A plan for the German Green Party to join with the Hamas terrorist organization in a series of co-hosted events in Gaza and Beirut has sparked anger in Germany.
According to the Jerusalem Post, a copy of the speaking roster lists the publicly-funded Böll-Foundation as a partner organization for the late November conferences titled: “The 1987 Intifada, : History and Memory, Commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the first uprising against the Israeli occupation.”
The Heinrich-Böll-Foundation is acknowledged as the policy wing of the German Green Party. It will be part of a series of conferences set down for Gaza (November 24-26) and Beirut (November 28-30) headlined by the Gaza-based Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad and the Hamas movement leader Hasan Yusuf.
Olga Deutsch, director of the European desk of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, told the Post of her dismay at the plan. She said:
The record reflects years of support and cooperation between the Heinrich Boll Stiftung in Ramallah and other groups including those allegedly linked to terror organizations. The Stiftung’s involvement in an event which lends a platform to a Hamas leader is unprecedented in its severity.
This sort of activity is inconsistent with the body of the Stiftung’s activities and its values. The management’s silence, as well as the silence of the Israel branch, is difficult to understand.
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, the president of NGO Monitor, told the Post that German political foundations with very large budgets “are powerful actors, particularly regarding Israel, as this example shows.” He lamented the insensitivity of some of those groups, including those providing platforms for known, proscribed terroristgroups.
“We strongly urge these foundations to open a wide dialogue with all groups in Israeli society, and to start to listen to the criticism,” added Steinberg.
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, Hamas is a radical Islamist movement sworn to the destruction both of Israel and the Jewish people. In July it was officially declared a terrorist organization by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) after judges in the European Union’s most senior court ruled the group should remain on an EU-wide terror blacklist.
The EU originally imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Hamas after the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda terror attacks on New York and Washington.
Hamas opposed the sanctions from the start, arguing that it is a legally elected government and therefore has the right to conduct military operations against Israel.
It refuses to recognize that some of Judaism’s holiest sites are located in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem; the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron; and Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.
For its part, the Böll foundation maintains that any links with Hamas are purely coincidental. It wrote on its Twitter feed that it “did not invite any Hamas representatives to the podium.” The foundation added that its “Ramallah office cooperates every year with the IPS [Institute for Palestine Studies], a well-respected and independent [institute].”
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