With Friends Like Angela Merkel, Does Israel Need Enemies?
Last Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union Party voted down a motion to freeze funding for the Palestinian Authority until it stops its “pay to slay” imbursements to terrorists and their families. The motion stated that “with the payments, the PA knowingly and willingly supports terror against Israel and makes this a worthy financial business.” But Merkel’s party wasn’t moved.
One day later, a Palestinian terror attack seriously wounded a pregnant woman. The baby, who was delivered in an emergency procedure, held out for a few days and died on Wednesday.
In October during a visit to Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum, Merkel referred to “the everlasting responsibility of Germany to remember this crime and to oppose anti-Semitism, xenophobia, hatred, and violence.”
Opposing anti-Semitism and those other ills, however, means little to Merkel when they bear a “Made in Iran” stamp. Last month, during one of Iran’s hundreds of direct or implicit calls for Israel’s destruction, Iran’s allegedly “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani called Israel a “cancerous tumor in the region” and a “fake regime.” The European Union, of which Germany stands at the helm, called Rouhani’s words “totally unacceptable.”
But this was just lip service. As Iran threatens Israel with destruction, funds and trains terror organizations along Israel’s borders, denies the Holocaust, builds ballistic missiles, sows mayhem throughout the Middle East, and commits severe human rights abuses at home, Germany “remains Iran’s most important trade partner.” Last month, flouting U.S. sanctions on Iran, the German government extended 911 million euros in export credits to 58 German companies. The credits are aimed at “protecting [these companies’] business dealings with Iran from the high risks of its markets.” Indeed, German firms’ exports to Iran had already soared in October.
Later in November, news reports revealed that Germany and France are taking the lead in devising an EU-Iran trade mechanism known as the “Special Purpose Vehicle” to help Iran ride out the U.S. sanctions. The SVP would essentially be “a clearing house that avoids monetary transfers in [U.S.] dollars between the EU and Iran.”
Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are doing their utmost to keep the ayatollah regime afloat, prosperous, and able to finance all of its activities.
Merkel’s toxicity to Israel and overtures toward Iran go still further. Last week, Tomas Sandell, director of the Brussels-based European Coalition for Israel, announced that Merkel had “waged a campaign to prevent central and eastern European countries from moving their [embassies from Tel Aviv] to Jerusalem.” Sandell said this and other anti-Israel moves by Merkel “have to do with the Iran nuclear deal.”
The report implied, yet did not explicitly state, that Merkel is acting at Iran’s beck and call to stymie moves that would upset the mullahs. In light of Merkel’s moves that shield and support Iran, this implication is quite plausible.
Under Merkel, not all of Germany’s behavior toward Israel is in the debit column. Germany is Israel’s leading European trade partner, and its firms invest heavily in Israeli startups. There is cooperation in the security sphere, too; earlier this year Germany signed a contract to lease Heron UAVs from Israel Aerospace Industries.
However, the overall balance sheet under Chancellor Merkel regarding Israel is negative, leaving a question as to whether her administration is friend or foe.