/ / /

haGalil onLine -
Search haGalil

Newsletter abonnieren
Bücher / Morascha
Koscher leben...
Jüdische Weisheit



To the members of the board of trustees of the German Orient Institute, Hamburg

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

We turn to you as the members of the board of trustees of the German Orient Institute in Hamburg, a scientific institution, whose maintenance is borne to a considerable extent by funds of the Foreign Office i.e. from taxpayers’ monies. It is incumbent on you as the board, whose purpose it is to take care of and to conscientiously look after the respective institution, to be circumspect as to its international reputation, which in times of Islamist terrorism requires a particular responsibility.

On 6 January 2003 the director of this scientific institution, Prof. Udo Steinbach, compared Palestinian suicide terrorists with the Jewish fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto at an event in Salzgitter-Bad. Steinbach explained: “If we see how Israeli tanks drive through Palestinian villages and how the desperate people resist with stones, we must be allowed to ask with regard to Warsaw and the uprising of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto whether this then also constituted terror?
By bringing in the picture of the stone-thrower who is fighting against tanks, he not only conceals the well-known fact that the Palestinian side does not exclusively use stones. He also projects the Israelis into the role of Nazi-Germans - which is to say that they are assumed to act with the intention to annihilate - and the Palestinians into the role of the Jews - which can mean two things: either the Palestinians defend their existence or the Jews were never threatened by annihilation but– keyword terror – perhaps overstated their case. The two meanings are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary: both serve anti-Semitic resentments.

“Must we not ask ourselves what is going on if a decent and normal young man, who wants to live like everyone else, buckles on an explosives belt and blows himself up only because he does not see any other way out to preserve his dignity?”, Steinbach introduced his comparison. In this innocently and naively phrased question the double-edged character of this comparison is repeated. For either the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto fought for their ‘dignity’, or the Palestinians choose death in the struggle because they are murdered anyway. No matter whether the uprising in the Ghetto is trivialised as a fight for ‘dignity’ or the right to acts of desperation is confirmed to the Palestinians, for Steinbach the Jews remain the problem at the end.

Steinbach does not want to commit himself to one or the other interpretation, for he does not have to. By denying the eliminatory and anti-Semitic motivation of Islamist terror he relieves the Germans and the Palestinians at the same time from the responsibility for their actions and names the supposedly culprit. The comparison of Jewish Ghetto fighters with Arab suicide killers and of Israeli soldiers with SS-henchmen is a conscious playing down of Nazi crimes, a trivialisation of Hitler, and an outrageous desecration of the remembrance of the Jewish dead.

As the director of an institution which is co-financed by the Foreign Office Steinbach has not only relativised eliminatory anti-Semitism, but has legitimised it as a just form of resistance. Until today he has rejected to take any consequences from his appalling remarks.

It cannot be disputed that the case of Steinbach constitutes a scandal: on the on the hand because he has repeated his claims several times – also publicly – and reaffirmed them as can for instance be gathered from his press release of 6 July 2003 or from his statement of 16 April 2003, which was published by the Protestant Press Service; on the other hand because he still holds the direction of the Orient Institute. For this reason this letter will be an open one and will also be placed at the disposal of the media.

We as the signatories of this letter ask you to make this matter, which we have brought to your attention, an agenda subject at the next meeting of the board of trustees. In addition and independently of this request we demand that Steinbach immediately resign from the post of director of the German Orient Institute.

Yours faithfully,

Name: !notw.
City: !notw.
Position, Organization:  
e-Mail: !notw.


Copies to:
Mr. Joschka Fischer, Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany
Mr. Ole von Beust, President of the Senate and First Mayor of the Free and Hansa City of Hamburg 14-05-2004

Spenden Sie mit PayPal - schnell, kostenlos und sicher! ist kostenlos! Trotzdem: haGalil kostet Geld!

Die bei haGalil onLine und den angeschlossenen Domains veröffentlichten Texte spiegeln Meinungen und Kenntnisstand der jeweiligen Autoren.
Sie geben nicht unbedingt die Meinung der Herausgeber bzw. der Gesamtredaktion wieder.
haGalil onLine

haGalil - Postfach 900504 - D-81505 München

1995-2014 © haGalil onLine® bzw. den angeg. Rechteinhabern
Munich - Tel Aviv - All Rights Reserved