I hold Ronald Lauder in the highest regard. He has made unsurpassed contributions to the worldwide Jewish community, and for that, we all owe him a debt of gratitude. However, I have serious questions about the basis upon which his organization could decide to confer a prestigious award to the Chancellor of Germany.
Mr. Lauder mentions a couple of instances where Germany has taken positive measures on behalf of its Jews or has defended Israel, but in order to draw a more accurate and balanced picture of Germany’s relationship with both Jews and Israel, I would suggest he needs to consider the following events and situations, all of which have taken place during the stewardship of Ms. Merkel :
Germany continues to be the principal source of funds for Palestinians, increasing its funding when the Americans chose to cease sending money to groups that sponsored and glorified terrorism. Germany doesn’t even impose conditions on their payments, leaving the Palestinians free to reward terrorists and fund schools that promote virulent anti-Semitism.
Unlike virtually every other country in the ‘Free World’, Germany has refused to declare Hezbollah a terrorist group and allows Hezbollah to operate virtually unconstrained in Germany.
At the United Nations, Germany continues to support virtually every anti-Israel resolution, going so far last year as to vote ‘yea’ on the question of the Palestinian ‘Right of Return’, a measure which if enacted, would spell the demise of the Jewish state. In fact, when a member of the German parliament tabled a bill earlier this year which would have directed their U.N. representatives to support Israel, or at least adopt a more even-handed approach, less than one-quarter of German lawmakers supported the bill.
In 2018, Israel and Belgium were the only candidates for two of the rotating seats at the U.N.’s Security Council, but at the last minute, Germany put forward their candidacy, allowing all those states that are hostile to Israel to cast their votes for a reliable ally in the demonization of Israel.
When Germany faced a serious labor shortage and a declining birth rate at the turn of this century, their solution to overcome these simultaneous existential threats was to encourage Muslim immigration. There was no regard as to what this exponential increase in the Muslim population would mean for Germany’s Jews and there were no meaningful efforts by the government to address the abhorrent cultural and religious prejudices of many of these immigrants. Not coincidentally, acts of anti-Semitism against Germany’s Jews have skyrocketed over the past few years (more than 2000 reported incidents last year, an increase of about twenty percent compared to the previous year).
The country that was responsible for the Holocaust invests very little effort into educating its young about that sordid chapter in German history. Fully forty percent of German adolescents claim to have no knowledge of the Holocaust. That is simply inexplicable and inexcusable.
Now we come to the number one reason why neither Germany nor Ms. Merkel merits any kind of recognition or affection from the World Jewish Congress. Germany has been, and continues to be, one of Iran’s main trading partners. It was German technology that made a nuclear program possible, it is Germany that continues to act as a shield for Iran against sanctions imposed by virtually the entire western world (even going so far as to create a funding vehicle to bypass the Americans’ shutting off access to international banking and monetary instruments), it is Germany that refused to participate in a security conference organized earlier this year by western nations to address the growing problem of Iran’s terrorism sponsorship, and most damnably, it is Germany who refused to label Iran’s repeated threats to eradicate Israel as ‘anti-Semitic’ (nothing anti-Semitic about pledging to murder 7 million Jews).
I find myself perplexed and disturbed by the World Jewish Congress’s inability to look at the ‘big picture’ of Germany’s never-ending ignoring and undermining of Jewish and Israeli interests. Truly, with friends like Germany, who needs enemies?