Speaking at the 5th Deutch Israel Congress in Frankfurt, Deputy Mayor of Frankfurt Uwe Becker indicated that perhaps a day will come when Germany and other countries in the EU may follow the US’s lead on this issue: “We have to look at the strategic interests of a country. We also see that Israel will never for its own security and the security of its people give back the Golan Heights. It will not let that border be at the Sea of Galilee. Those truths have to be spoken out.”
Addressing the audience at the conference, the deputy mayor proclaimed how important it is for Germany to lead the way in Europe recognizing Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights: “You all work to strengthen the German-Israeli relationship in some way. For that reason, it is up to us to tell what is necessary and to speak about issues that we have to deal with when we speak about the friendship that we have between our two countries.”
According to Becker, Germany has a pivotal role to play in encouraging other countries in the EU follow the US’s lead on the issue: “If you look at the different countries in Europe, it is up to us, to Germany, to lead on the path to decisions on these questions because our country is the strongest partner of the State of Israel. There are many more skeptic countries in Europe than Germany, so if we are not leading the path, no one else will.” Noting that there are a disproportionate number of UN resolutions that condemn the State of Israel, he called upon other countries in Europe to refrain from joining the anti-Israel choir.
Becker sees a parallel between the struggle against anti-Israel resolutions at the UN and the fight against the BDS Movement across the world, noting that his country remains adamantly opposed to boycotting Israel: “BDS is nothing more and nothing less than the same language that the Nazis used. It is a different pronunciation but it is the same language, the same toxic ground on which they are walking to condemn the State of Israel and to find a pass of anti-Zionism in order to promote anti-Semitism.”
During the last vote on the non-binding UN resolution titled the “Occupied Syrian Golan,” which called upon Israel to stop controlling Arab territories, reaffirmed the illegitimacy of Israel’s annexation of the area and condemned Israel for offering locals in the Golan Heights Israeli citizenship and ID cards, only the United States and Israel voted against it. The resolution was accepted 151-2 with 14 abstentions. The 14 abstentions included Australia, the Cameroon, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda and Togo. None of these countries are geographically located in Europe.
Nevertheless, Mendi Safadi, a Druze Israeli citizen originally from the Golan Heights who heads the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, clarified: “The Golan Heights is an area liberated from the Arab occupation in 1967 and it needs to stay liberated under Israeli control without legal objections and without negotiations. I emphasized this in my remarks to the host and I explained to him that most of the residents of the Golan Heights want to remain as Israelis and there is no objection to this. It is true that there is a marginal group who due to receiving payment from the Assad regime organizes events and tries to take over the discourse on the streets but this minority should not be taken into account and the legal authorities should even bring them to justice. We are Israelis for all intents and purposes. No discussion on the issue is relevant.”