In response to the German government’s declaration of “war on the Palestinian people”

By Ibrahim Frihat 

Source (Translation from Arabic)

Demanding an end to the genocide in Gaza in a demonstration in Berlin (6/1/2023 Anatolia)

The German government’s initial response to the events of October 7 was to suspend financial aid to the “Palestinian people.” Despite the strangeness of the situation, when this government targets the “Palestinian people” with its decision, and not a specific political faction or governmental or non-governmental organization, it did not raise many questions at the time, given that Germany was not the only Western country that usually sided with Israel, and also talking about financial aid, and this is it’s right, it gives it to whomever it  wants and withholds it from whom it does not want.

What the German government has no right to do, three months after the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, is to announce its participation, and not just its complicity, with Israel in the genocide it is committing in Gaza by joining the International Court of Justice as a third party to cover up the war crimes it is committing. The most extremist Israeli government, and allowing it to continue without deterrence from international law will stop it from committing its crime. Thus, the German government declares war on the Palestinian people, because genocide is being committed against the entire people, and not a specific political faction, which calls us to ask: How can we understand this behavior of the German government, especially the motives behind it?

Let us acknowledge, at the outset, that the position of the current German government headed by Olaf Schulz and affiliated with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is not consistent with the historical position played by all previous German governments belonging to this party, as they made great efforts to be part of the solution, and not a partner party. In the conflict, it maintained a relative balance in which it supported Israel, but took a clear position regarding achieving the destiny of the Palestinian people and establishing their independent state on the 1967 borders, and an article by the representative of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (affiliated with the ruling party SPD) in the United States, Net Dethlefsen, in Foreign magazine Police on January 14, greatly illustrates the current deviation of the Schulz government from the historical positions of the party when he was governor.

Three factors may help us understand the position of the current German government. First, the traditional explanation that is always given for Germany’s bias towards Israel is its feeling of guilt towards the Jews and the Holocaust during World War II, which the German government carried out against them. It is an important explanation that tells us how German governments work to compensate for what was committed against the Jews, but it does not tell us how the feeling of guilt can cause violations by the German government against another defenceless people (the Palestinian people) who are suffering under occupation and are currently being subjected to genocide in order to be the victim of the victim. Thus, the German government is slowly slipping into becoming a partner in a new genocide, instead of atoning for its guilt in the first genocide.

Germany did everything possible to compensate for what it committed against the Jews in the 1940s, including apologies, financial compensation, and enacting laws that prevent even research into the Holocaust, which was not done by other countries that committed misdeeds and crimes against other peoples, such as Britain, which caused the catastrophe and suffering of the Palestinian people with the Balfour Declaration. The ill-fated (1917), for which it has not even apologized for more than a hundred years.

Secondly, there is another reason, perhaps represented by the “racism of the German government” and its treatment of other people with different degrees of rights and affiliations to humanity. Looking at the history of Germany itself, it is noted that genocide, unfortunately, is rooted in its history, like the genocide committed by (Kaiser) Germany. Colonialism against the Herero and Mama peoples in Namibia (1904 – 1908), in which more than one hundred thousand citizens were killed, because of their revolution against the German colonizer. Germany did not acknowledge the “genocide” it committed in Namibia until 2015, that is, more than a hundred years later, to apologize for it, and it did not provide compensation for the genocide it committed except 1.1 billion euros, paid over 30 years in the form of development aid, and this all that is. It seems here that there are degrees of victims, as this is the price of the extermination of the black Namibian and recognition after a hundred years, and the extermination of the brown Palestinian is not only without a price, but also contributes to it by providing cover for its perpetrators, the fascists of the Israeli government. As for atonement for the guilt of genocide of the white Jew by Schulz’s racist government, it will continue forever, even if this requires contributing to a new genocide, the price of which will be paid by the “brown Palestinian.” Here it is worth remembering that the main tool used by colonial Germany in the genocide in Namibia was “starvation” and “thirst” of the rebel people, and it is one of the tools that Israel uses today to starve and thirst the Palestinian people in Gaza, as its Minister of War, Gallant, stated when he said : No food or water to Gaza.

Third, there may be an ideological factor affecting the position of the German government, as the target of the current genocide is a Palestinian Arab people whose confrontation is led by an Islamic movement, “terrorist” as the German government considers it, as opposed to “the only democracy in the Middle East,” as Western governments in general like to call it, despite its implementation. A system of hateful racial discrimination that has been categorized by international human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and Israeli others, such as B’Tselem. The war, at the present time, in the view of the German government, is a war of “Islamic terrorism” against “democracy” on Western standards, which requires participation. The German government committed this genocide. This position carries implications not only for the Palestinians, but for the people of the region as a whole, how the German government understands it and what price it is worth to it.

The German government, therefore, declares war on the Palestinian people and not the other way around. Therefore, the Palestinian people have the right to respond to this unjustified war by the racist Schulz government. In the first place, the Palestinian Authority is required to sever its relationship with the current German government in order to be deterred from its aggression against the Palestinian people, and to become more in line with the historical positions of the SPD governments on the Palestinian issue. Here we must mention how the boycott of the Palestinian Authority contributed to the former US President, Donald Trump, in thwarting his ill-fated deal that targeted the entire Palestinian issue.

Palestinian civil society organizations have an important role to play in this issue, especially since a significant number of them have a liaison with the German government and the institutions emanating from it. At a time of genocide to which the Palestinian people are being subjected, there is no place for ambiguity, flattery, and similar positions. The racist Schulz government must hear the position clearly and unambiguously, and demonstrate in front of German representations not only in Palestine, but also in other Arab countries where demonstrations are permitted. Such as Lebanon, Tunisia and others.

The economic boycott of German products is one of the options available to Arabs and Palestinians, and let us remember that the German government’s racism and ideology include Arabs and Muslims in general, and therefore the Arab popular level is demanding that measures be taken against the German government’s racism, in order to preserve its human dignity, as it forces this government to deal with all people. On the same level of human belonging, and not who is first degree, and who is other degrees.

Finally, dialogue must be kept open at various levels until the German government realizes the evil of its actions and its sinful bias in favor of genocide against the Palestinian people. It is necessary to remember that the Palestinian people are not against Germany or its government, but are defending their existence and continuity!

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