JLH has translated Henryk Broder’s latest essay, and sends this explanatory note:
Since shortly after I started translating for GoV (ca. 2010), Henryk Broder has been my lodestar for how sensible Germans — Jewish and Gentile — think about things. This short essay shines a light on the split in Jewish communities in Germany (and perhaps in many other countries) between those who lean left and prefer to avoid confrontation, and those who — like Broder — say what many Germans, both Jewish and Gentile, do not want to hear.
The translated essay from Mr. Broder’s website Die Achse des Guten:
And the Discomfort Increases
by Henryk M. Broder
March 31, 2019
When I first heard the name Meron Mendel I thought it was a figure from a novel by Sholem Aleichem or Isaac Bashevis Singer, like Herman Broder in Enemies — A Love Story. But no, Meron Mendel really exists. The education researcher, cyclist and director of the Anne Frank Educational Institute in Frankfurt has now outed himself on Twitter as the voice of the “Jewish Community.”
It is inconceivable what damage Jewish rightists like Weinthal & Broder are doing to the battle against anti-Semitism. Discomfort at their defamations is increasing in the Jewish community.
Discomfort? Already, in a number of Jewish communities, Friday Shabbat services begin with a plea: “…and let Weinthal and Broder disappear in the floodwaters of the Red Sea!” That is more than discomfort. Nonetheless, I would like to know more. Which communities are they? And how is the discomfort expressed? Does the Cologne community wish to abjure my Bar Mitzvah? I have been thinking about joining the Berlin community, so that they can throw me out. Can I hope for herem, as the first Jew since Spinoza? That would be too funny!
Now it must be allowed that perhaps Meron Mendel, like Nero, didn’t mean it exactly as he said it, or didn’t say what he meant. Just recently he warned against “removal of citizenship from captured German ISIS fighters.” A similar precedent had been the Nazis making broad use of this tool. In several waves, a total of over 39,000 persons — mostly Jews — were deprived of their citizenship.
This innocent and completely harmless analogy caused come discomfort among his followers. They accused him of equating the expatriation of Jews, including Albert Einstein, with the treatment of terrorists, who had voluntarily joined ISIS.
No, that wasn’t it. We know now, since Freud, that besides the Ego and the Superego, there is also an Id. And it sometimes takes its own path. To borrow from Fassbinder: That’s how he thinks.
Mendel, you are a tembel.
P.S. Stupidity and goofiness do not always appear together; but usually do. On Sunday, Dr. Meron Mendel found himself having to explain again what he meant and/or didn’t mean. He tweeted:
I have never maintained that Jews are responsible for AS. Nevertheless, when anti-Semitism agents @BlumeEvolution must spend all their time defending Weinthal & Broder, it hinders their work.
In this case, AS does not stand for Alice Schwarzer or Axel Schulz, but anti-Semitism. Mendel the tembel is at pains to confirm that he never maintained Jews are responsible for AS. Really? The sentence: It is inconceivable what damage Jewish rightists like Weinthal & Broder are doing to the battle against anti-Semitism can definitely be understood in this context to mean: The massively overworked Mr. Blume could accomplish even more, if he didn’t have to spend all his time defending against the calumnies of Weinthal & and Broder. That is, Broder and Weinthal are hindering Mr. Blume in the complete development of his powers, because he is spending all his time defending Weinthal and Broder.
|1.||Benjamin Weinthal, co-author with Broder of an article in The Jerusalem Post on “Managing Anti-Semitism in Germany”, wrote another article in the Wall Street Journal on “German Cultural Appeasement.”|
|2.||Old Testament term interpreted variously as a ban, sentence of extinction, etc. Cf. the Viking designation of an offender as a “wolf” — outside the protection of society. Note also the resemblance to Arabic haram.|
|3.||Rainer Maria Fassbinder, influential film producer and director. A quote in which he encapsulates the reflex thinking of the anti-Semite.|
|4.||Israeli street slang for idiot or moron.
Photo credit: Steen.