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Ludwig Watzal: Kenneth M. Lewan – In Memoriam (English)

Kenneth M. Lewan was born in 1925 in Chicago and deceased on October 7th, 2012, in Germany. He received his education at Harvard University; followed by a PhD from the University of Munich. He worked as a lawyer and legal advisor for different US Departments and the US Congress. As a professor, he taught at universities in New York, Indiana and – until his retirement – in Hagen.
 
For US American standards, he was an outstanding scholar: All his life, he supported the cause of the Palestinian people. For him, all the evil brought upon them was caused by Zionism and its phony intentions. Before the establishment of the State of Israel and from its inception on May 14th, 1948, the Palestinian Arabs were hoodwinked by Zionist ideology. The last act of Palestinian self-deception about Zionist intentions happened, when Yasser Arafat became the “President” of the Palestinian National Authority in 1994. Although the Israeli political class never ever promised Arafat and his cronies a “Palestinian State”, which is worthy of the name; instead, the Palestinian leaders persuaded themselves of this pipe dream. However, left wing Zionists stated blatantly: If the Palestinians want to call this entity a state, it’s up to them. Lewan has always warned the Palestinians not to trust the Zionist Israeli leadership and their “progressive left-wing Zionist” cheerleaders.
 
For political scientists like Lewan or, for example, Norman Finkelstein it is impossible to get their work published in main stream journals, not to speak of the press. That is why, his last article on “Zionist Ideology and Propaganda: In Israel, America, and Germany” was published on the progressive website “dissent voice” on May 15, 2008. The numerous comments show that the author addressed a taboo topic.
 
In Germany, Lewan’s books were ignored by the media. His main focus was the conflict between the struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom and self-determination and Israel’s aggression, oppression and colonialism in the Middle East and its reception by the German press. He published books on the Six-Day War of June 1967 reported by West German media, and about the “two camps” within the German daily “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” concerning reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As early as 1993, he published a book with the title: “Is Israel South Africa?” (Ist Israel Südafrika?), which was also publically ignored.
 
A topic, which he touched upon every now and then, was the servile attitude of the German political class towards Israel’s brutal colonial policy in Palestine. In this respect, one of his favorites was the former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer, member of the Green Party, and the “Grande Dame” of the Free Democratic Party, Hildegard Hambruecher. He devoted them a play called: The Foreign Minister (Der Aussenminister). This play has not found a courageous director who would direct it as a drama on stage. He also published a collection of narratives called “Jacob’s report” (Jakobs Bericht) in which he pulled the mask off the face of the political establishment in Germany.
 
Kenneth Lewan’s straightforward and independent view will be missed in the future. Maybe others have the courage and follow in his footsteps.
 

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