|Quick, get it a burkha!..|
"There is a crucial lesson in this German experience of the 1970s. It was not that the methods of terrorist violence corrupted an idealistic message: on the contrary, a corrupt message dictated terrorist methods. The real libertarian and anti-fascist struggle was not to rationalise violence, but to inject sinew into the campaign to defeat it.
The anti-Semitism of the terrorist Left was revealed when a radical group bombed a Jewish hall in West Berlin in 1969 — on the anniversary of Kristallnacht. Horst Mahler, an RAF activist, supported the massacre of Israeli athletes by a radical Palestinian group at the Munich Olympics in 1972 — and is today a prominent neo-Nazi.
There is division in British politics today over anti-terrorist legislation. That debate had its forerunner in Germany in the 1970s. There remains disagreement about how far the liberties of terrorist suspects should be abridged; a draconian response can undermine security and liberal values. Yet a generation ago, Germany, with a terrible past but a new democratic culture, chose to defend itself and crack down on the RAF."