Germany's Bundestag
Germany's BundestagiStock

Israel’s ambassador in Berlin, Ron Prosor, took the highly unusual step of declaring that appeals from German politicians regarding the judicial reform debate in Israel are “not very helpful.”

Prosor’s remarks were made during an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP) and published in German on the webpage of the Stern magazine on April 26.

Journalist Claudio Casula, writing on the website of the popular pro-Israel news and commentary website The Axis of Good (Die Achse des Guten), said Prosor’s diplomatic “not very helpful” actually means “Stop it.”

Casula, who has written extensively about Israel, criticized the “German know-it-alls” for tossing stones when living in a glass house.

Prosor’s rare counter to months of German bashing of Israel garnered scarce coverage outside of the Federal Republic. One additional key takeaway from Prosor’s interview is that Israel’s lively and solid democracy and society can debates the merits of judicial reform and hammer out a solution.

Modern Germany’s policy toward Israel has largely consisted of acting like a strict schoolmaster from the era of Kaiser Wilhelm II, ever prepared to crack his whip if the Jewish state does not conform to his view of the world.

All of this helps to explain why Prosor, in the AFP interview, said Israel does not need a “raised index finger” dictating how its democratic order should function.

During the protests by opponents of judicial reform, German politicians, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and most of the country’s anti-Israel media industry have behaved as if they were Israel’s probation officer.

While Prosor did not name names of German politicians who have taken a holier than thou approach toward Israel, Scholz expressed “great concern” over the judicial reform program, speaking in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March.

This is the same Scholz who went deadly silent when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared that Israel had committed “50 Holocausts” against Palestinian Arabs.

Germany’s ceremonial president Frank-Walter Steinmeier also expressed “concern” about the supposed “restructuring of the rule of law” in Israel. This is the same German president who congratulated the Islamic Republic of Iran on the anniversary of its Islamic Revolution that is devoted to exterminating the Jewish state.

Steinmeier also lambasted Israel’s government in 2015 for its opposition to the profoundly flawed Iran nuclear deal. Netanyahu rejected the agreement at the time because it enables Iran’s regime to legally build nuclear weapons. Steinmeier said at the time: “This is a responsible deal and Israel should also take a closer look at it and not criticize the agreement in a very coarse way.”

Christoph Heusgen, chairman of the Munich Security Conference and Germany’s former ambassador to the United Nations, piled on, slamming the judicial reform effort as another sign that Israel will depart from the community of “democratic states.”

This is the same Heusgen who likened Israel’s vigorous democracy with the EU- and US-designated terrorist movement Hamas during a United Nations Security Council meeting. The Simon Wiesenthal Center classified Heusgen’s tirade against the Jewish state as the seventh worst outbreak of antisemitism in 2019.

Heusgen also worked as former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief foreign policy advisor from 2005 to 2017.

German Ambassador to Israel Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s former spokesman, remorselessly ignores the Iranian regime threat targeting the Jewish state. Instead, Seibert spreads tweets against Israel posted by Scholz and Steinmeier.

Seibert, like Heusgen, displays the typical Pavlovian blame-Israel response to any transgression Israel has been alleged to commit. Seibert took to Twitter last week because Israel did not allow a highly disruptive German-Palestinian Arab to enter Israel. He also spends his time meeting with anti-Israel NGOs.

While the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seeks to carry out terror attacks against Jews and Israeli institutions in Germany, Scholz, Steinmeier, Heusgen and Seibert refuse to start a process to outlaw the IRGC in Germany.

Other so-called friends of Israel such as the head of the German-Israel Friendship Association (DIG), the former Green Party politician Volker Beck, work overtime to hold events with titles like “Where is Israel going? Are the friends of Israel going with you?”

Beck, who previously wrote an essay urging the decriminalization of pedophilia, has been campaigning in Germany against the judicial reform efforts. He was also arrested for possession of crystal meth. Likud lawmakers have blasted Beck’s anti-Zionism over the past six months.

DIG held the event together with its Bremen chapter and an anti-Israel activist, Meron Mendel. Mendel’s Frankfurt-based NGO the Anne Frank Educational Center has likened Islamic State terrorists to Jewish refugees during World War II. Germany’s most widely-known Jewish journalist and antisemitism expert, Henryk M. Broder, lampooned the DIG event in an article titled: “With friends like these…”

In short, the DIG pretends to be pro-Israel.

Mendel claims that the former Pink Floyd musician Rogers Waters is not an antisemite. Waters supports BDS and constantly issues anti-Jewish conspiratorial rants.

Unsurprisingly, Germany’s state-sponsored think tank world is in turbo mode against Israel’s judicial reform processes. The former Green Party Bundestag deputy Kerstin Müller, whom Berlin’s Jewish community deemed antisemitic due to her pro-BDS activity, urged Scholz to clamp down on Netanyahu’s legislative moves to overhaul the judiciary.

Müller, who was involved in sanctioning Israel numerous times in the Bundestag, is on the advisory board of the European Leadership Network (ELNET), an NGO whose stated mission is to strengthen relations between Europe and Israel. She accused Israel of “war crimes” during its war of self-defense against Hamas and other terrorists in the Gaza Strip in 2014.

The late German social scientist Wolfgang Pohrt described the perverse antisemitic process in which many of his fellow Germans embrace their role as moral policemen who are tasked with preventing “their victims from relapsing.”

Put simply, Germany should sit out the judicial reform debate along with all other internal Israeli matters.

Benjamin Weinthalis a Writing Fellow for the Middle East Forum.