Last Monday, the German media DW announced that Jürgen Habermas, the most prominent intellectual and philosophical figure in Germany, along with two politicians and a lawyer, issued a statement condemning Hamas’ terrorist act on October 7th as a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe, expressed concern! The statement reads: “Hamas’ massacre on October 7th was carried out with the intention of eradicating Jewish life. Israel’s military operations against these terrorist acts are fundamentally justified, but the conduct of these operations must adhere to the principles of proportionality, avoiding the killing of non-combatants, and advancing the war with a view to achieving peace in the future. Despite all concerns about the fate of Palestinians in the ongoing conflicts, attributing the genocide to Israel’s actions distorts the judgment criteria.”
These German intellectuals stated: “It is intolerable for Jews in Germany to once again face life and physical threats and fear physical violence in the streets. The democratic image of the Federal Republic, based on the necessity of respect for human dignity, is associated with a political culture that, considering the extensive crimes of the Nazi era, defends and protects the existence of Jews and the right to the existence of Israel as its essential elements.”
The important and vital issue here is how a prominent thinker and philosopher like Habermas, who has always presented himself as a critic of Western liberal attitudes, defends and justifies Zionist colonialism and apartheid. It is true that figures like Jürgen Habermas should not be considered analysts of the Gaza war; instead, these individuals, as prominent figures in the academic field, seek to solidify their group’s interests and factions by issuing statements. Habermas, as a white European Jew living in the Northern world, has repented from his left and critical perspective towards the West and is now embraced by imperialism. It is natural for him to take such a position. He, as a Jew, only considers the rights of Jews in Germany and the Holocaust. Therefore, he is more concerned that anti-Semitic sentiments of Nazi Germany might re-emerge in Europe than paying attention to the massacre of people and children in Gaza!
From liberal perspective,
Gaza crisis does not matter
What has been noteworthy in this matter is the worldview of intellectuals like Habermas. As individuals who have lived in the Northern world and view the world from that perspective, it is natural for them to be indifferent to the events in Gaza and everything happening in the Middle East that brings tragedy and death to the people. Habermas and intellectuals like him, such as Franz Fanon or Edward Said, are not individuals who have concerns about such events; they navigate their own worldview and issue statements based on that position. Nowadays, the Frankfurt School is no longer like before World War I, and its representatives observe global developments from the perspective of America and an American approach. Intellectualism has reached the end of the twentieth century and merely wants to fill its resume."
The reaction arising from the end of the careers of intellectuals like Habermas is something that became apparent in the Gaza events, and the contradiction between their behavior and empty slogans became clear. In other parts of the world, critical intellectuals who are in the socialist and Marxist camp did not successfully emerge from the Gaza war examination.
Jürgen Habermas, after a lifetime of proposing the idea of communicative rationality and criticism of modern "power," at the end of his philosophical career stood on the side of absolute evil and unethical defense of one of the most blatant "modern oppressive powers." A position that will remain a stain of shame on the record of this aging philosopher. Habermas, as a university professor in the field of humanities, abandoned the criticism of crimes in Gaza and embraced the birth of anti-Semitism in Europe, while the global society has moved beyond this stage, and the issue today is not the conflict with the religion of Judaism or Jews but unjustified colonization and dominance by Zionists in the land of Palestine.
Even critical Western philosophy supports colonization
Habermas’ actions showed that Western-based humanities, built on the new philosophy of this region, ultimately not only do not take the side of the oppressed but also stand side by side with the oppressors and justify their actions theoretically. The foundation of Western thought in whatever form it may be, from modern to postmodern, from left to right, ultimately reveals its serious weakness somewhere. Habermas’ actions demonstrated that it is not possible to trust Western humanities and its philosophy after Immanuel Kant. Ali Shariati also repeatedly mentions in his works that Western liberal or Marxist ideology, whatever it may be, is still in the service of Western colonization, and we witness that figures like Marx, despite their criticism of the West, have no objection to European colonial policy and even endorse it.