And on the diplomatic front, too, Germany — Holocaust remembrance and education events notwithstanding — has been doing Israel harm. Late last month, the United Nations Security Council voted on a resolution that would have condemned all Israeli building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “illegal.” The resolution originated with the Palestinian Authority as part of an effort to eventually force Israel out of the West Bank without a peace agreement ensuring Israel’s security and rights. It was sponsored by Lebanon, a country dominated by Hezbollah — an Iranian-backed terrorist organization also sworn to Israel’s destruction.
Only a U.S. veto — reluctant, and under pressure from Congress — stopped the resolution. Israel, however, was reportedly under the impression that Germany, too, would oppose it, and dismayed when Germany voted in favor. Branding Israeli communities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “illegal” is not only false but intensifies the atmosphere of delegitimization surrounding them. It was within that context of delegitimization that earlier this month an Israeli family of five, including three young children, were butchered on the West Bank.
Now Jerusalem Post editor in chief David Horovitz suggests that Germany might still have a way to redeem itself. Next September the Palestinians are expected to go after Israel again in the Security Council, this time with a resolution recognizing a Palestinian state. Even if that resolution were vetoed, Horovitz says, the Palestinians could get it adopted by the General Assembly — in a way that is severely harmful to Israel’s legitimacy, security, and demography.
Under UN regulations, the only way to stop such a resolution dead in its tracks in the Security Council is if at least 7 of its 15 members vote no, abstain, or absent themselves. And
the vital countries with the capacity to sway others are Germany, France, and the UK. Might Germany be prepared to say “no” to unilateral UN establishment of Palestine? Maybe, say some, if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu can persuade Merkel that he is truly prepared to put flesh on his skeletal talk of a two-state solution.
Another source tells Horovitz that Israel should be working harder to stymie the Palestinian effort, “and that starts with Netanyahu trying to win over Merkel.”
If so, Netanyahu’s work will be cut out for him. Considering that half of Germans view Israel as a Nazi country, that Germany is now the main European state abetting Iran’s aggression, and that Germany already let Israel down on the settlements resolution, one has to be optimistic to think Germany would salvage Israel in the scenario Horovitz depicts.
That scenario is still tentative, though well supported. But what is clear is that, facing a sea of troubles, and despite the weight of the past, Israel can hardly count on Germany as a friend. It’s been behaving more like an enemy.