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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.


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


With its first delegation in 2016, ELNET-Germany approached primarily younger MPs who have recently entered German Bundestag or local state parliaments. The delegation included two members from federal state parliaments who have high potential of becoming future political leaders and four members from the German Bundestag.


The parliamentarians from the parties the Greens/Alliance 90, SPD and CDU/CSU went on an intriguing tailor-made five-day trip getting to know people from politics, economics and society. On the top of all the political meetings – amongst them briefings with Israeli politicians in the Knesset and Palestinian politicians in Ramallah – the parliamentarians also got insights in the co-existence of Israelis and Arabs.


On a unique walking tour through Jaffa the politicians met with Dr. Thabet Abu Rass, co-Executive Director of the Abraham Fund, and Ali Waked, Director of the Youth Center Yefet 83, who showed how Arab and Jewish Israelis could live together. One of the highlights was a cooking event with Tom Franz, the winner of the widely broadcasted Israeli cooking competition Master Chef, who told ELNET and its guests not only about his way from a German law student to an Israel-devoted self-made cook, but also about Israeli culture and traditions.


Besides that, the parliamentarians have once again been impressed by Kevin Baxpehler, the head of the ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG office in Israel, who informed the delegation on the immense high-tech advancement and vivid start-up scene of Israel.

MK Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) meeting with the delegation in the Knesset
Photo Courtesy of Elad Gutman