Variousness 7

28Sep09

// UK: The BNP pose as anti-war. The EDL doesn’t add up. German lessons for Labour.

// US: Counterpunch and the blood libel. Glenn Beck and left-right confusion.

// Poland: Legacies of “Judeo-Bolshevism”.

// Germany: Die Welt 19.09.2009, via S&S

Henryk M. Broder fears that Leon de Winter‘s latest book “The Right of Return”, which is a best-seller in the Netherlands and has just been published in Germany, will be dismissed as a morbid vision of Israel’s future. “Since years now, debate has shifted from whether Israel should withdraw to the 1967 borders, to whether it was a mistake to settle Israel in Palestine at all, and whether this mistake can be reversed. Parallel to this debate is a creeping public delegitimisation of Israel that is growing in intensity – not through Hamas, Hezbollah or the Iranian president, but through clever, sensitive and critical European intellectuals, whose comments can be read as seismographic signals of public opinion. Only recently, the Swedish writer Henning Mankell denied Israel’s right to exist.”

Die Zeit 17.09.2009 via S&S

“Pacifism aimed at feathering one’s own nest is a moral sleight of hand,” writes author Thea Dorn in response to the prominent German writers who demanded in Freitag a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan (more here). She’s particularly incensed by philosopher Richard David Precht (in the Spiegel) and author Martin Walser (in the Zeit), who argue that the mission “negligently” endangers Germany’s security. “On the one hand, the West as a whole is considered such a dubious culture, that we deny it the right to defend itself with force against those attacking it with out any scruples whatsoever. At the same time, we in Berlin, Cologne and on Lake Constance would like to be able to enjoy our red wine in peace. And I wonder why the current brand of pacifism is always flanked by its flipside, anti-Americanism. Precht, for example, characterises the American Way of Life as ‘the 20th century’s most successful weapon of mass destruction’.”

Jungle World 04.09.2009 via S&S

Bernd Beier talks to Karl Rössel, the curator of the Berlin exhibition, “The Third World in the Second World War”, which has been the subject of heated debate since being banned from the Werkstatt der Kulturen because it documents the collaboration of the Muftis of Jerusalem with the Nazis. Rössel focuses on victims of war that have received little recognition to date, but he also says: “For the sake of historical probity, we should not pretend that the world was full of anti-facists, freedom fighters and victims, when there were collaborators right across the globe, as well as avowed fascists. The SS had willing recruits even in Third World countries, the Wehrmacht had an Arab legion and an Indian one too, and there were countless politicians from various continents who were in exile in Nazi Germany.

// Austria: Der Standard 28.08.2009 via S&S

Why have the Austrians remained so conspicuously silent about the September 1?, Adam Krzeminski and Martin Pollack ask in this Austrian paper. “The war, which started on 1 September 1939, with the German invasion of Poland, was also an Austrian war. It was not only fought in far-off lands, in German-occupied territories, in the depths of Russia, but also on the so-called Heimatfront – where concentration camp prisoners were forced to work before the very eyes of indifferent locals.”

// Canada: Litigiousness and antisemitism: Antonia Zerbisias versus Irwin Cotler.

// Commentary and theory: Antoine Garapon on The imaginary pirate of globalization.

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