Matthias KÃ¼ntzel speaks truth to power in Der Spiegel (thanks to MP):
The natural reaction to the current violence in the Middle East is one of horror. It’s time for a cease-fire, right? Not necessarily. Pacifism would only help the radicals.
When it comes to Israel, public opinion in Europe walks a fine line. Israel’s overreaction and use of overwhelming force, say most, is to be condemned and criticized. But in the same breath, Hezbollah’s provocation is likewise reviled and rejected as the militant group’s unceasing attacks on Israeli civilians are cited. Both sides are judged using the same criteria and both sides come out stained with some blame for the current conflagration.
But this seemingly nuanced point of view is misleading. In reality, German and European public opinion does take sides — and it tends to side with the apparent underdog and against Israel.
It has almost become a reflex on the Continent. In 2003, 59 percent of all Europeans pointed to Israel as the country presenting the greatest risk to world peace. On the third day of the current crisis, fully three quarters of all Germans polled were convinced that Israel was overreacting and using too much force in its response to Hezbollah. And since then, the images coming from the war zone have set the tenor: A cease-fire, most believe, should begin as soon as possible.
I disagree — and have four reasons for doing so.
First, Israel is fighting a just war. Germany and the European Union should unequivocally back Israel.
Islamism has attacked Israel from both the south and the north and Israel has no choice but to react. But there is more to it than that. Israel’s military operation is important for the entire Western world. Until 2005, Islamism was able to successfully mislead the West into thinking that the “occupation” of Gaza and southern Lebanon was the cause of the terror attacks carried out against Israel. Now we know better: Islamism isn’t out to change Israeli policy in the region, Islamism is out to completely eradicate the country of Israel. The same strategy is being used on a larger scale: The Middle East conflict is not the cause of Tehran’s conflict with Western secularism. It is merely a convenient alibi.
Read it all, if you read anything.