Op-Ed: Michelle Goldberg And Angela Merkel: Seeking A Moral Redemption In The Wrong Place

German Chancellor Angela Merkel before a meeting with African leaders in the Federal Chancellery in Berlin.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel before a meeting with African leaders in Berlin. File photo: 360b, Shutter Stock, licensed.

ONTARIO, CANADA – Taking the long view of history (as we surely must) requires us to candidly specify the key events in the culture war by Islamism against the West. Islamist terrorist acts, now numbering in the hundreds, take place in Europe, Africa, Asia and the U.S., wherever radical Islam is abutting non-Muslim nations. The use of Jihad and loyalty to Sharia law to establish a world-wide Caliphate, seems to me to be the most pressing political and cultural crisis in the modern world.

Accordingly, I wrote the book, The Ideological Path to Submission… and what we can do about itattempting to show how contemporary political, religious and cultural ideologies have contributed to an appeasement, in fact a submission, to Islamism. Whether the problem is mainly confined to Islamism, or radical, jihadist, supremacist, illiberal extremist elements within Islam, or is in fact encouraged both implicitly and explicitly by the religion of Islam, is an important question. In my book, I conceded that a public policy division between proponents of Islam versus Islamism showed the most promise for enabling Muslims to assimilate to Western values and live peaceably alongside Christians, Jews, Hindus and humanitarian secularists. I am not sure whether I still believe that. I do believe the issue, as so framed, necessitates a lot more discussion, without cancel culture censorship on the grounds of supposed Islamophobia.

Previously, I had studied whether an excess of tolerance by western elites to those manifesting an evil ideology or ideologies, had passed into an ideology of what I termed, Tolerism (in my book of the same name). I quoted at length from the work of the great philosopher Karl Popper who, after the Nazi Holocaust, argued that such totalitarian movements created a paradox for philosophical toleration.

Popper wrote: “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them… We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant”.



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Lately, such thinking is causing me to reflect on the support by Westerrn left-liberals for Islamism and threats of genocide by Iran, the so-called Palestinians and their terrorist proxies. As a Jew, whose father was slave labor in Auschwitz concentration camp, where his parents and then 8 year old sister were murdered for the “crime” of being Jewish, I am sensitive to those who criticize Jews not so much for what we do but for our essential act of being, which is what Islamists and other antisemitic types embrace. We see how the hatred for the Jew as the people who accepted ethical monotheism at Mount Sinai, has been transferred to Israel the Jewish homeland for being a thorn in the side for those who tolerate evil, be it terrorism against civilians or hatred of women, gays or Christians who seek elementary human rights.

Recently, we witnessed outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s last official visit to Israel where she was warmly greeted and honored. For many years now both Germans and Israelis have emphasized the “special relationship” that Germany has with Israel as a way to atone for the murder of six million Jews by the German Nazis.

I am not sure how anyone can still view Germany as Israel’s friend when it takes an opposing position on the two most important threats Israel faces: how to dealwith Iran on its nuclear threats against Israel and whether to put a Palestinian terror state in Judea and Samaria, mere miles from Israel’s international airport.

I find very few who are willing to say the truth about Germany’s fine words not being matched by its actions. One who does not mince words is Caroline Glick, writing recently in Israel Hayom:

“Since she entered office in 2005, Merkel has assiduously maintained Germany’s position as Iran’s largest trading partner in Europe. She has opposed sanctions and backed her colleagues as they made light of Iran’s human rights violations, its nuclear proliferation and sponsorship of terrorism. She has been an indomitable supporter of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, despite the fact that it provides Iran with an open road to a nuclear arsenal. She was unmoved by voluminous evidence of Iran’s bad faith negotiations and systematic, material breaches of the limitations the 2015 deal placed on its nuclear activities.”

Another is Melanie Phillips who discusses European and German financial aid to Israel’s terrorist enemies in Europe’s Deadly Hypocrisy:”

She says that “the European Union (in which Germany is the largest nation) continues to funnel money to the Palestinians even while they pour out antisemitism and remain committed to eradicating Israel. Their educational materials, for which the EU helps pay, promote hatred of Jews and incitement to murder Israelis and steal their land.

“The EU also enables the Palestinian Authority to pay the families of terrorists for murdering Israelis. Last December, the PA announced that the EU had contributed 54 per cent of the cost of benefits for ‘needy’ families. By so substantially helping provide for the ‘Palestinian needy’ the EU allows the PA to use its own funds in order to pay rewards for terror. The purported wall between welfare assistance and ‘pay-for-slay’ is an illusion. “The EU is also pouring money in to create a de facto Palestinian state, regardless of the Palestinian strategy of using such a state to destroy Israel — and while the EU condemns Israel for “illegally” building homes for Israelis in these disputed territories.”

Phillips also notes that the Palestinian news service Wafa recently reported that Germany had pledged 100 million euros to the Palestinian Authority over the next two years for projects in the Gaza Strip, eastern Jerusalem and Palestinian settlements in “Area C”.

How can the EU and Germany officially be committed to fighting terrorism but support, politically in the UN and financially, the Palestinian Authority – which clearly uses part of the EU financial support to incentivize terrorism and pay pensions to the family of terrorists who kill civilians?

Does Germany think that its “special relationship with Israel requires it to help set up an Islamist terror state pledged in its education system and media to incite its people to murdering another six million Jews, this time in our ancestral home of Israel? Phillips worries that Germany’s pledge of financial support for the Palestinians is “merely an instalment of a 3 billion euro spending plan by 2030 designed to advance the creation of a Palestinian state, with different countries being allocated different areas in which to concentrate their funds.”

Perhaps German cash can assist in the area of brainwashing the Arab youth into giving their lives in the jihadist murder of Jewish children, which is clearly one of the “success stories” of tyrannical Islamism. It is estimated that Nazi Germany killed one million Jewish children; am I politically incorrect to suggest that Germany should be the last country to assist in killing Jewish children?

“Political correctness” in Germany as in the rest of the West inhibits full and thoughtful discussion of the effect of Merkel’s admission of nearly one million young male Syrians from lands where jihadism, Sharia Law, terrorism and hatred of women, Jews and gays are endemic. On New Years’ Eve 2016, some 100 of the recent immigrants, most from places where there is a “culture of rape”, began assaulting hundreds of German young women in Cologne. As has been done in Sweden, the police and politicians actively cover up the nature and extent of the crimes and refuse to consider this as a consequence of immigration from certain lands.

There are too few honest and moral people who have taken up the subject of German and/or European antisemitism. The New York Times’ columnist Michelle Goldberg is surely not one of them. Instead she is one of the so-called “progressives” finding fault only with Israel and seldom, if ever, with any other country, even countries that are tyrannical illiberal abusers of women, children, gays, Jews and Christians, etc.

Michelle Goldberg defines herself as a “secular Jew”.

Ms. Goldberg has produced another in a series of bizarre op-eds meant to appeal to the tolerists among us. In fact, she uses her journalistic pulpit to disabuse readers of any notion that there was a troublesome link between Germany allowing a million young Muslim immigrants, mainly from Islamist Syria (as opposed to traditional non-Islamist Muslim immigrants from Turkey) and the mass sexual assaults in Cologne and other Islamist crimes.

In a review of a pro-Merkel biography by Kati Marton, Goldberg says that concerns by raped women and persecuted Jews, pale in comparison to how she sees the entry of unvetted Syrian young males – “a great political leap, a sudden act of moral heroism.

Moral heroism”?

She quotes leftist German Constanze Stelzenmuller from the Brookings Institution that the admission of Islamists meant that Merkel “turned out to have chosen the absolutely right course for not only Germany but for the world.”

Goldberg is nothing if not audacious. She writes, “Part of the reason that Germans accepted – and in many cases celebrated – Merkel’s decision lies in their countries relationship to its national history. Germany has made reckoning with the Holocaust central to its identity, and many citizens grabbed eagerly at this chance for redemption.”

And so Ms. Goldberg perhaps inadvertently discloses the real reason for anti-Israel behaviour not only from Germans but from progressives everywhere, who in the absence of traditional religion, are grabbing eagerly at a “chance for redemption.”

And so another group seeks to kill Jews as the path for redemption. When that group has already killed six million of us, can we ask The New York Times, which hardly covered the Holocaust, and which hardly covers Islamist antisemitism today, to not encourage world-wide antisemitism. Goldberg quotes Stelzenmuller on the subject of why the Germans, in their admission of Islamists, could so misconstrue their moral task less than eighty years after the Holocaust: “Germans were more than happy – in fact thrilled – to see themselves in the role of humanitarian saviors.”

And there we have it – the clearest and most immoral explanation as to why the Left in America and Europe have embraced intersectionality, and especially antisemitism, cloaked as anti-Israelism. How is it even possible to rationally discuss anything with people who see themselves not only as virtuous, but as humanitarian saviors?”

Merkel and her ilk are not worried about the practical effects of importing rapists and antisemites, they are celebrating their moral heroism, their role as post-Christian humanitarian saviors and their moral courage.

The problem with Goldberg’s nonsense is that she misstates historical fact in her quest to join the next Holocaust, which unlike the first Holocaust, can be more reasonably, in their opinion, be blamed on the Jews, both within Israel and outside of it. And so they endeavour to divide the Jews between Zionist Jews and anti-Zionist Jews, so that self-hating Jews like Peter Beinart and the misguided minions of JStreet and Jewish Voice for Peace can achieve their moral redemption and secular heroism.

The evidence of Muslim antisemitism is, unfortunately for the apologists and appeasers, very clear, despite Goldberg’s lie that “The sense is that there has been comparatively little Islamic extremism or extremist crime resulting from this immigration”.

I recommend the essay by Manfred Gerstenfeld in Jewish News Syndicate, German intelligence issues taboo-breaking report on Muslim anti-Semitism:”

He states on May 1, 2019: “Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the country’s domestic security agency, recently published a 40-page report titled “Antisemitism in Islamism.” This is the first official publication by a national German body that exposes, in reasonable detail, the anti-Semitism prevalent among parts of the country’s Muslim community. Indeed, no European intelligence agency has ever published a report on Muslim anti-Semitism.”

Dr. Gerstenfeld, is one of the many who now conclude that at least when it comes to antisemitism there is little difference between mainstream Muslims and their Islamist masters. He specializes in Israeli-Western European relations, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, and is the author of “The War of a Million Cuts.”

And so Gerstenfeld notes that the report defines Islamism as a form of political extremism that aims to end democracy. Anti-Semitism is one of its essential ideological elements. He says: “The document starts by stating that for historical reasons, and in view of the country’s experience with National Socialism, anti-Semitism was long viewed as being inevitably related to the extreme right. Only gradually has it become clear that right-wing extremists do not hold a monopoly on anti-Semitism in Germany today.”

The fact that Islamists and even less politically active Muslims have extreme anti-Semitic beliefs, has long been the “elephant in the room” and leftists seek to minimize their complicity in the immigration of antisemites by misleadingly categorizing antisemitism as emanating from the Right. This became a huge problem during President Trump’s administration as leftist news media, such as The New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN , only could see the “racists’ on the right, when the numbers and influence of extremist views in the Right pales in significance to the Left in mainstream media, the universities and the Democratic Party.

This report is too important to be hidden from the public. The report, as summarized by Gerstenfeld, “states that the arrival of over a million Muslims in Germany between 2014 and 2017 increased the influence of Islamist anti-Semitism in the country. It cites Anti-Defamation League statistics on anti-Semitism among the populations of Middle Eastern and North African states. Turkey—a country from which many Muslims now living in Germany originated—is one of the least anti-Semitic countries on the list, yet even it is “nearly 70 percent” anti-Semitic. The study mentions that many children in these countries are raised on a steady diet of anti-Semitic indoctrination.”

Despite Goldberg’s contention that there is little Islamic extremism resulting from the mass immigrations of 2015, the report notes the uptick in Islamist anti-Semitism, which was really made clear as a result of a demonstration that took place in Berlin in 2017. At that event, demonstrators carried placards demanding that Israel be destroyed, and set an Israeli flag on fire

Goldberg is also contradicted in Gerstenfeld’s disclosure that German Health Minister Jens Spahn remarked that the mass immigration from Muslim countries was the reason for the demonstrations in Germany; and Stephan Harbarth, deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU faction in the Bundestag (the German parliament), said, “We have to strongly confront the anti-Semitism of migrants with an Arab background and those from African countries.”

Goldberg has a history of whitewashing the antisemitism inherent in anti-Zionism. She infamously wrote in 2018 that it’s entirely possible to oppose what she calls “Jewish ethno-nationalism” without being a bigot.

It is a new low for her to run interference for German antiSemitic pro-Iran, pro-Hamas, leftists and join them in their attempt for a national “redemption”, once again at a horrible cost to the Jews.

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