Ronen Bergman: The Gravest of Allegations ... Conflating Critique of Israel with Anti-Semitism

Roundup: Talking About History

Ronen Bergman is an Israeli journalist and security policy analyst.

"You are part of the anti-Semitic propaganda yourself, and you don't even know it. You don't speak German and you don't understand the nuances of the text, yet you sign it as one of the authors."

This allegation was hurled at me by Melody Sucharewicz, a communications and strategy consultant in Israel and Germany. I myself am the son of two Holocaust survivors who lost their entire families in the war, and I tried to defend myself against what I thought was a false accusation, but to no avail.

The attack had been triggered by an investigative report published by SPIEGEL last June addressing the German-Israeli cooperation in the building of submarines for the Israeli navy and compiled over several months by a team of journalists that included me. The report revealed that these submarines can carry nuclear missiles that would serve as Israel's second-strike capability in the event of a nuclear confrontation.

The report stirred up considerable controversy in Germany, where the government came under fire for financing the construction of such vessels in German docks. In Israel, I was criticized by many for taking part in an investigative report that served, in their opinion, as "severe anti-Israeli propaganda" in Germany. Sucharewicz's attack was one of the harshest and best articulated...  

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