The German parliament has been condemned by pro-Israel campaigners over its opposition to the Zionists state’s proposed annexation of the occupied West Bank. Pro-Israel groups, who claim to be leading the fight against anti-Semitism, were so outraged by last week’s resolution urging the government in Berlin to use its close ties to Israel to prevent Tel Aviv from annexing large swathes of occupied Palestinian territory, that they accused Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government and the EU leadership of turning a blind eye to another Holocaust.
European lawmakers were accused of double standards by focusing on annexation and ignoring Iran’s pursuit of a “future genocide of the Jewish nation”. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, led the charge. Speaking to the Jerusalem Post following the Bundestag’s resolution against any further Israeli takeover of Palestinian land he raised the spectre of another Holocaust, warning that, “Iran is working to actuate its genocidal rhetoric for a ‘Final Solution’ to destroy Israel.”
Cooper added that, “Other than mouthing ‘Never Again’ on Holocaust Memorial Day events, has there been any wall-to-wall consensus in the Bundestag to sanction the Ayatollah for his genocidal, Holocaust denying regime? How about national consensus to actually combat growing anti-Semitic hate and extreme anti-Israel rhetoric from the far-right, far-left and Islamists, beyond just tabulating the numbers?”
The parliamentary resolution was supported unanimously by Merkel’s coalition government made up of the Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union and Social Democratic Party. The Free Democratic Party also joined the anti-annexation group while the Left Party and the Green Party sought tougher measures against the self-declared Jewish state.
The only party that refused to condemn Israel over its annexation plan was the far-right Alternative for Germany. A BBC profile of the party’s leadership shows that it once described Berlin’s Holocaust memorial as a “monument of shame” and called for a “180-degree turnaround” in Germany’s handling of its Nazi past. Its leaders are also said to have trivialised the Nazi era as “just a speck of bird’s muck in more than 1,000 years of successful Germany history.”
An editorial in the mass-circulation Bild newspaper by Louis Hagen also expressed outrage. Denouncing the resolution as “grotesque” Hagen accused the Bundestag of singling out Israel for special treatment. This is a common tactic used by pro-Israel groups to discredit critics as anti-Semites.
Yesterday, Germany’s Anti-Semitism Commissioner, Uwe Becker, joined in the outrage, slamming Berlin for what he described as anti-Israel bias. “I believe that the political and international law based assessment of Israel’s action by the German Bundestag is wrong,” he told the Jerusalem Post. “To my very own mind, it is not even an ‘annexation’ when Israel is expanding its sovereignty over the Jordan Valley.”
The annexation of land occupied by military means is against international law. For the occupying state to transfer its citizens into such territory is a war crime.