One of the main topics of conversation in Israel last week was whether or not PM Netanyahu acted correctly in refusing to meet with the German Foreign Minister Herr Sigmar Gabriel because he also met with the leftist and generally anti-Israel NGO’s “B’Tselem” and “Breaking the Silence.” Those who opposed Netanyahu’s decision think that he was giving an unnecessary and undiplomatic snub to the FM of a friendly country. Those, including myself, who support Netanyahu’s decision think that he was upholding the diplomatic standard that a visiting foreign diplomat does not interfere in the internal politics of a friendly country and does not support groups that (within a democracy) are actively working for the downfall of the Government and/or the country.
There were extenuating circumstances involved in this decision. Although Gabriel is the FM of Germany, he is not from the ruling party, but is a member of the leftist partner of the ruling Coalition. As such he has in the past made it clear that he not only opposes PM Netanyahu, but is also opposed to Israel’s policies and generally supports the Palestinian movement. Secondly, he also made it clear that he intended to meet with groups opposing Netanyahu’s Government in Israel, even before he had met with Netanyahu. This is grossly undiplomatic, and is an insult not only to Netanyahu, but to Israel itself.
Not only do these organizations give evidence to foreign organizations against the State of Israel regarding its policies in the territories, but Breaking the Silence openly advocates that Israelis refuse to serve in the IDF and also publicizes so-called cases of abuse by the military that on several occasions have been shown to be false (by testimony of serving soldiers). These organizations are allowed to operate within Israel because Israel is a functioning democracy. But, these organizations receive massive funding from foreign governments to act against their own government, and one of the main governments that fund these leftist anti-Israel NGO’s is Germany. So you could say that Gabriel was going to meet with his employees to get a report on how they are spending German money to undermine the Israel Government and the Israeli State. Certainly this was good reason for Netanyahu to snub Gabriel’s visit.
On the other hand Netanyahu has met with the FM’s of other countries that also fund leftist anti-Israel organizations in Israel. For example, he recently met with UK FM Boris Johnson, whose Foreign Ministry supports anti-Israel activities on the West Bank. But, the difference is that Boris Johnson is known to be a supporter of Israel and the UK Conservative Government of Theresa May is a strong supporter of Israel. Further the UK is a much smaller supporter of these anti-Israel leftist NGO’s than Germany.
Can you imagine the scandal if a UK PM or a US President met with a visiting FM who was also going to meet with an organization advocating desertion from the UK or US Army. It could never happen and it should never happen in Israel. Why do the Germans and other Europeans think they are superior to us Jews and can tell us what to do in our own sovereign country? This foreign Government funding of anti-Israel NGO’s in Israel should stop and the recent law that requires them to register the amount of such funding if it is over 50% is a step in the right direction.
According to a report in today’s Jerusalem Post, Gabriel’s anti-Semitism is a deliberate attempt to gain electoral votes during the current election campaign in Germany. There is still a large percentage of Germans who will vote for an anti-Semitic candidate, and most of them are on the extreme left.