NGO Monitor on Tuesday reported on a number of virulently antisemitic statements made by officials of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) — a German government-owned agency that implements Germany’s humanitarian and development aid around the world. GIZ has funded Israeli and Arab NGOs (non-governmental organizations). The reported statements include comparisons between Israel and the Nazis, blaming the downfall of Arab leaders on a “Hebrew spring” and depicting Israel as a two-headed monster. GIZ members also posted messages to Facebook that justify Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and endorse BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) efforts.
Some of the anti-Semitic content was promoted by GIZ officials responsible for directing German funding to Palestinian NGOs, as well as by other colleagues at the agency. Among these Palestinian groups are those that have glorified violence and terrorism. According to its website, “GIZ currently employs a staff of 145 in the Palestinian Territories.”
These GIZ employees include Luke McBain, who in Jamuary 2016 described Zionism as a “settler-colonialist movement,” claiming that this “explains everything,” including the “endless occupation.” Referring to the 2014 Gaza War, McBain argued that “responding to violence originating from a territory which you occupy is not self-defense.” Mind you, by 2014, Israel had been out of Gaza for 9 years.
Ulrich Nitschke, who works for GIZ’s program “Values for Religion and Development,” used Facebook to promote BDS, advocate for Ahed Tamimi, deny the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, and accuse Israel of misusing the term “anti-Semitism.”
Henner Kirchner, a GIZ project manager, advocated on Facebook for charging Prime Minister Netanyahu with Holocaust denial in German court. He also defended Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians and argued that Israel does not have the right to defend itself.
Rudolf Rogg, GIZ’s country director in the PA and Gaza since 2009, claimed that Hamas was not responsible for the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June 2014, which led to the Gaza War of that summer.
Mohammed Al-Mutawakel, a GIZ project manager in Germany (originally a project manager in Jordan), used social media to compare Israel to the Nazis.
Tobias Thiel, head of GIZ’s “Strengthening Reform Initiatives” project, shared articles claiming that Israel committed a “deliberate massacre” in Gaza, and argued that Israel does not have the right to defend itself.
According to NGO Monitor, because of a severe lack of transparency, it is impossible to compile a comprehensive list of GIZ’s NGO partners in Israel, Gaza, and the PA. But it is known that GIZ is funding MIFTAH and PASSIA, which have both celebrated Arab terrorism targeting Israeli civilians.