The German government led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz has publicly affirmed its unconditional support for Israel’s deliberate infliction of famine on 2.3 million civilians in Gaza – half of them children – while it bombs them indiscriminately, slaughtering whole families at a time.
At a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday, journalist Florian Warweg, with the online publication NachDenkSeiten, noted that Israel’s defense minister Yoav Gallant had on Monday ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, cutting off food, water, electricity, fuel and other essential life-sustaining supplies to the entire population.Announcing the siege, Gallant referred to the Palestinian population in Gaza as “human animals” – genocidal language reminiscent of the dehumanization of Jews by the government of Scholz’s predecessor as German leader, Adolf Hitler.
“Does the chancellor support this action and does he see it as covered by international law?” Warweg asked.
“For the chancellor, solidarity with Israel is paramount, as he himself has said,” government spokesperson Christiane Hoffman responded. “It is quite clear that Israel has the right under international law to defend itself against these attacks by Hamas. I would not want to evaluate individual measures in this context.”
Stunned by the reply, Warweg pointed out that Israel’s inhumane measures had been criticized by UN human rights chief Volker Türk and even by the EU foreign policy chief, the staunchly pro-Israel Josep Borrell.
“Israel has a right to self-defense, but it has to be done within international law,” Borrell said Tuesday. “Cutting water, cutting electricity, cutting food to a mass of civilian people is against international law.”
But the German government remains adamant. “As I said, for us, at this moment, when Israel has been attacked by Hamas in this brutal way, solidarity with Israel is paramount, and we emphasize that Israel has the right to take action against this attack and to defend itself,” Hoffman responded to Warweg.
Several other journalists also pressed the government about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza caused by Israel’s actions, but the officials on the podium refused to budge.
“I think this is the fourth time this question has been asked here, and we will not answer it any other way than to say that at this moment, when Israel has been attacked in this brutal way, our priority is solidarity with Israel and that Israel has the right to defend itself,” said German foreign ministry spokesperson Christian Wagner.
Crime against humanity
In contrast to Germany’s cold-blooded support for Israel’s slaughter in Gaza, more than two dozen UN human rights experts – called special rapporteurs – condemned violence targeting all civilians amid the rapidly escalating situation.
Israel’s airstrikes “appear to have targeted densely populated areas, including markets, two hospitals, destroyed residential buildings and damaged 20 United Nations Reliefs and Works Agency (UNRWA) facilities, including schools sheltering displaced civilians,” the experts said.By Thursday, more than 1,400 Palestinians had been killed in the Israeli attacks, almost 450 of them children, according to the health ministry in Gaza. Forty-four families had been totally wiped out in massacres.
Referring to the Israeli defense minister’s description of Palestinians as “human animals,” and the cutting off of food, water and other essentials, the experts affirmed that “Intentional starvation is a crime against humanity.”
German elites, who support Israel supposedly to atone for the Hitler administration’s murder of millions of Jews, seem content to endorse such crimes against humanity.
“As a German citizen, I shudder at the official mindset behind such statements,” Warweg told The Electronic Intifada. “Because you can only make such a statement if you value human life differently, some more valuable and some less valuable.”
Warweg explained that unquestioning support for Israel is drummed into Germans from an early age in their schools and media.
Had he not spent time in the occupied West Bank, he said, observing first hand Israel’s systematic abuses against Palestinians, “I would probably have maintained just as idealized a view of Israel as the majority of German society.”
Chancellor Scholz has even offered Israel military aid to help Tel Aviv perpetrate its ongoing slaughter of civilians, demonstrating that the cry of “Never Again” has turned into a sick, cynical joke.
Whatever the explanation for Germany’s total support for the kind of crimes whose repeat its post-World War II “remembrance culture” is allegedly supposed to prevent, what is not in doubt is this: Germany has not only the blood of Hitler’s victims on its hands but that of thousands of Palestinians as well.