Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
Speaking before the Israeli Knesset in 2008, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had this to say: “For me as German chancellor, therefore, Israel’s security will never be open to negotiation. And that being the case, we must do more than pay lip-service to this commitment.” Foreign minister Heiko Maas has claimed that the specter of Auschwitz is what motivates him when it comes to German-Israeli relations.
These are words that have a serious disconnect from the reality of Germany’s foreign policy when it comes to Israel. On a state visit to Israel in 2017, one of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s first actions was to lay a wreath at the tomb of noted terrorist Yassir Arafat. He followed that up with a letter, on behalf of Germany, congratulating the murderous and terrorist regime in Tehran on the anniversary of the Iranian revolution that swept into power a theocratic government. This was a wink and a nod to the Tehran regime, essentially denigrated the democratic opposition in Iran, offended the thousands of Iranian exiles who were victims of the mullahs, and proved that Merkel’s “lip service” was alive and well.
At the time, in response to rumors in Iran of an attack by the US, Yadollah Javani, an Iranian general, stated that if attacked they would destroy Haifa and Tel Aviv. Coincidentally, German Deputy Foreign Minister Niels Annen was in Tehran with a congratulatory letter regarding the Iranian revolution. We heard nothing from the German Foreign Ministry about the threat against Israel. The German newspaper Bild questioned these actions and were told that the German government wanted to keep the lines of dialogue open. Keeping those lines of dialogue open has resulted in Iranian assassination teams killing dissidents on German soil and, apparently, allowing Germany to help other European nations to skirt US sanctions on Iran. As one Iranian dissident, Nasrin Amirsdghi, said: “The German government romanticizes a regime that has Israel’s destruction on its agenda.”
Perhaps Germany’s animosity towards Israel and embrace of despotic Islamic regimes is greatest at the UN. In resolutions aimed at Israel, Germany is using a word game over principle. Their claim is that they are the brokers to soften tougher language in order to get some resolution passed. There is a name for this in European circles- the “old Brussels-Ramallah wink-and-nod.” In this game, anti-Israeli resolutions are sent by the PLO with inflammatory text which Europeans then claim they “tone down” and Israel can breath a sigh of relief because they were lynched with a shorter rope. Maas even claims this strategy has gained Germany credibility in Israel. The Israeli ambassador to Germany begs to differ.
In 2016, Germany voted for a WHO resolution calling out Israel as the world’s only violator of mental, physical, and environmental health. They voted to commission a WHO delegation to investigate health violations in the West Bank and Golan Heights.
Current US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has hit the nail on the head: “The belief that a single country and a single people merit such attention on a permanent basis — this belief is motivated by one thing: anti-Semitism.” He singled out “Agenda Item 7.” This Security Council item is a directive to debate the human rights record of Israel at every single Council session. Has any other country been so singled out? And as some within Germany have noted, in one year at the UN, there were 21 resolutions condemning Israel and only one against Syria.
In the German parliament, there was an initiative to correct this mismatch between German words and German actions as concerns Israel on the international stage in the UN. Called the “Reorientation on German and European Voting on Israel in the UN” resolution, it went down to defeat. The partisan breakdown is telling:
- Free Democrat Party- 69 YES, 0 NO, 0 abstentions;
- AfD (often described as a neo-Nazi party)- 81 YES, 0 NO, 3 abstentions;
- Green Party (liberal)- all abstentions;
- Christian Democrats (Merkel’s party)- 1 YES, 224 NO, 0 abstentions, and;
- Social Democrats- 0 YES, 132 NO, 0 abstentions.
- Final tally: 152 YES, 256 NO, and many abstentions.
As for that alleged far right, “sort of neo-Nazi” AfD party, these are the words of Anton Friese, an AfD member of parliament:
Expressions of solidarity are cheap, but to no avail. Beyond cheap words, when push comes to shove, Germany votes against Israel. In 2018, Germany approved 16 anti-Israeli resolutions in the UN General Assembly and abstained on four others, out of a total of 21 resolutions against Israel…The picture is not different in the UN Human Rights Council, of which such illustrious human rights defenders as China, Cuba, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are members. Even there, most of the convictions target Israel, while dictatorships go scot-free..Often the federal government says that it wants to prevent something worse and therefore has to participate in such machinations. It’s like joining a street gang to get it under control.
Supporting anti-Israeli resolutions is one thing, but Germany’s policies in other areas are equally frightening. Merkel has placed pressure on EU-member states to not move their embassies to Jerusalem. Terrorist organizations like the PFLP and Hezbollah are not illegal in Germany. Only Hezbollah’s military wing is banned which leaves Hezbollah itself the right to solicit funds in Germany to finance their military wing.
The German government is painfully aware that the Palestinian Authority spends $300 million a year to reward terrorists and their families. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas brags about this and declares the policy will never cease. Germany pays $100 million annually to the PA and thus indirectly funds the martyrdom of terrorists who kill and attack Jews.
Merkel talks a good game about Germany’s historical responsibility for Israel’s security. Yet, through actions, she funnels German taxpayer money to a “government” that rewards terrorist killers of Jews. They send congratulatory telegrams and delegations to celebrate a murderous regime in Tehran dedicated to wiping Israel off the map. They support UN resolutions condemning Israel while turning a blind eye to more deserving human rights violations elsewhere. Where was the German condemnation of the brutal crackdown on fellow Palestinians by the PA/Hamas in Gaza recently protesting corruption?
Germany, under Merkel, talks a good game, but their actions say otherwise. Words mean little when you are a country surrounded by others which wish your destruction. To paraphrase a famous line: “Who needs enemies when you have a friend like Germany?”