Can someone be employed in a German Federal Ministry who calls the State of Israel a “terrorist state” – while in Israel Jews, Christians and Muslims are under massive fire from Islamist Palestinian terrorists? So reversals between terrorists and victims are not only found in Germany on social platforms, in some newspapers, but probably even exist in federal ministries.
Since the Islamist terrorist organisation Hamas resumed firing rockets at Israel and waging a War of Terror on Monday, unrealistic discussions about who are the terrorists and who are the victims started in Germany as well. The staff member, Mouatasem Alrifai, on the Youth Advisory Council of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) publicly referred to Israel as a “terrorist state” via a social network.
He also claimed that the reporting of the German media is false and a pack of lies, writing that the “biggest German media” do not tell the “story told by the lion (Palestinians)” but instead tell the “story of the hunter (Israelis)”. In this context, he cites the newspapers Der Spiegel, Bild-Zeitung, Tagesschau and Die Welt.In another post, Alrifai, using the same hunter-lion comparison, spoke of “this is how the biggest German media hypocrites about Israel”.
The lion-hunter comparison is in the context of surviving accounts that say that crusaders went lion hunting in “Palestine” in the 12th century as well as that 100 years later lions became extinct in this region. This view must also be understood in the context of the Christian crusade to conquer “Palestine” around 1095/99. Against this background, Christians and Jews today are referred to as “crusaders” and “hunters” with negative connotations. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are metaphorically given a special victim role with the term “lions”. Such terminology and comparisons are readily used by radical Islamic circles.
The term “crusader” is thus used by many anti-Israeli to anti-Semitic organisations and individuals as a synonym for Israelis as alleged “colonialists”. When Turkish President Erdogan hinted at a deliberate “total liberation” of the Palestinians in the course of the conversion of Hagia Sophia back to a mosque, the pro-government Turkish media responded by calling Erdogan the saviour of the “tyranny of the crusaders” – this is a rhetoric used by the Islamic State (IS) and al-Quaida and always has a firm anti-Semitic flavour in this context due to the world views present.
The current BMZ staff member also shared a post by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in which they expressed solidarity with Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and the West Bank, writing: “We are a movement committed to ending settlement colonialism in all its forms and we will continue to work for the liberation of Palestine. #SaveSheikhJarrah”. Alrifai made it clear that he welcomed this. He also changed his Facebook profile picture to show solidarity with the #SaveSheikhJarrah campaign and UnitedPalastinans.
Alrifai switched from his membership of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) to the Green Party in spring 2020. Since March 2021, he has served on the Youth Advisory Council of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In 2019, he was nominated for the German Commitment Award with prize money of 10,000 euros, which he said he had donated – among others to the radical left-wing climate activist group “Extinction Rebellion” and the alliance “Seebrücke”, which according to the Hamburg Office for the Protection of the Constitution is under left-wing extremist influence, which the “Seebrücke” itself denies. In 2019, Extinction Rebellion founder Roger Hallam referred to the Holocaust as “another piece of shit in history”.
Since 2020, Alfrifai has been a member of the youth committee of the federal programme “Democracy Live” under the patronage of Federal Minister for Family Affairs Franziska Giffey (SPD). He is probably also a member of “Fridays for Future” in Syria, because in July 2020, an event, reportedly a demonstration, took place in Idlib, where “Fridays for Future Syria” Mouatasem Alrifai was listed under contact information.
In response to an enquiry from TE magazine, a spokesperson for the BMZ said that Mr. Alrifai’s statements were being reviewed and that a decision would then be made about his membership in a meeting:
“The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) condemns all forms of anti-Semitism and calls for hatred and violence. The statements you have quoted contradict our approach of engaging in a spirit of understanding between people and peoples worldwide. If our review confirms that Mr Alrifai has expressed himself in this way, he cannot be a member of the BMZ Youth Advisory Council. The BMZ Youth Advisory Board will convene for its inaugural meeting on May 21-22, 2021.”