Connoisseurs of the German media will appreciate the subtle anti-Semitism in the Spiegel Online coverage of the Obama – Netanyahu summit. Of course, for well known historical reasons, the editors limit themselves to short, mincing steps in dealing with Israel, carefully lacing their coverage with even more than the usual dose of pious platitudes. Still, the thinly camouflaged “anti-Zionist” variant of European anti-Semitism that takes the form of holding Israel to a blatantly disproportionate double standard compared to her enemies is easily recognizable. For example, there are dark warnings from unnamed “experts” (Spiegel has an inexhaustible supply to fit any occasion), that the Chosen One is upset with Israel: “According to the analysis of other observers, it is finally evident that Obama no longer considers Netanyahu an ally on the path to peace in the Middle East – but rather an obstacle.” That bizarre alternative universe, in which President Obama and the Arabs are all clamoring for peace, but are constantly thwarted by Israeli intransigence, is alive and well in Der Spiegel: “’First them, then us,’ is the solution as (Netanyahu) sees it. That sounds a lot different than the bold steps Obama proposes… (he) wants to present the outlines of a comprehensive peace plan, including diplomatic approaches to Iran and Syria as well as Near East negotiations, during the state visits of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian President Abbas as well as in his speech to the Muslim world on June 4.”
Never mind that the “bold steps” Obama is proposing amount to suicide for the state of Israel. She has to go along with the “peace process,” which, as in the past, amounts to making real concessions and getting nothing in return.
The editors of Der Spiegel are as well aware as anyone that there would be peace in the Middle East tomorrow if Israel’s enemies accepted her right to exist once and for all, and stopped attacking her. As German’s, they must also be aware that her right to exist is real, and based on an historical imperative that transcends their pious phrase mongering and moralistic posing. Telling it like it is doesn’t sell magazines, though. Hate always does (see my post below on in-groups and out-groups). Yesterday, the preferred flavor of hate in Europe was anti-Americanism. I’ve included some representative excrescences thereof that appeared in the German media from time to time, lifted from David’s Medienkritik, currently an inactive site, but with a great archive documenting anti-Americanism in the German and European media.
Today, it is anti-Semitism. Expect more of the same in Der Spiegel as long as the editors think they are just yapping along with the rest of the dogs.