Editorial for “idea-spektrum”
Magazin of the information service of the German Evangelical Alliance
The explosion of two car bombs in front of synagogues in Turkish Istanbul has left people bemourning 23 dead and 300 injured. As usual in the wake of such an attack, investigations by security forces and speculations by the public are gathering pace. The whole international public being in the meantime well-versed in matters of terrorism, fingers were already pointing in the right direction by the time al-Qaida officially claimed responsibility for the bloodbath.
Unusual, and for some surprising or even shocking, was a new cause for Islamic terror which Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom placed his finger on: the anti-Israel attitude of the Europeans. The exact wording of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s statement is as follows: “Both of these terror attacks must be seen in the context of the latest wave of anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish incitement in the Arab world, as well as in the light of the latest anti-Israeli and antisemitic comments which have been made in certain European cities.
Silvan Shalom is getting to the heart of what many Israelis are feeling: Europe is leaving us alone in our fight against terror. Europe has learned nothing from history. Europe is misunderstanding the new beginning of a new generation in a new millenium as the opportunity to provide a new platform for a deep-seated antisemitism. There has been no shortage of signals in this direction in the past days.
The Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis denounced the Jews as the root of all evil. Every fifth Italian is of the opinion that the Jewish State should cease to exist. The EU survey which described Israel as the biggest danger for world peace is viewed in Israel as just the tip of the iceberg.
Of course one can wave off the statements coming from Jerusalem by dismissing them as a once-off emotional aberration, as German politicians do. One could also, however, use them as an opportunity for self-examination. It is an alarming symptom that we Germans, as far as the Jews are concerned, not only carry the stigma of being Hitler’s willing henchmen, but are also celebrated and revered in the Arab world as the “Führer’s” worthy heirs. That Germany is the most pro-Israel EU country is undisputed. However, the log in the brother’s eye of doesn’t make the splinter in one’s own eye any less troublesome.
Could it be that our categorical “no” to every form of suicide terror is less clearcut than our desire to get on well with everybody? Or do we believe deep down (perhaps subconsciously?) that there is, after all, some justification in training one’s own children to be suicide murder machines? It’s not our motives or our objective and spotless doctrine which count in the end, but – at least that’s how Jesus saw it – “by their fruits you shall know them!” That is why I would like to encourage you to stand up for the values which you hold dear from the Word of God, with unmistakable and unabashed forthrightness, so that at least the Church of Jesus Christ in Germany projects an uncompromising statement into the world.
Translation by Nicola Vollkommer