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August 15, 2006

Germans Guarding Jewish Lives? At Least One German Seems To Get It

But withhold judgement until you get to the end:

The decision to deploy troops to join the 15,000-strong Unifil peacekeeping force was made by Angela Merkel, the Chancellor, in consultation with three Cabinet ministers. They agreed to take on such a role in their first venture into the Middle East because of the difficulties of recruiting enough properly equipped peacekeepers for the mission.

“We have to do this, not in spite of the Holocaust, but because of it,” Werner Sonne, a leading commentator, said on German state television. “If German troops guard Israel’s borders, they are there to protect Jewish lives. Frankly, there has never been a better reason to bring in soldiers in German uniform.”

...

Frau Merkel seems ready to send some 3,000 troops, of whom about 1,000 will be Pioneers with heavy earth-moving equipment to help to rebuild airports and harbours. The navy, already in the eastern Mediterranean on Operation Active Endeavour, would be strengthened with frigates to patrol the coast of Lebanon.

...

France will command the force with lead elements arriving in the coming days. The French appear ready to send 5,000 soldiers, Italy 3,000 soldiers and Turkey a further 1,500. German diplomats say that one priority is to convince other Muslim countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, to commit troops as well.

Yeah, as much as those as humanly possible.

And yet, of course, some Germans suspect crafty manipulation by those cunning Juden:

...

Germany has been encouraged to send a big contingent by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, a sign that the Holocaust taboo is beginning to crumble. In an interview with the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung this month, Mr Olmert said he had told Frau Merkel that Israel had “absolutely no problem with German soldiers in southern Lebanon”.

“There is at the moment no nation that is behaving in a more friendly way towards Israel than Germany,” Mr Olmert said. “If Germany can contribute to the security of the Israeli people, that would be a worthwhile task for your country. I would be very happy if Germany participated.”

Yet some German observers believe that a degree of calculation lies behind the Israeli enthusiasm. In a fast-moving exchange of fire, German soldiers might give the Israelis the benefit of the doubt.

They're afraid they might give Jews the benefit of the doubt? This is the worry that wakes them up screaming at night, huh?

About a thousand years of history would tend to suggest that such an impulse can be, with effort, successfully held in check by the Germans.

Emphases added, of course.

Thanks to Dawnsblood.

Unfair Cheap Shot Against the Germans? Dawnsblood says that Germany has been Israel's biggest friend in Europe, which I don't know is true, and anyway it seems like being the biggest stud at a combination Star Trek/Settlers of Cataan mixer.

Still, Dawnsblood offers this and a few other links to demonstrate the Germans are relatively pro-Israel.

I don't know. I think they put up a bit of a show. I still believe scratch a German, find a Nazi. I've read too many stories about Germans being angry about, for example, streets named after Holocaust survivors and the like. "Why must they keep reminding us of their problems?!" is the sort of thing I've seen quoted, when people are speaking in honest anger.


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posted by Ace at 06:33 PM

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