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HomeMeinungThe FOCUS column by Jan Fleischhauer: The Jewish or the aggro-Arabs: We...

The FOCUS column by Jan Fleischhauer: The Jewish or the aggro-Arabs: We have to choose whom we want to keep

The Federal Chancellor congratulated Holocaust survivor Margot Friedländer on her birthday. On Sunday, Ms. Friedländer turned 102 years old. On this occasion, Olaf Scholz wrote on Twitter or X, as the platform is now called: “Margot Friedländer is aware of the beginnings of the barbaric regime in National Socialism and what followed from it. It is a great fortune that she now lives in Germany again and fills the ‘Never again’ with life.”

No idea which idiot manages the Chancellor’s Twitter account. But one could not have summarized the situation of the Jews in Germany better: We are happy that they are here. But for the fact that the horror of the past does not repeat itself, they have to take care of it themselves. It would certainly be much better if it were not left to a centenarian to fill “Never again” with life, but rather that the German state would take care of the matter.

The “red line” has been crossed in many places

Politics is overflowing with assurances that they will decisively oppose any form of anti-Semitism, there is no shortage of that. There is zero tolerance for anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli incitement, says the Interior Minister, that is “the red line.” The Chancellor also tirelessly repeats the importance of the protection of Jewish life to him. And then? Then, over the weekend, hordes of enthusiastic Hamas fans parade through German city centers and show what they think of the red line.

You can also just let it go, that is also an option. The uproar is limited so far to cities where the proportion of people of Arab origin is particularly large – Berlin, Essen, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf. There was also a Palestine supporters’ march in Munich. But before someone waves the IS flag at Marienplatz, a lot still has to happen.

It’s not hundreds of thousands who are standing on the streets shouting loudly. In Essen, there were 3000, in Berlin 8000. It does not look like the caliphate will come tomorrow.

Whom do we want to have in Germany – and who can go?

But a clear message comes from the demonstrations: If we could, we would take a completely different tack. And the addressee is also clear: first it’s the Jews, and only then the others.

It is no coincidence that Starbucks branches are being attacked. The Starbucks founder, Howard Schultz, is of Jewish faith, which is enough to spit on the windows and insult the guests. Everyone understands the signal: Do not feel too safe!

I am in favor of seeing and describing things as they are. In the end, it is about the question of whom we want to keep in Germany: the Jews or the anti-Semitic troublemakers. This is what it comes down to.

Former Justice Senator of Hamburg, Till Steffen, and current managing director of the Greens in the Bundestag, has given an answer that would also be mine: “The Jews should stay, the others should leave.” If I’m not mistaken, many people in Germany think similarly.

I have not seen any surveys on how Germans feel about the “Free Palestine” demonstrations. But I suspect that when they see the excited young men, as they climb the Neptunbrunnen in front of the Rotes Rathaus in Berlin to raise their flag, many will say to themselves: “We have nothing to do with these people and don’t want to either.”

For our Jewish neighbors, it isThreat already there

Even worse than a state of law that looks away is one that makes announcements without any consequences following. What does the young Hamas supporter learn when he decides to laugh in the face of the federal government and roam the block with like-minded people?

That his violation of the admonitions from Berlin will have negative consequences for him and his buddies? No. He learns that he can do as he pleases without hindrance. Whether he waves the Taliban flag or spits on Starbucks customers – it remains just an announcement, to take action now, but truly enforce it and not tolerate such things anymore.

I recently came across a quote from Helmut Schmidt: “If you want to reliably protect the rule of law, you must also be prepared to go to the limits of what is allowed in the rule of law.” SPD Chancellor Schmidt said this after the attack of the RAF liberation fighters on the German embassy in Stockholm.

We are not yet at a point where the state is challenged by hostage-taking or attacks. So far, the threat to overthrow the state is limited to wild announcements.

But for people who are Jewish, this sounds threatening enough. When the Jewish community in Munich asks the editorial staff of the “Jüdische Allgemeinen” to send the newspaper in a neutral envelope, so that it is not apparent who the subscribers are, one can get an idea of the prevailing mood.

So what is the solution? One can restrict the right of assembly if there is well-founded belief that crimes will be committed during a demonstration. Penalties for incitement to hatred (Section 130 StGB) and the approval of criminal acts (Section 140 StGB) can be increased. One can also mobilize the police.

What speaks against forming a cordon and providing the demonstrators for personal identification, when prohibited symbols are shown as in Essen?

Water cannon use has a sobering effect

These days, I received an email from a police officer from North Rhine-Westphalia. Where is the water cannon when you need it, I asked in a comment on “Welt TV”. He was happy to answer the question, he wrote to me: “In the carport.” Most operations leaders are of the opinion that water cannons no longer fit the times. I was a student in Hamburg and attended a series of left-wing radical demonstrations. I can only say that the use of water cannons has a quite sobering effect on the participants.

It is about carrying the mourning onto the streets, says the Muslim community. If it were about expressions of sorrow! In Berlin, video recordings showed a man who appeared at the demonstrations with a self-made “Free Palestine” sign. However, he had added a small addition to the slogan: “Free Palestine from Hamas”. That was enough to deny him access. Hardly had activists set eyes on him, they rudely shoved him aside.

It is still too early to bring back the slogans about the racist German majority society. But it won’t be long before it is. In a number of respected newspapers, the first texts can be found on why the real anti-Semites are not among Muslims, but among right-wing radicals. The beginning was made by “Spiegel” editor Özlem Topcu with an editorial that the real danger comes from right-wing extremists.

Exactly now the federal government wants to facilitate naturalization

In the “taz”, the left-wing newspaper project from Berlin, an author went so far as to suggest that Germany does not have a problem

Concerning Islamic anti-Semitism, we have dealt with it because we were too lenient in immigration from Arab countries. No, on the contrary: There is so much anti-Semitism among Muslims because we did not naturalize people quickly enough. Hatred of Jews as a reflex against overly restrictive immigration policies: that is at least original.

The federal government aims to facilitate naturalization. The corresponding bill was initiated by the cabinet in August. Perhaps in light of recent events, it should be reconsidered whether this is really wise. It is also possible to consider revoking citizenship, certainly. But it is much easier to show someone the door who does not yet have a German passport.

As Till Steffen said: The Jews should stay, the others should go. If we do nothing more, it will turn out exactly the other way around.

Read all columns by Jan Fleischhauer.

Readers love or hate him, Jan Fleischhauer is indifferent to few. One only needs to look at the comments on his columns to get an impression of how much what he writes moves people. He spent 30 years at SPIEGEL, and in early August 2019, he switched to FOCUS as a columnist.

Fleischhauer himself sees his task as giving a voice to a worldview that he feels is underrepresented in the German media. So, in the case of doubt, against herd mentality, clichés, and conventional thinking. His texts are always enjoyable – perhaps it is this fact that provokes his opponents the most.

You can write to our author: Via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @janfleischhauer.

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