Angela Merkel’s recent takedown of Benjamin Netanyahu may be a watershed. Netanyahu was working her over because of Germany’s vote on a UN resolution stating that West Bank Israeli settlements are illegal when Merkel reportedly responded, “How dare you? You are the one who has disappointed us. You haven’t made a single step to advance peace.” Needless to say, the resolution failed when the U.S. vetoed it.
Merkel also had the temerity to appoint Hans-Peter Friedrich as Interior Minister, doubtless mindful that anti-immigration sentiment is becoming politically explosive. Writing in the Financial Times, Gideon Rachman notes that Merkel “knows that anger about the EU and about immigration are … potent forces in [Germany]. [Geert] Wilders has spoken to enthusiastic audiences in Germany and the thought of a German Wilders is Ms Merkel’s ultimate nightmare.”
Friedrich immediately announced that “Islam in Germany is not something substantiated by history at any point.” He expanded: “Successful integration requires two things: knowledge of the social reality in Germany — where about 4 million Muslims live — and a clear awareness of the Western Christian origin of our culture.”
The New York Times struggled with words sufficient to convey its absolute horror at the appointment, terming it “shockingly offensive.” (The Times abstained from expressing an opinion when Israel declared that new citizens would have to pledge allegiance to Israel as the Jewish state, opting instead to publish opposite points of view, by the Israeli Ambassador and a Palestinian activist.) For the Times as part of the elite culture of Western suicide, it is an easy moral judgment—so easy that they don’t bother to spell out why Friedrich’s statements are so evil, confident its readers would happily fill in the blanks with their own version of the mantra that Western Christian culture has no particular legitimacy and their own abhorrence of the idea that any society anywhere should define itself as Western and Christian.
Similarly, Gideon Rachman concludes his column on Merkel by stating “The rise of the far right is bad news in France and the Netherlands. But it would be a disaster in Germany.” Disaster? How exactly would it be a disaster?
But again, Rachman’s ethnic commitments may be clouding his judgment here.