New head of German pro-Israel NGO wants Merkel to sanction Iran, Hezbollah

“In dealing with the Iranian regime, too, Germany must raise its raison d’etre [reason for existence] over all other interests and advocate the necessary sanctions,” Becker said.

Uwe Becker (photo credit: CDU-KREISVERBAND FRANKFURT)
Uwe Becker
The German-Israeli Association (DIG) elected as its new director the Christian Democratic Union Party politician Uwe Becker, who pledged in late October a more aggressive posture toward Chancellor Angela Merkel’s largely pro-Iranian regime and Hezbollah policies.
Becker immediately called for a full ban of the terrorist entity Hezbollah in Germany and new sanctions targeting the Iranian clerical regime.
“We must also come to a clear classification of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in Germany and prohibit it, since one cannot distinguish between a terrorist and a political arm of this terrorist organization,” Becker said.
Merkel’s administration vehemently opposes a terror designation of Hezbollah’s entire movement, and Germany has merely banned the so-called military wing of Hezbollah. Merkel has also rejected appeals from Central Council of Jews in Germany and the US government to outlaw the antisemitic organization Hezbollah amid rising Jew-hatred in the central European country.
Becker, who is widely considered one of Israel’s strongest political supporters in Germany, currently serves as the deputy mayor and treasurer for the city of Frankfurt, as well the commissioner to combat antisemitism for the German state of Hesse where Frankfurt is located.
“In dealing with the Iranian regime, too, Germany must raise its raison d’etre [reason for existence] over all other interests and advocate the necessary sanctions,” Becker said. “This is not about the Iranian people, who are being oppressed by the mullah regime. Independent of the issue of the nuclear deal, the federal government must realize that the Iranian regime, through its guards in Syria or through the support of Hezbollah in Lebanon and its intervention in Gaza, is waging a fight against Israel, which must result in painful sanctions.”
Becker’s statement about raison d’etre is a reference to Merkel’s Knesset speech in 2008 when she declared Israel’s reason for existence is now part of Germany’s raison d’etre.
He posted a picture of himself on Twitter on Monday with Israel soldiers at the Western Wall, accompanied by a caption stating that he was “Showing solidarity with the women and men of the Israel Defense Forces, who serve to protect their country.”
Becker will now oversee 53 DIG associations spread across the Federal Republic. He takes over at a time of fractured relations between Israel and Germany over Merkel’s anti-Israel voting record at the UN, her opposition to relocating Berlin’s embassy to Jerusalem, her support for public funds for the Palestinian Authority and her rejection of sanctions targeting Iran and its chief proxy, Hezbollah.
In 2018, Merkel also oversaw an intense lobbying campaign to stop European countries from relocating their embassies to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Becker – in sharp contrast to other German politicians who have pro-Israel credentials like former Green Party MP Volker Beck – has confronted his CDU party’s alleged appeasement toward Iran’s genocidal antisemitism toward Israel and Tehran’s Holocaust denial. Beck, a former head of the Bundestag’s German-Israel parliamentary group, has declined to criticize his party’s vice president, Claudia Roth, when she enthusiastically greeted Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in October. Larijani has denied the Shoah and advocates the obliteration of Israel.
Germany’s best-selling paper Bild paper accused Roth of making antisemitism “socially respectable” due to her meeting with Larijani. Roth and Beck both refused to answer multiple Jerusalem Post press queries.
The State of Israel’s security and defense establishment consider the Islamic Republic of Iran and Hezbollah to be the country’s greatest security threats. The lack of countervailing forces against Iran’s threats to destroy Israel and its terrorism from Germany’s mainstream parties (The Green Party, CDU, SPD) remains a serious concern for the pro-Israel community in Germany and Israeli diplomats.
Kirsten Kappert-Gonther, a Green Party MP, was elected vice president of the DIG. She also went publicly silent during the antisemitism scandal that engulfed the Green Party in October.
The social democratic party (SDP) politician Michaela Engelmeier, who has garnered a reputation as a strong supporter of Israel, was elected as a DIG vice president. Engelmeier has declined to forcefully confront and criticize her SPD party’s pro-Iranian regime policies. Take the example of SPD deputy foreign minister Niels Annen who celebrated Iran’s Islamic revolution in February at Tehran’s embassy in Berlin. Engelmeir went silent.
Criticism was also not heard from Engelmeier when SPD German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier sent a congratulatory telegram to Iran’s ruling leaders in February.
A third telling example of Engelmeir’s reluctance to strongly criticize her party was when the SPD political think-tank Friedrich Ebert Foundation, hosted Saeed Khatibzadeh in May. Khatibzadeh represents Iran’s Foreign Ministry’s think-tank, the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), which organized the 2006 Holocaust denial conference in Tehran.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi-hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, accused the SDP think-tank of appeasing an Iranian Holocaust denial institute that works with the global Nazi movement.
“It is incomprehensible how the Friedrich Ebert Foundation could invite a person that works for an organization that organized a Holocaust denial conference,” Zuroff told the Post at the time. “Given the abysmal record of the Iranian regime when it comes to human rights, and its openly declared threats to carry out genocide against the State of Israel, how can an ostensibly respected organization give legitimacy to such a guest in Germany?”
Zuroff noted that “German history should have taught people at FES that attempts to appease fanatics never obtain the desired results.”
Dr. Marcus Faber, a Free Democratic Party MP, was elected vice president of the DIG. He tweeted recently that his party’s executive board called for a full ban of Hezbollah in Germany. The FDP’s brainchild was an anti-BDS resolution that the Bundestag passed in May. The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign seeks to sanction and boycott Israel for its policies toward the Palestinians.
Becker said in his statement that Germany must change its anti-Israel voting record at the UN. Germany’s scandal-plagued ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen, compared Israel to the terrorist entity Hamas.
The Post has learned that Heusgen is despised by Israeli diplomats for his diplomatic attacks on Israel’s security. Becker called on Germany to stop abstaining as part of anti-Israel resolution votes at the UN and show solidarity with the Jewish state by rejecting those resolutions. Germany voted 16 times against Israel in 2018, with four abstentions.
The German politicians urged Merkel to freeze all financial aid for the Palestinian Authority as long as the PA continues to pay stipends to terrorist and their families.
Becker said the DIG delegates decided for a clear rejection of the Alternative for Germany party. The anti-immigrant party AfD, said the DIG stokes a climate that fosters antisemitism and racism
Becker called on the Merkel administration to reject the criticism of the UN high commissioner’s opposition to the anti-BDS resolution passed by the Bundestag in May. The Bundestag classified BDS as an antisemitic movement.