Netanyahu Visits a Disapproving Germany

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Berlin today. Netanyahu won a free and fair election and is by far the most popular leader in Israel—but many in Germany share Israel’s left-wing opposition to him and would like to see him ousted.

Two weeks before his visit, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock voiced concerns over Israel’s judiciary reform and considerations to reintroduce the death penalty against terrorists. From the top of the government down to common demonstrators, Netanyahu is facing backlash in Germany.

We abroad are concerned about some Israeli legislative plans.
—Annalena Baerbock

That’s because this is not a reform in the conventional sense, but a disempowerment of the Supreme Court.
—Peter Lintl, Israel expert at the think tank Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik

Israel’s left and Germany unite: Anne Frank Educational Center director Meron Mendel told Bayerischer Rundfunk radio that the German-Israeli friendship is based on shared values and that it is not possible to do business with an “extreme right-wing” Israeli government.

In a letter to the German and British ambassadors in Tel Aviv, about 1,000 Israeli artists, writers and academics called on the two countries to cancel Netanyahu’s scheduled visit, according to Haaretz. Claiming Israel is currently “facing a most terrible crisis [where the] elected government [is attempting] to turn it from a flourishing democracy into a theocratic dictatorship.”

Jews unwelcome in Germany? In preparation for his visit, the Berlin police pulled out all the stops to prepare for protesters.

In the coming days, pretty much everything will be called into service that is somehow possible, because of course we have to expect that this visit will not meet with the approval of everyone in our city.
—Police union statement

It is unusual for foreign leaders to be received with such intense hatred. Germany has committed itself as an ally to the State of Israel since its founding. But again and again we see anti-Semitism disguised as criticism against Israeli politics when the vast majority of Israelis voted for this government.

To learn more about what’s happening in Israel, read “Benjamin Netanyahu vs. Israel’s Supreme Court.” Also read “Are Europe and Israel ‘Bound to Be Friends and Allies’?” to learn where this supposed alliance is leading.