die israel lobby

Back in the day, US American imports to Germany included chewing gum, caffeinated sparkling beverages, popcorn, jeans, and democracy. A few decades later Jimi Hendrix did his last gig at the Love-and-Peace-Festival on a small German island. The 1980s brought Germans ALF (which actually was way funnier in its German version), during the 1990s German teens donned Seattle-style chequered flannel shirts paired with 501s and the appropriate footwear (no, not Crocs). The first decade of the twenty-first century CE apparently has bestowed Germans with another treat from their overseas friends, namely the infamous Walt and Mearsheimer.

It may not come as a surprise to many that Walt and Mearsheimer have gone to Germany to promote their book The Israel Lobby (for detailed discussions on both gentlemen as well as the book, please refer to previous posts on the topic). The German Jewish weekly Jüdische Allgemeine reports in its 22 Nov 2007 edition on Walt’s and Mearsheimer’s presentation of their book in Berlin, hosted by the DGAP (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik = German Society for Foreign Politics). Questioned by a lady from the audience about how ‘normality’ in Israel was supposed to come about if it was under constant threat, Walt denied that such a threat existed and that Ahmadinedjad was not intending to destroy Israel and reasoned that since Mao and Stalin had neither made use of an atomic bomb, Ahmadinedjad wouldn’t either. So far so familiar.

A new aspect came into play though when German political theorist Thomas Risse from Freie Universität Berlin pointed out that the cover of the German version of the book was decidedly anti-Semite – the cover displays a US flag with the stars being Magen David – and that the very graphic element had been used in the Nazi-propaganda book Kräfte hinter Roosevelt (= Powers behind Roosevelt, 1942). Mearsheimer would not accept that point of criticism as that cover were in accordance with the authors, who still considered it apt, had not had any knowledge of the Nazi-book, and the resemblance were a mere coincidence; this were anyhow another instance of inappropriate accusations of anti-Semitism.

But we shall not prove to be bad hosts over here in Europe. Afterall, as a Cologne saying goes, “Jeder Jeck ist anders” (= every fool is different). I’d kindly ask Walt and Mearsheimer to seize the opportunity and visit one of the large Christmas fairs starting up all over Germany this coming weekend. There they may ponder over potato pancakes with apple sauce, mulled wine, gingerbread and candyfloss (cotton candy to the Americans) why even in Germany people would not just let them promote their book unquestioned. Ah, and when did German men stop wearing those spiked helmets anyway?


* = We’ve got them!


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  • Maybe they will be making a pilgrimage to Mönchengladbach to pay homage to the memory of Goebbels?

    Sadly, the antisemitism of the book only starts on he cover, and continues through til the end of the book.

    If you will be in Berlin for Shabbat I hear that Rabbi YBocher will be giving a drasha/ talk at the Berlin Yeshiva!

    Later on Sunday, he will be speaking in Hamburg!

    Having heard Rabbi Ybochur teach I can tell you it is not to be missed!

    If you need the details send me an email!

  • Thanks, Rabbi, but I’m somewhat far away from either location, but I’d appreciate to hear about any interesting events in these parts. There was a Chanukka fair in Berlin last year, but there hasn’t been announced one yet for this year.

    “Die” is just the feminin nominative article in German, but it certainly is ironic..

  • Hi froylein ,

    I am a regular reader of jewlicious and like this blog very much.
    I always thought what a pity that there is not such a vibrant jewish live and such a blog here in Germany.
    Reading your post and seeing the “Kölsche Grundgesetz” I was wondering where are you writing from???

    Greetings from Cologne


  • Das habe ich mir fast gedacht.
    Würde mich interessieren, wer du bist.
    Vieleicht kennen wir uns ja sogar.

    Kannst du meine email-adresse sehen?
    Dann kannst du mich ja unter StudiVZ oder Skype finden.


    Daniel W.

  • Kennen tun wir uns kaum, bin immerhin noch ne Stunde von Köln entfernt (rheinaufwärts) und im StudiVZ (und ähnlichen Seiten) wirst du mich auch nicht finden…

  • Daniel, melde mich später bei dir, bin nur auf’m Sprung und gleich wieder weg zur Arbeit. Ok?

  • Babelfish:

    Daniel, announce me later to you, are only auf’m jump and equivalent again away to the work. OK?

    Obviously Babelfish is useless.

  • Ah, what I wrote was that I’d get in touch with him later as I was just in between things and rushing out (idiomatic: auf’m Sprung = “on the jump” in between two errands / duties and pressed for time) as I was off to work soon.

  • You post in German. Are these people saying anything terrible?

  • Are you afraid of zee Germans???

    Don’t worry this is no conspriacy to takeover jewlicous.com
    I was just happy to see a german-jewish-blogger here 😉

    I will post in in English from now on. (But this would be a good practice for your jiddish-skills.)