[Marxism] The German Left and Israel

kersplebedeb info at kersplebedeb.com
Sun Mar 22 07:27:42 MDT 2009

Angelus Novus wrote:
> Yossi Bartel writes:
>> One of the reasons for the love affair between Germany and Israel is
>> further connected to the weakness of the German Left in criticizing
>> Israel.
> Is this meant to imply that this was historically always the case?  The debates concerning Israel in the 1980s ignited by writers like Wolfgang Pohrt and Eike Geisel, as well as the urban guerrilla group Revolutionary Cells/Red Zoras and the Communist League, were primarily a response to what was regarded by many as an excessive *Anti*-Zionism in the 1970s on the part of remnants of SDS and the RAF.  Too many times on Internet forums and publications, I have seen people ignorant of the German left make sweeping statements as if the German left has always been treading on egg shells regarding Israel.  That is simply not the case.  In the 70s, aspects of the Left's Anti-Zionism crossed the line into Anti-Semitism, such as when the Tupamaros West Berlin planted a bomb in the Jewish Community House in Berlin.

Yes, but in fact wasn't the revolutionary left's hardline anti-Zionism, 
which did indeed occasionally cross the line into antisemitism, a 
reaction to the fact that the general left intelligentsia, the trade 
unions, the SPD were all pro-Zionist. Even within the New Left, prior to 
1967 wouldn't it be true to say that pro-Zionist sentiment was hegemonic?

As for the RZ's position in the 80s being a reaction against the RAF or 
the "remnants of the SDS" - mightn't it be true that they were in fact 
reacting to their own past practice? After all, nothing the RAF ever 
said or did in the 1970s seems anywhere near the same as the actions of 
RZ members at Entebbe, where they led a skyjacking operation that 
included separating Jews from non-Jews, so that only the former would be 

In any case, i would really like to encourage Angelus to write more 
about these developments in the 1980s, either on- or off-list. The 
vacillations of sections of the left and revolutionary left regarding 
Israel and the Palestinian struggle is a fascinating and important 
story, although we perhaps interpret its meaning differently.

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