Tag Archives: nazis

Germany, get a grip.

17 Jun

There is a very specific and simple reason why I am not interested in benefiting from my German citizenship and returning to the country I partially grew up in. While life may be cheaper and easier than it is in Israel, the German mentality is one I profoundly abhorr. Of course, a disclaimer of “But I know not all Germans are like that” goes here, and then the pin that bursts the bubble: exceptions confirm the rule. The widespread mentality of Germans is what made the Nazis possible.

There, I said it.

Did you know that in Germany, you can get sued and pay high fines for flipping someone off? That you can even go to prison for a short time for saying something like – gasp – “asshole” or “wanker”? I hear that you can be fined as much as 700 Euros for flipping someone off in traffic.
What I’m saying is, that Germany’s obsession with politeness and political correctness is not only ridiculous, but tragic because when was the censorship of free speech at its peak in Germany? 1933 to 1945. And remnants are still clung to in modern German society. Clung to for dear life.

Germans claim that they – and their country – are tolerant and open-minded. However, it is typically German to complain about an incorrectly/illegally parked… bicycle. It is typically German to feel bothered for the sake of feeling bothered, because the object of the bother “should” bother you. Even if, upon second thought, it does not because it could not possibly. Eyes roll, noses exhale exhaustedly, when someone just talks loudly on the subway. What’s it to you?
The truth is that Germany’s obsessively squealing “We’re tolerant!” suggests that this is a symptom of denial. How likely are you to see a slim woman going around crying out, “I’m not fat!” as opposed to a fat woman? Which black person is less likely to be offended when you say “Nigger”, the one who scoffs, shrugs, and moves on, or the one who, in a high-pitched voice, keeps reassuring you that he is not offended? Now who’s more likely to run around screeching “I AM TOLERANT!!” – the one who truly is tolerant and hence, tolerates their situation rather than crying out, or the one who only wishes he were (perceived as) tolerant?

Yeah, thought so.

Germany is not like flyover states in america, where millions of children die from the horrible disease known as “Potty Mouth” each year. Potty Mouth is an infectious disease where a “dirty word” is picked up by the child and starts poisoning the child’s brain. If the child utters the word or or more so-called dirty words are heard by the child, the child’s brain will slowly and painfully turn spongiformous and the child’s skull will explode due to the subcranial swelling having nowhere to escape to. This is also why american mothers tend to get extremely aggressive and hysterical when they see words such as “shit”, “fuck”, or “cunt” – or wose, “penis” – on Internet platforms such as Facebook and deviantART. Let us not dwell on the fact that a child below the age of 13 has no business being on or reading either site.
However, Germans are not that prone to “Potty Mouth”. Swearing in German can actually be quite the experience, only topped by Hebrew sweet-talk in its brutality. My, those consonants; you could sand a factory worth of pallets with those consonants integrated in those swear words. “Verdammte Scheiße, du dreckiger Hurensohn; ich schlag dir die Fresse ein!”.

Now, let’s get serious again. No, dear american mothers, your children will not be harmed by exposure to dirty words. Relax and stop telling the world to raise and babysit your spawn for you. Thank you.
Back to business. Germany’s desire for politeness and political correctness is adorable, errr I mean, admirable. Those words, don’t they look just the same! However, the degree to which Germany enforces this, does not strike me as sane or reasonable. German law and law enforcement, as well as German online community administrators who are held legally liable for member content published on their platforms, act like kindergarten teachers, constantly reprimanding and punishing people for slips of the tongue that are deemed offensive.
I appreciate there is a legal limit to what you can say in Germany as Germany takes hate speech and incitement especially seriously, as well as slander or libel. This is a good thing. We do not need people flocking to the streets chanting “Death to (whomever)”. We do not need people getting away with destroying someone’s livelihood by speaking ill of them.
But beyond that, impersonal insults being policed by law enforcement is deeply disturbing. Why is the German assumed to be incapable of coping with being called an asshole or being given the finger? How can the German take solace in the fact that he can have a subpoena sent to their neighbor for saying “Kiss my ass”? The nature of law is rooted in the mentality of the people. This is why different countries have different laws and moral standards.

In Germany’s case, the tolerance that is so proudly paraded around, is only skin-deep. The truth is that Germans would still rather not be confronted with overt Jews, because, trigger! I guess Jews in Germany should wear “Trigger Warning!” on their shirts. Blacks, well, they get the whole inclusiveness pity party. “Look, we embrace a black person in our midst!”. It does not really NOT matter that a person in Germany is black, Muslim, or gay. Germans tend to “accept” you “in spite of” what you are. They tend to think they are being progressive and un-Nazi by feeling and spreading the feel of, an obligation to tolerate. They squeal hysterically at the slightest hint of racism, homophobia, islamophobia, or antisemitism, but not protectively so much as dutifully. And that’s infantile. It’s like the snitch in elementary school running to the teacher to report Susan saying a bad word.

Expressing tolerance and politeness as an obligation rather than a conviction, isn’t only disingenuous, it is dangerous. A pointless obligation that earns you nothing other than skin-deep approval from people whose opinion needn’t concern you, sounds like a heavy weight to bear.
And dear Germans hysterically shivering in a corner every time rightwings flap, by censoring and outlawing them you are making them stronger. Does it really matter what political movement outlaws what party? And does silencing people for their political beliefs, eradicate or ease those beliefs, or does it reinforce the additional belief that they are at war with a hostile system? If I were a neo-Nazi and German law tried to silence me, I would not sit down and say, “Oh gee, you know what, they’re right!”. No. I would grow in my hatred because my liberties to express myself – I’m not talking about violence, vandalism, or arson – are oppressed for the sake of the protection of who I deem my enemy.

Policing speech silences it, but when you mute the TV show, it is still running. If you obscur it by chaning channels, it is still airing. If you scramble the network, the show is still happening at the studio. And Germans just love to mute and scramble and rock back and forth in the comfort of denial. They will feel good about themselves for policing someone who said something unpleasant.

Case in point: on a forum that has a thread for angry rants, people still can’t fully express their anger unless they do so in that typical German social language: very cuddly. Like, “Hi you lovelies, I’m so sad. Like, y’know?”. It’s hard to translate. Germans insist on “Ihr Lieben” even when addressing strangers on the Internet. God forbid they may appear cold or uncuddly. Boochieboo.
So, this angry rants thread. I tell of an encounter with a woman who tried to kill a baby by smoking next to the newborn when she could have stood elsewhere. At some point, that same woman insulted me racially, and so I told her – as self-quoted in said thread – to “take her racist Nazi ass out of my country”, and I may also have described her as ugly. Note the woman was not on that forum. I found myself banned for using the words quoted above.
Another time I found myself banned when I asked an antisemitic Muslim woman, who constantly attacked me for living in Israel and being one of those “cruel Jews”, where she got the Cyclon-B insecticide for her balcony flowers.
In neither case do I understand what was so horrible about what I said, rather than what I was talking about. In an argument, the German tends to defend the one expressing themselves politely while saying or representing horrible things, rather than the one who talks in a crude manner but is making the better points. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to stumble upon a scenario where a person would get silenced for shouting abuse at a child molester because the latter is expressing themselves in a meek, polite, and conscientious manner while the other person says, “You’re such a sick fuck, I hope you rot in hell”. I can actually guarantee you that on an online forum, the moderators would reprimand the latter by pointing out a violation of “etiquette” through crude language, while the other person, well, they may be a horrible person confessing to having done horrible things, but hey, they express themselves inoffensively…

The Cyclon-B example illustrates a great danger in Germany’s censorship of “rude” expression. In Germany, you can say anything and get away with it, as long as it’s expressed politely. You can slander someone and destroy their lives by politely expressing phony concern for their sanity, and you can veil your antisemitism by saying “cruel Zionists” instead of “stinking Jews”. The one who gets punished in Germany is, illogically, not the one spreading the questionable content, but the one subjecting people to crude language. However, “Fuck you”, for its meanings and intentions, is a lot less harmless than “I think this person is mentally unstable and I feel very sorry for them. They are clearly devoid of any moral notions and have been very unloved. I suggest they get treatment and be removed from the community until they have healed.” I’m sorry, but the latter undermines a person’s credibility and, in young people, may even undermine and permanently damage their confidence and their trust in themselves and their surroundings. “Fuck you” on the other hand, is something any sane person will get over within seconds unless the context makes it painful. Like getting dumped with those words.

This brings us semi-back to tolerance. No, Germans are not openly hostile, on the contrary, they are jovial, polite, and helpful when approached. While not very approach-y themselves. Save a German from breaking a sweat and feeling an obligation to be polite by not approaching them if you’re a minority person… Just kidding. Germans have this way of acting like they accept, tolerate, and embrace – as if these words were interchangeable – anyone as they are as long as they’re a good person.
Whoa.
Define “good person” and “anyone as they are”. They may be nice to the gay guy but more for a sense of being nice being the right thing to do, rather than truly believing that being gay is totally cool. They may be nice in the face of the very obviously Jewish or Muslim person, but still feel uncomfortable deep down and tiptoe so as not to offend. And who doesn’t hate feeling like one has to tiptoe? Make the cause go away! Make that person go away! They may force a smile when they see you in your green hair, 42 facial piercings, and radical idealist statement on your shirt, but they truly wish you didn’t poke at their comfort bubble looking like that.
Basically, the German creed of “Come as you are” has a small print that reads “If you fit in with the rest of us. Otherwise we’ll fake it but not call when you stop showing up”. Fitting in and being accepted/acceptable is extremely important to Germans. It’s important to all people everywhere but Germans have a way of overdoing it that is not too far removed from the Japanese. Hell, in Germany it’s considered rebellious or naughty (mostly in an approving “You’re cool, you’re noncomformist!” way) to get an eyebrow piercing or dye your hair bright red. It’s rebellious but socially acceptable because it’s inoffensive and subtle, but it’s already enough to be considered nonconformist or punk in Germany. The lady at the bakery counter may wink at you and smile like she’d smile at an experimenting child who has just entered the age of cute defiance. Because, there’s a stud on your tongue. Ooooh you’re so tough. Only in Germany. And Japan.

I understand Germany is doing all this because they’re terrified of free speech getting out of hand, morphing into hate speech, and causing a Fourth Reich to rise. However, penalizing rudeness, encouraging phony tolerance, and rewarding insincere politeness, is not the way. These things are what the Nazis did; it does not matter whether it’s the leftwing or the rightwing policing expression. This mentality is the breeding grounds for Nazi ideology. Nazi ideology is based on policing thought and speech and how and who people should interact with.
The aftertaste of Nazi Germany can only be truly overcome by sincerity. A sincere change of attitude, a sincere approach to one-another even if negative given it be harmless. Yes, “Asshole” or “I don’t like your face” is harmless. Policing what people say, doesn’t change what they think. It only adds resentment to the mix. And that’s a Holocaust waiting to happen.

Last, but not least, it is simply embarassing and dishonorable to the superiority and greatness of human intelligence when you swing the banhammer at grown-ups for using “bad words”. It’s like kindergarten, only worse. You say a bad word, you get sent to time-out, and the context doesn’t matter. Even if you quote someone else insulting you, YOU get banned. It’s like in kindergarten, really, where a kid gets intro trouble for crying disruptively after having gotten a beating from the bully.

All I’m saying is: Germany, loosen the fuck up.

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Sudanese vs. Jewish refugees

23 May

My favorite nostalgic band, Die Toten Hosen, have just reminded me of a topic that I feel needs addressing. They shared a video clip by another band, about refugees/asylum seekers and about how they really don’t want to be in the country they fled to. About how they would rather be in their home country, going about their lives, but can’t, because, bombs’n’shit.

I understand them. I sympathise. Having to run, suffer tremendous losses in the process, and leaving your reasonably good life behind, is something I’m familiar with personally, and in terms of ancestry. 

Many arguments against Israeli politics, policies, actions and inactions, are valid. As someone who loves this country, I refuse to be in denial or glorify it; I want true change and improvement so Israel can be truly great and keep the moral standards it parades about in empty words. Love is to want the best for someone. I want Israel to be better.

But there is one anti-Israel “argument” that perpetually makes me angry for its profound and inherent hypocrisy. The world is screaming at us, not in the nicest terms (racists, Nazis, murderers,…), to embrace and welcome those poor refugees from Sudan, Eritrea, and of course, the native Palestinians. It is screaming at us to be humane and warm towards those who were forced to flee their home country.

Except when these refugees are Jewish. Ultra-rightwing Zionists are propagating the lie/ideological bullshit that Jews living in diaspora, are “in exile”. They are not. Nobody is forcing you to stay out of Israel; Israel pays you to move here. Maybe their far (faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar) ancestors have been exiled, but let’s face it – if your name has been rather German (Rosenzweig, Bernstein) or otherwise non-Middle Eastern for the past 20 generations, you have very little claim on the exile pity party. A ginger Braunstein family does not originate from the Middle East, unless we go almost as far back as our ape ancestors originating in Africa, and then we can all say we’re Africans in exile. Oh my, poor Africa, all those white people “returning home”.
Are you a Jew living outside of Israel? Great, stay there, because your life over there is probably better than it’d be here. You are not in exile, stop pitying yourself over harm that has not been done to you or your family in a very long time. You happen to live wherever you happen to have been born. That is all. People have migrated throughout history, some by force, some not. Jews are no exception and have little claim on more drama or pity than others for being part of this phenomenon. Stop asking for VIP status in the history books, thank you.

However, Jewish refugees are a reality. Not the happy family from Virginia wallowing in the exile self-pity party, no, actual refugees and their offspring, having actually had to flee from actual dangers. 
Jewish refugees have come from Nazi-Europe.
Jewish refugees have been bombed out of Iraq.
Jewish refugees have fled Morocco. 
Nevermind the Jewish Ethiopians who are given hell to come here for “obscure” reasons or reasons I shall not name. For example, the fact that David Ben Gurion had been a passionate racist and white supremacist, and if he disrespected and scoffed at Arab Jews, how would he feel about these dark-skinned blacks? And the legacy of his attitude runs deep and feroceously through Israeli politics and people.

Whatever the details, Jewish refugees are a reality no less valid or tragic than Sudanese refugees or Palestinian refugees in Israel or outside, after having been forcefully removed from the land. 
My own ancestry is like so: Naeim Giladi owned a gold refinery which even earned him his original family name. He bred Arabian horses, owned vast lands, and was generally rich and respected. Actually, most Jews were in most parts of Iraq. Don’t believe the “OMG pogroms everywhere” propaganda. But at some point – let’s not discuss the identity of the launchers of those bombs – the Iraqi Jewish communities were attacked and Jews started to flee – to Israel. It had been promised to them as a safe haven. Let’s not discuss how the Arab Jews were fooled in that respect. My grandfather, his family, and the many Jews he helped cross the borders, were legitimate refugees with nowhere else to go. Just like the Sudanese, the Palestinians, or the Eritreans. The same is true for Jews who fled Nazi-Europe. 

Yet, while we are demonized for not welcoming non-Jewish refugees enough, the refugees among our own ranks are demonized for having succeeded in entering and settling in Israel. We, descendants of refugees, are not occupiers. Unless you would say the same about Sudanese refugees. You want us out, yet you want them in. But – does it matter who occupies “stolen” lands? While I don’t believe this land was exclusively owned by non-Jewish Arabs, we Israelis are constantly vilified for occupying it. So if not who you believe are the land’s rightful owners, what does it matter who comes to “steal” the land? Does it matter whether they are Jewish refugees from Poland, or Muslim refugees from Sudan? Do Sudanese have a bigger right to asylum in Israel than Polish? Why? Logic? 

Let’s simplify this:
You have a house in Palestine and 3 Arab men live in it.
The organized Zionists come and kick the Arab men out of the house.
Now, 1 Jewish refugee from Iraq moves into the house.
1 Jewish american from a happy background moves into the house to live with the previous Jew.
Then, 1 Sudanese refugee moves in to the same house to live with the Jews.
The world screams at both of those Jews equally to get the fuck out, although one had nowhere else to go and only one is there by choice, but supports the Sudanese, while all three are occupying the same house, and all three are making it impossible for the Palestinians to live in their former house.
If you’re going to hate one of these occupiers, hate occupier number 2, but 1 and 3 are there for the same reasons. So why is one to be embraced, while the other is to be demonized for the exact same reason?

Why?

Israel loves a good Holocaust

28 Apr

And I’m not singing in tune with radical anti-Israeli armchair warriors who call the situation of the Palestinians a Holocaust. No, I am talking about the historic Holocaust of 1933 to 1945. Israel loves it. It did so much good to the State of Israel. Let’s start with David Ben Gurion and the Zionist movement using the victims as an example of what would happen to you if you don’t do “the right thing” and run your stumpy legs to Israel to up the Jew count there and populate the place – how else would Ben Gurion excuse deporting the Arabs who’ve lived there before us? But even to this day, this use of the Holocaust remains popular. Now every isolated incident of a hate crime against a Jew, is used by the far right Zionists of the land, and their foreign representatives, to remind everybody how isolated antisemtic incidents were “only the beginning” “last time”. Read this book about how David Ben Gurion was actually grateful for the Holocaust, because it opened the door for him to do what he did and get away with it. Not the foundation of the State of Israel… but the methods he used to promote it.

Except, no. Isolated attacks against Jews are not a sign that another Holocaust is breathing down our necks. The recent attack in the US, and before that, in France, and wherever else, have been committed by the same kind of people who would beat up a homosexual, “stand their ground” on a black kid, or make a massacre in a Mosque. Oh wait, that last one was a Jew. They are lone nuts. Lone racists, bigots, fundamentalists, with no organization behind them other than perhaps the KKK or a similar subdued bunch of lunatics. The actual Holocaust was state-made. There were no lone lunatics who were arrested and put away for their deeds. The Toulouse shooter as any other perpetrator of a violent hate crime, have been arrested and treated like the criminals they are by domestic law and law enforcement. During the Holocaust, it was law enforcement that killed the Jews.

Which brings us to the next issue. “Killed the Jews”? Yes, six million of them who must never be forgotten. However, it is no less an atrocity what they did to the other people on Hitler’s shit list. Yet, not only Israel but the entire world love to omit them. Is the life of a Jehova’s witness, of a homosexual, a Roma, communists, or anyone else, less worthy of commemoration? Some 11 million were murdered, and more than half of them, Jews. This is true. But numbers don’t make a life more sacred or a death more horrible. Jews need to stop monopolizing the victim role.

And this brings us to victim roles, obviously. The true victims are dead. Yet somehow, Israel invests obscene amounts of money in the yearly Holocaust Memorial Day, its advertisement, its ceremonies, and its media presence. Why I appreciate something being done to pay respects to the death – speaking of paying, what about the living? I’m not even talking about the general Israeli 99% who are confronted with the daily choice between food and laundry here, I am talking about Holocaust survivors. You know, those elderly people you see going through the trash outside, their camp tattoo sinking deep into the garbage to find returnable bottles or unspoiled food. Why is the money invested in silly ceremonies that do no good other than give us the warm fuzzy feeling that the government cares about our grief, and not in the care of the survivors? So many Holocaust survivors live in poverty, and while I don’t believe that they are any more or less deserving of help than other people who have paid their dues and carried their burden, Israel does try to distinguish itself as the safe haven for Holocaust survivors. The safe haven, the place of no more fear of death. Except, mold-infested apartments where you freeze in the winter and collapse in summer, because what little money these survivors have goes into food and the very clothes on their bodies, can be just as lethal in the long run. Poverty kills. Holocaust survivors who came here from Germany, should have stayed there. Israel is not elevating their life standards, it is investing the money made by the Holocaust franchise, there, I said it, in marketing the Holocaust as another political tool. And what good are a couple of wheezing old people, when you can just use the 6 million that died for your propaganda and your sheep herding purposes? Shouting “6 million! Never again!” is just so much more powerful than showing the face of some old person who we all know is one of the relatively few survivors.

Because propaganda (“hasbarah”) is what Israel’s political activity is all about. Probably literally, because all I ever see, is moving lips, no action. Knowing that we have Holocaust survivors, doesn’t help our government, or us, to keep up the spirit that was once sincere. The spirit of unity and taking large strides forward, toward a better future with no more pogroms and a safe Jewish people. Keeping us scared of the “possible” repetition of the atrocities of Nazi Germany, is much more useful. Every Jew killed, for whatever reason, by however an isolated nutjob, is used as a poster child to keep our blood boiling so we’re ready to embrace another war or another conquest of land, or another step taken towards gradually pushing Arabs off our/”our” land. Because…
1. We “need” the land – aka to kick out Arabs – to accommodate all the Jews we so mercifully save from the Diaspora that is becoming more dangerous to live in with every passing day: every 10 years or so, a hate crime hits a Jew… When is Africa calling home African Americans? Because if we’re going to talk about minority pogroms, Jews got off easy.
2. Arabs want a second Holocaust. Or so they say. Or so some of their deranged leaders say, and sadly, the loudest voices of the public are also always those of the deranged extremists. A less intelligent, intellectual person may just think that these extremists represent their domestic majority. I do not believe this. Israel’s loud and proud military, and having the monster that is the US on our side, may help keep “the Arab enemy” in check. However… Almost without exception, Arab enemies of Israel are fundamental Muslims. These people should not be afraid of dying in the name of, and for the return of their soul to, Allah. They would have good chances at annihilating us if they were to talk a little less openly about their intentions, and just unite and bomb us already. We have some 60,000 missiles aimed at us. Where are they? The “enemy” could do serious damage to Israel, a damage well worth the risk of being annihilated in response. After all, such a death would only be a reward, it would take their souls to Allah. So why don’t they?
Probably because most of them aren’t quite that bad.

Israelis need to believe that Arabs are our main problem. Otherwise, we would start to feel our hunger, to see the relative poverty many of us live in. We would wake up to real problems, not just the poverty itself, but the ease with which it could be ended. Money we work for, goes into settlements that are dismantled a decade later, into the non-contributing ultra-Orthodox, into an excessive military PR machine, into the training of redundant soldiers (there, I said it), and into the Netanyahu family. But since sharing the land with the Arabs has never been the intention of our “founding fathers”, picking at the Holocaust wound is a great opportunity to refresh our hatred for Arabs and anyone who may not fully approve of Israel, or all of its actions and policies. Except, a Jewish life is not worth more than an Arab’s. There is no genocide happening in Gaza or the West Bank, but what is happening can still not be justified with “never again”. A bunch of militant Arabs throwing rocks and aimless missiles, are not a threat to a strong nation.

Standing still on the siren’s cue isn’t gonna bring anyone back to life. The dead don’t feel the respect we pay them. Our ceremonies are doing no good to those who were actually affected by the Holocaust, neither dead, nor living.

Summing up, Israel loves the Holocaust because:

  1. It keeps us in an angry victim-like attitude that makes it easy to excuse policies and actions that would be described as racist or dehumanizing, or at the very least counterproductive, in any other place.
  2. Dwelling on the past and the dead instead of investing this time and money in the living and the future, distracts from more pressing but complicated issues.
  3. It gives us the warm fuzzy feeling that our government is staffed with caring human beings who make sure the dead are honored. How cute. While the living starve.
  4. The Holocaust propaganda Israel is running, is great for making Jews come to Israel and provide more taxpayers, more PR, and more reasons to get Arabs off the land. Because we need it for more Jews. Nevermind that life is easier in the real West. Nevermind that before the British mandate, this land was shared by both rather peacefully… Actually, organized Zionism destroyed the peace that the same organized Zionism is now pretending to fight to re-establish.
  5. It rings nicely to have a nation built upon the ashes of a sob story, so we can all share a massive group hug of reunion and looking forward. It justifies so much, not just excessive national pride mostly expressed by semi-literate arsim with a gold chain around their necks and a random Rabbi’s poster on their walls, Arab Jews who squeal “Death to Arabs”… Who have not lost anyone in Europe… No, it justifies so much more, and even makes it feel epic. We are the dramatic, angst-ridden anti-heroes who have to do what it takes to, well, never again and shit.

Well played, Israel.