Opinion: Germany is Israel’s friend in words but not deeds

While Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas recently described Auschwitz as “the most horrible place on earth,” his nation supports relations with the Iranian regime, which threatens to wipe the Jewish state off the map.

By: Daniel Krygier

During a recent visit to Auschwitz, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas described the Nazi death camp as “the most horrible place on earth.” This statement reflects a long German policy of taking full responsibility for the Holocaust of six million Jews.

As the same time, Germany continues advocating commercial and political relations with the Iranian regime that denies the Holocaust while threatening to commit a new one against the state of Israel. Germany has emerged as one of the most vocal defenders of the controversial Iranian nuclear deal.

Berlin has criticized Washington for withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Tehran. In a piece in the German Handelsblatt paper, the German Foreign Minister suggested that Europe keeps the Iran deal alive by setting up an independent payment system as a counterweight to Washington.

On the surface, Germany appears to be one Israel’s closest European allies. Unlike harsh critics of Israel such as France, Belgium, Sweden and Ireland, Berlin has often refrained from excessive and unbalanced criticism of Israel.

Germany and Israel also enjoy a close military and intelligence cooperation. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is scheduled to visit Israel in October, has articulated a warmth towards the Jewish state that is rarely heard among Western European political leaders. Merkel has also officially stressed that Germany has a historic responsibility to strengthen Israel’s security.

Berlin threatens Israel’s security

However, behind the rosy façade, Berlin’s Middle Eastern policies threaten Israel’s security and strengthen the enemies of the Jewish state. Like France, Germany’s strong support of the Iran deal is rooted in commercial interests.

Yes, the German government does pay lip service by condemning Iran’s genocidal threats against Israel. However, in practice, financial profits through trade with Iran appear to be far more important for Germany than preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

This cynical German and European policy did not start with Iran. German, French and other European companies happily exported military equipment to the former Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein. France built the Iraqi nuclear reactor Osirak while German companies provided Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons. These were later used against Kurdish civilians.

A recent report from NGO Monitor shows that European-funded NGOs are seeking to undermine Israel’s democracy by forcing Jerusalem to adopt European policies that undermine Israel’s vital interests. Thirty-nine Israeli registered NGOs received $142.6 million from foreign donors. Over 60 percent of this amount came from foreign governments.

Germany emerged as the top foreign donor supporting NGOs hostile towards Israel. While Germany officially opposes boycotts against Israel, Berlin has supported radical NGOs advocating BDS and delegitimizing the Jewish state. While officially opposing racism and promoting Arab-Israeli peace, the German government is in reality undermining peace by supporting anti-Semitic forces seeking Israel’s destruction.