Israel looks increasingly isolated on the world stage. But one country has stood unwaveringly by Israel’s side: Germany. It stands out as a model of support. Not because it gives Israel a free pass on every controversy. But because it has not buckled on its fundamental pro-Israel positions, even when international pressure builds.

First, let’s acknowledge that Germany’s strong pro-Israel positions are rooted in the country’s need to right historic wrongs. As Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated, “German history and our responsibility arising from the Holocaust make it our duty to stand up for the existence and security of the State of Israel.”

But Germany’s guilt over the Holocaust does not in any way call into question the principled positions that continue to stand in stark contrast to the bizarre behavior of some of Israel’s other Western allies, six months into a war that Israel did not start.

When the war began in the wake of the October 7 attack, Scholtz stated unequivocally, “Israel has our full solidarity and the right under international law to defend itself against terror.” When international anti-Zionism reared its ugly head, Scholz declared, “Hatred against Israel contradicts all the values to which our country is committed. When false allegations of war crimes began to emerge, Scholz asserted, “Israel is a democratic state guided by humanitarian principles; I have no doubt and we can be certain the army will respect rules of international law.”

Germany has rejected calls for unilateral ceasefires, even when they come from other European states. As Scholz explained, “I don’t think the calls for an immediate ceasefire or long pause – which would amount to the same thing—are right. That would mean ultimately that Israel leaves Hamas the possibility of recovering and obtaining new missiles.” Even as it became clear that Gaza was experiencing shortages in aid, a German government spokesperson stated, “It does not make sense to us to demand a cease-fire when we must assume that one side will continue to launch its rocket attacks from Gaza.”

When Canada and other states vowed to curtail arms deliveries to Israel, the German government increased the volume of licenses issued for arms exports to Israel tenfold. This included a January report that Germany approved the supply of 10,000 tank shells for operations in Gaza.

Germany has taken strong positions against the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which has been exposed countless times now as a partner to Hamas terrorist activity in the Gaza Strip. German politicians from across the political spectrum called for a cut in UNRWA funding, with one member of the Social Democrats vowing, “there cannot be a status quo ante with UNRWA.” That cut came in late January. Admittedly, Germany did contribute €45 million to UNRWA in March for “work in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and occupied West Bank,” but funds for Gaza remained suspended.

After the South Africans hauled Israel before the International Court of Justice, alleging that Israel was carrying out genocide in Gaza, Germany stepped in. On January 12, the Germans announced they would “intervene as a third party” and strongly rejected the charge of genocide—noting that Germany had experience in such matters, and that it knew better than most how to differentiate between a defensive war and genocide.

None of this is to say that Germany has been one-sided. The country continues to talk about the need for a two-state solution and it has expressed concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, providing financial assistance to support responsible players in this space. Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, spoke privately with Netanyahu (she did not chide him publicly) to challenge some of his statements opposing a two-state solution. Germany has even stated that it supports the notion of a Palestinian state.

As reports of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza emerged, Scholz called upon Israel to “do everything possible to better protect Gazan civilians,” but he also was quick to noted, “war can end immediately if Hamas ends its inhumane activities,” including the release of Israeli hostages. The German government supports an Israeli operation in the town of Rafah, but has warned against “forced displacement.” Scholtz tweeted last month, “As a friend of Israel, I expressed my concerns to Prime Minister @netanyahu,” calling upon Israel to allow for more aide to enter Gaza.

As the humanitarian challenges mount in Gaza, the statements of concern issued by the German government have taken on an increasingly urgent tone. The World Central Kitchen Debacle elicited a response from Germany, too. And Germany quietly welcomed the recent UN resolution calling for a ceasefire through the end of Ramadan. Remarkably, even as it struck this balance, Germany must now defend itself from charges that it is “facilitating the commission of genocide” in Gaza. This insane charge has been brought by the government of Nicaragua.

But even as the mess compounds, there is no ugly war of words between Germany and Israel. There are no leaks from the Chancellor’s office implying that a full rupture between Jerusalem and Berlin is possible. There are no threats of cutting off support to Israel amidst the country’s multi-front battle with Iranian proxies spanning from Gaza to Lebanon to Yemen.

Contrast this with the shrill tone and language coming out of the White House right now. Biden’s repeated and public broadsides against Israel have heaped additional tension and challenges upon an already tense and challenging situation.

Germany will not likely ever be Israel’s most important strategic military partner. That’s America’s traditional role. But it may be time for Germany to step in and remind Biden that, election season notwithstanding, there is a moral obligation to stand with Israel. In an era of resurgent anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, few other countries will.

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