Germany and the UN: abstention instead of a stance

President Steinmeier with family members of German-Israeli hostages

Last week, I was proud of Germany. For five days, I accompanied the family members of Israeli hostages with German citizenship to Berlin. The result? From Federal President Steinmeier and the President of the Bundestag to the leaders of all the democratic parties, there was an outpouring of unconditional solidarity for Israel.

But not only that: there was this refreshingly clear understanding that the era of Sunday speeches is over. That Germany’s declarations of solidarity must prove themselves in political practice. That Israel must defend itself in order to finally eradicate the terror of Hamas. That Hamas not only massacres Jewish children, but also abuses its own children as human shields. That even after the massacres of 7/10, the IDF sticks to its ethical code and tries to avoid civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip. That Hamas cowardly and cynically hides its leadership, its rockets, its weapons under hospitals, schools and mosques. That the IDF calls for people to leave the areas in Gaza that Israel will bomb in order to destroy Hamas’ terror infrastructure. That Hamas is using roadblocks and threats to prevent Palestinians from leaving northern Gaza. That Hamas equals ISIS and that Israel is fighting on the front line of the free world against jihadist imperialism. That Muslim and left-wing extremists on Germany’s streets pose a real threat to the democratic fabric of German society.

Three words summarize this clear understanding that echoed in the political meetings last week: “We are Israel”. Three words that have now been jumbled up and reappear as “Are we Israel?”.

Germany abstained from the UN General Assembly vote. Germany, you did it again. On a resolution that conceals the Hamas massacre but calls for Israel’s capitulation to Hamas’ monstrous terror. A resolution that suggests an absurd equidistance between bloodthirsty jihadists and the Jewish state. Germany does not say no. And in doing so encourages the extremists on the streets of Berlin.

Today they are shouting rabid slogans and celebrating the bestial crimes against babies, children, women and grandmothers who survived the Holocaust. And tomorrow? When their respect for the state and society in Germany has finally eroded?

Political gray zones are convenient. In the context of strategy and threats, they can be deadly. Terror is not defeated by abstention, but by strength. Germany’s abstention is interpreted: By allies and a hostile axis that stretches from Russia to Iran, whose missiles now reach Europe and whose fanatical fantasies encompass the whole world.

The world is divided into two sides: Democracies on one side, totalitarian regimes on the other. Anyone who wants to preserve democracy, freedom and human rights in their country must stand on the side of democracy, freedom and human rights – and not beside them. Germany’s vote was a strategic failure.

About the Author
Melody Sucharewicz is a German-Israeli communication and strategy consultant and a former foreign affairs adviser to Minister Benny Gantz.
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