Gabor Steingart is one of the best-connected journalists in the German capital. The former editor-in-chief and publisher of finance daily Handelsblatt has built up the online platform The Pioneer, in which leading representatives of politics and business regularly have their say. He likes to present himself as a political free spirit and is often the first and most outspoken to say what others from his milieu think.
Steingart’s latest newsletter, The Pioneer Briefing of October 19, gives an insight into the state of mind among Germany’s tone-setting circles following the resurgence of the Middle East conflict. It makes clear why the establishment political parties and media are united in their support for the Netanyahu regime’s genocidal war in Gaza and persecute anyone who shows the slightest empathy for the Palestinians as “terrorists” and “antisemites.”
They are not concerned with protecting Jews—whether in Israel or in Germany. That would also be astonishing in the case of a ruling class that left those responsible in the highest offices after the murder of 6 million Jews, did not expropriate a single profiteer from Hitler’s Aryanisation programme and mass forced labour, took decades until it finally brought a few mass murderers to justice, and today gives the fascist Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is teeming with antisemites, a prominent place in politics.
Steingart and the ruling class he speaks for see the Palestinian resistance and the support it meets with in the Middle East and worldwide among the oppressed masses as an attack on their imperialist interests, as a threat to their “right” to plunder the whole world. That is why they support the terror of the Israeli army in Gaza and suppress any opposition to it.
In his briefing, Steingart establishes a direct link between Islamist organisations in the Middle East and Germany’s main geopolitical rivals. The actors behind Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, he claims, are “not terrorists in a rage, but coolly calculating states.” He counts the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, in addition to Iran, Kuwait and Yemen, among these states.
He does not cite any evidence for this, because there is none. Both Russia and China have so far kept a low profile in the Gaza conflict and called for de-escalation. Russia even maintained good relations with Israel for a long time. Netanyahu was still campaigning in the elections a year ago with posters showing him shaking hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But Steingart does not care. He speaks for a ruling class that feels threatened from two sides—from the international working class, which is rebelling against exploitation and oppression, and from its global rivals in the struggle for raw materials, sales markets and cheap labour.
Steingart accuses his opponents of being united by one goal: “They first want to destabilise the West, then relativise it in its world political importance, finally minimise it, in order to then possibly be able to liquidate it.”
To defend “the West” he relies on unrestrained violence. He literally writes: “Aircraft carriers, armoured divisions and the Iron Dome are currently not the last but the first hope for millions of people in the West. The military and its skillfullness in spotting, protecting and tracking down and then destroying enemies as precisely as possible is the core competence of this age.”
Aircraft carriers and armoured divisions as “hope for millions of people” and the destruction of enemies as the “core competence of this age”—Adolf Hitler could not have said it better. This is how someone writes who has lost all moral inhibitions. Steingart speaks for a ruling class that has its back to the wall, lashes out violently and is once again capable of any crime.
His briefing ends with the sentence, “This much can be said: possibly the 21st century feels a frivolous desire to emulate the 20th century with its two world wars.”
It may be that Steingart and his friends in Berlin and Washington feel this “frivolous desire.” But the working class and the youth are not prepared to be used as cannon fodder once again in an imperialist war that calls into question the survival of humanity.