Germany denies its UN ambassador is antisemitic amid intense criticism

Israel's ambassadors expressed dismay about Berlin's anti-Israel voting at UN

Germany's Ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen (photo credit: REUTERS/AXEL SCHMIDT)
Germany's Ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen
(photo credit: REUTERS/AXEL SCHMIDT)
The German foreign ministry on Tuesday flatly rejected the allegation that its ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen, engaged in antisemitism amid massive criticism leveled at him by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Working Circle of Jewish Social Democrats and the Bild newspaper.
After the Wiesenthal Center announced on Monday that comments made by Heusgen are a contender for its top ten list of antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents in 2019, a spokesperson for Germany’s foreign ministry told The Jerusalem Post that “We reject the antisemitism accusation.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, told the Post on Monday that “We are looking at a few dozen candidates that includes serious incidents on both sides of the Atlantic. Among them include the German Ambassador to the UN for equating Hamas and Israeli actions.”
Referring to Heusgen, Cooper said “His outrageous and dangerous statement at the United Nations Security Council in March” puts him in contention to be “on the top 10 list of antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents” for 2019.
The Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that “Germany opposes unfair treatment of Israel in the United Nations. In the United Nations, we are strongly committed to balanced resolution texts in the interest of lasting peace in the Middle East as part of a negotiated two-state solution.”
Last week, Germany joined authoritarian Islamic regimes in the Middle East and communist China in voting for seven anti-Israel resolutions. Heusgen merely abstained from one resolution.
According to the German spokesperson, “The EU’s common negotiating and voting strategy in the resolutions enables us to influence the textual negotiations in order to prevent even more detrimental decisions for Israel.”
However, the Working Circle of Jewish Social Democrats rejected Germany’s argument that it softened the anti-Israel resolutions in an open letter to the social democratic foreign minister Heiko Maas, published on the website of the weekly Jewish paper Jüdische Allgemeine Zeitung.
“We are ashamed that Germany has approved these resolutions,” wrote the Jewish Social Democrats. “This is a slap in the face of Israel, but also a severe blow to us Jews in Germany. Antisemitism and Israel-hatred are two sides of a coin that stands for hatred and violence.”
The Working Circle declared that “We hereby urge you to put an end to this” anti-Israel voting pattern at the UN “and vote in the future for such votes with no. Such behavior will ensure that the inhibitions continue to decline as it is considered normal to hate Israel. The mood in the Jewish community has reached a new low – we are counting on you to change that with a clear attitude.”
Israel’s Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff wrote on Twitter that “I hoped this tweet in May would have led to a change in the latest German votes in the UNGA last Friday. These votes can still be changed when they come before the GA for final approval and there are more one-sided political resolutions still to be voted against later this month.”
The ambassador referred in his tweet to a statement from Maas in May in which the foreign minister wrote: “On this occasion, the Federal Government would like to reiterate once again today in New York that Germany stands, also in the UN, shoulder to shoulder with Israel, whose security and right to exist must never be called into question by anyone anywhere.”
Maas added “Nevertheless, Israel is still being denounced, treated in a biased manner and marginalized inappropriately in UN bodies to this day. This state of affairs is painful and unsatisfactory, and especially since the UN is at the heart of the multilateral, rules-based order and vital to international security and peace.”
The social democrat pledged that “We will continue, including as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, to support Israel’s legitimate interests, to help strengthen its representation in the UN and to do our utmost to oppose any attempt to isolate or delegitimize Israel.”
In a stinging Bild commentary titled “He [Heusgen] always again votes against Israel,” Filipp Piatov wrote: “But as long as the German representative, together with Israeli haters, raises his hand in the UN and unilaterally condemns the Jewish state several times a year, the Israel solidarity of the Federal Government and the Foreign Minister remains above all one thing: unbelievable.”
If Heusgen is listed, it would be the first time a German diplomat was included on this list.
After over 130 Hamas rockets were fired on Israel in March, Heusgen said: “Civilians must live without fear of Palestinian rockets or Israeli bulldozers.”
Israel’s government bulldozes the homes of Palestinian terrorists. The US, the EU and Germany classify the Jihadi organization Hamas as a terrorist entity.
Heusgen, who has garnered an anti-Israel reputation over the last decade, was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s former chief foreign policy adviser. Last week, he voted seven times against Israel while abstaining once. Germany voted 16 times at the UN in 2018 to condemn Israel. Germany’s Heusgen frequently votes with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and other repressive regimes against the Jewish state.
A spokesperson for Merkel’s administration told the Post it had nothing to add to the Foreign Ministry statement.