... dead, that is!
Almost seven years ago, a so far unremarkable Bundestag backbencher of the Christian Democratic Union named Martin Hohmann caused a tsunami of angry, dismayed, shocked and generally hypocritical protests because he had, sort of, relativised the Holocaust. His babblings about the Jewish perpetrators of Stalinism who had been no real Jews because they didn't believe in God, and the Nazis who didn't believe in God, so the Germans were no "people of perpetrators" either, revealed more about the state of the nation than about him or the Holocaust. Nobody laughed, instead, he was expelled from his parlamentiary group and later stripped of his party membership as well. All of Germany was split in two factions. One thought that he was quite right and that the Jews get away with everything, the rest felt noble.
Things were a bit different, when Annette Groth and Inge Höger, two German Bundestag backbenchers from the post-Stalinist Left party joined the recent terrorist-aid convoi to Gaza. It was, after all, about Jews who are still alive.
Being safely home and dutifully fussed over, they were eager to convey their message. "We have a moral and Christian commitment to speak out aloud against any sort of human rights violations," said Groth, who used to work for ecumenical institutions and an organisation linked to the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Germany's main Protestant umbrella, before becoming a member of the Bundestag.
Groth said she had been on the women's deck (sic!) of the Mavi Marmara, having joined the Muslim women for their morning prayers (sic!) as every good Protestant Christian ought to, when Israeli special forces attacked. "There were soldiers everywhere, heavily armed and pointing their guns at us," she said. "There was an attitude of terror and humiliation. They did not allow old men to go to the toilet ... It was mere terror, creating a situation full of anxiety."
Her colleague Höger said the women on the ship were quickly (sic!) shut in at a lower level of the ship, the so-called "women's deck" (sic!) during the night and that they "... couldn't get out, we didn't know what was going on above because we were locked in," she said. "We put on our life vests and eventually we figured out that the ship was occupied, that the Israelis had taken it over", which doesn't quite go together with Groth's vivid description of heavily armed soldiers everywhere who pointed their guns at them and didn't allow old men to go to the toilet, but whatever.
Different from Hohmann, who had been torn to shreds seven years ago, there was a fussing and clucking and general "there there I can relate yo you" over the two "visibly shaken" victims of Israeli savagery all through the media, because -- did I say this already? -- this was about Jews who are not yet dead.
There is a petition online to have the Stalin-sisters expelled from the Bundestag with, while I am writing this, 1820 signatures. Will it bring about anything? No, but I signed nevertheless because I thought everybody who got his knickers in a knot over Martin Hohmann seven years ago is somewhat morally obliged to do so.
In the meantime, the German mainstream is eagerly awaiting that the poor, beleaguered Pals and their assorted cronies in the Middle East will finish what had to be cut short 65 years ago in Europe, so that they can go on standing in firm solidarity side by side, upright, solemn and serious, with dead Jews again.