Caroline Glick: Germany’s Love Affair with Iran About More than Greed

Al Quds Germany (Tobias Schwarz / AFP / Getty)
Tobias Schwarz / AFP / Getty

What is one to make of Germany’s love affair with Iran?

In a recent conversation with senior Trump administration officials, Breitbart News was told that the force behind the European Union’s trenchant support for Iran is Germany.

This EU support for Iran is manifested in a series of ways.

For example, after President Donald Trump walked away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, last May, the EU responded harshly.

Brussels refused U.S. calls to join America in abandoning the deal that paves the way for Iran to develop a nuclear arsenal, and which funds its terrorism and aggression throughout the Middle East and world. The EU’s “big three,” Germany, France and Britain, spent months putting together a financial vehicle to sidestep U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. They instructed European firms to defy U.S. sanctions and maintain their economic operations in Iran.

In other words, rather than siding with their most powerful and important ally – the United States of America – in its efforts to forge a policy vis-à-vis Iran that actually diminishes the threat the regime poses to global security and stability, the Europeans – led by Germany — have stood with Iran against the United States.

The EU has also, following Germany’s lead, refused to ban Hezbollah – Iran’s terror proxy – from operating in Europe. Instead, the EU’s policy is to make an artificial distinction between what it refers to as the “military wing” of Hezbollah and what it refers to as Hezbollah’s “political wing.” The fact that even Hezbollah rejects the distinction, and that the so-called “political wing” in Europe raises money for Hezbollah and mobilizes terrorists to join Hezbollah through open indoctrination, is of no interest.

Like its Iranian controllers, Hezbollah seeks the obliteration of the Jewish state. When the British parliament voted last week to outlaw Hezbollah’s fake “political wing” from operating in the United Kingdom, the German government was quick to announce that it would not follow suit. Germany — and through it, the rest of continental Europe — will continue to allow the genocidal terror group to operate openly on its soil.

As for the Iranians, German leaders insist that their continued allegiance to the nuclear deal stems from their conviction that the deal is a non-proliferation agreement and advances their security, and not from their support for Iran. But evidence grows by the day that the opposite is the case. Whereas in Iran, last month the regime had to hire people to fill the streets to “celebrate” the fortieth anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, senior German leaders were happy to gush in joy as they congratulated the murderous regime for its longevity.

The German Foreign Ministry sent State Minister Niels Annan and an Iran desk officer to celebrate the occasion at the Iranian Embassy in Berlin. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeyer sent a congratulatory telegram to his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, praising the Islamic regime. In contrast, in November 2016, Steinmeyer refused to send a congratulatory telegram to President-elect Donald Trump and referred to him as a “hate preacher.”

In an article in the Washington Examiner, Iran expert Michael Rubin argued that Germany’s support for the Islamic regime is a function of financial interests.

In his words, “For German authorities across from the political spectrum, human rights is only a tool with which to dress its foreign policy rhetoric. … For German authorities, the primary goal is commercial benefit. The execution of gays, slaughter of Jews, repression of other minorities, and terrorism are inconveniences to ignore.”

There is much to support Rubin’s conclusion. But a cursory glance at Germany’s focus in its hypocritical human rights activism shows that money isn’t the only reason that Germany is the greatest defender of a regime that openly seeks the annihilation of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

Israel’s NGO-Monitor is a group that reports on funding for radical non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to advancing the cause of Israel’s destruction. NGO-Monitor has documented copiously how the German government spends millions of dollars every year funding groups that criminalize Israel’s very right to exist, and goes to great efforts to hide reporting of is funding activities.

During a visit to Israel in 2017 by Germany’s then-foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, the depths of Germany’s commitment to these groups was laid bare. Parallel to scheduling a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Gabriel ostentatiously announced his plan to meet with two radical anti-Israel propaganda groups funded by Germany, Breaking the Silence and B’tselem. Breaking the Silence members travel around Europe and slander the Israel Defense Forces and its soldiers, making baseless accusations of “war crimes.” (Notably, the group refuses to share any of its testimony with Israeli officials to enable them to investigate the allegations.)

In 2016, an Israeli investigative group called Ad Kan surreptitiously filmed Breaking the Silence members probing reserve soldiers about operational details related to what was then a still-secret new Israeli unmanned combat vehicle. As Avi Dichter, the head of Israel’s Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and the former commander of Israel’s Security Agency, said at the time, the line of questioning indicated that beyond its dedication to slandering the IDF, Breaking the Silence was apparently engaging in an “intelligence collection operation.”

Ad Kan also filmed B’tselem employee Nasser Nawaja apparently plotting to turn a Palestinian interested in selling his land to Jews over to Palestinian security services with the full knowledge that they would torture and murder him.

When Netanyahu heard about Gabriel’s plan to meet with Breaking the Silence, he informed Gabriel that he had to choose between meeting with Breaking the Silence and B’tselem and meeting with Netanyahu. Gabriel insisted on meeting with the German-funded NGOs. So Netanyahu canceled their meeting.

When seen in the context of Germany’s extensive funding for political groups whose goal is to criminalize Israel and delegitimize its right to exist, Germany’s enthusiastic, warm, and supportive ties to the genocidally anti-Jewish Iranian regime seem to point to motivations far more sinister than mere greed.

Caroline Glick is a world-renowned journalist and commentator on the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, and the author of The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East. She is running for Israel’s Knesset as a member of the Yamin Hahadash (New Right) party in Israel’s parliamentary elections, scheduled for April 9. Read more at www.CarolineGlick.com.

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