Dr.Gerstenfeld’s recent article was first published in INN and republished here with the author’s consent.
Merkel’s Malevolent Advice to Netanyahu
The German press office published a release about a telephone call German Chancellor Angela Merkel made to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The report said that along with the mastering of the Covid19 pandemic regional themes were discussed. The Chancellor welcomed the ongoing conversations on the normalization of bilateral relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. In this context she underlined the need for the reestablishment of relations with the Palestinians with the aim of a two state solution.1
The latter was a malevolent advice. The word is chosen over more euphemistic terms such as misguided, counter-productive, antagonistic, confrontational, aggressive, disingenuous, disruptive, misplaced, erroneous and so on. In the then upcoming Israeli agreement with the United Arab Emirates there is no mention of a Palestinian state. So what business is it of a Chancellor of Germany where remnants of its horrible past keep emerging?
There can in the future occur a situation where there will be two states on the West side of the Jordan river. Yet that is not a two state solution. Turning the current Palestinian entities into a state, where the largest party, Hamas, is in favor of genocide of Jews — more or less like the generation of Merkel’s grandparents in Germany – is unlikely to solve anything. Also, the second largest Palestinian party, Fatah, is in favor of terrorism and the Palestinian Authority, which it controls, rewards potential or effective murderers. The glorification of death is a cult, which permeates large parts of Palestinian society.
There are several other reasons why Merkel’s remark was brazen. Yet Germany is powerful and Netanyahu thus could not permit himself to say the following in reply to Merkel’s advice. As this however has to be said, we are publishing it here.
Dear Mrs. Chancellor,
You have done a number of good things for Israel, which I greatly appreciate. On the other hand, there are various highly negative aspects in the German government’s behavior under your leadership, which endanger both Israel and German Jews.
Nobody has indirectly promoted terrorism in the Middle East more in the past decade than the previous US President Barack Obama. Yet he holds the Nobel prize for peace which was given to him by irresponsible Norwegians. The 2015 JCPOA Agreement, which Israel strongly opposed has freed the hands of the Iranian government — with its genocidal intentions toward Israel — to foster terrorism in many parts of the Middle East. Germany has supported this agreement. Even today, Germany has a far too soft attitude toward Iran.
Your ambassador to the United Nations also participates in the anti-Israel hate fest there. At the UN your country votes frequently with the enemies of Israel. Your ambassador has even made very negative remarks about Israel and you should have recalled him.
Your government is the greatest importer of antisemites into Europe. Your welcome policy has let about 1 million additional Muslims into your country without any check whether they are antisemites or not. According to studies, about half of them are Jew-haters. In view of its exceptionally criminal past, Germany should not have let in any antisemites. There is nothing humanitarian about importing antisemites into Europe, even if they are refugees. This radically wrong decision has also led to a strengthening of activism, including against Jews, on the German right. Now a right-wing party, which has antisemitic members, is represented in your country’s parliament, the Bundestag.
Your predecessor, Chancellor Helmut Kohl, made a major effort to normalize the reality as much as possible for Germany’s Jews. He opened the German borders for Jews from Russia, which led to a major increase in the number of Jews and new Jewish communities in various German cities. Yet your policies have led to the opposite. German Jewish leaders have been extremely reluctant to tell the truth, but by May 2020 Josef Schuster, the chairman of the German Jewish umbrella organization Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland, finally admitted that he had given up on the utopian idea that there could be a Germany without antisemitism.2
Germany’s national Antisemitism Commissioner Felix Klein said: “I cannot advise Jews to wear kippot everywhere all the time in Germany.”3 Schuster also advised Jews not to wear kippot in public in major cities. The main reason for this advice was that hatred by Muslims sometimes results in violent acts.4 One of those who initially did not heed this advice was the Munich Rabbi Shmuel Aharon Brodman. He was harassed by four Arab speaking men this past July.5 We don’t know whether the attackers were part of your welcome immigration or entered the country before. Rabbi Brodman has now decided to no longer wear a kippa in public or to speak loudly in Hebrew.6
In view of the risks involved Jews have to heed advice to hide their identity in Germany. On the other hand a labor court has decided that Muslim women can show their identity by wearing headscarves when teaching at schools.7 Berlin is now the capital of Europe’s antisemitism. A particular problem is some cases of extreme harassment of Jewish pupils in schools, mainly by Muslims.8 Your government manipulates the statistics and tries to blame almost all antisemitic incidents on the right-wing even if only half of the perpetrators are known.
Allow me to add one more remark. Your ambassador in Israel is a guest in our country. She should keep the German government opinion about the two state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to herself. In light of the above she should not publicly spread your unsolicited and malevolent recommendation about the “the two-state solution.” Guests should not insult hosts.
As you have made a recommendation to me, I would like to reciprocate by also making a recommendation. You have many problems in Germany, including growing antisemitism. So first solve the problems in your own backyard.
Netanyahu couldn’t say this. Yet there is one thing that he certainly could have said in his telephone conversation with Merkel: “Tens of millions of Germans think that Israel behaves toward the Palestinians like Nazis or alternatively that Israel intends to exterminate the Palestinians.9 I would politely but strongly request you to investigate this matter and see how the German government can act against these widespread extremely evil opinions.”
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is the emeritus Chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He has been a strategic advisor for more than thirty years to some of the Western world’s leading corporations. Among the honors he received was the 2019 International Lion of Juda Award of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research paying tribute to him as the recognized leading international authority on contemporary antisemitism. His main book on the subject is: The War of a Million Cuts The struggle against the delegitimization of Israel and the Jews and the growth of New antisemitism.