On 13 June, German magazine BILD published an about a German documentary on European antisemitism. The documentary was made for the German-French public broadcaster ARTE, which now decided it does not want to broadcast it. German broadcaster WRD is still debating whether or not to broadcast it. BILD however, has put it online for 24 hours, because the magazine decided it has to be shown. What is it about?
“The hatred for Jews in Europe that is both rampant, and partly accepted, for which there are only two words: disgusting and shameful.“
BILD ascertains that the documentary, paid for by viewer fees, has been discussed in the highest echelons of politics for weeks. Without citizens being allowed to watch or form their own judgment about it. BILD’s suspicion is that the documentary isn’t shown because it’s not politically correct. It shows that an antisemitic view of the world exists in wide parts of society and that this view staggers the imagination.
Germany, BILD argues, is certainly not the country in which antisemitic prejudices are to be glossed over, concealed or whitewashed.
“Our historical responsibility obliges us to confront the foul ideas, that this documentary uncovers. To do this, all must know whom we are dealing with.“
Because fighting antisemitism is of overwhelming interest to Germany, BILD decided to show what could not be shown on television.
The article asks various people to comment on the documentary. Ahmad Mansour, Middle East expert and publicist calls it:
“In terms of content, it’s wonderful and the film is long overdue… I find it strange that, of all broadcasters, it is ARTE, a renowned public broadcaster, that has a problem with showing reality.“
Prof. Michael Wolffsohn, historian, says:
“Congratulations! This is, by far, the best, cleverest, and historically deepest, at the same time unfortunately highly current, truest documentary on the subject.“
Two examples from the documentary should suffice to show both the breadth of the documentary’s scope and the depth of the problem. On 23 June 2016, the Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was invited to speech in the European Parliament. In his speech, he claimed that:
“one week ago, rabbi’s in Israel have demanded their government to poison our water, in order to kill Palestinians.“
He called this “an incitement to mass-murder.” Which it would have been, if it were true. With this accusation, Abbas echoed a long-standing, antisemitic trope of Jews ‘poisoning the wells’. Abbas later retracted the accusation, saying he was “misinformed.”
Nevertheless, in the documentary, a similar accusation is leveled at Israel by the Human Rights Commissioner of the German left-wing party ‘Die Linke’, Annette Groth, who warns of “all the chemicals, tons and tons [used by Israel] to destroy the water supply in Gaza,” and how dangerous this is for everyone. There is no evidence for this assertion either.
Curiously, for then EU’s Parliamentary President Martin Schulz, this vile antisemitic trope was no reason not to call Abbas’ address “inspiring” and to tweet that ‘observation’. Or to insist that the Palestinians were still an important partner for “financial and economic co-operation.”
The next example comes from the Parisian suburb of Sarcelles. Home to 13000 Jews that lived there among Christians and Muslims, things came to a head in the summer of 2014. Algerians took up the call:
“Palestine, come equipped with mortars, fire extinguishers, bats. We will take over the Jewish quarter for our own!“
Around 3000 ‘demonstrators’ lit a Synagogue on fire, while screaming “death to the Jews!” Since then, young Jews in Sarcelles live in fear:”when we stray into the other quarter, we risk our lives.” More and more families leave for Israel, the mayor says:
“What a failure for this Republic and country!“