|Ranan speaking to Muslims at a barbershop|
Spiegel Online has an interview with David Ranan, an Israeli author who spoke with scores of German Muslims to determine what they thought about Jews.
He establishes quite clearly that they hold classic antisemitic opinions:
Ranan conducted lengthy conversations with his interview partners. About half were women, and most had completed high school or studied at college. “I didn’t want to interview any hormonal 15-year-old boys who had seen the previous night how Israel is bombing Gaza and were repeating mindless slogans.”
But that didn’t stop him from hearing some disturbing opinions. Two 21-year-old students, for instance, were obsessed with figuring out where they could shop in good conscience.
“But many brands belong to you! I have heard that Aldi belongs to a Jew — but it’s only something I heard — I don’t know for sure.”
“Starbucks, I heard, but that doesn’t keep me from going to Starbucks and getting a coffee or from going to Aldi.”
“But there are surely people who don’t go shopping there anymore! Rossmann, the drugstore DM, that’s also supposed to be Jewish:”
There are a number of patterns to be found in the transcripts. For example, most had read something about a supposed Jewish global conspiracy or heard about it from friends or family. A female engineer who grew up in a Turkish family in Germany said, “People talk about it, that the world is governed by some families, about 120 families. They are Jewish and that they control the government, more or less. All these diseases, bacteria, that are being spread everywhere in the world here, supposedly also come from there, that means the whole system in the world! I do think that Jews very, very much manipulate the world and also control it.”
The people he spoke with seldom referred to the Koran or religious questions. For most of them, the Middle East was much more important.
One of the stories they told Ranan mirrored the plot of the Iranian TV show “Zahra’s Blue Eyes,” in which a leading Israeli politician has a Palestinian girl kidnapped to have her blue eyes transplanted into his blind son. The Palestinian territories’ ambassador to the United States, Riyad Mansour, made a similar claim in 2015. He wrote to the UN secretary-general that Israel was organ-harvesting Palestinians who had been killed and that “bodies were returned with missing corneas and other organs.”
One of Ranan’s interview subjects was firmly convinced that organ theft was really happening. He said he had received reports from his own family. “Do you really think that my parents, my aunt and uncle, who experienced this, my mother-in-law, all of my relatives, do you really think they are lying to me?” he asked. He even claimed to have personally seen people who had had “their innards cut out.”
“I know that very large economic powers in the world are run by the Jews,” said one of the men [interviewed.] Another claimed, “The Jews in Germany came up with all the inventions — Daimler-Benz, Thyssen, Bosch, no idea. They also founded the entire banking system.”
But even after hearing all of these people accuse Jews – not Israelis, but Jews – of controlling the world economy, of unleashing germ warfare on gentiles, of stealing organs in the modern blood libel – Ranan excuses them!
Many of his interview subjects, he argues, said “Jew” when they meant “Israeli.” As Ranan puts it, “When someone is shouting ‘Jew, Jew, cowardly pig’ at a protest in reaction to an Israeli bombing of Gaza, they aren’t referring to London or New York Jews, but Israelis. That doesn’t make it more pleasant for spectators and it is especially hard for Jews to bear.”
Speaking in Berlin, Ranan repeatedly returns to this thought. “I don’t claim there are no anti-Semites, I’m only saying that there needs to be some differentiation.”
The book isn’t out yet, but he brings very few examples in this interview of Muslims who does not harbor classic antisemitic beliefs, and whose only issue is Israel.
He allows many voices to be heard, including some conciliatory ones. A 22-year-old says he would like to have Jewish friends, “because I would like to sit down with them and have an exchange.” One Palestinian reflects on the hatred of Jews that he felt as a teenager. “But what good does this hatred do for me — to what extent am I justified in my hatred?” Still, envy and prejudice pop up frequently. One young man, for example, expresses his anger that synagogues in Germany are provided with greater police protection and security than mosques.
Apparently Ranan’s own politics is not allowing him to hear his own interview subjects’ words.
Ranan is critical of Jewish organizations and German politicians. He says the Central Council of Jews in Germany hasn’t managed to separate itself from an Israeli government that uses anti-Semitism as a “political weapon.” He calls the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Berlin, which fights anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, a “Jewish lobbying group.”
It is amazing how much people can delude themselves. Muslim antisemitism can be seen literally every day in Muslim media (here’s one from today that says “Jews are masters of the world today and control the economy of people and their livelihood.” )
This “researcher,” after hearing pure Jew-hatred from most of his subjects, decides that they are really talking about Israel and therefore everything is A-OK. This isn’t research – it is twisting facts to fit his pre-existing biases.
Because it is too upsetting to admit that there is a real problem with Muslim antisemitism, not only in the Arab world but in Germany, too.
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