I’ve been wondering for days now why the current crisis is getting to me so much. I’m neither Jewish nor Palestinian; I’m German. And that may very well be part of the reason (aside from the fact that every decent person should be appalled at what is happening right now).
I have been brought up with awareness of the immense crimes my nation has committed against Jews and other ‘undesirables’. In various school subjects we’ve addressed the topic from every angle imaginable. We’ve been taught to examine propaganda, to think freely and ethically, to recognise injustice where it happens and to never allow anything like WWII and the Holocaust to happen again.
This is why I am so shocked that a nation like Israel with its historical background is taking a course that has long moved them from oppressed to oppressors. I am not saying that the crimes committed against Palestinians are directly comparable to the Holocaust; however, in principle very similar ideologies are behind this, ideologies that are inhumane and discriminating and, to me, a shock to be found in the 21st century.
I do hope that the voices against Israel’s Gaza politics are getting stronger – from outside of Israel but also, more importantly, from within. After all, there were Americans who didn’t support the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, there were Yugoslavians who didn’t condone the treatment of Kosovo Albanians, and there were Germans who opposed the Nazi regime.
Thank you for this article!