Although I'm cut off the Internet for the time being, I am following in the traditional media what is turning the collective German knickers in a knot right now.
No it is not the high unemployment rate, the general, and generally poor, state of the economics, nor the question how we will be able to go on funding a deluxe (And any German who has NOT suffered first-hand experience of the British NHS please shut up here!) health system. Neither of this. It is the German distress about and responsibility for the Jews, their manners, performance and conduct and how embarrassed we are if they are leaving a bad impression. We call that: "Our special relationship with Israel".
Here is my biased summary of the general mood in Germany, that of the man in the street, the politicians, the lobbyists, and, of course, the media who provide us with all this. If you think I'm exaggerating, you're wrong.
We are against Nationalism
We Germans are against nationalism. Look where it lead us! We learned our lesson! 70 years ago it was "Jews get out TO Palestine", which was a great mistake. Now it's "Jews get out OF Palestine!" As it ought to be. Zionism is, after all, the Jewish nationalism. And we are against nationalism. We are so much against it that we get all hot and bothered about a fifth-rate local conflict in a faraway tiny sliver of land with a death rate in the four-digit-range, when we don't give a damn about hundreds of thousands murdered in the Congo or elsewhere in Africa. There you see how objectionable we find nationalism. Of course, the "Palestinian" call for nationhood we find worthy of support because they are sure to snuff that troublesome Jewish nationalism. We are, after all, against nationalism.
We are anti-Fascists
We are anti-Fascists! We shudder at the thought of anything remotely "right wing extremist". Even if it isn't "right wing extremist". Then it still makes an excellent argument to discredit an unwanted opinion. We can prove that we are anti-Fascists. Aren't we suffering from collective insomnia over a party of little Nazi yobs that doesn't even manage to reach the magical 5 % of votes, after all? If that isn't proof enough that we are anti-Fascists, nothing is! And from this position of righteous anti-Fascism, we love to compare Israel's attempts at defending herself with Nazi-Germany because any crime committed by the Jews, real or perceived, makes us look a bit better and the Holocaust a smidgeon less awful. And don't you dare to call that antisemitic or clobber me with the Auschwitz-cosh! It just isn't allowed in Germany to tell the truth anymore! (In case you don't know, that is the politically correct version of that old Global Jewish Conspiracy thingy.) The Nazis hated the Jews. They were Fascists. We are anti-Fascists, so we can't be antisemitic per definitionem.
We are against occupation
We started WWII. We were occupiers. We have learned our lesson! We are against occupation! We specifically loath the fact that Israel "occupies" Palestinian territory, when the 50-year-long occupation of Tibet by China never worried us in the least. Or the previous occupation of the same territories by Egypt and Jordan until 1967, but generally, we are against occupation.
Of course we know that during 20 years of Arab rule in the territories male life expectancy grew from 42 to 44 and that during the next 20 years of Israeli rule male life expectancy grew from 44 to 63 and, correspondingly, female life expectancy from 45 to 46 and then from 46 to 67. That the Palestinian infant mortality rate decreased from 200 /00 to 170 /00 and during the next 20 years of Israeli rule from 170 /00 to 60 /00. That before 1967 113 hospitals had been in the territories whereas in 1989 that number was 387. That Malaria was finally eliminated during the Israeli "occupation". That before the Israeli "occupation" the percentage of illiterates had been roughly 27.8% among men and 65.1% among women. By 1983 illiteracy was reduced to 13.5% among men and 38.9% among women.
Of course we know all that. But did we say that we are FOR the Palestinians? We are AGAINST the occupation!
We have learned our lesson
We have learned our lesson from the war. We know what it means to be on the wrong side and it won't happen to us again. Ever! We know what it means to lose wars and WOW, weren't we graceful losers ourselves! Lose war, pay with land, specifically when you've started the war in the first place. A lesson as old as mankind's history. Nobody knows that quite like we do and how bitter it is. We've learned our lesson. That's why we are standing firmly at the Palestinians' side to make them understand that they, too, will have to … oh well, maybe not.
We are humanitarians
Another one of those examples of the UN's famous humanitarian efforts in the Middle East.
We are humanitarians. We'd never think murder is ever justified except when it's Jews that are murdered. Murderer of Jews have always the excuse that they are "desperate". Pals are very desperate, everybody says so, Kofi Annan too! Of course, Palestinian Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab societies out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, despite the vast Arab territory, but what does that matter? If it WOULD matter, they wouldn't be the only group of refugees worldwide who have that terrific special status with the UN. And carte blanche to kill Jews because the UN think that "despair" makes an excellent reason for that. And the UN can't be wrong or can they?
We are progressives
We Germans aren't reactionaries anymore. No! We are progressives now! No "kitchen church children" for our women anymore and we get our collective knickers in a knot about "gay rights" lest we may be called *shudder* "conservatives". We are progressives, wherever this progress thingy may lead to. We denounce the abuse of women and minorities. Everywhere! Specifically in the only country in the vast Middle East where they are not abused.
We are pacifists
We are pacifists. We have learned our lesson. We totally disagree with the use of military force. Anywhere. At any time. For any reason. Violence has never achieved anything. Well… yes, actually in history hardly any Evil has been brought down without it but who is interested in facts as long as the spirit is right. And here it is SO right! We will never get over the fact that those Americans used that bad bad violence against US to rid US of an Evil WE had fought so hard to retain. So who can blame us that we don't like it anymore. No, we are totally opposed to violence. Except against Israel.
Of course, for people with ethics as eminent as ours, even self-defence is out of question. If it isn't targeted at Jews, that is. Then it's "despair" and justified. And Israel's self-defence is excessive by virtue of being Jewish anyway. Jews should only settle the aggression against them through surrender. As they always did. As we used to know them. As we used to like them, in particular after they're dead. We deeply feel that it is our duty to stand with praise and censure at the Jews' side as ethical probation officer to keep them from committing a second offence.* Specifically we as Germans should be qualified to speak out about that. Who else, if not us?
*Wolfgang Pohrt's thoughts, not mine.
PostScript: Yesterday night, on the wireless (WDR 2), after detailed reporting of the killing of some [non-violent] Lebanese peasants who were just [peacefully and unsuspectingly] loading vegetables on a [non-military] truck when they were [out of the blue] hit by an Israeli projectile and who will, with some probability (Wasn't IDF-victim-extraordinaire Mohammed al Doura who famously "died in his father's arms" seen alive and well in Gaza lately?) turn out to be Hezbollah terrorists loading weapons on a armed vehicle (I may be wrong), a remarkable and previously unheard (at least by me) statement was made.
Please note, that the news of this station (sober, mainstream, public-owned) are listing each and every Arab casualty, including age, sex, and specific degree of defence- and blamelessness of the victim(s), whereas Israeli casualties are non-existent. Not to speak of the fact that Hezbollah is doing everything to let civilian casualties happen, whereas Israel is doing everything to avoid them. Or the fact that a frighteningly large majority of the Lebanese people support Hamas. I have given up to expect any knowledge of or interest in facts from the media quite a while ago.
However, at the end of the news report the presenter said something to the effect that Israel is suffering losses on a daily basis as well.
And here we were, thinking that those Jews are just having a ball killing innocent and helpless Arabs who want nothing but to live in peace with them.
Therefore, obviously, that needed spelling out.