On antisemitism in german left
Couple of days ago I had a chat with a former activist of anarchists against the wall Yossi Bartal. He moved from Israel to Berlin over 14 years ago. Until recently i didn't know about his existence at all. After all he is in Berlin and i am not. The reason why he came to my attention was a shit storm around him about israelian politics and BDS. He is an activists who is part of Palestine solidarity movement in the country. However he is also a leftist.
I am not going to go in details of why some german politicians and activists started attacking him online. However the bare fact that the leftist israelian was criticized for his perspective on right wing politics in the country where he originally comes from is interesting.
In our conversation we spoke about a bunch of topics here and there, however one of the most interesting things was how antigerman movement is actually reacting to the israelian anarchists and leftists who are moving to Berlin. Those people are getting excluded not only to hold the talks in certain political spaces and projects, but also are not welcomed to come at all. Yossi personally knows at least 100 israelian who are having troubles to get involved in politics in germany due to the heavy influence of antigermans. It is really easy to be labeled as jewish antisemit if you don't reproduce the same political agenda as most of the movement. And i am talking not only about the abstract leftists obsessed with social-democratic Adorno in this country. Pro-zionist positions are extremely strong in FAU union as well as in local anarchist groups all around the country. Especially in eastern Germany.
The situation was not always like that. For example in 2000s israelian jews were still treated with certain level of respect. When i was in Berlin somewhere around 2008 a friend told me this story.
A jewish anarchist from Israel N. came to visit friend in Berlin. He knew about all this story with antigermans and wanted to check how it works. So he puts Palestinian scarf on and together with some other people head to antigerman cafe. When the staff from the cafe notice his scarf they ask him to leave. However this was already expected so N. is making a fake scandal shouting that again in Germany the jews are getting kicked out of restaurants and cafes! At the end they are allowed to stay and have their meal.
However since this story a lot of things changed. The level of aggression towards left and anarchist jews in antigerman circles rose to the extent that certain people are afraid for the physical health in certain situations.
That's where the story with antisemitism in the left circles gets real. Now the topic of how antisemitic german left is actually mostly occupied by antigerman who are trying to kick out the rest of the groups and individuals supporting Palestine. However Yossi pointed and i completely agree with him that the exclusion of the israilian jews from the leftist venues and groups is antisemitic. If you create atmosphere where the jewish activists are afraid to participate in your movement, than your movement is a fucking antisemitic piece of crap.