Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Alibi Jews — German and Canadian

Irena Wachendorff, Alibi Jew

Alibi Jew: A Jew or person of Jewish descent who can be called on to support an individual’s or group’s antisemitism or extremist anti-Israeli position.

An example: Back in 2008, the NDP called for Canada to participate in Durban 2. Organized by the UN, Durban 1 and 2 were supposed to be world conferences on anti-racism. Instead, Durban 1 singled out Israel for condemnation and spread outright Jew-hatred, with copies of the Elders of Zion and other material more commonly found at neo-Nazi book fairs distributed.  

With Iran one of the principle organizers, Durban 2 promised to be another antisemitic conference, and Canada announced it wouldn’t be going – a position that initially received all party support.

However, the large majority of NDP members who hate Israel forced the party to reverse its stance. To provide an alibi for supporting an anti-Jewish hate fest, the call went out from NDP party headquarters: Find some Jews who support the Durban conference! Which wasn't so hard. Several dozen Canadians with a Jew or two in their family history have devoted their lives to providing alibis to anyone dedicated to wiping Israel off the map.

Fortunately, though, Tom Mulcair led a counter-revolt and forced the NDP to abandon it's support for this antisemitic conference. 

In the future, the NDP may have less need for alibi Jews. The large majority of NDP activists still hate Israel, but Saint Jack Layton, who never had a bad word to say about the Israel-haters and antisemites in his party, has gone to that socialist heaven in the sky and Tom Mulcair now runs the NDP. Mulcair hasn't tried to root out the haters, but mostly he's gotten them to shut up. 

(More about the battle for the soul of the NDP here.)

Irena Wachendorff: The German Alibi Jew 
From Heeb magazine and (starting from the 5th last paragraph) the Jerusalem Post

We all have dreams. Uncle Junior wanted to screw Angie Dickinson, my mother wants to work in a funeral home, and Irena Wachendorff just wants to be Jewish and the daughter of Holocaust survivors so she can criticize Israel. Is that so wrong?

Up until now, Wachendorff has made a decent career of being an alibi Jew. The job is easy: If someone is accused of antisemitism, alibi Jews are brought in as defending witnesses. It’s the old “some of my best friends are pantomimes” routine, with an added speaking part for friends. In a country like Germany, where the Jewish community is only sporadically visible, being an alibi Jew can be a good gig.

If all anyone ever talks about is how Israel is the root of all global evil, people might start to ask questions. This is when the accused is able to point to the supportive alibi Jew, who in turn is able to point to his or her family history or just basic Jewishness and say something like: “What the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians is what the Nazis did to my parents.”

As an alibi Jew, Irena Wachendorff presents herself as the whole package: Her mother was in Auschwitz—“I grew up with the number on her arm”—her father a tzadik (a man who keeps all 613 commandments) who escaped to England. Irena herself was in the IDF during the Lebanon War. Today she’s a “German-Jewish poet” who lives in Israel six months every year to support an Arab-Jewish kindergarten. The rest of the year, she’s in Germany to act as the hazzan (prayer leader) of her congregation and to send violins to Gaza.
Newspapers have written about her work as an activist and she’s been interviewed on local TV. She frequently talks to schoolchildren about her parents’ fate. Wachendorff is also quite active in discussions on the Facebook page of leading politician Ruprecht Polenz, chairman of the foreign council of the German parliament, who has come under attack for perceived “anti-Israel” feelings. Polenz often points to Wachendorff when he needs support, which she will gladly supply:
“I think I should only take seriously someone who 1) was in the IDF, 2) has lived in Israel for at least two years and 3) is even Jewish. Hello…anybody here???”
Anybody here indeed. Because Irena Wachendorff is none of those things. Via some genuine journalism, writer Jennifer Nathalie Pyka found out the true story.

Upon being asked, Wachendorff’s mother says she was never in Auschwitz—“my husband was though.” Probably not as an inmate: He wasn’t an Orthodox Jew but a Protestant officer of the Wehrmacht.

A speaker of the Israeli army can find no record of an Irena Wachendorff having ever been in the IDF. During the Lebanon war, Irena Wachendorff acted in various productions in local theaters in the Rhine region. The kindergarten she supports does exist, but there is no evidence of her ever having visited it. And finally, she isn’t a member of her alleged congregation.

This is not without precedent. Every couple of years, some fake Jew is revealed. What makes this case so interesting is that a leading German politician was fooled. Polenz has released a statement saying that he’s not responsible for the third party’s opinion, that he still supports this dubious Jewish-Arab kindergarten and he’s disgusted with this prying into Wachendorffs private life: “This is like an Ariernachweis [certificate of being Aryan] in reverse.”

It is Polenz’s association with Wachendorff when it comes to discussing Israel that turned this into a story, however. As Pyka says, “Instead of offering arguments, Wachendorff talked only about her background and her experiences in the IDF.”

Wachendorff still clings to most of her story, but is she just suffering from some dissociative fugue? Pyka isn’t sure but has called a follow-up article “The Protocols of the Loon of Remagen,” Remagen being the hometown of Wachendorff.

After the initial article, Wachendorff wrote on Facebook that she had deliberately spread false information about herself as to protect her family and her congregation. When the Jerusalem Post called her some days later, she said that she doesn’t really remember what camp her mother was in exactly and that she isn’t too sure whether that’s a number on her arm or something else. After that, she deleted her Facebook profile and hasn’t been heard from since.

But in the meanwhile, says Pyka, Wachendorff used “Six million dead Jews to serve her own publicity,” for personal and commercial gain and to damage Israel."

However, the greater villain in all this is Ruprecht Polenz, senior deputy in the Bundestag, head of the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee, and Wachendorff’s biggest fan. Coincidently, Polenz also feels warmly toward Iran and last year welcomed a group of Iranian lawmakers to Berlin.

In addition to being under fire for defending Wachendorff, critics accuse Polenz of allowing his Facebook site to be turned into a magnet for jihadists, raging antisemites, haters of Israel and extremist leftists. On Polenz’s Facebook, writers posted “that rich, industrial Jews planned the genocide on the Jewish people in order to create Israel.”

In another entry, Darwisch Salman Khorassani wrote that if “USREAL [Israel and the US] attack, I will register as a suicide bomber. Not from Islamic motives but from pure humanistic motives.”


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