Surrender in Geneva

HAMBURG, November 24, 2013—During the night of November 24, 2013, it came to this: The five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany signed an interim agreement that accepts the plutonium facility at Arak and approves Iran’s continued uranium enrichment. “This deal appears to provide the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism with billions of dollars in exchange for cosmetic concessions,” criticized Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois).

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The West Betrays the Iranian Protest Movement

The Iranians who are resisting the electoral putsch are not only being humiliated and beaten by the batons and bullets of the Pasdaran but also by the inaction of the so-called freedom-loving world: no call for a special session of the UN, no threats of sanctions, no boycott declaration, no economic embargo, not even the smallest warning—let’s just not take sides or make any commitments as long as the result of the struggle in Iran remains open. The West, so the argument goes, has to be careful to avoid providing any pretext to vilify the Iranian opposition. So Obama doesn’t need days but weeks to slowly pull back his outstretched hand, while the German Foreign Ministry argues all the more emphatically for a dialogue with the putsch-regime. Undauntedly, the German-Iranian Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Tehran advertises the building of a German-Iranian Business Center in Berlin, while the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg reported today that its upcoming seminar on “Export Certification in Iran Trade” (July 13) is already overcrowded. And haven’t we gotten along somehow or other with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the past four years?

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Germany, Iran, and the Party of the Left: A Commentary Commissioned by Neues Deutschland, which it Refused to Publish

Matthias Küntzel, author of Jihad and Jew-Hatred, received an invitation to write on Germany and Iran for Neues Deutschland : the former “Pravda” of Communist East Germany, it is now a daily, close to the “Linkspartei,” the Party of the Left, itself undergoing various organizational restructurings. It is the home of various “post-communist” currents. It is represented in the Bundestag and several state legislatures; it also exercises some influence on discussions within the much larger Social Democratic Party. Within the Left, the evaluations of Iran—as reactionary or an “anti-imperialist” ally—and of Israel are both hotly contested.

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Iranian Holocaust Denial

Thursday is book day at Telos. We use this time and space for posts about books, authors, and all sorts of writing, considered in light of the sorts of questions that are at home at Telos. As with all our blogs, you are invited to post a comment. If you have a book review that you’d like to post here, or some other comment on the worlds of writing, drop a line to us at telospress@aol.com.

During a recent tour of the United States, Telos author, Matthias Küntzel delivered this speech in Bangor, Maine, under the auspices of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Congregation Beth Abraham and at the Michael Klahr Holocaust Center of the University of Maine at Augusta on March 16 and 17, 2008. Küntzel’s Jihad and Jew Hatred is available from Telos Press.

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The Böckler Foundation Case

This is part three of Matthias Küntzel’s article “Confronting Anti-Semitism — But How?” which appears in Telos 136 (Fall 2006). Parts one and two appeared on Thursday and Friday. Click here to purchase the full issue. The German version is available on Matthias Küntzel’s website, www.matthiaskuentzel.de

Openness instead of Concealment

What would have happened if the anti-Semitism of the member of the Bundestag Hohmann had been articulated through e-mails internal to the CDU, instead of in a public speech? Would the public have ever found out about it? Or would those responsible have outwardly kept quiet on the basis of party loyalty?

The conservative party’s own Hans-Böckler Foundation decided against openness in a comparable situation. Until May of this year, the anti-Semitism argument internal to the foundation, which flared up in February 2003 on the Böckler Foundation Fellows mailing list, remained concealed. The reason for the controversy was a paper containing anti-Semitic stereotypes, which had been composed and distributed by a doctoral candidate of Arab descent, who was supported by the foundation. Several other scholarship recipients arranged things so that the debate could be reflected in a self-critical way, in the context of a graduate conference in November 2003. And, fortunately, a general political seminar about anti-Semitism on the Left was sponsored by the Böckler Foundation and organized in Berlin as well.

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Enlightenment and Pedagogy

This is part two of Matthias Küntzel’s article “Confronting Anti-Semitism — But How?” which appears in Telos 136 (Fall 2006). Part one appeared on Thursday, and part three will appear on Saturday. Click here to purchase the full issue. The German version is available on Matthias Küntzel’s website, www.matthiaskuentzel.de

Enlightenment against Anti-Semitism

I will not be concerned in the following with the societal parameters (politics, media, culture) that more strongly shape the anti-Semitic consciousness than pedagogical endeavors can ever counteract. I also do not want to speak about those who no longer allow themselves to be educated or changed, those who have become unapproachable for enlightenment. For them, Adorno’s motto remains unchanged: “[T]he instruments of power, which really are at one’s disposal, must be applied without sentimentality, certainly not out of the need for punishment or in order to avenge oneself against these persons, but rather in order to show them that the only thing that impresses them, namely real social authority, is in the meantime, actually really against them.” And Adorno repeats, “Anti-Semitic utterances should be confronted very energetically: they must see that the one who confronts them is not afraid.” Today more than ever, these must be the criteria in schools, universities, and other educational institutions—independent of the question of whether the carriers of the anti-Semitic stereotype have a Muslim or a non-Muslim background. It is therefore absolutely right (and deserves emphasis during professional education) that, based on accepted work jurisdiction, trainees are to be let go without notice in response to anti-Semitic or racist comments.

However, here I am not concerned with those stubborn characters but rather with subjects capable of being enlightened, whom I can and want to influence through pedagogical methods. Unfortunately, it is not possible to present to this clientele recipes for success. Instead I will try to show, by means of three case studies from my field of occupation, how the confrontation of anti-Semitism at any rate does not work.

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