The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported on May 19, 2020 that “Germany and the Palestinian Authority (PA) released a joint statement expressing ‘grave concern’ over Israel’s declared intention to begin annexing parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley. The same German government has ignored Israel’s legal rights in Judea and Samaria and imposed Nazi-like sanctions on Israeli products from these Jewish communities.
Germany has been on the side of Israel’s enemies time and again. Germany was a partner in the 2015 flawed Iran nuclear deal, which Israel vehemently opposed, charging that it gave the radical Islamic Republic a clear path to a nuclear bomb. Germany has also been Iran’s major trading partner, and a leader in thwarting the U.S. imposed sanctions on the ayatollah’s dictatorship. The Iranian regime has repeatedly threatened to “wipe the Jewish state off the map.”
Germany is also opposed to the Trump administrations “deal of the century” Middle East peace plan, which Israel overwhelmingly supports. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, complained that the Trump plan required a “balanced approach.” He stated that, “Only a negotiated two-state solution acceptable to both sides can lead to a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.” In his apparent pro-Palestinian bias, Maas clearly ignored Mahmoud Abbas’ (Palestinian Authority President) repeated rejections of Israel’s peace proposals, including the 2008 generous peace offer by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s repeated invitations to Abbas to come to the negotiating table. Abbas also rejected the Trump peace plan even before it was presented.
Germans are guilty of perpetrating the greatest crime in history, the industrial liquidation of European Jewry, known as the Holocaust. Germany’s history, moreover, is replete with antisemitic violence against Jews. Whether during the crusades, or the ‘hep hep’ pogroms against the Jews throughout Germany in 1819, ostensibly aimed against Jewish emancipation. Germany has been, throughout history, a leading source of antisemitism and anti-Jewish racism. Today, with the memory of the Holocaust still fresh, German hostility to the Jewish state, although hidden from view, is alive and well in Germany’s Foreign Ministry, and it is reflected in its major policies.
The German Foreign Ministry is working behind the scenes to delegitimize Israel by funding Non-Governmental Agencies (NGO’s) that work openly do that job. At the same time, the German Foreign Ministry unknowingly or intentionally is damaging the relationship between Germany and Israel. All this is done while official Berlin is releasing declarations about Germany’s moral obligations to the Jewish state.
This dichotomy is perhaps a symptom of Germany’s latent antisemitism on one hand, and its efforts to re-brand itself as a new Germany, to redeem itself from its sordid past. German society has never truly confronted its antisemitism in the post war era. Contemporary Germans have a ready excuse that they have atoned for the Holocaust by restoring synagogues, (which they burned and destroyed in 1938 during the Kristallnacht pogroms) and built memorials for the dead Jews (that they are responsible for killing). Antisemitism is, however, pervasive throughout German society. For more than 20 years after WWII, about 100 former members of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party held high ranking positions in the West German Justice Ministry.
A recent study which reviewed former Justice Ministry personnel files, showed that the prevalence of former Nazi officials in the Justice Ministry allowed them to shield one another from post-war justice. Some of these former Nazi officials took part in the murderous violence known as Kristallnacht. The presence of many Nazis in the post-war German administration created a sense of denial about Nazi crimes. For many Germans, the Nuremberg Trials were merely a kind of “victors justice,” and not Nazi Germany barbarism and genocide. Germans today, to repress their guilt for the Holocaust, are practicing what amounts to a “secondary antisemitism.” They resent living Jews for reminding them of their guilt. They have assumed the role of victim, with the Jews being their victimizer. Hilda Walter, a German Jewish journalist quipped that “It seems the Germans will never forgive us for Auschwitz.”
These days, while the German government expresses concern over growing antisemitism in Germany, it is funding antisemitic NGO’s. According to NGO-Monitor, “Officially, German funding is aimed at combatting poverty, securing food, establishing peace, democracy and human rights…However, German federal funding is allocated to, among others, organizations that promote anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions), lawfare campaigns, anti-Zionism, a one-state vision, antisemitism, and violence.”
The vehicle to disburse funding to Israel’s enemies is the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The BMZ is the primary federal authority managing German development policy. With a budget of 10.2 billion euros (2019), the BMZ provided the Palestinian territories with 85.7 million Euros in 2016. German government generosity includes the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), a leading group engaged in political warfare against Israel. It is promoting BDS, and regularly levels false accusations of Israeli apartheid and racism, and support for a Palestinian “right of return,” which is inimical to a two-state solution. Miftah is another Palestinian organization funded by German government largesse. This group promotes resistance against Israel, which means terror attacks. It regularly accuses Israel of perpetrating “massacres,” cultural genocide, war crimes, and apartheid.
The German Foreign Ministry’s particularly harmful action has been the subversion of the Germany-Israel Friendship Association, which was formed in 1966 (a year after diplomatic relations were established between the two countries). The Association has 50 branches across Germany and between 5,000-6,000 members. The Association was, from the start, an a-political body supported by all German political parties, aimed to express their commitment to Israel. To expand its activities, the Association sought and received funding from the German government, and it has received 500,000 Euros annually, which is disbursed by the German Foreign Ministry.
The German government financial aid to the Association is not without a price. The Foreign Ministry used the aid to subjugate the Association to its policies, which often times contradicts Germany’s alleged commitment to Israel’s security. The same Foreign Ministry regularly votes against Israel in international bodies, including the UN.
The Association Board of Directors was ordered by the Foreign Ministry to immediately cease dealing with issues pertaining to UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency). Germany is the top donor to this agency specifically devoted to the Palestinians, and to no other refugees. UNRWA, as an organization, is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state by serving as an incubator for Palestinian terrorists. The Association was instructed to focus only on cultural activities affiliated with a particular political camp – the Israeli left.
In what amounts to a sharp blow to pro-Israel activities in Germany, the German Foreign Ministry announced that it is curtailing its financial support from a project used by the Association in conjunction with pro-Israel groups called “Days of Israel,” which are held around Israel’s Independence Day. “Days of Israel” activities take place in major German cities and towns. It includes speeches, performances, movies, and information booths that promote Israel. It is apparent that the biased German Foreign Ministry resents the pro-Israel message that the “Days of Israel” represents. They would rather have the Association present more “balanced” programs.
Young members of the Association on Study Tours to Israel were instructed by the German Foreign Ministry to avoid civic organizations associated with the political Right. They were especially warned not to meet with Jewish “settlers.” They were however, encouraged to meet with radical Leftist organizations.
It is becoming increasingly clear whose side Germany is on.