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Many Germans Would Rather Waive the Flag-Immigrant's Banner Raises a Ruckus With Berlin Leftists
WSJ ^ | 03 July 2010 | James Angelos

Posted on 07/04/2010 8:34:40 PM PDT by Palter

German flags have sprouted like red, black and gold wildflowers across Berlin this summer. They're appearing on balconies, cars, bicycles, storefront windows, even painted on children's cheeks. Few can match Youssef Bassal's.

Eager to show his enthusiasm for Germany's soccer team during the World Cup, Mr. Bassal, a 38-year old Lebanese immigrant, unfurled a 60-by-15-foot German flag a few weeks ago, on the facade of the building that houses his cell-phone store.

Mr. Bassal knew his Fahne, as the Germans call it, would draw onlookers. What he didn't anticipate was the reaction—outrage.

During the flag's first night on exhibit, Mr. Bassal says, two youths tore it down and tried to set it on fire. Mr. Bassal ordered a new flag, and this time hung it so that it was harder to reach from the sidewalk. Shortly thereafter, a masked group of nighttime marauders showed up, and the second flag disappeared, he says.

Police suspect the culprits are members of Berlin's radical leftist scene. For them, the enormous flag is nothing less than a provocation, a repugnant display of German nationalism.

Across Germany, the story of Youssef Bassal's flag has become a sensation. Since the vandalism began, a steady stream of television crews and reporters have shown up at his little store, here on a street nicknamed "Arab Alley" in Berlin's Neukölln neighborhood, known for its large population of Arab and Turkish immigrants.

That a man from Lebanon named Youssef has gone to such lengths to display and defend Germany's flag—a symbol many Germans themselves are ambivalent about—has forced many here to question the stereotypes they harbor about the country's immigrant population. Immigrants are generally referred to in Germany collectively, often derisively, as Ausländer, foreigners.

None of that worries Mr. Bassal.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Germany
KEYWORDS: berlin; flag; germany; leftist; nationalism; soccer

1 posted on 07/04/2010 8:34:50 PM PDT by Palter
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To: Palter

Sure beats illegal Brazilians and Mexicans flying their flags in the USA as their teams went down in flames.


2 posted on 07/04/2010 8:37:04 PM PDT by Frantzie (Democrats = Party of I*lam)
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To: Palter

One such German immigrant (Served US Air Force) and received her citizenship papers this past month.

Please welcome Axenia Shade to our ranks - axinia.shade@gmail.com


3 posted on 07/04/2010 8:42:45 PM PDT by jongaltsr (It)
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To: Palter

“That a man from Lebanon named Youssef has gone to such lengths to display and defend Germany’s flag—a symbol many Germans themselves are ambivalent about...”

Gee, just like America.

“Immigrants are generally referred to in Germany collectively, often derisively, as Ausländer, foreigners”

Perhaps they do say it with a sneer, but “Auslander” simply means “out-lander” - foreigner. If that’s offensive, well, I guess we better drop any such word from our own language.


4 posted on 07/04/2010 8:44:15 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: Palter
Some people are sick, like Barack sneering and Michelle's sour face on the 4th of July.

5 posted on 07/04/2010 8:46:32 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (11/03/2010 - What did Obama know and when did he know it?)
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To: jongaltsr

Wonder if our current President will receive his papers at the end of his term.


6 posted on 07/04/2010 8:46:53 PM PDT by pennboricua
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To: Palter

Hear hear for Mr. Bassal. That’s the kind of immigrant that I want in America.

Don’t let the scumbag leftists get you down, Mr. Bassal. Fly your flag with pride and spit in their eyes.


7 posted on 07/04/2010 8:53:55 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Palter

Good for Mr. Bassal.


8 posted on 07/04/2010 8:59:34 PM PDT by FourPeas (God Save America)
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To: Windflier

It does seem very odd, doesn’t it? Immigrants who became Germans are more patriotic than some of the German born?


9 posted on 07/04/2010 9:09:36 PM PDT by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
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To: Berlin_Freeper

Chewbacca once again shows her “love” of the USA.

BTW — I caught the Germany/Argentina match and was blown away by the precision of their game.

As always, Argentina (like Brazil) depends on individual talent to get the job done.

But what amazed me was when Germany came out in the 2nd time and started in traditional European “play not to lose” but then shifted to an aggressive plan. That is, IMHO, a new approach and one that will be examined, frame by frame, by Futball coaches and strategists for quite some time.

And I am only applying what I know from my close look every 4 years. I am sure there are nuances I haven’t even come close to seeing.

I am 3rd generation German (+Irish on the other side) — gotta love the new Germany! Telling the Euro-folk to get lost is a great action!


10 posted on 07/04/2010 9:12:06 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (The frog who accepts a ride from a scorpion should expect a sting and the phrase "it is my nature.")
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To: raybbr

>>It does seem very odd, doesn’t it? Immigrants who became Germans are more patriotic than some of the German born?<<

As the OP noted, it follows the US pattern.


11 posted on 07/04/2010 9:14:01 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (The frog who accepts a ride from a scorpion should expect a sting and the phrase "it is my nature.")
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To: raybbr
Immigrants who became Germans are more patriotic than some of the German born?

Ever talk to a Russian immigrant to the US? They feel exactly the same as Mr. Bassal does. Some of the most patriotic people I've met are folks who've escaped brutal regimes and have become US citizens.

We've apparently got the same trouble with left-wing traitors that other countries do. Communism knows no borders.

12 posted on 07/04/2010 9:15:34 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Palter

German Leftists - Anarchists, communists, Democrats. All the same.

Good to see an immigrant feel good about his adopted country. Too many of our own economic refugees in America hate the country and would rather be back in their own country. That is if it wasn’t such a rat hole.


13 posted on 07/04/2010 9:15:51 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (I Don't Want Hussein to Kick Ass. I WANT HIM TO GET OFF HIS ASS!!!!)
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To: Palter

Sounds like the immigrants of many decades ago here. My dad still says, ‘God Bless America’ a lot. They know how good they have it.


14 posted on 07/04/2010 9:17:47 PM PDT by Trillian
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To: Windflier; raybbr; freedumb2003

Did you take a walk through your neighborhood this Independence Day, and notice how many people were flying the Stars and Stripes?

I could count three houses with flag displays, within a radius of about half a mile.


15 posted on 07/04/2010 9:22:48 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: thecodont

Good point.


16 posted on 07/04/2010 9:37:02 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (The frog who accepts a ride from a scorpion should expect a sting and the phrase "it is my nature.")
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To: raybbr
Immigrants who became Germans are more patriotic than some of the German born?

I think that is the way it is supposed to work. When My Irish ancestors came here they competed with the Italians and the Pols to be "more American." The "old" English simply smiled. Each wave if immigrants are supposed to breath new life into a country. In the case of Latinos in The U.S., liberals have perverted the process by not requiring them to become Americanized. In fact, they have incentivized ethnicity in order to grow their political base.

17 posted on 07/04/2010 9:43:31 PM PDT by outofstyle (Anti-socialist)
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To: thecodont
Did you take a walk through your neighborhood this Independence Day, and notice how many people were flying the Stars and Stripes?

I could count three houses with flag displays, within a radius of about half a mile.

Well, my "neighborhood" is gravel roads and old asphalt two-lanes for the most part, so no, I didn't walk around to see how many flags were out.

But, I'm in North Texas, so it's not quite fair to compare the patriotic displays in my area with those in other parts of the country. Patriotism is on display around here year round.

18 posted on 07/04/2010 9:56:39 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: raybbr

The World Cup brings about a lot of nationalism.

Here’s the thing: Although they seem to want to blame “leftists”, the use of the word “youths” makes me think the leftists were actually auslanders themselves.


19 posted on 07/04/2010 10:01:19 PM PDT by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for, it matters who takes office.)
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To: thecodont
I could count three houses with flag displays, within a radius of about half a mile.

I just checked your profile and see that you're in California. That explains the lack of patriotic displays right there.

I'm a native Californio, so I know the blase' attitude toward all things Americana there, very well. In my 50 years of living in that state, I rarely saw anyone flying the state flag on their own property, but here in Texas, it's quite common. American flags abound, as well.

"Texas ~ it's like a whole 'nother country."

20 posted on 07/04/2010 10:02:39 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

That’s great that you live in an area where patriotism is on display year-round. Your neighborhood sounds as if there are not that many households per square mile.

In my neighborhood, non-rural but not downtown, almost suburban but not quite, there are many houses on each street. I think the display of flags in this neighborhood, per capita, was rather paltry compared to that in the town where I grew up, a few miles away.


21 posted on 07/04/2010 10:03:29 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: Windflier
In my 50 years of living in that state, I rarely saw anyone flying the state flag on their own property, but here in Texas, it's quite common. American flags abound, as well.

There's a house up the street about a mile away that flies both the U.S. and State of California flag, and not just on holidays, either. This house also has a service star displayed in the window.

22 posted on 07/04/2010 10:05:34 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: thecodont
I think the display of flags in this neighborhood, per capita, was rather paltry compared to that in the town where I grew up, a few miles away.

I spent a good deal of my youth growing up in Compton (in L.A. county), which was an all black city in those days. Even so, patriotism was always on full display, every Independence Day.

That was then - this is now. If you'd driven over to your old hometown neighborhood today, I'm sure you'd have seen fewer flags out than what you remember from your youth.

L.A. and the rest of SoCal has turned into some sort of foreign country. I'm not at all surprised at the lack of patriotic displays there anymore.

23 posted on 07/04/2010 10:17:30 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: thecodont
There's a house up the street about a mile away that flies both the U.S. and State of California flag, and not just on holidays, either. This house also has a service star displayed in the window.

It's not on Lowell Avenue in La Crescenta, is it? I know of a house there that flies both flags year-round. I used to live not five houses away. A rare patriot for that area.

24 posted on 07/04/2010 10:23:56 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

No, it’s quite a ways from there. :)

Suffice it to say this is a deep blue area, but now and then I’ll run into someone of like mind, and it is very refreshing, like water in the desert.


25 posted on 07/04/2010 10:38:41 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: thecodont
...now and then I’ll run into someone of like mind, and it is very refreshing, like water in the desert.

I know what you mean. I used to have the same experience ever so often when I lived there. Where I live now, the more conservative, patriotic view is the norm.

I can't tell you how hard that was to get used to when we first moved here. I was so accustomed to living undercover in L.A., that it was a bit hard for me to accept.

Imagine living in a place where love of country is the default mode, and liberals keep a low profile. Believe it or not, those places do exist in America.

26 posted on 07/04/2010 10:45:06 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: freedumb2003
But what amazed me was when Germany came out in the 2nd time and started in traditional European “play not to lose” but then shifted to an aggressive plan. That is, IMHO, a new approach and one that will be examined, frame by frame, by Futball coaches and strategists for quite some time.

Credit must go to Jurgen Klinsmann for totally changing the culture of Die Mannschaft. Nobody knew who Loew was before Klinsmann brought him on as an assistant.

This is precisely why the US has to do whatever it takes to bring Klinsi on to manage the US team.

27 posted on 07/04/2010 10:46:48 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: VeniVidiVici
Good to see an immigrant feel good about his adopted country. Too many of our own economic refugees in America hate the country and would rather be back in their own country. That is if it wasn’t such a rat hole.

I just walked in from a Fourth of July fireworks show at the town park. Lots of Chinese and Indian immigrants (it's Silicon Valley), their kids clapping and waving little American flags. It was good to see.
28 posted on 07/04/2010 10:55:41 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: freedumb2003
Good observations, I was actually worried for 30 minutes or so when the score was 1-0 and Argentina was threatening near the goal but they just didn't have the luck. Then Germany got determined again and scored the second goal and broke Argentina down. It is good times in Germany, Very Good Times, but let's hope it can continue. The good thing is Germany has a great mix of experience and youth on the team. I think they can win it!
29 posted on 07/05/2010 1:05:53 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (11/03/2010 - What did Obama know and when did he know it?)
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To: Windflier
Some of the most patriotic people I've met are folks who've escaped brutal regimes and have become US citizens.

Absolutely. I remember when President Bush visited Slovakia, and the people came out in droves to see him. They even swarmed his motorcade trying to meet him. Many of these folks are more patriotic than our own, especially the damn democrats.


30 posted on 07/05/2010 2:03:28 AM PDT by Prole (Please pray for the families of Chris and Channon. May God always watch over them.)
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To: Berlin_Freeper

Is that a real photo???? For me looks like Juan and Evita Peron.


31 posted on 07/05/2010 5:16:32 AM PDT by C19fan
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To: Berlin_Freeper
OBOZO is now playing the role of typical South American dictator speaking from his personal balcony...


32 posted on 07/05/2010 5:21:24 AM PDT by newfreep (Palin/DeMint 2012 - Bolton: Secy of State)
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To: newfreep
Our South American dictator gives forth from his balcony!
33 posted on 07/05/2010 5:24:59 AM PDT by newfreep (Palin/DeMint 2012 - Bolton: Secy of State)
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To: newfreep

I haven’t read anything about bozo’s inDependence day speech.

I can guess, though, that he probably turned the meaning of the Declaration inside out.


34 posted on 07/05/2010 5:27:11 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a (de)humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: MrB

Obama: “Independence Day about civil rights, voting rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights..”

Declaration of Independence: “...unalienable rights from our Creator”

OBOZO hates America, rejects our Constitution and “pals around” with marxist & mooslum dictators & terrorists.


35 posted on 07/05/2010 5:30:32 AM PDT by newfreep (Palin/DeMint 2012 - Bolton: Secy of State)
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To: newfreep

I figured as much - GROUP rights, not individual rights.

“civil rights” but not for whitey
“voter rights” ditto
“workers’ rights”, but only if you’re a ‘rat supporting union member
“women’s rights” - do men have rights, too?


36 posted on 07/05/2010 5:32:45 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a (de)humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: Prole
I remember when President Bush visited Slovakia, and the people came out in droves to see him.

President Bush certainly was a great representative for our country, and for the ideals of freedom and liberty. Many people around the world saw him as the very personification of the American Promise and responded to him with great affection and adulation. Especially those of the former Eastern Bloc countries.

Liberals in this country never understood that reaction, and most little noted it. They're so blinded by their poisonous ideology that they simply don't see that the full realization of their political goals brings about conditions that are the exact opposite of freedom and liberty.

I wonder if even one in a hundred liberals ever stops to wonder why the people of the former USSR so quickly embraced free market capitalism and democratic forms of government after the fall of Communism there.

Perhaps those people know just a bit more about real Socialism than our moonbat liberals do.

37 posted on 07/05/2010 6:46:50 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: raybbr

Understand that any outward show of German pride has been seen as a precursor to nationalism, which reminds everyone of the Hitler Period. It’s not that they aren’t inwardly proud, it’s the outward show that has been verboten.
I haven’t lived in Germany for decades,yet watching all the germans during world cup waving their flags did make me a bit squeamish. Not complaining, but even for people born decades after, it’s a strange burden to carry. Maybe we have all moved past the past now...still.


38 posted on 07/05/2010 11:28:00 AM PDT by Katya (Homo Nosce Te Ipsum)
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