Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Germany: Israeli author David Ranan spent a year speaking to Muslims about anti-Semitism

Via Spiegel:
Israeli author David Ranan spent a year speaking to Muslims in Germany about anti-Semitism, with the goal of understanding prejudices and their root causes. He has transformed his findings into a book that draws surprising conclusions about the extent of the problem. (...)

In practically every conversation, he had to listen to descriptions of stereotypes and conspiracy theories about Jews. And yet the book Ranan has written is anything but an alarmist tome on Muslim anti-Semitism. (...)

Organ Theft and Other Conspiracy Theories

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:…"

"Where do I know that from? It's same way that people say there are German nationalists. We don't know any, but we know they exist."

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."
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