BONN (Oct. 20)
Axel Springer, owner of one of West Germany’s largest publishing enterprises, has accused the Bonn government of giving political weight to the Palestine Liberation Organization which has been involved in providing training facilities to German neo-Nazis. In an editorial in the daily Die Welt, Springer warned that the new wave of anti-Semitism is clearly linked to the government’s anti-Israel stance.
Springer, a long-time critic of Chancellor Helmut Schmidt’s pro-Arab Middle East policies, contended that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are two manifestations of the some phenomenon. He cited recent examples of cooperation between the PLO and neo-Nazi activists. He noted that leaders of the rightwing “Wehrsportsgruppe Hoffmann” and 20 of its German supporters were the guests of El Fatah for two weeks at a training camp in Lebanon.
“Something is wrong in a political atmosphere” in which a rumor is allowed to circulate undenied, that Chancellor Schmidt denounced Israeli Premier Menachem Begin as a “danger for world peace,” Springer wrote. He recalled that a belated official denial came only after strong protests by Israel. He also attacked Bonn’s policy of giving priority to the “reunification of the Arab world.” According to Springer, “An Arab unity existed, if ever, only in the united fight against the Jewish State.”