Difficult times are ahead for the relationship between Jerusalem and Berlin and Brussels. While a series of anti-Semitism scandals rock German public broadcasters and a new government with a history of opposing Israel comes to power, the European Union and Germany continue to fund NGOs related to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
Berlin’s Green Party’s Heinrich Böll Foundation funds a number of NGOs with ties to the PFLP, as NGO Monitor has documented extensively. Unfortunately, the Greens have shown no inclination to drop their old 1960s allies at the PFLP. In fact, when Israel recently announced it was designating six PFLP-tied NGOs as terror groups, including those with links to the murder of Rina Shnerb on Aug. 23, 2019, Green MEPs in Brussels signed a letter this week to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell “to publicly and explicitly condemn these designations, which are the culmination of years of smear campaigns and attacks by Israel against Palestinian civil society, aimed at silencing and undermining their critical work promoting and ensuring respect for human rights and international law in the occupied Palestinian territory.“ So reads the letter by Danish Green MP Margrete Auken.
The German Social Democrat Party (SPD) of fresh-baked chancellor Olaf Scholz also has a problematic history of supporting left-wing anti-Israel NGOs. When then-Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) visited Israel 2017, he planned his first call to radical NGOs “B’Tselem” and “Breaking the Silence”, offending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and causing him to cancel their meeting. Gabriel had called Israel an “Apartheid State” in 2012.
Like the Greens, the SPD also has a troubling record of supporting the regime in Teheran. On January 14, 2020, Foreign Ministry State Secretary Niels Annen (SPD) met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif in New Delhi, less than a week after the January 8 downing of Ukrainian flight PS752 by the Revolutionary Guards, with 176 dead.
Gabriel, Annen and the new Green Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock are all members of the European Council on Foreign Relations, which calls the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria an “occupying power” and “apartheid state” and supports the boycott of Jews in Area C. ECFR receives EU funding (2019: €29,930) and exerts enormous influence over Israel policy in Berlin and Brussels.
On Oct. 26, the SPD nominated the first Muslim vice-president of the German Bundestag in the person of former SPD co-chair Aydan Özoguz, whose brothers run an Islamist website called Muslim Market, which supports the boycott of Israel and has been under observation by the German secret service for anti-Semitism since 2004. Özoguz is close to several groups related to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), including the “Central Council of Muslims” and “Islamic Relief”, which is banned in Israel for its ties to MB and Hamas.
However, the EU and German government continue to support “Islamic Relief” even after a series of anti-Semitism scandals in 2020, which eventually caused the entire board of “Islamic Relief Worldwide” (IR-W) to step down in same week as the London Times exposed anti-Semitic posts made by IR-W head Heshmat Khalifa, the EU awarded a fresh grant of €1.25 million to IR-W in July 2020. According to the EU Financial Transparency System, IR-W has received €33.77 million in taxpayer Euros since 2007.
While most German politicians were silently disappearing from the “Islamic Relief Germany” (IR-D) website, the German government’s Society for International Collaboration (GIZ) actually increased their funding, to €120,227. The city of Berlin gave IR-D €135,000 for a “Muslim Help Hotline”. IR-D called 2020 its “most successful year ever”, with donations up €5 million from €16.4 million 2019 to €21.4 million 2020.
Originally posted at vfinews.com