German MPs slam FM Maas for abandoning Israel at U.N.

"I can't understand why Germany on an international stage abandoned Israel,"said Bijan Djir-Sarai, the foreign policy spokesman and a MP for the Free Democratic Party (FDP) faction in the Bundestag.

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November 23, 2018 12:39
4 minute read.
German MPs slam FM Maas for abandoning Israel at U.N.

US President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, US, September 19, 2017. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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German politicians took their country's foreign minister, Heiko Maas, to task on Wednesday in the Bundestag for supporting eight anti-Israel resolutions during a UN General Assembly vote dealing with the Israel-Arab conflict.

"I can't understand why Germany on an international stage abandoned Israel,"said Bijan Djir-Sarai, the foreign policy spokesman and a MP for the Free Democratic Party (FDP) faction in the Bundestag. Sarai asked Maas to explain why Germany voted eight times for "one-sided criticisms" against Israel at the UN. He wrote on Twitter that "Israel friends rightly expect more from us here. Europe must not let Israel down at the UN." He stressed that Europe has a "responsibility" toward the Jewish state.

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The UN General Assembly’s “Special Political and Decolonization Committee” passed nine resolutions against the policies of the Jewish state. Germany voted with Syria, Cuba, Saudia Arabia and Iran , among some of the countries, to condemn Israel.

Germany withheld its vote on one resolution for a special committee to investigate Israel's practices. The anti-Israel resolutions included charging Israel with violating the human rights of the Palestinians and called for Israel to return the Golan Heights to Syria.

The Vice Chairman of the FDP in in the Bundestag Alexander Lambsdorff tweeted last week: "The UN is totally biased against Israel."

Germany's social democratic foreign minister Heiko Maas, who said he went into politics"because of Auschwitz," defended the foreign ministry's decision to vote for the anti-Israel resolutions. Maas said that "Instead of getting out of the debate at an early stage and getting resolution texts that are much sharper against Israel, we want to influence the debates and make sure the texts are not so sharp that they have things that standing there and we can not support, also not adopt." Maas has  refused to join US sanctions against Iran's regime. President Reuvin Rivlin urged Chancellor Angela Merkel in October to support the US sanctions targeting Iran to stop its nuclear program and terrorism. Merkel rebuffed  Rivlin.

Maas sought in August to create a mechanism to bypass US sanctions on SWIFT--the international financial messaging system that allows countries to make cross-country payments. The US classifies Iran as the top state-sponsor of terrorism.

Frank Müller-Rosentritt, MdB‏ ,  a MP from the FDP in the Bundestag, also slammed Maas on Twitter: "Arguments of the Minister do not convince me. Ger.-Israeli. Friendship is different! For the @fdpbt the last word in this debate is not yet spoken."


Germany's ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen is despised by many Israeli diplomats for his anti-Israel activities over the years, according to Jerusalem Post interviews with diplomats over the last eight years.  A Wikileaks cable revealed in 2010 that Heusgen, who was Merkel's foreign policy advisor at the time,  urged the U.S. to water down its opposition to the U.N.’s anti-Israel “Goldstone Report” in order to force Israel to freeze settlement construction.

In a November 2009 cable: “[National Security Adviser Christoph] Heusgen said that Germany ‘perceives this differently’ and thought Netanyahu needed ‘to do more’ in order to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table. With Palestinians in East Jerusalem getting notices from Israeli authorities that their houses will be destroyed, it would be ‘suicide’ for President Abbas to move under the current circumstances.

“Heusgen said he could not fathom why Netanyahu did not understand this. He suggested pressuring Netanyahu by linking favorable UNSC [Security Council] treatment of the Goldstone Report to Israel committing to a complete stop in settlement activity.” Heusgen faced criticism for nepotism when he attained the UN post because he allegedly improperly secured a position for his wife at the UN.

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer tweeted after the UN vote: "YESTERDAY: Sweden & 27 other EU states back UN resolution to #EndBullying. TODAY: Sweden & 27 other EU states to join the jackals in voting for 9 resolutions singling out Israel alone for condemnation."

The US mission to the UN,which sided with Israel on all nine resolutions, said "The US will no longer abstain when the UN engages in its useless annual vote on the Golan Heights. The resolution is plainly biased against Israel; on Friday, we will vote no." The anti-Israel activity of the German government sparked criticism on Twitter with commentators asking how Germany squares its statement that Israel's is part of the Federal Republic's raison d'être with the votes against the Jewish state.

The US  voted for the first time against an annual resolution condemning  Israel's “occupation” of the Golan Heights. Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas and one of Israel's strongest supporters in Congress, said on his Twitter feed: "I commend the Trump administration & Ambassador @nikkihaley for standing up to UN bias against Israel. It's past time to acknowledge the reality of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which should never come under the control of the Iran-backed Assad regime."

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