Jeffrey Herf: Undeclared Wars with Israel East Germany and the West German Far Left 1967-1989 (Book Review)

Jeffrey Herf: Undeclared Wars with Israel
East Germany and the
West German Far Left 1967-1989
Cambridge University Press, New York 2016
ISBN 978-1-107-46162-8

Jeffrey Herf is a history professor at the University of Maryland and has published extensively on Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and political Islam. Undeclared Wars with Israel 1967-1989 is his latest book. At the core of this book is the ideological, economic and military support for Arab dictatorships and the Palestinian nationalist movement by the government of the German Democratic Republic in the period between the 1967 Six-Day War and the end of the East German state in 1989/1990. Herf uses extensive research of the Stasi (GDR secret service) archives, the official party press, documents from the United Nations, including the extensive reports by Israeli ambassadors regarding the territorial intrusions and massacres perpetrated by the PLO and its associated member groups in those years.

This (partially new) research is embedded in a history of the relationship of the Soviet Bloc with the state of Israel and the development of the struggle of Arab/Palestinian nationalists against Israel, whether through open warfare, shelling of Israeli cities across the border with rockets, guerrilla actions inside Israel – often consisting in massacres of civilians – or hijackings and murder in the international arena, or through diplomatic means on a bilateral level and often at the UN.

Herf is broadening this research to cover the role of the West German far left in the context of these conflicts. The post-1967 radical left is portrayed here as radically anti-Zionist, if not anti-Semitic. Prominent examples after that time are people and organisations like Dieter Kunzelmann and the Tupamaros Westberlin, Ulrike Meinhof and the RAF, the Revolutionary Cells and their partaking in the hijacking of an Israeli plane to Entebbe, as well as examples from the so-called K-Groups. In my opinion, Herf, while accurately displaying dubious points in the history of the radical left in West Germany, fails to describe the often contradictory developments of some of these groups. For this reason I divide this review in two parts. The first is the book review proper, while the second extends the discussion of the relationship of some of the groups on the West German radical left with both anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in a way that goes far beyond the confines of a book review and hopefully offers additional insights. [Read more →]

Michael Landmann: Das Israelpseudos der Pseudolinken (Book Review)

Michael Landmann
Das Israelpseudos der Pseudolinken
Edited by Jan Gerber and Anja Worm for the ‘Materialien zur Aufklärung und Kritik’ (Halle),
With a preface by Henryk M. Broder and an afterword by Jan Gerber and Anja Worm.
Ça ira, Freiburg i.Br., 2013.
ISBN 978-3-86259-119-0

LandmannPseudos001

In 1969, a string of terror attacks against Jewish institutions in the Federal Republic of Germany began, most notably the attempt to blow up the Jewish Community centre in West Berlin on the anniversary of the Nazi pogroms known as ‘Kristallnacht’ of 1938. Contrary to earlier anti-semitic activities, such as desecrations of Jewish graveyards attributed to neo-Nazis, this new wave was perpetrated by ‘left wing’ activists.

Central to the agenda of the New Left in the early to mid-1960s was the exposure of the lack of decisive de-Nazification and the survival of Nazism within West German society, particularly in the establishment. Until the year 1967, or more precisely until the Six-Day War, the German Left had been essentially pro-Israel. Then some voices in the ‘New Left’ spoke up, wanting to see the conflict in the Middle East as a particularly exemplary version of a world wide conflict between ‘imperialism’ and ‘national liberation movements’. [Read more →]

Lobster 57 (The last hard copy Lobster)

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Lobster 57 (The last hard copy Lobster)
(Hull, Summer 2009, ISSN 0964-0436)

Lobster is a magazine for “parapolitics” that has been appearing since 1983 at roughly two issues per year, edited by Robin Ramsay.
The main themes have always been the machinations of the secret state and various conspiracy theories, so MI5 and MI6, New Labour, Mind Control, JFK, Diana’s death etc featured prominently. Interestingly they stayed more or less clear of 9/11 conspiracy theories.
As announced on the cover of the latest issue, this is the last one in paper format, since Ramsay says he can’t be bothered to take care of printing and distributing 1’000 copies as on the internet many more readers could be reached without the hassle the former implies. If this is true remains to be seen [Read more →]

Breakcore Israel

Breakcore in the Middle East? Yes, that´s right. There are many people in Israel listening to hard electronic sound but you can hardly speak of a “scene” over there. There aren´t any DJs in the country spinning this sound and no resources for those kind of records (you´ll find some few techno/ house records). So most people get their music from Soulseek. [Read more →]