Video on anti-Semitism: How Robert Habeck shows Olaf Scholz and Annalena Baerbock in his speech

Four weeks after the horrific Hamas terror attacks, Germany finally received a chancellor's speech on the situation.

Video on anti-Semitism: How Robert Habeck shows Olaf Scholz and Annalena Baerbock in his speech

Four weeks after the horrific Hamas terror attacks, Germany finally received a chancellor's speech on the situation. Except it didn't come from Olaf Scholz. Nor did it come from Frank-Walter Steinmeier, even though it is actually the most noble task of a Federal President to give such speeches in difficult situations. Nor did it come from Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who usually never shys away from clear words.

No, it came from the very man who had earned the reputation of being one of the most incompetent ministers in the cabinet in recent months: Economics Minister Robert Habeck.

The video, which his ministry published on social networks on Wednesday, lasts almost ten minutes. That's unusually long for a time when many news consumers' attention often only lasts a few seconds. But Habeck manages to keep the tension despite the length.

His words contain everything that makes a good speech. Rhetorical and political. In short, forceful sentences, Habeck draws a historical arc from current events and names Germany's responsibility: the "promise of protection to the Jews" resulting from the Holocaust as the foundation of our state. And he describes who is currently putting this promise at risk. He not only mentions Muslim and right-wing anti-Semitism, but also that from the left. Habeck announces consequences and threatens a “tough political response”. Above all, he leaves no doubt about what is important in all considerations and considerations. On standing with Israel.

Habeck's speech is remarkable in several respects. On the one hand, because it makes clear the blank space that Olaf Scholz leaves behind on this point. The Chancellor is an analyst, but he dislikes the public display of emotions. He also does not have the gift of speech. His speeches on the situation in Israel and the region always seemed "genuinely trying", but nothing more.

But in situations in which crises and conflicts destroy certainties, shake up value systems and raise existential questions, in which images of horrific suffering leave no one unmoved, more than analysis is needed. Words of empathy are needed. Clear positioning is needed. It takes a big speech. Habeck delivered it. And in doing so he not only provided political orientation, but also an emotional railing that people can hold on to.

This contrasts with the current demeanor of his party friend and rival, Green Party Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. She is being criticized because Germany abstained from voting on the UN resolution on Israel and Gaza. This called for a ceasefire from Israel, but did not name Hamas terror as the trigger for the military reaction.

Baerbock now explains in detail why Germany, in its efforts to continue to play a mediating role in the region, did not want to mess with the Arab countries and therefore only abstained from the UN vote but did not vote against the resolution.

It's an interesting reversal of roles. While Habeck got tangled up in his heating law, both verbally and in terms of content, and turned the entire country against him, Baerbock traveled the world and produced beautiful pictures. She was able to stay away from the conflicts of domestic politics. But now domestic policy is determined by foreign policy and thus Baerbock's terrain. And suddenly she's the one getting tangled up.

The fact that Habeck decided at this point to send a clear message to Baerbock's recklessness was certainly not a coincidence, but also a power political calculation. The struggle as to who will run for the Greens in the next federal election has not yet been decided.

The feat that Habeck achieved with his speech is also remarkable. He was an outlaw for months. Now his ten-minute speech has earned him recognition from almost all political camps. And not just from these: he is celebrated on social networks for his appearance as a great statesman.

It's an amazing comeback, but we don't yet know how sustainable it is. But Habeck is suddenly back in the realm of conceivability as a possibility for the country's future leadership. Because he found the right words at an important time.