As Israel’s attacks on Gaza continue and the size of massacres against civilians increases every day, Western countries’ support for Israel is also among the important issues discussed in the context of the attacks.
The US and the EU, which claim to have the highest standards for the basic principles of international law, especially the protection of human rights, and publish critical reports on the issue to other countries, ignore the massacres and other violations of international law carried out by the Israeli army in Gaza and the West Bank, and make statements of support for Israel, that are widely greeted with surprise.
But those who remember the policies of these countries that supported Israel in similar massacres previously carried out in Palestinian territories and Lebanon are not surprised by their current attitude because they know how high the influence of the Israeli lobby is on politicians, bureaucrats and members of the media of the Western world.
Germany’s policy toward massacres carried out by Israel in Gaza for four weeks does not go out of the general line in the West. It seems that the leaders who conduct the foreign policy of Germany, which has a Holocaust past, are making a special effort to be at the forefront of the race to support Israel with the idea of making it forget these sins. Knowing that the Israeli lobby records who support it at what level at such times, they shout as much as they can in the chorus singing “Israel’s right to defend itself.”
“Will Israel defend itself by killing thousands of children? Even if you call for a cease-fire to stop these massacres,” and in order not to hear their demands, they sing the same refrain even louder: “We support Israel’s right to self-defense to the fullest.”
As the number of Gazan children killed in Israeli bombardments increases and German public reactions increase, a feeble “we don’t want civilians to be harmed” tone rises from Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, but “how will civilians stop dying without a cease-fire, without Israel’s attacks stopping?” When asked, the same refrain is repeated: “We support Israel’s right to self-defense to the fullest.”
In Gaza, the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital is being bombed by Israel, and more than 500 people have lost their lives. Chancellor Scholz posted on the social media platform, X, two hours after the attack: “Israel has the right to defend itself. Every state has an obligation to protect its citizens.”
So, Gazans are not citizens? Who will protect them from Israeli attacks? Who will protect the Palestinians in the West Bank from Israeli attacks, lawlessness and the usurpation of their homeland?
Chancellor Scholz has no answers to these questions. Because it is time, it is time to support Israel! This is not the time to question Netanyahu’s goals. Until he reaches his goals, appeals from consciences should be prevented from turning into cries of protest. What should he do? ”It would please Israel very much if demonstrations were banned all over Germany in support of the civilians killed in Gaza, calling for a cease-fire,” someone said, and demonstrations are banned, but prohibitions cannot prevent thousands of people who listen to the voice of their conscience, who are in favor of law, justice and peace from cursing the Israeli attacks on the streets of German capital Berlin.
Baerbock’s effort to exonerate Israel
Did Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, one of Israel’s most ardent supporters, worry that Netanyahu and the Israeli lobby would be very angry with them for failing to prevent the demonstrations? Or is she comfortable that there will no longer be any doubt that she is on the side of Israel with her statements of support from the very beginning?
On the day of the Hamas attack, she said: “Hamas is escalating violence. I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks against Israel from Gaza. We stand in full solidarity with Israel and Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorism according to international law.” On Oct. 10, after three days had passed, that is, now that Israel had killed a large number of Palestinian civilians, she continued her support with the statement/: “Europe as a whole stands by Israel.” Regarding the civilians killed in Gaza due to Israeli attacks, she tried to exonerate the Israeli government with her statement: “The suffering and death of Palestinian civilians is part of the terrorists’ strategy. What is especially treacherous is that Hamas hides behind the civilian population.” On Oct. 13, when the number of Gazan civilians killed in Israeli attacks began to be expressed in thousands, she reiterated her support for the Netanyahu administration by saying: “Israel is experiencing a barbaric terror these days. Nothing can justify this. Israel has the right to defend itself against this terrorism as part of international law. Germany is unwaveringly on the side of Israel. That’s why I’m going to Israel today.”
But what did the German foreign minister mean when she said that Israel has the right to defend itself “as part of international law”? Did she mean that if Israel violates international law in defending itself, we will withdraw our support for it? Undoubtedly not. Although Israel continues to bomb Gaza in violation of all the rules of international law, committing war crimes, Germany’s support for the Netanyahu government has continued. They could not even call for a cease-fire, they added a new page to Germany’s house of shame by abstaining in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution voting for an urgent humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza. However, if Israel could force a humanitarian cease-fire, it would be possible for foreign citizens who have been under bombardment in Gaza for weeks to leave the region and return to their countries. There were also German citizens among them. Israel has also been refusing to allow the evacuation of German citizens in Gaza for three weeks. So, what was Germany’s reaction to Israel, which has been holding its citizens captive in Gaza under bombardment for weeks: “We support Israel’s right to self-defense to the fullest.”
Why is Germany so extremely pro-Israel?
It can be said that there are four main reasons why Germany pursues such an extreme pro-Israel policy: The burden of the Holocaust past, the Israeli lobby in the country, the influence of the US and the line of the current coalition government. There is no doubt that the genocide committed against the Jews during the Hitler era has mortgaged Germany’s Israeli policy to this day. It should also not be forgotten that some are making every effort to keep this mortgage going. At this point, the Israeli lobby in the country comes into play. By constantly covering the theme of the Holocaust on German television and newspapers, Germans are reminded that although the crime was committed by their ancestors, current generations are equally responsible. As a result, German politicians always describe the protection of Israel as Germany’s “state policy” (staatsrason). They think that no matter what Israel does, Germany should support it. They do not want to deal with the Palestinians who are the victims of this pathological thinking.
Another reason for Germany’s extreme pro-Israel policy is its relationship with the US, which is Israel’s biggest supporter in the world. There is no doubt that the relationship established between Berlin and Washington after the Second World War is an asymmetric relationship of interdependence and that Germany does not leave the US’ line in foreign and security policy. It can be argued that some German leaders, such as Gerhard Schroder, have made exceptions to this. However, it seems that today’s Chancellor Scholz, a member of the German Social Democratic Party, of which Schroder was the leader in the past, has thoroughly broken the route to Washington, especially with the Russia-Ukraine war, and the US is “chasing” (Bandwagoning).
The junior partners of the coalition, the FDP and the Greens, are competing with each other on Americanist foreign policy. In particular, Baerbock, a member of the Green Party, has risen to the highest level of American foreign policy, destroying her party’s deep commitment to the protection of human rights and the defense of peace.
While the boldest voices from the West against Israel’s Gaza massacres are rising from the European left, the Greens, positioning themselves as a left party, stand out as the most important supporters of Israeli aggression thanks to pro-American politicians such as Baerbock.
In this article
- 7 October 2023 Israel's Attack on Gaza with Disproportionate Force
- Annalena Baerbock
- Cease-fire | Ceasefire
- German Chancellor
- German Foreign Minister
- German-Israeli Relations
- Germany-Israel Relations
- Israeli War Crimes
- Israeli–Palestinian Conflict
- Middle East
- Olaf Scholz
- Operation Al-Aqsa Flood
- The Palestine File
- United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)
- War Crime
- Western World