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ELNET (European Leadership Network)

Germany is the EU's largest economy, most populous nation and an extremely influential voice within European institutions. Germany is also an important global player with the fourth largest economy in the world (by nominal GDP).


Germany is considered Israel's closest ally after the U.S. based on shared democratic values and common interests. The painful and complex history of relations between the Jewish people and Germany continues to profoundly impact the political ties between Israel and Germany. However, German sympathy for Israel is eroding with the generational change and critique of Israeli actions vis-à-vis the Palestinians, even from leaders of major political parties.  More...


The strength of German-Israeli relations is demonstrated by their national defense, intelligence and economic cooperation. Israeli security has been a fundamental pillar of German foreign policy since Konrad Adenauer's initial tenure as Chancellor. Currently Germany relies on Israeli companies for its drone needs and Germany is in the process of supplying Israel with six strategically vital Dolphin submarines for approximately $3 billion, with Germany covering a third of the cost. Cooperation extends to numerous Defense and Homeland Security R&D projects as well as science and technology. In addition, Germany is Israel's largest trade partner within the EU; Israeli imports from Germany amounted to some $4.6 billion in 2011, while exports to Germany amounted to about $1.9 billion. Bilateral trade, investment and industrial cooperation contribute significantly to the German and Israeli economies.


Ties between the two countries have a significant influence over Israel's greater relationship with Europe. Germany, as a member of the P5+1, plays a central role in negotiations with Iran and economic sanctions against the state. Berlin successfully pushed to include Hezbollah's military wing on the EU’s list of terrorist organizations. Germany also advocates in favor of expanded Israeli access to the European community market, sponsoring a number of agreements between the EU and Israel.


Germany has been working with Israel "shoulder to shoulder" over the past five decades to secure the future of the state of Israel…Part and parcel of the security of Israel is the two state solution...a Jewish state of Israel and alongside it a Palestinian state.
Angela Merkel Germany's Chancellor





Since 2012, ELNET has been engaged in individual meetings with over one hundred senior political leaders, policy experts, top journalists, and other influential figures in German society to bring common strategic goals to the surface that will redefine and strengthen the Germany-Israel relationship. Since the beginning of 2014 ELNET has been operating an office in Berlin with two full-time experienced employees. ELNET-Germany is a registered E.V. Its mission is to work across the entire political spectrum to foster and develop Germany-Israel relations. Its activities include strategic meetings, educational seminars, and delegations in both Germany and Israel.

FC Bundestag Delegation visits Israel with ELNET-Germany and plays against a team of Knesset members in June 2017

In June 2017, ELNET-Germany hosted a unique delegation to Israel, thereby enabling a historic event. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first football match between Germany and Israel in 1987, ELNET invited the football team of the German Bundestag (Football Club Bundestag, FC Bundestag) to play against a team of Knesset members. It was the very first soccer match of the FC Bundestag against the Knesset in 50 years of the team's history.


From the Israeli side MK Nachman Shai, MK Eitan Cabel, MK Yoel Hasson, MK Oren Hazan, MK Zouheir Bahloul as well as the Minister of Labor, Welfare and Social Affairs, Haim Katz and the Deputy Minister of Defense, Eli Ben-Dahan, were on the field. On the German side, Marcus Weinberg (CDU), Albert Weiler MdB (CDU), Alexander Funk MdB (CDU), Dr. André Hahn MdB (Die Linke) and Stephan Kühn MdB (Alliance 90 / The Greens) took part in the match and the delegation. The German team was supported by the 1990 FIFA football world champion Hans Pflügler, former FC Bayern Munich professional. Pflügler made his debut with the German national team exactly in the match against Israel on March 25, 1987.


The German team won 0-1 by a goal of Stephan Kühn – his first ever goal for the team. Various guests attended including Israeli football legend Mordechai Spiegler. A massive presence of media rounded up the event.


This program highlight was embedded in a tailor-made four-day trip getting to know people from politics, economics and society. In addition to a political meeting with Israeli Knesset member Amir Ohana (Likud) in Jerusalem, the delegation met with Erez Frankel Rubner of Start-Up Nation Central Ltd.


Additionally, they had meetings with Dr. Shmulik Bachar, from the foreign policy department of the Israeli National Security Council in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, and former Ambassador Gideon Meir. In addition to a cultural historic tour of the Old City of Jerusalem, the German Bundestag members experienced a Jewish-Arab coexistence tour in Jaffa with Camal Agbaria, advisor to the Tel Aviv mayor on Arab relations.


The delegation was particularly impressed by the conversation with Avraham Burg at the NGO Mifalot who was a Knesset member (Labor) and adviser to Shimon Peres. He spoke about his current work as a board member and founder of the NGO that was founded as Hapoel Tel Aviv FC’s social responsibility project in 1997.


MK Nachman Shai addressing the guests during the official reception in the Knesset. 

The German Committee in Internal Affairs visits Israel and Ramallah with ELNET-Germany from 11-15 June, 2017

MK Amir Ohana visits Berlin with ELNET-Germany end of April 2017

Lunch Discussion with Amos Gilad Former Director of the Political Military and Policy Bureau of the Israel Ministry of Defense at the Munich Security Conference 2017

Visit of Arye Shalicar in Berlin

Visit of MK Merav Ben Ari in Berlin

Delegation Digital Agenda and Cultural Committee of German Bundestag

Delegation with political and business chief of staff to Israel

German Whitepaper presentation in Israel

The 4th Germany-Israel Strategic Forum, Jerusalem

Lunch Briefing with Former Foreign Affairs Minister MK Tzipi Livni at the Munich Security Conference 2016

ELNET hosts a young multi-party delegation in February 2016