Du bow digest american edition march 19, 2012


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An American Jewish - German Information & Opinion Newsletter

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Du bow digest american edition march 19, 2012

  1. 1. AN AMERICAN JEWISH – GERMAN INFORMATION & OPINION NEWSLETTER dubowdigest@optonline.netAMERICAN EDITIONMarch 19, 2012Dear Friends:Germany had a good day on Sunday. Their new President, Joachim Gauck, wasformally installed on a wave of popular approval. Click here to read about it.http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,822131,00.html How he will doin office, of course, remains to be seen but he is an outstanding individual.If nothing else, the Greek bailout seems to be underway (at least for the moment)and that has relieved some of the anxiety on the subject that was sweeping acrossGermany – as well as our own stock market.There are three state elections coming up in the next little while and they may verywell begin to show what sort of a national government will be elected in 2013.The Jewish community in Germany, like others around the world, is gearing up forPassover. My guess is that it will be bigger and better than before with the Jewishpopulation in the Federal Republic now at somewhere between 220,000 and250,000. When the Wall came down in 1989, less than a quarter of a century ago,there were only 28,000 Jews in West and East Germany combined. Germanycertainly did not get passed over by the emigration from the former Soviet Union. Itis now the third largest Jewish community in Europe after France and the UK.On the subject of the holiday, let me wish all of you a very Sweet Passover. Enjoyyour families and friends at the Seder but be careful in the following week about toomuch Matzohbrei. It will take you all year to work off the extra weight.On to the news…IN THIS EDITIONA CRITICAL ELECTION – The largest state election has major national implications. 1
  2. 2. UNLOVED – Being the “rich uncle” does not engender much affection.A THUMBNAIL SKETCH – Who really is Chancellor Merkel?OLD NAZIS – Old does not mean forgotten.NEW NAZIS – They adopt a new tactic.GERMANY’S MOST POWERFUL PIRATE – No sword or blunderbuss. Just alaptop.EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN POLICY: A GENUINE NON-STARTER – The failureto gel.TROUBLE FROM A MAJOR FIGURE – An important political figure calls Israel“apartheid”A CRITICAL ELECTIONIn Germany, state elections have great importance. Unlike the U.S. where we have50 states, Germany has only 16. When the government of its largest state collapses,and new elections have to be called (Remember! This is a parliamentary system),the implications go far beyond the boundaries of the state itself.Spiegel On-Line recently reported, “…the parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia,Germanys most populous state, unanimously voted to dissolve itself and triggernew elections after the ruling coalition made up of the center-left Social DemocraticParty (SPD) and the Green Party unexpectedly failed to pass a budget, by a singlevote.The state has been led by Governor Hannelore Kraft since 2010, when her SPDparty replaced a coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkels center-right ChristianDemocratic Union (CDU) and the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP).The SPD had been ruling as part of a minority government with the Greens, whichtogether hold 90 of the Düsseldorf-based parliaments 181 seats.The failure of the budget measure, which would have seen the state accumulatingmore debt, came as a surprise for two reasons. First, the FDP, which has 13 seatsin the parliament, had been expected to abstain from the vote, thereby practicallyguaranteeing its passage. And, second, the FDP had the most to lose if a failure topass the budget triggered new elections. With its support sharply declining, newelections could mean the FDP would fail to even win the 5 percent of the votesneeded to secure parliamentary representation. 2
  3. 3. The governments collapse signals even more trouble for the ailing FDP, which isalso facing the prospect of losing parliamentary representation in the northern stateof Schleswig-Holstein and the southwestern state of Saarland, which will both soonhold elections.Such defeats could threaten the national standing of the FDP -- and, with it, Merkelsruling coalition.The important factor here, of course, is that it weakens or possibly even destroysany chance that the FDP will be able to gather enough strength in 2013 to get seatsin the Bundestag (A party must get at least 5% of the vote to be seated). It furtherdecimates the chances that Chancellor Merkel will be able to keep her coalition withthe FDP in tact and thereby lessens her chances to remain as Chancellor. She stillmight be part of a “Grand Coalition” with the Social Democrats (SPD) but keepingher current coalition would be impossible. Considering the fact that she is Israel’sbest friend and further considering that elements in the SPD are less friendly (seebelow the article “TROUBLE FROM A MAJOR FIGURE”) a debacle in North Rhine –Westphalia would have important implications far beyond NR-W.To add a little fuel to the fire, there is a state election next Sunday in the state ofSaarland. The Free Democrats look like they won’t get the needed 5%. Click here toread about it. http://www.thelocal.de/politics/20120319-41413.htmlUNLOVEDOne of the strongest emotions carried in Germany’s post World War II collectivepsyche is the desire to be loved. Taking into consideration what Hitler brought downon the rest of the world (and on Germany as well); the German people have done agreat deal to try to win back the love and affection of those directly and indirectlytouched by Nazism.Perhaps, they have tried more than any other nation in history to right a wrong,something very difficult to do. Hundreds, maybe thousands of helping type programs(financial and otherwise) throughout Europe, Africa, etc. have been established. Inaddition, through their political foundations they have tried to market democracy and,of course, they have paid millions upon millions to Holocaust survivors and to Israelas a way of trying to make amends for the destruction of European Jewry.Germany has kept its nose to the grindstone and has become the strongesteconomy in Europe. It is the fate of all rich uncles to attract relatives in need but alsoto bring forth from those seeking handouts a certain amount of hostility. It hashappened to the country that only wants to be loved.It certainly happened with Greece. Spiegel On-Line reported, Greeks have gonefrom being big fans of Germans to comparing them to Nazis dead-set on using 3
  4. 4. financial means to establish the "Fourth Reich." What was once the type ofexaggeration mostly found in caricatures has now become a genuine,widespread and worrisome belief among Greeks.Stathis Stavropoulos is tired of constantly drawing evil Germans, but he does itagain and again, slightly varying the theme each time. In his drawings, the well-known Greek cartoonist has dressed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in sinister-looking uniforms, placed her in a tank and depicted her frightening little Greek boys.Stavropoulos portrays Horst Reichenbach, the German head of the European Uniontask force, as a sort of officer of the Wehrmacht, Germanys World War II army,controlling puppets with strings as he laughs sardonically. The puppets bear thefaces of members of the Greek government. The word "Reich" in Reichenbach iswritten in capital letters.The nasty German is once again wearing a uniform in Greece these days, takingbabies away from mothers and counting the beans in fasolada, the white bean soupconsidered a national dish. "What should I do? Thats just the situation now,"Stavropoulos says. Even the New York Times recently published one of hiscartoons, which Stavropoulos characterizes as "more tragic than funny."Although similar reminders of Germanys Nazi past have occasionally appeared inthe French, Spanish and British media, Germans have rarely been depicted ashideously as they currently are in the Greek media.Images of Chancellor Merkel with a grim facial expression now appear almost everyday on the cover pages of Greek newspapers. The caricatures depicting her as asharp-toothed bloodsucker or as a strict schoolmaster with a raised index fingerseem almost benign compared to the harsher depictions of her wielding a leatherwhip and wearing a Swastika armband.There is only one other person who can compete with Merkel for the position of themost-reviled figure among Greeks at the moment: German Finance MinisterWolfgang Schäuble, who is sometimes shown wearing an SS uniform.The vitriol isnt just on display in the tabloids. Journalist Georgios Trangas deliverslive tirades against the "German occupiers" every night on Extra 3, an Athens-basedtelevision station. In his show "Choris Anästhetiko" ("Without Anesthesia"), hecriticizes the "barbaric measures" being imposed on his country "by Berlin."The radio station Real FM was recently ordered to pay a fine of €25,000 ($34,000)for "abuse of the Greek language" after Trangas used obscenities to berate Merkelin two live broadcasts.There is a lot more in the article which you can read by clicking here. But by this timeyou get the flavor of what’s going on. 4
  5. 5. http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,817995,00.htmlMarc Young, the Editor of The Local.de., an on-line journal I quote quite frequently,has joined in with a German perspective. He wrote, “Are Germans the newAmericans?Thats what some commentators are asking as Germans face growing animosityfrom their fellow Europeans amid the seemingly endless eurozone debt crisis.Because just like the United States in many parts of the world, Germany is findingitself unloved yet indispensable at the same time.The Germans fork out their hard-earned cash to bailout bankrupt Greece and howare they thanked? Angry mobs in Athens burn their flag and Greek newspapersbrandish pictures of Chancellor Angela Merkel dressed up as a Nazi.But its not just the Greeks raging against what they see as German-mandatedausterity measures. The beleaguered Irish moan that Berlin is trying to establish aTeutonic dictatorship. Others around the Continent just grumble the Germanscurrent economic success is somehow at their expense.Its gotten so bad that the German government this week decided to take a page outof the American foreign policy playbook by starting a campaign to win hearts andminds around Europe.The Foreign Ministrys 13-page paper sees greater communication with thecountrys neighbors as the key to assuaging fears of German dominance. But Berlinis also planning to counter the poor perceptions of Europes handling of the crisisaround the rest the world.Will it work? Probably as much as the Bush administrations ham-fisted PR effort topolish Americas image in the Middle East after the Iraq War.Instead of trying to spin European public opinion, Germany would be better served ifits government officials simply stayed on message.For example, just days before parliament backed a second rescue package for Greece,Merkels interior minister made counterproductive comments that the country shouldbe encouraged to ditch the euro and go back to the drachma.Or perhaps the Foreign Ministrys pricey PR campaign should simply be directedtowards influencing members of the chancellors own cabinet.My guess is that the hostility brought about by having to seek help, even though self-help is in short supply, will continue and, perhaps, even get worse. However,Germany’s economic policy will be based on political and economic factors not nasty 5
  6. 6. emotion. Of course, emotion has a great deal of influence on politics so we shouldnever rule out its impact. While it all works itself out, German patience is called for.in the near future. We’ll see how much of it they have. Stay tuned!A THUMBNAIL SKETCHIn this newsletter I often mention Chancellor Merkel and, of course, everyone knowswho she is. However, I often wonder whether my readers know anything about herprior life. I guess it’s pretty well known that she came from East Germany but howdid such a non-politician become Chancellor and stay in office, thus far, for sevenyears.I came across a short DW article which spells out her rise from being a Ph.D inphysics to being the most powerful woman in Europe – maybe even the mostpowerful person. The article notes that she is, “Not very telegenic, undogmatic,highly pragmatic - these are some of the phrases often used to describe the Germanchancellor.She is all that, but what should also be obvious is that she is great politician. Sheknows how to lead and maneuver. To get the whole story you’ll have to read thearticle which you can do by clicking here. http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15794765,00.htmlOLD NAZISHitler promised the German people a “thousand year Reich”. It didn’t work out as heplanned but he did leave them a legacy that may, indeed, last the promised tencenturies – that of the shame of Nazism.Since the end of World War II right thinking Germans have tried to see what theycould do, in some way at least, to alter the popular image of every German being aNazi. As noted above, successive German governments have paid billions inrestitution, they have warmly embraced Israel and the Jewish people as best theycould and, through their political foundations, they have tried to market democracyaround the world. In addition they brought some sort of unity to Europe by initiatingand backing the EU and, thereby, diminished to almost zero the possibilities of waron the continent.Producing a “new Germany” does not wash away the history of the “old Germany”particularly in Germany itself. The Nazi period, especially for historians, is like adeep wound with a scab which they cannot keep themselves from picking at.Recently, Der Spiegel, one of Germany’s most read magazines published a five partarticle about the early days of the Federal Republic and how many members of theNazi Party (which, of course, was outlawed) became high ranking officials in the new 6
  7. 7. government. It reported, “After World War II, West Germany rapidly made thetransition from murderous dictatorship to model democracy. Or did it? Newdocuments reveal just how many officials from the Nazi regime found new jobs inBonn. A surprising number were chosen for senior government positions.Ten days before Christmas, the German Interior Ministry acquitted itself of anembarrassing duty. It published a list of all former members of the Germangovernment with a Nazi past.The Left Partys parliamentary group had forced the government to come cleanabout Germanys past by submitting a parliamentary inquiry. Bundestag document17/8134 officially announced, for the first time, something which had been treated asa taboo in the halls of government for decades: A total of 25 cabinet ministers, onepresident and one chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany -- as postwarGermany is officially known -- had been members of Nazi organizations.The document revealed that Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger, a member of theconservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) who governed Germany from 1966to 1969, had been a member of the Nazi Party ever since Adolf Hitler seized power.According to the Interior Ministry list, German President Walter Scheel, a member ofthe business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP) who was in office from 1974 to1979, had been a Nazi Party member "from 1941 or 1942."…six decades after the Nuremberg Trials against the leaders of the Nazi regime, anew attempt -- the first official one, at that -- to come to terms with postwarGermanys Nazi past is now underway. Now everything has to come out.Throughout the former West Germany, investigations are digging deep, extendingall the way down to the foundations, seeking to answer a fundamental question: Justhow brown -- the color most associated with the Nazis -- were the first years ofpostwar West Germany?I think Der Spiegel has done a great service by printing this in-depth set of articlesso that a younger generation of Germans (as well as many others including youngAmerican Jews) can have a genuine look at the beginnings of its post WW II (andcurrent) German government. Transparency aids understanding greatly and genuineunderstanding leads to right and proper kinds of thinking. Incidentally, and closing onthe subject, the American government, in its cold war against communism back inthose days encouraged and backed the new German government. Of course, itknew the backgrounds of all the major players and yet… Maybe someday we’ll getto the bottom of our own role. Enough! The whole thing is very depressing!To read the Der Spiegel articles click herehttp://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,810207,00.htmlNEW NAZIS 7
  8. 8. The neo-Nazi NPD Party has started to develop some new ideas to gain adherents –it has gone into ecology! Pretty novel? Well, Germans are very “into” ecology. (Let’ssee if I can get it right this time) Willie Sutton, the famous bank robber said herobbed banks because that was where the money was. Well, the neo-Nazis are intoecology because that is where the people are.DW wrote, “Theyre into organic farming, oppose GMOs and worry aboutendangered species. Experts say neo-Nazis are increasingly cashing in on themesof the environmental movement to attract new supporters."Environmental protection should be inherent to cultural progress." Thats astatement that could easily be attributed to any environmentalist group. Instead itcomes from the National Democratic Party (NPD), a far-right but still legal Germanparty, and its another sign of how right-wing groups are increasingly latching on toenvironmental topics.The connection between right-wing extremism and environmentalism is not new, butexperts believe the growing trend represents a real threat, because it helps pushextremist views into the mainstream.Two recent publications have responded, seeking to educate the public byexplaining whats behind such efforts, and debunking certain lines of reasoningwithin them[A Rhineland-Palatinate government] pamphlet examines nearly every facet of theNazi-green connection, including overpopulation, resistance against geneticallymodified organisms and endangered species protection.It presents quotes from the NPD, and then carefully picks apart their arguments.For example, it reveals certain activist rhetoric against overpopulation as beingbased on a definition of a pure German race.The green neo-Nazis empathy for endangered species is linked to a concern that"pure" Germans are becoming ever more rare, according to the pamphlet.However…DW reported, “Germanys highest appellate court for criminal and civil cases ruledthat hotels can refuse service to right-wing extremists.The Federal Court of Justice said that although hotels have the right to refuseservice to guests based on their political orientation, they cannot retroactively cancelbookings for this reason. The case arose when the spa hotel Esplanade in theeastern German state of Brandenburg refused to honor a booking made by the 8
  9. 9. former head of the extreme right-wing National Democratic Party (NPD), Udo Voigt,in 2009.The hotel had argued that Voigts polarizing political views were not reconcilablewith its goal of offering an "excellent wellness experience" to all of its guests. Voigthad booked a four-day stay with his wife before the reservation was canceled by thehotel. He subsequently sued Esplanade for 7,500 euros ($9,915) on the grounds ofdiscrimination.The Federal Court of Justice ordered the cancellation of Voigts booking reversed forthe period in question since it was retroactive, but at the same time said that a hotelis fundamentally "free to decide whom it accepts and whom it does not."Judge Wolfgang Krüger, a chairman on the court, had said in October that the case"raised unusually difficult legal questions." One of the questions was whether or nota hotel, like an airport or a stadium, is a public space open for everyone.Although Article 3 of Germanys constitution states that nobody should be subject tofavorable or unfavorable treatment on the basis of religious or political views, thecourt said this principle does not necessarily apply between private people andcompanies.Not being a constitutional attorney I’m not sure whether the U.S. Supreme Courtwould hand down the same sort of ruling. However, Germany is not the U.S. andgiven Germany’s history the Federal Court of Justice (in my non-lawyerly opinion)made the right decision.GERMANY’S MOST POWERFUL PIRATEGermany’s most famous pirate does not have a galley, a cutlass or a black eyepatch. In fact his only weapon seems to be a laptop. I have written before about theFederal Republic’s most interesting new political party, the Pirate Party. It nowseems to finally have a head man or, at least, someone considered “powerful”Spiegel On-Line reports, “Martin Haase doesnt have to give any hard-hittingspeeches at party conferences, nor does he spend time at board meetings or inback rooms to hone his power. When the 49-year-old professor wants to engage inpolitics, he just opens his laptop and logs in to Liquid Feedback, the Pirate Partysonline platform for discussing and voting on political proposals.For hours at a time, the political newcomers (the Pirates first formed in Germany in2006) discuss their partys goals, and each member has the opportunity to useLiquid Feedback as a platform to promote his or her positions -- which can rangefrom the Pirate Party fielding its own presidential candidate to the appeal to 9
  10. 10. deescalate the conflict with Iran. It isnt always easy to secure a majority for a givencause on the site.Until Haase intervenes, that is. The linguistics professor has a sort of virtual alliancebacking him on Liquid Feedback. Up to 167 fellow party members have periodicallydelegated their vote to him on the site, which is more than any other Pirate Partymember can claim. Polls show the Pirate Party enjoying the support of up to 7 percent of votersnationwide. It has secured seats in the parliament of the city-state of Berlin, and in afew weeks it could also enter the parliaments of two other states, Saarland in thewest and Schleswig-Holstein in the north.Many voters arent quite sure what exactly the Pirates stand for. Perhaps its openand straightforward participation in the political process will attract more publicsupport. And its possible the party will only become attractive through careers likethat of Haase, who became arguably the most powerful Pirate without even holdingan office in the party.The Pirates call their political approach "liquid democracy," meaning that for themeverything flows, and there is indeed something fluid about the way they reachconsensus on the Internet. Once gained, though, influence can disappear just asquickly.There is more to the article which I will link below. I am the first to admit that I do notquite understand the program of the Pirate Party. It’s hard to figure out. Perhaps it issomething like the Tea Party or the Occupy Movement but it doesn’t appear to beleft or right. It seems to be focused on more direct involvement of citizens (especiallyits own members). I think many people just sloughed it off. However, it hasrepresentatives in state legislatures and has a national following of 7% of voters.That should not be cavalierly dismissed. In any case, Prof. Haase seems to be avery interesting person and, who knows, he might become a real power personsometime in the future. If you’re interested, you can read about him by clicking here.http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,818683,00.htmlEUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN POLICY: A GENUINE NON-STARTERTwo years ago the EU decided that it should have a unified foreign policy. Beforeironing out all the problems that trying to get 27 independent nations to agree onanything might bring about, the EU set up a foreign service called the ExternalAction Service (EAD) and appointed a “foreign minister”, Lady Catherine Ashton ofGreat Britain to the post with the title of “High Representative for Foreign Affairs andSecurity Policy”. Lady Ashton’s greatest problem is (and was) the fact that most(all?) of the countries were not willing to give up their independent views on mostimportant matters. As far as I could tell (and I tried to follow her career as best I 10
  11. 11. could) about 90% of what she has had to say was critical of Israel and the way it washandling the Palestinian problem.DW recently reported, “EU foreign ministers are concerned about the blocs role onthe global stage. During a meeting in Copenhagen, the debate focused on the EUswaning influence and its foreign policy towards Syria and Iran.A closer look at the blocs diplomatic services was to be on the agenda when EUforeign ministers met for two days of informal talks in Copenhagen: establishing jointembassies abroad as well as making better use of the fledgling External ActionService (EAD) - at least according to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.When asked by reporters at the outset of the gathering about her choice of topics inthe face of mounting violence in Syria, Ashton - who has been in charge of the EUsnew external action service since its inception two years ago - was unperturbed. TheEU, she said, has expressed a joint point of view on Syria and was trying to pushdiplomatic efforts to solve the crisis.Ashton faces quite some criticism of what is perceived as her lack of initiative.French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe criticized her diplomatic efforts, calling forbetter policy coordination. "We must improve the workings of the European externalaction service and the way they mix with diplomatic efforts of union members," hesaidPolands Minister for Europe, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz on the other hand, urged morepatience. "Dont forget, the EAD is still a tiny baby, it has to grow and become morevisible and stronger." Finlands Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja declared it is notAshtons fault, nor is the EAD to blame - its the member states, whose willingness tocooperate is waning."What we are actually losing is relevance. Who listens to the EU?" Tuomioja said.German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he was content with Ashtonswork, but concerned about European policies becoming more national. He warnedthat Europe could only assert itself worldwide if it continues to develop further. Inorder to strengthen common ground, Westerwelle called for a European president,elected by the people, and a European constitution. He brushed aside objectionsthat such projects were far in the future. "We should start this discussion now - if 500million people are involved, itll take a few years."In my opinion the possibility of a European President is just not in the cards. Even ifsuch an office was established, the holder would as powerless as is Lady Ashton. Ithink Finland’s Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja has it right, “Who listens to the EU?”As long as the strong countries such as France, Germany and the UK are not willingto give up their foreign policy independence having a high Representative and an 11
  12. 12. External Action Service is useless. They might be able to deal with a few non-controversial problems but the big stuff is going to be handled in Paris, Berlin &London. If anyone “listens to the EU” it’s only because there is agreement in thosethree places.Of course, Lady Ashton can continue to be critical of Israel to get a few headlines.Frankly, when she started out I was concerned about her troublesome role. I’m notanymore. I treat her pronouncements as static – nothing more!P.S. If you think I am critical of Lady Ashton you should read Tom Wilson, ResearchDirector at the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy, where he also heads theTransatlantic Affairs Project. Writing in The Times of Israel he is stronger in hisdistaste for the Lady than I am and he feels that the EU foreign policy generally isbankrupt when it comes to Israel. Click here to read his thoughts.http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-moral-bankruptcy-of-european-foreign-policy.TROUBLE FROM A MAJOR FIGURECriticism of Israel in Germany normally comes from the extreme left. The moderateextreme left (I know I’m splitting hairs) camouflages its discontent in pro-democracystatements and other language that appears “progressive” and freedom loving.Rarely (Never?) do we hear the leader of one of the two major parties refer to theIsraeli government as an “apartheid regime”. Unhappily, that came to pass justrecently, of course, immediately followed by an apology.The Local reported, “Germany’s Social Democratic Party leader Sigmar Gabriel hasapologized after calling Israeli policy towards Palestinians an “apartheid regime”following a visit to Hebron in the West Bank.Gabriel, one of three possible Social Democratic challengers to Chancellor AngelaMerkel in next year’s general election, later admitted he had used a “very drasticformulation,” but said that he was only describing the situation as experienced bypeople in the town."For Palestinians this is a lawless zone," Gabriel wrote on his Facebook page. "It isan apartheid regime, for which there is absolutely no justification."He had previously met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PalestinianAuthority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and wrote about his desire to see a stop toIsraeli settlement expansion.He said it was clear to him that the apartheid comparison was an extreme one. “ButPalestinians experience exactly that in Hebron in their situation. The drasticdescription is what I, and not only I, thought of during the discussions and tour inHebron.” 12
  13. 13. But he apologized to Israel for the comparison. “If my formulation led to themisunderstanding that I wanted to put Israel and its government on the same levelas the old apartheid regime in South Africa, I am sorry," he said. "I did not andexplicitly do not want to do this, as this comparison would be more than unfair toIsrael and would downplay the old South Africa.”He said he had simply tried to express the anger he felt even as a supporter ofIsrael, at what he had seen the Palestinians experience in Hebron.Gabriel was immediately denounced by CDU politicians as well as Jewish leaders inGermany and, perhaps the matter will die down. However, I hope it is not forgotten.It may come to pass that Mr. Gabriel will become a Chancellor someday. Whileapologizing for (perhaps) misspoken words what he truly believes down deep isanother matter.I think it goes without saying that there are many in Germany that have the samesort of feelings about Israel. Should Gabriel become Chancellor, Israel, the GermanJewish community and the rest of us will have our hands full.*********************************************************************************************See you again in AprilDuBow Digest is written and published by Eugene DuBow who can be contacted byclicking hereBoth the American and Germany editions are posted atwww.dubowdigest.typepad.comClick here to connect 13