Germany is Europe’s largest economy, most populous nation and influential voice in European institutions. An important global player, it boasts the fourth largest economy in the world. The country has significant influence over Israel’s relations with Europe, advocates for growing economic and scientific ties, and has sponsored several key agreements between the EU and Israel.
Germany is traditionally regarded as Israel’s second most important strategic ally after the United States. With total bilateral trade amounting to $13.9 billion in 2019, Germany is Israel’s largest trade partner in Europe. Both countries share important strategic interests in the Middle East, including combating terrorism and extremism, while promoting regional stability and peace. Germany supports various Israeli defense projects and plays a key role vis-a-vis Iran. The German government led efforts to place Hezbollah’s military wing on the EU’s list of designated terrorist organizations.
Israel’s security and well-being have been a fundamental pillar of German post-war foreign policy. Chancellor Angela Merkel characterized Germany’s support for Israel’s right to exist to its raison d’état. The painful history of relations between the Jewish people and Germany continues to have a profound impact on political ties between Israel and Germany. But German sympathy for Israel is eroding, as the generation after the Holocaust is succeeded by grandchildren and great-grandchildren for whom the past is less immediate. It is one of the great challenges to maintain the high level of bilateral relations and to keep Israel on top of the Ger-man political agenda. Moreover, it is paramount for both countries to find out how much they actually have in common, the interests and values they share, that go far beyond the well-known ties of history.
ELNET in Germany
ELNET was established in Berlin in 2014 and is an independent non-profit organiza-tion. It facilitates closer relations between Germany and Israel on the basis of shared democratic interests and values. Together with its affiliates in Israel, France, Poland and Belgium, ELNET-Germany fosters the ties between European and Israeli decision makers and builds a network with its dialogue programs and delegations.
Israel Survey 2023: Europe wants more cooperation with Israel
ELNET surveyed parliamentarians across Europe on their perspectives on their respective relations with Israel and their own Middle East policies, as well as on Jewish life in Europe. The results show that most of parliamentarians would like to see closer cooperation with Israel, with Defense and homeland security being key issues.
Actions Matter: 10-Point Action Plan to fight Antisemitism
ELNET-Germany invited leading decision-makers from Europe, the USA and Israel to Actions Matter – The International Antisemitism Summit. Over 100 experts from politics, science and society took part in the conference to jointly discuss strategies against antisemitism.
Feminist Foreign Policy: A Chance for Change in Germany’s Policy on Iran?
In a new briefing Kerstin Müller, member of the ELNET-Germany Advisory Board and Senior Associate Fellow of DGAP, analyzes how the concept of feminist foreign policy could become the basis of a new German Iran policy.
GINSUM Energy Briefing
ELNET-Germany publishes a new EnergyTech Briefing.The publication takes a closer look at the energy sector in Germany and Israel. It identifies synergies between German industry and Israeli EnergyTech startups in the transformation to clean energy systems.
The German Israeli Health Forum for Artificial Intelligence in 2022
In the end of 2021, ELNET-Germany initiated the German Israeli Health Forum for Artificial Intelligence (GIHF-AI). It now publishes a brochure summarizing all policy briefings, reports and statements produced in the last year.
Actions Matter: The International Antisemitism Summit
ELNET-Germany is organizing its first international summit against antisemitism in Berlin in March 2023. The conference will provide leading international decision-makers to exchange knowledge and develop shared recommendations for actions.