“Why … after the Ayatollah Khamenei released a Holocaust denying video … did the president of Germany sent warm greetings to a regime that seeks Israel’s destruction?”

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier touches a wreath during a ceremony commemorating the six mi
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier touches a wreath during a ceremony commemorating the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust, in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. (photo credit: REUTERS)


The head of Germany’s nearly 100,000 Jewish community blasted the president of the federal republic, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on Monday for sending a congratulatory telegram to the Iranian regime to honor the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Islamic Republic.

Dr. Josef Schuster, the chairman of the Jewish community, told the Bild paper  “On the Federal President’s congratulatory telegram on the anniversary of the revolution in Iran, routine diplomacy seems to have supplanted critical thinking. It is incomprehensible that by the topic of Iran the presidential office apparently lacked the necessary sensitivity. If there was a need to congratulate on this anniversary, the President would at least have to find clear words of criticism of the regime. ”

Schuster added “I expect the Federal President to take the next opportunity to make clear to Iran the critical attitude of the Germans in whose name he speaks.” Steinmeier has refused to congratulate US president Trump on his election victory in 2016 and called him a “hate preacher.” However, the social democratic president Steinmeier has sent congratulation remarks to authoritarian leaders such as president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey and Russian president Vladimir Putin on their questionable election victories.

The Israeli-Palestinian psychologist and Islam expert Ahmad Mansour wrote on Twitter: “Did not the same Steinmeier refuse to congratulate Trump? Why is he setting different standards for Iran? Iran is the export world champion of anti-Semitism, is actively involved in the killings of Jews, thousands in Syria, homosexuals in their own country.”

Steinmeier has previously bowed in honor of former PLO president Yasser Arafat’s tomb in Ramallah. The former German former minister Steinmeier also hosted an event for the NGO Breaking the Silence at the social democratic party’s headquarters in Berlin. The Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence uses anonymous testimonies to criticize Israeli soldiers.

According to Bild, Steinmeier defended his telegram to Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani in his Monday conversation with Schuster. The president’s Press Office said congratulating Iran’s regime for its Islamic revolution is “the longstanding state practice of the Federal Republic of Germany.” The Bild paper article termed the Islamic Republic of Iran an “antisemitic regime.”

The Jerusalem Post reported last week on Steinmeier’s praise of the clerical regime in Tehran. After the US-based human rights organization the Simon Wiesenthal Center and German politicians sharply criticized Steinmeier, the Central Council of Jews in Germany weighed in.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a new statement on Monday, asking “Why is Germany hailing Iranian Regime’s 40th while Ayatollah denies holocaust and IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ] threatens to “Raze Tel Aviv and Haifa?'”

Rabbis Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder and Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action at the Simon Wiesenthal Center asked in a second question:

“Why, only weeks after the Ayatollah Khamenei released a Holocaust denying video on International Holocaust Memorial Day, did the president of Germany send warm greetings to a regime that seeks Israel’s destruction?”

The center officials said, “the official video released by the Ayatollah includes references to notorious Holocaust deniers Roger Garaudy, David Irving, and Robert Faurisson, all of whose hateful views were debunked by legitimate historians.”

The Rabbis blasted the German foreign ministry and its deputy foreign minister Niels Annen for appearing at celebration of Iran’s revolutionary Islamic revolution at the Iranian embassy in Berlin.

“We were further dismayed to learn that the Foreign Ministry” sent officials to the Iran’s embassy “that seeks to destroy Israel, hangs gays publicly and persecutes its religious minorities.”

“And just one day after the 40th anniversary a top official threatened ‘to raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”

The Wiesenthal Center said: “These shocking public displays of friendship for the most notorious state-sponsor of terrorism, of Holocaust denial; of a regime that regularly threatens Israel with destruction, flies in the face of Germany’s longstanding commitment to protect the Memory of 6 million Jews murdered by Nazi Germany and to stand by the democratic Jewish state against existential threats.”

“Moments of Silence and national memorials to the past in Germany won’t have meaning much longer if today’s Germany is prepared its sacrifice its democratic principles for lucrative contracts from the Iranian regime”, Hier and Cooper noted.

A spokesman for Israel’s consulate in Munich, Tobias Wenger, wrote the Post by email that the matter involves a “national topic” and the embassy in Berlin in responsible for comments. Numerous Post email and Twitter queries to Israel’s ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff were not answered.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post