The German government in March funneled €5 million ($5.27 million) into a school project in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, even as a report by Israeli NGOs shows Palestinian teaching materials “glorify terrorism, encourage martyrdom, demonize Israelis and incite antisemitism.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center told JNS that the German transfer of funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians Refugees (UNRWA)—the U.N. agency that oversees schools in Gaza—is disturbing because of the lack of linkage to an end of terrorism and lethal antisemitism.
Israel Behind the News first revealed the German donation, noting that a delegation led by Jochen Flasbarth, state secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), attended the ceremony, and Thomas White, director of UNRWA affairs in Gaza, greeted the Germans.
According to the Israel Behind the News website, “Germany generously contributed over EUR 180 million [$189.5 million] to UNRWA operations in 2022.”
It is unclear whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will raise Berlin’s funding of UNRWA without the promised vetting procedures and its funding of anti-Israel NGOs such as al-Haq during his meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Thursday.
In 2019, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry disclosed that Germany plays an instrumental role in financing NGOs that boycott the Jewish state.
The German organizations Bread for the World, World Peace Service and the Green Party’s Heinrich Böll Foundation fund Ramallah-based Palestinian “human rights” NGO Al-Haq.
World Peace Service is a German government agency. The Israeli government classified Al-Haq as a terrorist organization due to its links to the E.U.- and U.S.-designated terrorist entity the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock of the Greens Party has declined to crack down on public funding of antisemitic boycotts of Israel. The Bundestag passed a resolution in May 2019 declaring the BDS campaign an antisemitic movement.
The German Foreign Ministry-funded German-Israel Association (DIG) made no mention of Berlin’s funding of anti-Israel NGOs in its Wednesday press release about Netanyahu’s visit to Berlin. Instead, the Green Party politician Volker Beck, who runs the DIG, blasted Israel for its judicial reforms, declaring that they “harm Israel’s security and prosperity.”
Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli and Knesset member Ariel Kallner, both from the Likud, previously criticized the German Foreign Ministry, the German-Israel Association and Beck for their “anti-Zionist” activity, including boycotting conservative Zionist Israeli organizations.