While such deep thinkers as Susan Sarandon and Roger Waters denounce tiny Israel, for daring to defend itself so fiercely against the Hamas murderers, the noted German philosopher Jurgen Habermas has come out foursquare for the Jewish state’s military response. Among the thinking classes, his words carry weight. More on Habermas’ statement on Israel, Hamas, Germany, and antisemitism, can be found here:
Leading German Philosopher Jürgen Habermas Declares Support for Israel, Opposition to Resurgent Antisemitism
by Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, November 15, 2023:
One of Germany’s most storied political theorists has issued a statement supporting Israel’s military response to the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7, decrying as well the surge of antisemitism in Germany during the intervening period.
The current situation, created by the cruel attack by Hamas and Israel’s response to it, has led to a cascade of moral and political statements and demonstrations,” Jürgen Habermas observed in the statement published on Monday on the website “Normative Orders,” which is devoted to philosophy and social theory. As well as Habermas, the scholars Nicole Deitelhoff, Rainer Forst, and Klaus Guenther all endorsed the statement.
“We believe that with all the conflicting views that are expressed, there are some principles that should not be disputed. They underlie the well-understood solidarity with Israel and Jews in Germany,” the statement continued….
The statement also urged Israel to observe the “principles of proportionality” in its response. However, the authors were in no doubt that the Hamas pogrom was carried out “with the declared intention of eliminating Jewish life in general,” adding: “Despite all the concern for the fate of the Palestinian population, however, the standards of judgment slip completely when genocidal intentions are attributed to Israel’s actions.”
The statement emphasized that “Israel’s actions in no way justify antisemitic reactions, especially not in Germany. It is intolerable that Jews in Germany are once again exposed to threats to life and limb and have to fear physical violence on the streets.” Postwar Germany’s commitment to preserving both Jewish life and a secure existence for the State of Israel “is fundamental to our political life,” the statement asserted.
Commenting on the statement, the Italian columnist Ricardo Canaletti said that it was “difficult to overestimate Jürgen Habermas’ contribution to contemporary thought.”…
Canaletti noted that when “Habermas claims that the Federal Republic of Germany is also based on respect for the integrity of a state of Israel, he is saying something that in Italy, in a month of war, we haven’t heard yet.” He argued that Italy, like Germany, needed to base its postwar existence as a democratic republic on an awareness of its fascist period, which involved “racial laws, the hunt for Jews, and the political alliance with the Third Reich.”
Canaletti reminds his readers that Italy too had its infamous “leggi razziali” (Racial Laws), its own history of persecution and murder of Jews during the Fascist period, when Jews were rounded up and sent to death camps in Poland, and yet this part of Fascist Italy’s history is often overlooked by Italians themselves, who identify murderous antisemitism only with the Nazis. Canaletti thinks that if they were made keenly aware of such events, they would place the defense of Israel among their government’s highest priorities.
In Germany, Habermas’ statement on Israel, his insistence that Israel must be supported, and that its military response has in his view been proportionate, will mean a great deal to the thinking classes.
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