Bereaved families and activists demonstrated on Wednesday outside of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem as German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met with his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi.
Maas arrived in Israel on Wednesday in order to urge the Israeli government against applying sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.
The demonstrators, led by the Zionist watchdog group Im Tirtzu and the Choosing Life Forum of Bereaved Families, called on the German Foreign Minister to stop intervening in Israel’s domestic affairs by means of funding “far-Left Israeli propaganda organizations.”
The demonstrators noted that from 2012-2019, the German government provided more than 18 million euro (20 million US dollars) to 32 far-Left NGOs in Israel, many of which are leading the public opposition to Israeli sovereignty and organized the anti-sovereignty protest this past Saturday night in Tel-Aviv.
The demonstrators brought dozens of “bop bags” bearing the names of different “radical” NGOs funded by Germany and chanted slogans including “Germany Will Not Decide For Us,” “Germany: Stop Meddling in Israel’s Domestic Affairs,” and “Stop Funding Political NGOs that Support Terrorists,” and “Diplomatic Relations, Yes. Political Subversion, No.”
In a letter sent yesterday by Im Tirtzu and the Choosing Life Forum, the organizations stated that a substantial portion of Germany’s funding to Israeli NGOs go to NGO that voluntarily defend terrorists in court.
“More than 17% of this sum was transferred to organizations that defend terrorists and their families in Israeli courts,” the letter read. “Terrorists who have murdered our loved ones! Take for example the organization ‘HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual,’ which in the past several years has voluntarily submitted judicial petitions on behalf of 73 terrorists.”
The letter continued: “We are troubled by the fact eight of the organizations that helped organize the protest [this past Saturday night against sovereignty] are funded by the Government of Germany.”
“Foreign Minister Maas,” the letter continued, “if you wish to come to Israel to speak with your Israeli counterparts and try to convince them one way or another, that is legitimate and welcome. But if you are trying to exert your influence via political organizations that you fund in order to create social unrest that will serve your interests, that is subversion and impudence of the highest order, and it is unwelcome here.”
The letter concluded: “We are calling on your government to immediately cease all funding of all radical Israeli political organizations. This funding makes a mockery of any and all efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg blasted Germany and accused it of crossing a red line.
“The German government not only provides radical Left Israeli NGOs with millions of euros annually, including NGOs that voluntarily defends terrorists in court, now these organizations are leading the political struggle against Israel’s move to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.”
“This is political subversion of the highest order, and no democratic country should tolerate it. Israel is not a banana republic; it is one of the most free and civilized countries in the world, and it deserved to be treated as such.”
Peleg added: “We are calling of Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi to demand a clarification from his German counterpart on the timing of his visit and the protest held this past Saturday night, which was organized by eight of the organizations funded by the German Government.”
Herzl and Merav Hajaj, leading members of the Choosing Life Forum and the parents of Shir Hajaj who was murdered in a terrorist attack in 2017, accused Germany of harming Israel’s deterrence.
“We, the bereaved families, meet the German-funded lawyers of far-Left Israelis NGOs in court on a regular basis when they come to defend the terrorists who murdered our loved ones and harm Israeli deterrence.”
“It’s been 75 years since the Holocaust, and the time has come for Germany to stop funding NGOs that lay the groundwork for the murder of more Jews.”