War is always a terrible condition and associated with great suffering. In fact, Germany is once again busy dealing with the alleged international crimes of Turkey and Russia while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues unchecked with his state terrorism and tramples on international law and human rights.
While peaceful and more-than-understandable protests by Palestinians against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel have been denigrated and even threatened with deportation. On another side, violent PKK sympathizers can act freely against Turkish citizens in Germany – as last happened at Hannover Airport.
I would like to make it clear that I consider demonstrations of all kinds to be important and, in part, also useful, but what is currently happening in Germany is indebted to the government.
When it comes to the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB), it criticizes what is considered normal by the Central Council of Jews in Germany or Christian churches – unbearable, as it is fueled by the nature of the hatred of Islam in Germany. I still remember very well when the Gaza genocide took place, Zionist associations in Germany called for solidarity demonstrations and prayed for Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers. This is certainly not a task for an organization in Germany that acts as a public corporation. What is tolerated by Zionist and some Christian organizations in Germany, on the other hand, receives criticism when it comes to Muslims. Zionist propaganda organizations have known their way around for years with war propaganda – something to which they do not take offense in philosemitic Germany. We cannot accept that without contradiction.
Terrifyingly, Islamophobia has found a way to be lived out in what better way than the self-fabricated enemy of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan? Of course, one certainly does not have to support everything that is currently happening in Turkey, but let's not forget that there was a coup attempt not too long ago.
Imagine that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been threatened here. What would have been called for, emergency decree laws? Can't you understand Erdoğan's anger if he has to watch as in Germany, many suspected Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) putschists ask for asylum and it is granted?
Of course, every persecuted person should have the right to file an application, but each individual case must be scrutinized to see if it deserves asylum.
If there are proposals on the other side to brand and expel Muslim refugees as anti-Semites, if they do not want to recognize Israel's right to exist or protest the Jewish state and burn imitation Israeli flags, then something is wrong in the state of Germany.
While Netanyahu is being hailed as the bulwark against Islamic terrorism as a star of the Judeo-Christian community of values, Israel is becoming more involved in the EU and is being rewarded with association agreements for international crimes. The EU has tempted Turkey for decades but still has no membership.
Merkel in particular played a more than inglorious role in this sad game. She blocked Turkey's accession again and again, with reference to a "privileged" partnership. What does privileged mean when you have to stay outside?
However, Merkel readily used Turkey as a refugee depot. Is there another country that deals with refugees in a similarly exemplary manner?
Just think of Israel, which threatens to expel or deport African migrants. While Israel offers a home to all Jewish immigrants in illegally occupied Palestine, Palestinians are denied this legal right of return, and the international community is silent on this injustice. Even if there is arms business running with both Turkey and Israel, the states are not treated equally.
In fact, one should not underestimate the danger of generously supplying arms to states such as Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt. However, by contrast, Turkey is a NATO partner and should therefore be treated differently.
Of course, we should ask ourselves how it is compatible with our democratic values to arm peshmerga, extremists,
Zionist occupiers and questionable states like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which one cannot assume are due to human rights issues.
German tanks and weapons have long been used in questionable and despicable missions.
Just think of the Israeli occupying state to which Germany sells ample taxpayer-funded armaments.
The German rationale is misused to cover up its own failure. As a German citizen with Jewish roots, I oppose philosemitism, the exaggerated interest and respect for Judaism that has replaced anti-Semitism in Germany. My big fear is that in the near future we will not only experience hatred of Islam, but also the hunt for critics of Israel.
Especially Germany, which repeatedly speaks of its special responsibility because of the past, does not do it justice, but again pleads guilty to supporting a terrorist regime only 73 years after the liberation of Auschwitz. Let us not forget that there were no Muslims who exterminated Jews, it was German Nazis who committed these atrocities. If fascism, racism and apartheid are spreading in Israel today, then we must resolutely defend ourselves. If the descendants of Holocaust survivors in Israel abuse the Holocaust, then we have to defend ourselves as Diaspora descendants and shout that it is not in our name.
Erdoğan should continue to work even harder for Palestinian interests, urging Muslims around the world to stand with the persecuted and forgotten minority. I would wholeheartedly wish that the Muslim world led by Erdoğan could finally muster a voice to create the pressure Palestine needs to be released from illegal occupation.
It was a good start when Erdoğan named Israeli crimes after the outrageous Jerusalem decision by Trump, but that was just a start and a drop in the ocean; now let's see action. The people of Gaza and illegally occupied Palestine are waiting for a powerful voice and help.
Jerusalem is the symbol of the capital of Palestine and the entire community of states should finally support that. Only then can peace be established.
It is not the stirring of anti-Muslim resentment that will ultimately be the solution, but a fruitful coexistence of religions. Islam has a long tradition and should not be littered with hatred.
Thus, Turkey's Operation Olive Branch should not degenerate, but as the symbol of the olive branch, it should lead to peace. That is what war-weary and suffering people of the region deserve.
If Turkey moves further away from the West, then the West should understand it as a warning. Russia, Turkey and Iran should become Germany's allies as opposed to such racists as Trump and Netanyahu.
We need a new understanding in the struggle for our common values.
*German activist and journalist.