Israel’s Genocide & Ethnic Cleansing Reminds Germans of how the Nazis dealt with ‘terrorism’ – that is why Germany’s neo-Nazis love Israel
Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s far-right President of the European Commission Openly Supports Israeli Genocide
American Nurse from Doctors Without Borders
Last Thursday Israel once again attacked Jenin refugee camp causing massive damage and dislocation. It killed 14 Palestinians and injured dozens. As all eyes are on genocide in Gaza the Israeli army has stepped up its violence and repression in the West Bank.
There wasn’t one word of truth in these reports of babies being beheaded – no child under 3 died in the October 7 attack – but 39 babies in danger of dying in Al Shifa hospital? No lurid headlines in the prostitute press in the UK
Although Biden and Europe pay lip service to Israel’s responsibility to reign in the settler attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank they have taken no steps to force them to do so. On the contrary Israel has had the green light to do whatever it wants. There will be no comeback, no arms embargos, no meaningful pressure of any sort.
Western support for the right of a civilian population to resist its attackers is strictly limited to Ukraine. In Palestine it is called ‘terrorism’.
Jenin Under Attack
The Attack on the Al Tafawk Centre
Since 2018, the Brighton Trust, a charity that I am a trustee for, has funded the Al Tafawk Children’s Centre in the camp. It is a place where children can go to learn, play and socialise. In recent weeks, many have sought refuge from Israeli bombing in the Centre, and have been sleeping there because their homes have been destroyed.
Like every corner of the overpopulated camp, the Al Tafawk Centre is under attack. In fact, it has been under attack for a long time.
Women Speak Out on Palestine
A family wiped out
After the July attacks children eventually returned to the Centre, but it was clear that they were not safe there. The Israeli military was determined not to allow Palestinians in Jenin to have peace and quiet, even at a centre for children. And things got significantly worse since Israel responded to Hamas’s October 7 attack with a genocidal bombing campaign in Gaza and increasingly aggressive and deadly military operations across the West Bank.
Yet it serves our rulers to pretend that what is happening in the West Bank and Jenin in particular is normal and not part of an occupation that should have ended long ago. Israel does not recognise Palestinian right to the land and talk of a two state solution is nothing more than a cover for continual settler theft of the land.
If there was any truth in Israel’s claim that it is only concerned about ‘terrorism’ then why is it that the IDF has repeatedly targeted the Al Tafawk Children’s Centre in the middle of Jenin refugee camp? Twice, in May 2021 and again in July this year its military has raided, occupied and destroyed the interior of the Centre, wrecking its water and electricity facilities and even ripping up children’s books.
This year they went one further and punched gaping holes in the exterior of the building. All this to combat child terrorists? Of course not. Any Palestinian civil society organisation, be it Al Tafawk or the Jenin Freedom Theatre is a threat to Israel’s desire to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from the West Bank. That is their goal and western leaders in their pious homilies know this well.
If Biden and Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s far-right President of the European Commission were sincere in condemning settler violence (they never mention Israeli army violence) they could turn the tap off instantly and put the screws on their pet rotweiller. The fact is that the imperialist countries don’t want to kick their favourite watchdog too much in case it loses its bite.
Jenin under military attack November 9th
I have had a number of messages from teachers at the Al Tafawk Centre. In mid October one teacher wrote that:
We did not have one peaceful night since [July]… When the attacks on the Gaza Strip started, the attacks on the camp became even worse. Life got so hard that it feels like we can’t breathe. The soldiers are threatening that they will do the same to us in Jenin, as they are doing to people in Gaza. Actually, they have already started doing it, but the world is too busy elsewhere, showing only the Israeli side of the story. We have only one wish today. To have just one peaceful night, without waking up with the news that a family member or an entire family got killed.”
She went on to write about the night soldiers entered her home and detained her family for hours as they tried to capture someone in the area.
They locked us up for three hours in the bathroom. Even my brother’s baby, who is only 15 days old, was not allowed to get milk. These things start to feel normal here, but all the children are dying from inside. They don’t understand why this is happening. We are screaming, but no one hears us.
A teacher wrote to me on October 27.
“Each night we lose people, children. We buried lots, but because they die after the attack, the news never mentions them! Even our cemetery was bombed.”
“Our Centre is in the middle of camp. It is now very dangerous to reach, but the children find it the only place that can help them survive. I can’t tell them we are really in danger [at the centre]!”
On 9th November there was yet another attack on Jenin, the most serious yet. 14 Palestinians were murdered, mostly by drones. The Al Tafawk Centre was teargassed with the children still inside it and according to some reports live ammunition was used. Most of the children were evacuated but about 20, owing to the inhalation of gas were unable to. Later the same day, taking her life in her hands, the teacher went back into the Centre. Some of the children had been rendered unconscious.
On 10 November I received this message:
We are still in danger we are staying in this time in the hospital. Everything is awful and really your help came in time we can survive with food and water and meds. This video i am attaching After being hiding from the morning till late in the evening at the center yesterday, while outside heavy attacks were going on, me and the children and teachers went outside. To go anywhere is dangerous in these circumstances. I took the risk on my own.
It beggars belief how a children’s centre has become the object of a military attack unless the goal is to destroy all Palestinian civil society organisations. On 13 November I received another message of a similar nature. The teacher’s father had been arrested and beaten. The Centre is barely operating because of the attacks of the Israeli army. People have no food and many of the children don’t know what has happened to their families.
I am so sorry that i can’t answer. They arrested my father. He was coming to the center but they arrested him and beat all his body for 2 days without any reason! We are alive just, we try to survive. All the camp is homeless allllllllllllllll the camp Tony all the children .. many don’t know what happened to their families some lost them some dying from hunger ! I am falling ill. I swear we can’t take any more.
You can contribute to the continuation of the Al Tafawk Centre by donating to its Crowdfunder here.
A rally in solidarity with Israel at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany
Germany admires Israel because it can’t openly praise its own past
Despite Israel’s attack on Jenin and other Palestinian cities, Germany and France in particular have gone out of their way to suppress support for the Palestinians. All in the guise of opposing anti-Semitism. Israel for them is the living Jew, the imperialist Jew as opposed to the old trouble-making Jew of left wing heritage. Israel is the acceptable Jew unlike those who take to the streets to protest.
Rapprochment with Israel in the 1950s by Germany meant the supply of submarines, weaponry and reparations. It was the means by which West Germany became integrated into the cold war alliance. In return, as Ian Lustick wrote, Israel took ‘extraordinary precautions’ to keep the name of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and his closest advisor, Hans Globke, the Nazi who drafted the Nuremberg Laws and much else, out of the Eichmann Trial. [The Holocaust in Israeli Political Culture, p.150] Germany avoided de-Nazification, with Israel’s approval.
German Jewish anti-Zionists
But expiation of its guilt over the Holocaust doesn’t explain everything about Germany’s unwavering support for Israel. After all why should Alternative for Germany, the anti-immigrant party that is riding at about 20% of polls at the moment, support Israel given that it is overridden with neo-Nazis and holocaust deniers?
Like neo-Nazis worldwide such as Andrei Breivik, Richard Spencer, Tommy Robinson, for the AfD and many on the German right, Israel is not seen as a Jew at all or if it is it is the racial Jew, renewing his roots on national soil unlike the wandering cosmopolitan Jew.
When Germans and not only neo-Nazis, look at the rubble of Gaza City they are reminded wistfully of how Germany was pilloried for reducing to cities like Warsaw to rubble. In a very real sense Israel is to them Hitler’s final triumph. That is why there is a crackdown, not just on pro-Palestinian protests but anti-Zionist Jewish protests in particular. For the German Right and that includes the Greens and the Social Democrats, Israel represents the acceptable Jew, the imperialist Jew.
It is often forgotten that the Nazis, throughout the period 1933-39 treated the German Zionists favourably in comparison with the rest of the Jewish population. The German Zionists alone among German Jews had welcomed the Nuremberg Laws for its prevention of mixed marriages and relationships between Aryan and Jew.
Although the Zionists don’t like being reminded of the past on 28 January 1935 Reinhard Heydrich, the ‘engineer of the final solution’ issued a directive stating that:
the activity of the Zionist-oriented youth organisations that are engaged in the occupational restructuring of the Jews … lies in the interest of the National Socialist state’s leadership…. (they are) not to be treated with that strictness that it is necessary to apply to the members of the so-called German-Jewish organisations (assimilationists).
The activities of Zionist groups were supervised with ‘more benevolence’ than comparable activities by non-Zionist groups. The Gestapo and the SD ‘place(d) no restrictions on Zionist organisations.’ In May 1935 Schwarze Korps, paper of the SS, wrote that:
the Zionists adhere to a strict racial position and by emigrating to Palestine they are helping to build their own Jewish state…. The assimilation-minded Jews deny their race and insist on their loyalty to Germany or claim to be Christians because they have been baptised in order to subvert National Socialist principles. [Lucy Dawidowicz, War Against the Jews, p.118]
In other words the pro-Zionist orientation of the German establishment today is a continuation of the pre-war attitude of the Nazis.