Above: Eldad Beck speaks at Congregation B’nai Torah Jan. 21
Eldad Beck wants us to revisit our views on the relationship between Germany and Israel.
The Israeli journalist and author has been the Berlin-based correspondent of Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth since 2002. On Thursday, Jan. 21, he spoke at Congregation B’nai Torah to discuss his latest book, “Germany, at Odds.”
“All that we know of Germany is not true,” Beck said. “Let me propose to you another interpretation of the country.”
The Haifa native pointed to a recent survey that found more than 50 percent of Germans think Israel’s present treatment of Palestinians is similar to what the Nazis did to the Jews during World War II.
Beck said the worrisome results can be traced back to German anti-Semitism and how German authorities, local media and the Jewish community have dealt with it. The recent influx of more than 1 million Muslim refugees into Germany has also played a role.
“Germans have not learned from the past,” he said.
Beck brought up numerous examples of German media bias and blatant anti-Semitism toward Israel. Israelis, he said, are often portrayed in the German media as soldiers and in that sense dehumanized, while terrorism is romanticized with headlines like “The Shortest Way to Heaven.”
He showed examples of anti-Semitic Jewish caricatures in German media that are strikingly similar to the anti-Semitic propaganda that was prevalent in Nazi Germany.
Beck questioned whether Germans have really confronted their past and, as a result, how strong Germany’s relationship is with Israel and Jews in general.
Photos by David R. Cohen