Israel-Gaza War Speech: Will Habeck Be Promoted to Chancellor?

Will he put himself in play as a candidate for chancellor in 2025? Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck. Photo: Steffen Prößdorf / CC BY-SA 4.0

The Minister of the Economy’s video speech is attracting a lot of attention. In Germany it brings him praise from the media and all parties. But there are also critical voices.

from one video speech, which was published on Wednesday by Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), is being treated in some sections of the German media as a possible candidate for chancellor. His statements on the war between Israel and Gaza and the anti-Semitic attacks in Germany are praised even by parts of the political and media landscape that otherwise hardly give the Greens a thumbs-up.


Both Habeck’s party colleague Annalena Baerbock, as German Foreign Minister, as well as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (both SPD), have to accept criticism because they did not use “words as clear”.

In his own words, Habeck recorded the video as a contribution to “untangling” the public debate that has been “heated and sometimes confusing” since the terrorist attack by the Palestinian group Hamas against mostly unarmed Israelis of all ages on 7 October. There are many things mixed up, Habeck stressed at the beginning of his almost ten-minute speech.

He did not discuss civilian casualties from Israeli counterattacks in the Gaza Strip until the second half of the video, which is also available with subtitles in English, Hebrew and Arabic.

“The phrase ‘Israel’s security is the German reason of state’ has never been an empty formula and must not become such,” explained among other things Habeck, who not only assured his solidarity to the Jews in Germany, but also announced harsh consequences for the crimes committed. such as the burning of Israeli flags, including the unequal treatment of criminals with and without German citizenship.

It was my grandparents’ generation that wanted to destroy Jewish life in Germany and Europe. The founding of Israel, after the Holocaust, was a promise of protection to the Jews, and Germany is obliged to help ensure that this promise can be fulfilled. This is a historical foundation of this republic.(…)

Burning Israeli flags is a criminal offense, as is praising Hamas terror. Whoever is German will have to answer for it in court; Anyone who is not German will also run the risk of losing their resident status. Anyone who does not yet have a residence permit constitutes grounds for deportation.

Robert Habeck, Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection

“Clear words that one would expect from the Minister of the Interior, the Federal Chancellor or the Minister of Foreign Affairs,” says CDU foreign policy expert and former chancellor candidate Armin Laschet. Baerbock, for his part, relativizes and tries to justify Germany’s abstention in the vote on the UN resolution for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Gaza, Laschet criticized.

According to Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosor, the Federal Republic should have voted against it. Laschet had joined this. Habeck criticized the abstention in the now highly praised speech, at least not directly.

“That’s really the job of a head of government.”

“It is significant that the Minister of Economic Affairs speaks so clearly about Israel. In reality, that would be the job of Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock,” he also said in a comment. ZDF. Its editor-in-chief, Dominik Rzepka, considers it an attempt to recover Habeck, who was considered ill after the debate on the heating law.

“That’s really the job of a head of government. But Olaf Scholz is not someone who can give speeches like that,” said communications expert Martin Fuchs in an interview with the news portal. t online.

Also ex-ImageAt first, editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt was enthusiastic about Habeck’s words: “What Robert Habeck says here is hard to beat in terms of moral clarity, rhetorical brilliance and, above all, sincere and moving empathy.” wrote Reichelt on X, formerly Twitter. “These are words that were urgently needed from this federal government.”

What the hell?Image-Despite the praise, boss Habeck notes it

However, the current operator of the YouTube channel “Aehrung, Reichelt”, whose target audience is largely close to the AfD, made it clear shortly afterwards that he does not want to join those who almost consider Habeck the chancellor of their hearts.

“Yes, it was a good speech. But it is completely absurd that the pay-per-view media is now dreaming of Robert Habeck as chancellor after he destroyed our economy and supported and fueled devastating immigration policy for years.” Reichelt said..

Unlike sectors of the green base, the AfD and CDU/CSU parties considered that more deportations than additional de facto punishments – and not only for anti-Israel or anti-Semitic crimes – should have been delayed for a long time. Until now, this has been harder to convey in the Green Party’s rank and file, where many see themselves as part of the anti-racist movement and advocate for equal treatment even in cases of misconduct.

Habeck himself mentioned in his speech that traditional right-wing extremists in Germany refrain from making anti-Semitic statements “for purely tactical reasons in order to incite hatred against Muslims.” The relativization of the Second World War and the Nazi regime as “fly shit” is a slap in the face to the victims and survivors, according to his gesture from the fence post towards the AfD.

Jewish author calls it “the only legitimate lesson of the Holocaust”

democrat Political scientist Jonathan Hopkin from the London School of Economics noticed something else: he had listened to the German vice-chancellor’s nearly ten-minute speech twice; and it took him “literally seven minutes” to comment on the killing of civilians in Gaza, and even then “barely more than grudgingly,” Hopkin said on X on Thursday.

According to health authorities in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, Israeli air and ground strikes have killed at least 9,061 people since October 7. Although this cannot be independently verified, the numerous images of destroyed skyscrapers and civilian casualties of all ages do not make it seem implausible.

Jewish writer Deborah Feldman, a German-American, said Wednesday night ZDF-Conversation with Habeck in Markus Lanz: “I am firmly convinced that there is only one legitimate lesson from the Holocaust, and that is the absolute and unconditional defense of human rights for all. Period.”

A week ago, hundreds of American Jews demonstrated at New York Central Station calling for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Gaza with the slogan “Jews say ceasefire now.” According to the organization Democracy Now, there were 400 arrests.
(Claudia Wangerín)

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