3 thoughts on “Avrum Burg Speaks on 50th Anniversary of German-Israel Diplomatic Relations – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. RE: “Europe should say: Within our value system of equality, post colonialism, repentance and acts of reconciliation, we cannot accept a country in our midst which occupies another country. As long as Europe does not say this, all will stay the same and the relations will be based on guilt and weapons. And that is not good!” ~ Avraham Burg

    SEE: “Gunter the Terrible”, By Uri Avnery, The Palestine Chronicle, 4/13/12

    [EXCERPT] Stop me if I have told you this joke before:
    Somewhere in the US, a demonstration takes place. The police arrive and beat the protesters mercilessly.
    “Don’t hit me,” someone shouts, “I am an anti-communist!”
    “I couldn’t give a damn what kind of a communist you are!” a policeman answers as he raises his baton.
    The first time I told this joke was when a German group visited the Knesset and met with German-born members, including me.
    They went out of their way to praise Israel, lauding everything we had been doing, condemning every bit of criticism, however harmless it might be. It became downright embarrassing
    , since some of us in the Knesset were very critical of our government’s policy in the occupied territories.
    For me, this extreme kind of pro-Semitism is just disguised anti-Semitism. Both have a basic belief in common: that Jews – and therefore Israel – are something apart, not to be measured by the standards applied to everybody else. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.palestinechronicle.com/gunter-the-terrible/#.UpTfHMSsh8E

  2. Avraham Burg said:

    “This fascination of Jews and Germans existed before the Holocaust and has remained today, with a role change. But there is an enormous fascination in the relations between the two.”

    The very distinguished philosopher Hermann Cohen, one of the founders of the Marburg School of Neo-Kantianism, wrote in 1915, in the middle of the First World War:

    “So we as Jews, too, are proud to be Germans in this epic era, in which the fate of nations is at stake, for we have become aware of the task that should convince all our fellow Jews throughout the world of the religious significance of Germanness, of its impact, of the legal claims that it exerts on Jews among all the nations of the world, both for their religious development and for all their cultural activity. Thus we feel ourselves to be German Jews, conscious of a central cultural power that has been called upon to bring the people of the world together in the consciousness of a messianic humanity, and we may reject the reproach made against us [as Jews] that it is our historical nature to corrupt the nations and tribes of the world. When it again comes to a serious effort at international conciliation and really well-founded international peace, our example may properly serve as model for recognizing German predominance in the deepest domains of all intellectual and spiritual life. And without this willing precondition, we do not believe that there is a sufficient foundation for genuine international understanding.”

    (From “Germanness and Jewishness” (Deutschtum und Judentum):


    Cohen believed that the global mission of Judaism ran parallel to this “Germanness”. Accordingly he was deadset against Zionism that he saw as a return to provincial nationalism. He died, however, long before the Nazis came to power.

    Amos Elon has discussed these same themes in his history of German Jewry (“The Pity of it All”). In his very interesting interview with Ari Shavit he maintained that ‘there was nothing fundamental in the relationship between German culture and German Jewry that absolutely dictated this appalling end.”

    He left Israel out of despair about what was and is happening there. He saw there nothing but the “crappiest colonial regime” he knew of and made the interesting point that in all rather long lived forms of colonialism there had been an attempt by the coloniser to co-opt the elite of the colonised, there had also been intermarriages. In Israel there is nothing of this all.


    Does this mutual fascination still exist? Not among the German population at large, I think. Israel is spoiling it all. The Forward recently published some figures:

    “Even as Germany’s conservative Christian Democratic government reaffirms its historic commitment to a special relationship with Israel, public opinion polls show that 62% of Germans overall view Israel negatively. A 2012 survey by the German magazine Stern found that 59% of Germans described Israel as “aggressive.” Seventy percent agreed that Israel pursues its interests without consideration for other nations.”


    This will have no direct electoral results, I think, because for very few of these people will Israel be a vote clinching issue. Nevertheless Israel puts the “thinking Left” for a difficult problem.
    The Forward puts its finger on it. Guilt about the recent German past steers it in one direction. Revulsion about Israel’s domination and oppression of the Palestinian people into another.

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