Wiesenthal rejects effort to remove German UN envoy from antisemitic list

The listing of Heusgen “misses the mark and targets an honorable friend of Israel,” Andreas Michaelis wrote.

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)
Germany’s foreign ministry made a last-minute attempt to prevent its UN ambassador’s inclusion on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s annual top ten list of worst outbreaks of antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents, prompting a flat rejection from the human rights organization.
The Jerusalem Post obtained a December 13 letter written by Andreas Michaelis, State Secretary of the German Federal Foreign Office, pleading with the Wiesenthal Center to reverse its decision. “I consider this a big mistake,” wrote Michaelis, adding “The list has not yet been published…I would greatly appreciate if you were to reconsider your decision.”
Heusgen and his boss, foreign minister Heiko Maas, have been under fire for nearly two years for voting against Israel at the UN. In March, Heusgen compared the US and EU-designated terrorist organization Hamas with Israel.
The Wiesenthal published its full list on Wednesday.
Michaelis wrote that “I am thus well acquainted with and highly value the work done by the Simon Wiesenthal Center” but the listing of Heusgen “misses the mark and targets an honorable friend of Israel.”
The German diplomat said the ranking does Heusgen “great personal injustice” and “Christoph Heusgen is not an antisemite!.”
Michaelis claimed that “Without his [Heusgen] committed efforts, we would not have regular German-Israeli intergovernmental consultations. Without him, the major delivery of US submarines to Israel would probably have never happened.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director of Social Action at the Wiesenthal Center, responded in a December 16 letter: “We listed Ambassador Heusgen’s name on the top ten list of antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents specifically because of his recent actions taken and words spoken at the United Nations. In defining antisemitism in the  21st century, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is guided by Natan Sharansky’s 3 D’s which define when anti-Israel criticism crosses into antisemitsim: Delegitimization, Double standard, and Demonization.”
Cooper added that “Ambassador Heusgen’s overwhelming anti-Israel voting record comes at a time when Germany is serving on the UN Security Council. Such a consistent negative voting pattern has not been evident in any other international controversy at the UN. In addition, the Ambassador insists on drawing  equivalency between Hamas rockets ---hundreds of them---targeting Israeli civilians across a recognized international border, far from any disputed settlements, and ‘Israeli bulldozers,’ which are used to destroy terrorist homes and other illegal structures—only after approval of Israel’s Supreme Court.”
Cooper said the Heusgen’s “words not only hurt Israel but further becloud the moral line between the democratic Jewish state and a genocidal antisemitic terrorist group sworn to destroy Israel and her 9 million citizens, among them over 6 million Jews.”
“We do not expect Germany to agree with every decision made by Israel but we cannot  accept when its lead diplomat on the international scene joins with her enemies’ non-stop campaign to cast the Jewish State as the world’s worst abuser of human rights.”
 The Wiesenthal letter also took Germany to task for voting a resolution that described Israel’s holiest sites as being “occupied Palestinian territory.”
“Such resolutions feed the Palestinian ‘big lie’ denying Jewish history.”
Cooper noted that a Muslim official travel guide dating from 1925 terms the Temple Mount as the site of Solomon’s Temple.