In speech after speech, German leaders restate their country’s “moral and historic responsibility” toward Israel and the Jewish people after the Holocaust. This is as it should be – the heirs to the Nazi regime cannot bring the Six Million back to life, but they can help to protect Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people, from attack.
However, there is a vast gap between the words of the leaders and the actions of their government – specifically in the form of taxpayer money provided to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), political foundations and church groups that are central to delegitimization. European money, in general, and German funds in particular, pay for the fuel and ammunition for the political warfare strategy adopted at the infamous NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference, whose participants declared their objective of “the complete international isolation of Israel as an apartheid state.” In many parts of Europe, including Germany, particularly on university campuses, churches and trade unions, this insidious form of warfare has been successful in demonizing Israel.
One of the most egregious examples is the German support for and cooperation with a notorious “one-state” (meaning no Israel) NGO known as Zochrot, whose mission is to “raise public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba” and to support the so-called Palestinian “right of return.” Zochrot repeats modern blood libels, in the form of accusations of “ethnic cleansing” and “forcible displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people.”
The money, and therefore shared responsibility, is provided from two official German sources: the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (RLS – named after the Jewish radical of the early 1900s, and affiliated with the political party Die Linke) and Misereor (the German Catholic Church’s “humanitarian aid” framework).
Zochrot is not an unfortunate exception – there are numerous examples of German money used in support of anti-Israel NGO campaigns.
Since most of the details are secret, it is hard to distinguish between a lack of due diligence on the part of the officials responsible for humanitarian aid and NGOs, or deliberate support for the demonization of Israel.
When presented with detailed documentation, officials have attacked the messengers, and responded with the absurd claim of “balance”, that many of the German frameworks also support “pro-Israel” and “propeace” activities, as if moral behavior in one sphere justifies immorality in another.
Instead of feeble and insensitive excuses, Germany has a fundamental and immediate responsibility to stop all support for the political war demonizing Israel. German and Israeli officials should cooperate in writing a binding code of conduct to govern the activities facilitated by any funds that originate with German taxpayers, including political foundations and church aid frameworks. Words of support for Israel and the Jewish people must be matched by deeds, including in the realm of “soft power” and political warfare.