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You do not come away from “Was Gesagt Werden Muss” having learned anything more about Israel or Iran than you did going in, but you learn something about what a fine fellow that Gunter Grass is, why he dares to say what no one else dares to say as he reclines on his own therapist’s couch and achieves a breakthrough in tackling the Vorherrschaft des Judenkomplexes that plagues the left.
Mein Kampf wasn’t about the Jews or England and France, it was about what a great man that Adolf is and why you should consider him for dictator for life. The European left’s Anti-American and Anti-Semitic hiccups have little to do with the red, white and blue or the blue and white. They have to do with how impressive all the speakers are in taking on the Great Satan and the Little Satan. Down with General Electric, down with the A-Bomb, down with the Synagogue. Up with whoever is shouting through a megaphone about boycotting Israeli walnuts or American rockets.
The current shouter through the megaphone isn’t just Grass, it’s Sigmar Gabriel, the head of Germany’ Social Democratic Party, a party that Grass has more than a passing affinity for. The elections scheduled for next year will determine a great deal and the attacks on the sale of submarines to Israel are aimed at Chancellor Merkel. Attacking Merkel for pandering to the Jews is a bit of 1930’s politics, but that’s just part of getting over the Judenknacks.
It’s not about the left being Anti-Semitic, it’s about it being socially acceptable for the left to be Anti-Semitic. And it’s about the “courage” of leftists who dare to take on the bourgeois post-Holocaust hangups and switch them around so that the Jews become the Nazis, the Nazis become the Jews and the Mullahs become the Uberjews. The Jews are irrelevant except as a means for the left to rid itself of all rules and morals on the path to total revolutionary commitment.
“Raise high the red flags,” the Battle Hymn of National Socialism went, “For German labor we will clear the path to freedom.” Those red flags have not changed much since. The Blutfahne, the blood flag covered supposedly in the vital fluids of dead Nazis killed during the Beer Hall Putsch under which Nazis swore in new recruits. Or the red flag of Soviet Union memorializing the blood of the martyrs of revolution. Or the red tulips of the Iranian flag which represent the blood of martyrs.
They are cheering Gunter in Berlin, in Moscow and Tehran, not to mention London, Paris and Boston. Not because he has said anything terribly daring, but because he has thrown a stone at a window. And it isn’t the size of the stone, it’s the breaking of taboos. And when enough taboos have been broken, then the red flags will freely wave again.
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