Frankfurt, Germany — November 25, 2018 —Minister Gilad Erdan of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy gave the keynote address today at Frankfurt’s Deutscher Israelkongress, Europe’s largest pro-Israel conference with over 3,000 attendees. During his speech the Minister addressed Israel’s most pressing geopolitical issues including Iran, Gaza, BDS and the EU’s funding of BDS. The speech took place as part of the Minister’s visit to Germany and Italy, in which he focused on strengthening the campaign against BDS in Europe.
Minister Erdan refers to Iran’s President Rouhani’s speech as “a cancerous tumor”:
“Germany should take a more aggressive stance against the Iranian regime … It was only yesterday that President Rouhani called Israel metastatic cancer. History has taught us that anti-Semitic threats from fanatical leaders, and exporters of terror who have hegemonic aspirations, must be taken seriously.”
Minister Erdan declared that the common goal should be to change the behavior of the Iranian regime: “Forcing a change in Iran’s behavior is necessary for the safety of the people of Israel, of the people of Iran, and of the people of Europe.”
Recently, Minister Erdan said that Israel has been revealed to several Iranian attempts to carry out terror attacks on European soil, which Israel helped exposed: “Iran will not stop and continue to try to carry out terror attacks in Europe.”
“Changing the behavior of the regime is what the Iranian people want, that is what the Gulf States want, and I call on Germany to join the US sanctions against Iran, and if Germany does so, other European countries will do the same.”
Minister Erdan also said that as long as the Iranian government uses expressions such as “Death to Israel” and displays them on its ballistic missiles, and Hezbollah continues to arm itself and threaten Israel with tens of thousands of missiles, Israel will do all that is necessary to protect itself. ”
“Israel is working with Arab countries in the region to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” he said, adding that “Germany can play a significant role in bringing Israelis and Palestinians closer together, for example by promoting joint technological and economic projects. This will improve the lives of millions of people in the region and lead to a more stable Middle East, which will strengthen the conditions for the existence of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. ”
The Fight against BDS:
“Israel and Germany have a common commitment to fight antisemitism and discrimination. Germany is doing it, and Chancellor Merkel and her party have called BDS ‘New Antisemitism.'” I call on Germany to use its position to help in this fight. Europe needs to fight BDS just as it should be fighting classic antisemitism.”
The Minister stated that while antisemitism demonized the Jews and blamed them for all of Germany’s troubles, this new form of antisemitism demonizes the Jewish state and blames it for all the problems in the Middle East. “In the past anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses and threatened those who refused to do so. Today, this new manifestation of antisemitism calls for the boycott of the Jewish state and threatens those who refuse to capitulate. The EU would never finance organizations that promote racism, so too it should cease funding organizations that promote boycotts against the State of Israel. Germany can lead the way in halting the flow of funds to these organizations.
German states and cities have taken steps to ensure that public funds are not transferred to BDS initiatives, German banks have closed BDS accounts, and German broadcasters have refused to broadcast Roger Waters’ performances. Every time I now hear his songs on the radio, I turn the station. Antisemitism will never be part of our playlist.”