December 17, 2009

Surprise! Reporter from German Public TV Wears Keffiyeh

Yesterday, "Heute", the news from the public German channel ZDF, broadcast at 19:00 h a newsclip from Afghanistan about the Bundeswehr deployment by ZDF-reporter Uli Gack (yes, that's his name!). While interviewing two sergeants it became, fleetingly but clearly enough, visible to the vigilant observer that the reporter wore a keffiyeh. When in full view, he was soberly dressed.

Interestingly, the videoclip was removed from the ZDF website "for legal reasons" a couple of minutes after I started to write this entry, shortly after 17:30h I'd say. I guess they have their reasons.

The keffiyeh, specifically the black and white chicken-wire variety, stands in Germany for anti-Americanism and antisemitism -- ... ooops... make that anti-Zionism -- since the late Sixties. Few Germans may actually know that it was a symbol of Palestinian nationalism, dating back to the Arab revolt in the mid-Thirties of the last century already and that it makes, since then, not just a point against Jewish immigration, but for the killing of Jews as well, but the general idea is doubtlessly understood.

There is a clear communication line across time and political affiliations between Germans and Palestinian Arabs, from the "Grand Mufti of Jerusalem" Haj Amin al-Husseini via today's Palestinians...

... to the German children of their Nazi parents who love to sport the symbol of Jew hatred at Kill-The-Jews-Marches Free Palestine Rallies, together with their Middle Eastern soul mates.

After all this, nobody will be all that much surprised to learn that the "Arafat mop" is worn in right wing extremist circles as well.

Here we have the (then) militant rightwingers Jürgen Gerg and Christian Worch, early in 2003. Gerg is said to have left the right wing extremist scene by crossing the narrow ditch to its leftwing counterpart. He took with him two useful things to help him bond with his new chums: his "anti-imperialist" hatred of America and his keffiyeh.

All that said, maybe the reporter's choice of wardrobe was quite innocent nevertheless, he didn't really know all this and was just sending out signals to the Taliban not to shoot at him. Yes, it must have been that!

Hat tip: Gudrun Eussner!

We thematized the Arafat mop in an earlier blogpost already.

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