Germany's largest paper says Yair Netanyahu right about Berlin's anti-Israel funding

Bild, Germany’s largest newspaper, wrote: “Yair says what many in the Israeli government think” about Germany’s well-funded anti-Israel NGOs that promote boycotts against the Jewish state.

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May 13, 2019 15:30
4 minute read.
Yair Netanyahu

Yair Netanyahu. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

 
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Germany’s controversial foreign minister Heiko Maas, whose ministry recently celebrated Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, issued a statement on Saturday in support of Israel at the UN on the 70th anniversary of the Jewish state’s admittance to the world body, prompting Yair Netanyahu to slam Berlin’s  funding of anti-Israel organizations.

Maas tweeted sections from an English-language ministry statement: “Seventy years ago today – 24 years before the Federal Republic of Germany’s admission to the United Nations – Israel was admitted to the UN as a full member. The Federal Government would like to take this 70th anniversary as an opportunity to reiterate the fact that Germany stands at Israel’s side in the UN, too.”

He continued, “Germany’s historic responsibility for the Jewish and democratic State of Israel and its security is part of our raison d’être. Germany will always work, including in the UN, to ensure that Israel’s right to exist is never called into question.

“The Federal Government is most concerned about the fact that, to this day, Israel continues to be criticized inappropriately, treated in a biased manner and marginalized in the bodies of the UN. Germany has made a firm pledge, also as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, to act as a friend of Israel, to oppose any unfair treatment of Israel in the UN and to support its legitimate interests. We will continue to do our utmost to support these causes.”

The prime minister son’s Yair tweeted back, “It will be nice if you stop interfering in our internal business and stop funding hundreds of radical left-wing NGOs in Israel that seek its destruction. Use the hundreds of millions of € you use for this to fund hospitals, schools and churches in Germany!”

Bild, Germany’s largest circulation newspaper, wrote: “Yair says what many in the Israeli government think” about Germany’s well-funded anti-Israel NGOs that promote boycotts against the Jewish state and demonize Israel. The paper wrote, “Millions for organizations hostile to Israel.”

Bild wrote, “The fact is that funds from the EU and Germany are being used by organizations that not only criticize Israel, but also defame the Jewish state, and are close to the antisemitic boycott campaign (BDS) or even partially support terrorist propaganda. Whether that is actually hundreds of millions of euros from Germany, as Yair Netanyahu writes, can hardly be recalculated.”

The paper added: “Yet, according to a report by the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs, the EU pays millions of euros annually to demonstrably anti-Israel organizations. The independent Mideast Freedom Forum recently criticized EU funds being poured into pots from which the Palestinian Authority pays pensions to terrorists.”

The Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor has published a number of reports that contain material about German political foundations including those of Friedrich Ebert, Heinrich Böll, Konrad Adenauer, and Rosa Luxembourg.

The Jerusalem Post reported in February that German humanitarian organizations and a powerful Heinrich Böll think tank provides funds to a Palestinian NGO that employs convicted PFLP terrorists and advocates a boycott of the Jewish state.


The revelations were disclosed in an Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry 22-page report titled: “The Money Trail: European Union Financing of Organizations Promoting Boycotts against the State of Israel.”

The German organizations Bread for the World, World Peace Service and the Green Party’s Heinrich Böll Foundation supply funds to the Ramallah-based Palestinian human rights NGO Al-Haq, according to the donor section of Al-Haq’s website. World Peace Service is a German government agency.

According to the report, Al-Haq “is led by a former senior official of the EU-designated terror organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Shawan Jabarin, director-general of Al-Haq, served three years in prison for terrorist activities, and currently employs former PFLP activists, who were also incarcerated due to involvement in terror.”

The United States also designated the PFLP a terrorist entity.

Olga Deutsch, vice president of NGO Monitor, told the Post at the time that the “German government should immediately stop funding the group [Al-Haq]. More importantly, Germany should work toward developing funding guidelines and selection criteria.”

Critics on Twitter took Maas and Chancellor Angela Merkel to task for hypocrisy. Merkel, who said in Israel in 2008 that its security is “non-negotiable” for her administration, voted with authoritarian regimes including the Islamic Republic of Iran 16 times in 2018 to condemn the Jewish state. Germany abstained from four anti-Jewish state resolutions. Germany’s UN ambassador Christoph Heusgen compared Israel to the terrorist entity Hamas in March at the United Nations Security Council.

Also in March, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union Party and Maas’s Social Democratic Party rejected an opposition motion from the Free Democratic Party to change the Merkel’s administration anti-Israel voting record at the UN.

On Sunday, the journalist Daniel Fallenstein wrote on the news website Ruhrbarone: “Speaking pro-Israel, but acting anti-Israel: Heiko Maas.”

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