend to the notion that arabs are for a greater part responsible for their own problems.

Lets get back to the topic.
Note that my point is simply that i do not think the exaggeration of this happening is justified. Nobody actually knows what the bishop saw or was shown. Nobody knows what really prompted his reaction. Antisemitism, stupidity or perhaps (we should not rule that out either to be fair) a real misery he saw.
In any case its in my view not valid to equate his statement to one like "Israels actions equal the holocaust", or to start bringing in some general remarks about germans and their use of the us and israel to "excorcise" Germany from demons of the past.

There is enough antiamericanism here without need to misuse suchstories for the "message".

So think about this again:"To use the word 'occupier', with its overtones of aggression, without any statement of historical context, is to be, in fact if not intent, anti-semitic."
Where did I use the term "occupier" with what you call "overtones of agression" ?
I think this is a perception problem on your site.
Look at the us troops in iraq. From the very first day they entered it they were occupiers. And ? Whats the problem ? Why would you call that a priori and per se negative ? What would you have called them technically speaking ? "Guests" ?
(Also here the remark that i was NOT per se against the war)

"And Just one more remark--out of many, many that could be made: The use of the word Ghetto is blatantly anti-semitic--the user is shoving it back in the face of the Jew in such an abvious fashion--and by a German and by a Bishop??? This kind of word usage does not give you pause?"
I am not sure what you mean here. First of all the term "Ghetto" is for me not per se antisemitic. Its a term for a city or place that lives under certain conditions. Elvis Presley was not antisemtic (as far as i know). Perhaps i err but i thought he sang about something else than Israel in his song.
I also do not see that the bishop shoved that back in the face of "the Jew". From what i gather he told that reporters.

As for Germans and Bishops... well frankly idiotic remarks do not relate to nationality or profession (i hope this also makes it clear what i think about the wording itself).
And i state it again ... the wall is not a thing of nazis, it's a matter of east west conflict.
I don't know what he saw, i don't know why he said it.
But i have something against generalizations and claims by people that think they "know" without providing me proof.

Do the Bishop Test!

A Christmas fundraiser for the Caritas Baby Hospital Bethlehem distributed to German Catholics in 200 featured a photograph of a security fence graffiti. Do the Bishop Test! Can you spot Holocaust inversion in the slogan?

Do the Bishop Test!

PIMF. 2006

Deist--

When it comes to word usage, context is everything. To say that a word is meant 'simply', or 'technically'--is to disregard the most subtle and therefore, effective, tool of the propagandist.

Let us consider what you have written:

What is stated here by those bishops is simply that they see the arab GETTHOS as just that... inhumane ghettos. And since Israel is the occupier they see it as its fault. Thats a legitimate opinion. ... First of all the term "Ghetto" is for me not per se antisemitic. Its a term for a city or place that lives under certain conditions.

In the Jewish ghetto the Jews were, locked up every night, forced into terrible overcrowding (hence dirt and filth and hence dirty filthy Jews), forbidden most occupations, especially those considered honorable, forbidden the use of arms necessary for elementary self defense in those times, forced to wear identification badges,....That is inhumane

Perhaps you do not know this but Bishops of the very Church which decreed the Ghetto, certainly do. Are the Arabs locked within their city gates? Are they denied professions? the ownership of land? the right to bear arms!? These are connotations of the word Ghetto--and it is the connotation, the mental connection, which is the purpose of the use of the word in this context.

In the context of the so-called "Black Ghettos" in the US, all of these connotations are either not made, or made with far, far less force; first because Jews are not uniquely involved, and second because the conditions were simply not comparable in scope or degree.

So while the term Ghetto is not per se anti-semitic, it is in the context in which it was used by the Bishop(s).

Similarly, the usage of occupier. 'Palestine' was never an Arab country. When the Arabs controlled it, they insisted on calling it Southern Syria. The Zionists bought parts of it initially--so they were then occupiers in the same sense that I occupy my home. The re-conquered parts of it granted them by the UN Partition Plan from Arab aggressors--that is another sense of them being occupiers. They occupy small parts so that they cannot be shot at by snipers from their back yards. But when the word occupier is used by Arabs and European Leftists they want you to hear ...and Arab Freedom Fighters...in the back of you head. Or Arab 'militants' who 'suicide' bomb but never 'homicide' bomb. The use of the word occupier is not meant 'techincally', it is meant prejudicially!

As for Germans and Bishops... well frankly idiotic remarks do not relate to nationality or profession (i hope this also makes it clear what i think about the wording itself).

Here again the context of German and Church history makes all the difference. I am, by the way, not prejudiced against Germans; I have been married to one for almost fifty years.

---"I am, by the way, not prejudiced against Germans; I have been married to one for almost fifty years"---

50 years! Segredo, that makes you even more prejudiced. Just where do you think all this prejudice started? After the second month, that's where. Jeeze, there are murders who have had sentences less than that. I know Germans don't like anyone to bring up Adolph references. But look at all the things he did, and he only had to be married for like one day. I don't think it was even a whole day; just a few hours. And there you are serving a fifty year stretch and counting. What are you try to do... old Thermopylae by yourself?

Sagredo:
You said:
"When it comes to word usage, context is everything. To say that a word is meant 'simply', or 'technically'--is to disregard the most subtle and therefore, effective, tool of the propagandist."
The second sentence is correct but for one simple thing that you must keep in mind:
I am NO propagandist. Thats the very reason why i try NOT to interpret texts and i assume people to not interpret mine. Because interpretation is the first step towards error.
I know the rethoric techniques people use. I am arab, i have heard, watched, seen all types of propaganda for decades. And i archieved it still to get out of the typical "jews are devils" nonsense. Not by using context but by disregarding it ! I have a deep hatred for propagandists.

Anyway ...
You emphasize the differences between the jewish Ghettos and the arab ones.
I am the last one to deny that the differences exist.
So i am fully at your side if you state that setting both equal would be absolute nonsense.
You emphasize the "context". But my problem honestly here is that "context" is a rather unprecise term here. Frankly we don't know anything about the circumstances nor about the bishops thoughts when he uttered those words.
Let me give you an example:
Suppose he saw or was shown people in misery. And suppose he "connects" the term "people living in misery in a place" with "Ghetto". And he was shocked. Suppose he used the word then. Would you call that "antisemitic" in context ?
Your context is a matter of YOUR interpretation and your "feeling" for appropriate wordings.
But since neither of us is a telepath nor were we present there ... how should you or me be able to make a judgment on the bishops character and how can either one of us generalize this incident to a remark about antiamericanism in germany ????
I mean ... don't you think there is something missing in that line of generalizations ?

Now for the term occupier...
That really got me aggravated. First of all "I" used the term here. And you referred to ME stating it. So (secondly) i stated exactly what i meant here. It is an occupation. You yourself state that above as well. I do not give much about others, especially european leftists, Gutmenschen or other arabs when it comes to the term. I stated clearly that it has NO negative meaning for me.
Its a matter of fact that the original UN plan gave Israel a portion of the land and the rest was arab territoriy. Its irrelevant for the term who attacked, or what name what country had. Its a fact that by now israel occupies more territory that it had been granted originally. This happened by war. Thus the term occupier. And again to make it clear: "I" do not attach any negative or positive meaning to that term.
I can understand that you think the term is used by many in a "different" way ...
"I" don't. And you can't simply enforce your view of context on my statement. At least not without contradicting my thoughts on the matter.
What i meant to say (in other words) was that the bishop might have the opinion that the country that "controls" the territory should be responsible for the conditions of the civilians there.
One can argue if or where in the region this idea fits.

"Here again the context of German and Church history makes all the difference."
Why ? You see i dont believe in "original sin".
I think that every person is responsible for himself and his actions, not for those of others.
Germans are not responible for some fool making some statement, just as the fool being german doesn't make a real difference.
Do you think that some idiots that made nude pictures of prisoners in Abu Ghraib are making a difference to other idiots only because they are americans ? In what "context" should that be ? If you think so then you are arguing just the way arabs, leftists or gutmenschen are when it comes to those incidents. Its absolutely unrealistic to judge america by some soldiers, nor is it realistic to assume that just because a soldier works for a nation that has the goal or ideals of freedom it would make all the more of a difference if he did something evil.
As said ... you find idiots everywhere. And you must judge the idiot himself.

That bishop saw something we dont know. He made a statement I didn't yet even see a complete transcript of. What should i conclude from this related to Germany's fighting demons of the holocaust ?

PS: Congratulations on your marriage. It's nice to see someone married this long. It will take some more years for me to get there :-)

I'm certainly not a proponent of beating Germans over the head with Hitler and WW2 at every opportunity, but if I were German, I think I'd not mention the Holocaust much. But perhaps that's just me.

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