German leaders are unmatched in the eloquence with which they commemorate 6 million dead Jews but that strong voice is mostly absent when threats are made against the more than 6 million Jews living today in Israel
I was present in Jerusalem this January when leaders from the four corners of the earth gathered at Yad Vashem to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. There were many important and moving speeches, none more moving than the emotional one delivered by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
He admitted that his nation had not fully learned the lessons of the Holocaust, even as Jew-hatred was still growing.
Steinmeier reiterated that Germany assumed full responsibility for the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people.
“The industrial mass murder of 6 million Jews, the worst crime in humanity, was committed by my country. The terrible war, which cost over 50 million lives, originated in my country.”
“The Eternal Flame at Yad Vashem does not go out. Germany’s responsibility does not expire. We want to live up to our responsibility. By this, you should measure us. … Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz, I stand here as the president of Germany, laden with guilt,” the German head of state declared, before ending his dramatic speech with a recitation of the Shehecheyanu blessing in perfect Hebrew.
That same week, Heiko Maas, Germany’s foreign minister who has said he entered politics because of Auschwitz, wrote these words in a stirring op-ed in Der Spiegel:
“Policymakers need to take more resolute action in the fight against anti-Semitism … that we are serious when we say now, 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz: Never again!”
Indeed, one would be hard put to match the eloquence of German leaders when talking about remembering 6 million dead Jews.
The problem, however, is that this strong voice is mostly absent when there are threats made against the more than 6 million Jews living today in Israel.
For years now, the Iranian regime’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called Israel a cancer, a tumor that must be removed. Its main terrorist lackey, Hizbullah, has brought Lebanon to the brink of economic ruin yet it continues unabated to expand its bellicose and lethal threats against the Jewish state in Lebanon and Syria, in close conjunction with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Iran continues its financial and tactical support for genocidal Hamas.
The Iranian regime deploys a full range of its state institutions, including state-run media, to deny the Nazi Holocaust and denigrate the victims of the Shoah while it casts Israel as latter-day Nazis.
In July 2018, Austria’s young chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, during a press conference in Vienna with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, defended Israel and denounced the regime’s Holocaust denial.
Not Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. Despite it all, it has been an uphill struggle to get Germany’s elite to ever condemn the open sewage of Jew-hatred spilling from the mullahcracy. For years, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and others had pressed Berlin to at least shut down Hizbullah’s terroristic and anti-Semitic hate-mongering within Germany. That was finally achieved recently, primarily through the indefatigable pressure of US Ambassador Richard Grenell.
Last week, things came to a boil when Khamenei actually deployed the term “final solution” in one of his lurid attacks against the Jewish state.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called out the Iranian supreme leader for “echoing Hitler’s call for genocide.” Other leaders, including the EU’s foreign minister and the UN envoy for Middle East Peace, denounced the hateful rhetoric.
Incredible that @JZarif  and Iran’s Supreme Leader are echoing Hitler’s call for genocide. This depravity should dispel any notion the regime belongs in the community of nations. We stand with Germany and Israel against this oldest & most vile form of hatred, and say #NeverAgain  pic.twitter.com/Ppx8Scb9xQ 
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 22, 2020 
The Wiesenthal Center urged both Germany and Austria to recall their ambassadors from Tehran. After maintaining radio silence, the German Foreign Ministry finally released this carefully crafted statement:
“The federal government sharply condemns all glorification and legitimizing of terror, [as well as] calls for the annihilation of Israel, inciting terrorist acts or spreading anti-Semitic content. Such hostile comments to Israel are in no way acceptable. Israel’s right to exist is not negotiable. The federal republic regularly addresses critical points in all areas in an open way with Iran.”
Within hours, another vicious anti-Semitic cartoon – “Holocaust, A Lie” – was posted by the Iranians.
How to account for Germany being virtually AWOL from the fight to combat the Iranian regime’s rabid anti-Semitism and open genocidal threat against the Jewish state?
Enter Ambassador Grenell. In the past few weeks, he has gained international notoriety while also temporarily serving as acting director of United States National Intelligence. He has unmasked much of the dirty tricks behind the FBI setup of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Those of us who know Grenell from his service in Berlin weren’t surprised. He almost single-handedly exposed the scope and depths of the Berlin-Tehran relationship. It was his unmasking of Mahan Airlines flying into German airports that forced their cancellation. (Lucky for Germany, since Mahan would later introduce the novel coronavirus to the Middle East on its flights from Wuhan, China.)
It was Grenell who publicly shamed the German government’s plans to celebrate the Iranian regime’s birthday just weeks after it fired missiles at US troops in Iraq.
Most importantly, it was Grenell’s withering criticism of German companies, saying that they would pay a price in bucking US sanctions after President Trump withdrew the US from the Iranian nuclear deal, that helped make a dent in the billions of euros of German exports to Iran. How big of a dent? With major companies pulling out, 50%.
And who led the effort to skirt US sanctions against Iran? None other than German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
So, when it comes to Iranian genocidal Jew-hatred, it seems that Germany is trying to balance Never Again and Euros Über Alles.
With the ayatollah’s increasingly unhinged, bellicose threats against Israel and the US’s commitment to continue ratcheting up sanctions on Tehran, Germany may be forced to choose one side or the other.