German-Israeli relations will always be difficult and sensitive as they are linked to the memory of the Holocaust. In 1951, the first chancellor of West Germany, Konrad Adenauer, spoke of “unspeakable crimes” perpetrated upon the Jews in the name of the German people and saw his country’s new relationship to Israel from both a pragmatic and a moral perspective.Sixty-seven years later, Germany’s steering wheel is in the hands of Angela Merkel, a chancellor enjoying domestic political success similar to that of Adenauer, and sharing his views about the Jewish state. The friendship has been strengthened during her administration, indeed. This week’s visit to Israel is placed in this framework. Bilateral ties are being marked by several positive developments. Cooperation on innovation and technology is indicative. Generally speaking, German companies, including multinationals and medium-size enterprises, heavily invest in Israeli startups and sectors such as sustainable transportation. Also, a few months ago, Germany signed a leasing agreement for the Israel Aerospace Industries’ Heron TP medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle. Against this backdrop, trade volume is increasing. Last year, German exports to Israel amounted to €4.3 billion and imports to €1.9b., exhibiting an increase of 8% and 13.7% in comparison to 2017, respectively.More importantly, the German chancellor acknowledges that antisemitism is a serious problem in her country and carefully acts to prevent its dangerous rise. Last May, for instance, the first-ever antisemitism commissioner, Felix Klein, was appointed in order to closely monitor the phenomenon and fight against it. The Bundestag passed resolutions explicitly condemning the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. The parliament of the North Rhine-Westphalia federal state did the same a few days ago. Merkel’s approach vis-à-vis the Jewish state is grounded in her 2008 Knesset speech in which she mentioned that Israel’s security is part of her country’s raison d’être. As part of its responsibility, Germany often refrains from joining other countries in support of anti-Israel votes at the UN. On the whole, Berlin supports the idea of a two-state solution but lacks the political gravitas to push for its implementation. Its relevant role remains rather insignificant and is almost exclusively associated with the issuance of some balanced statements. This happened during the recent Gaza clashes. WHAT IS largely problematic is that the German commitment to Israel’s security is often limited in the sphere of theory. Berlin’s interpretation of international law and human rights offers no understanding for some Israeli actions such as settlements and military operations. In 2017, for example, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled talks with then-foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel over the latter’s willingness to meet with two NGOs critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The style of new Foreign Minister Heiko Maas seems to be different from that of his eccentric predecessor. He has, inter alia, rejected labeling the Jewish state an “apartheid regime.”Another issue causing concern in Jerusalem is German support for the nuclear deal with Iran. After the decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw from JCPOA, Merkel advocates for its preservation. Although she publicly criticizes Tehran for its ballistic missile program and other destabilizing activities, her stance is motivated by a passion for trade and investments. Obviously, this contradicts her pledge to Israel’s security. It is only the threat of American sanctions that renders the German chancellor skeptical. From another perspective, a new hurdle in the German-Israeli relationship is springing up: the rise of the Alternative for Germany Party, or AfD. The AfD is not antisemitic, per se, as its politicians sometimes hold contradictory opinions on the matter. The party principally targets radical Islam due to the ongoing refugee crisis and Merkel’s ambiguous “open-door” policy. Interestingly enough, the party admires Israel for its security achievements. It would not be wise, however, to become complacent about a new wave of antisemitism. Today it is the Muslims but tomorrow it could be the Jews for the AfD.Under the leadership of Angela Merkel, Germany has emerged as an economic giant and a leading player in Europe. But for the chancellor to leave the legacy she hopes for after 2021, economic success is not sufficient. More courage is required in fields such as foreign and migration policy. This will make a real difference. The writer is a research associate at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, a senior associate and lecturer at the European Institute of Nice and the Democritus University of Thrace.