The academics in question are highly influential professors at the country’s leading universities which were mainly funded by the German government. Many of them are known for their anti-Israel stances.
The academics called on the German government to stop giving “special treatment” to Israel following the Holocaust and warned that the sympathetic attitude could lead to unrest amidst the German people.
The petition was recently published in the German based journal Frankfurter Rundschau owned by the Dumont Schauberg publishing house. The company recently purchased 25 percent of Haaretz’s stocks.
The 25 petition signers called on a change in the character of the relationship between Israel and Germany, which would lead the two countries to have a “friendship free from past burdens,” one which would leave room for expressing criticism of Israel.
According to the academics, the Holocaust binds Germany to not only stand by Israel, but to also stand by the Palestinians. They said this was important since the ramifications of the Holocaust lead to much suffering for the Palestinians over the past 60 years.
Germany obligated to stand exclusively by Israel?
The petition said, “A large part of the German society has turned the shame and grief of the Holocaust into a ceremonial matter. That is how a problematic philo-Semitism has developed in Germany.”
“The roots of this 60 year bloody confrontation in the Middle East are German and European. The Palestinian population has doesn’t have the responsibility to take on some of Europe’s problems in the Middle East,” the petition continued.
Those who signed the petition expressed criticism of the “special” relationship between the two countries which lead to Germany providing Israel with advanced military technologies, even when Israel had violated international law and violated human rights.
The academics questioned whether Germany was obligated to stand exclusively by Israel in the Middle East in light of the Holocaust, and wondered about the whether preserving the relationship would have consequences on the German people, particularly between Jews and Muslims.
“Each new attack on Israeli citizens and each disproportional action by the IDF and Israel’s government reinforce the polarization in Germany between those in favor of Israel and those against it in terrifying measures. Such an atmosphere makes an open public dialogue on the questions we raised extremely crucial," the petition said.