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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 $4.1 billion in 2016, while exports to Germany amounted to about $1.5 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, and employs now four 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.


Yong Leadership Delegation to Israel, June 16-20, 2018


This year, for the first time, ELNET-Germany and ELNET EU & NATO organized a joint delegation to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Ten young leaders working for parliamentarians in the European Parliament and the German Bundestag joined ELNET for a five-day trip to Israel from 16 – 20 June 2018. All of them work with a connection to foreign and security policy, the Middle East, as well as cyber security and digitalization. The majority visited Israel for the first time.


The group went on a tailor-made five-day trip in order to meet various representatives from the Israeli ministries, the Knesset and the private sector. The young leaders had various political meetings to better understand Israeli internal political challenges and Israel's foreign policy approach within the region. The delegation also visited a civil society group at a Southern Moshav to better understand the challenges the communities have to face at the border region. Political meetings included exchange with Amir Ohana (Likud) from the governing coalition and Nachman Shai (Zionist Union) from the opposition as well as discussions with Maj. (res.) Arye Shalicar, Head of Foreign Relations, Ministry of Intelligence.


Accompanied by Col. (res.) Peter Lerner, military expert and former IDF spokesperson, the group also went on a strategic security tour to the border with Gaza. He explained the challenges at the Southern border and its development over the years, focusing a lot on the timeframe since Hamas took over in 2006. Afterwards the group also visited the Erez border crossing at the North of the Gaza Strip.


At the Cyberspark in the Negev—the Israeli Cyber Innovation Arena that connects the Israeli National Cyber Bureau of the Prime Minister’s Office, Beer Sheva Municipality, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, leading companies and the Israeli Defence Forces and the Cyber Week in Tel Aviv the participants spoke about Israel’s role cybersecurity.


When visiting Ramallah, the young parliamentary staff members had the chance to get a glimpse of life in the Westbank. With a young Palestinian entrepreneur, they talked about social life, political boundaries and doing business in the Palestinian territories. This meeting was followed by a political talk with PLO Communications advisor Xavier Abu Eid

Security briefing with Col. (res.) Peter Lerner at the viewpoint Givat Appaamonim.

ELNET-Germany celebrates 70 years of Israel – Yom Ha’atzmaut 2018

The 5th Germany-Israel Strategic Forum, Berlin

Journalist Delegation November 5-9, 2017 in Israel

Alumni Event - Nestfest September 19, 2017 in Berlin

Young Leaders Israeli Cooking Evening in Berlin, July 2017

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

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