PSD’s dangerous game: anti-Semitism as political weapon
On Tuesday evening, PSD clocked one of the most dangerous transgressions in its recent history, when Ilan Laufer publicly accused President Klaus Johannis of anti-Semitism. With the PSD logo behind him, with President Liviu Dragnea’s approval looming large, and benefitting from Israeli consultants’ advice, Ilan Laufer wanted to turn a simple political game into an extremely sensitive ideological dispute. PSD’s game is irresponsible, given that Iohannis has demonstrated a special sensitivity to the cause of the Jews, militating for the establishment of the National Jewish History and the Holocaust Museum, and often speaking about anti-Semitism as a major problem.
Laufer is just a tool in the hands of PSD propaganda against Johannis, a propaganda that has begun since the presidential election in 2014 and has continued throughout the past two years via abject figures such as Darius Vâlcov, Liviu Pop, or former nationalist extremist party members Olguţa Vasilescu and Codrin Ştefănescu, imported from a party with clear anti-Semitic positions.
PSD propaganda wants to connect the image of Klaus Johannis – of German ethnicity – to Nazism and anti-Semitism in any possible way. PSD members and their consultants wish to provoke international reactions against Johannis on his alleged anti-Semitism at any cost.
This is a very dangerous pursuit, because it is not about accusations against a simple individual, but about attracting the head of the Romanian state into an international game of potentially serious consequences.
Moreover, Ilan Laufer’s gratuitous self-victimization provokes adverse reactions unleashing, potentially, latent social anti-Semitism. This danger was perceived perfectly by Professor Liviu Rotman, who wrote on Facebook that „Laufer and those behind him are irresponsible! Not only are Laufer’s statements not supported, but they can also strengthen anti-Semitism. I would say the former minister is playing an anti-Semitic force. ”
Do not rush to accuse Romanian society of latent anti-Semitism: this feeling exists in most European states and it is being strengthened from time to time by irresponsible and populist political campaigns. See Orban’s stop-Soros campaign in Hungary.
Professor Rotman is right on one point: seeing the party led by ex-extremist party members such as Codrin Ştefănescu claiming Johannis’ anti-Semitism, is „the summit of absurdity.” It also shows premeditation in maximum bad faith, and a completely distorted political agenda. That is, the agenda that Liviu Dragnea constantly stamped on the PSD, seeking to project the image of an anti-Semitic president, even a Nazi sympathizer.
This has been attempted in the past by Dragnea’s lieutenants, but the National Council for Combating Discrimination reacted promptly. The NCCD sanctioned Premier Dăncilă ‘s advisor Darius Vâlcov and former education minister Liviu Pop for discrimination, after suggesting that the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania would represent a Nazi organization. Vâlcov was fined 2000 lei and Pop was sanctioned with a warning. We remind that Darius Vâlcov’s post, in which Johannis appears as Hitler, was vehemently criticized by the Jewish community and provoked the reaction of the German Government.
However, Laufer’s allegations are infinitely more serious because they bear the PSD stamp of approval: they were made within a formal framework in the PSD headquarters, with the party’s logo and the party’s National Political Bureau in the background. Manipulation has practically moved to PSD headquarters and no one can deny it. No one in PSD has distanced themselves from Laufer’s allegations.
However, we all know about the best laid plans of mice and men…Until now, reactions from the Jewish community, and domestic and international, ones, are condemning the gesture. MCA Romania, the director of the International Holocaust Museum, Jewish intellectuals, the head of the NCCD – all criticized Laufer’s position and PSD policy.
They all saw that Johannis has internalized the history of the German people, the huge errors of the past, and is extremely attentive to the issue of anti-Semitism. Holocaust exegetes are among his counselors, the establishment of a Holocaust Museum was among his first major initiatives, and the distinction „Light Unto the Nations” granted by the American Jewish Committee rewarded this clear and unequivocal position.
If the PSD continues in this way, in spite of evidence and common sense, it will find itself ever closer to the pit of history. A party that destroys justice, the rule of law, the economy, is about to unleash the darkest forces in society. Everything for the sake of a corrupt and reckless leader.
PS: As to the aberrant accusations: in Laufer’s logic, can we think that Dragnea kicked him out of the government in January 2018 because he is anti-Semitic? This is obviously stupid and does not stand the test of reason.
Traducerea: Ruxandra Stoicescu
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