As Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip for “localized raids” to root out Hamas terrorists on Thursday, Germany’s federal intelligence listed an estimated 450 active Hamas operatives in the central European country.
The Jerusalem Post reached out to Brigadier General (ret.) Amir Avivi, Founder and CEO of IDSF (Israel's Defense and Security Forum, for a comment.
Avivi said Germany should “arrest these people” and “take action against the extremist entity.”
He said “Hamas is the Islamic State. It is a very dangerous ideology. What Israel is experiencing, Europe will experience if they don’t take action.” Hamas terrorists penetrated Israel’s security barrier last Saturday and murdered over 1,300 people.
Avivi urged Germany to crack down on the permissive environment for Hamas in the Federal Republic, stating “The sooner, the better.” He stressed the German authorities “must be preemptive.”
The General noted “The only difference between Nazis and Hamas is the level of capabilities. Germany must think of Hamas as an entity that wants to eliminate Israel.” He mentioned that Hamas butchered babies and committed atrocities against Jews on a vast scale not seen since the Hitler movement.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Jewish human rights organization, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post that “German intelligence has done its job now authorities must do theirs—detain the Hamas operatives now.”
Germany tolerated Hamas activists
Germany has long tolerated Hamas activists, as well as operatives from the Lebanese terrorist movement Hezbollah. According to the most recent federal intelligence report, a total of 1,250 Hezbollah supporters and members are active within its territory.
Germany’s government has outlawed the activities of both Islamist terrorist movements but has failed to enforce its anti-terror laws against Hamas and Hezbollah operatives and at times their financing of terror, say critics.
In 2018, the Post reported that a bank in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia sent $43,720 to the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The German authorities refused to disclose the name of the bank and whether it was fined. German banks continue to send money transfers to Iranian businesses connected to Iran’s regime, the key strategic partner of Hamas during the massacre of Jews.
Wim Kortenoeven, a leading Israeli expert on Hamas, told the Post that “There is a reluctance for Germany and the Dutch to act on their own laws” against Islamist terrorists and organizations. Kortenoeven, who was prescient in his writings about Hamas, said that he wrote in his book in 2007 that “Hamas will be genocidal against the Jewish state.” He continued “They will never morph into something else.” He cited the Hamas Covenant that calls for the annihilation of Jews across the globe.
Kortenoeven, who made aliyah from the Netherlands, said that “the Germans are pacifying” Hamas. He served in the Dutch parliament as an MP, with a focus on national security and foreign affairs.
“You can compare Germany and the Dutch here. They are cowards when you look at the current security policies. There is a reluctance to take on organizations that are a threat to national security,” said Kortenoeven.
Post queries were sent to Björn Bowinkelmann, a spokesman for the German interior ministry, as well as the German ambassador to Israel Steffen Seibert. Israel’s government rebuked Seibert earlier this year for participating in a controversial alternative memorial day that honored Palestinian terrorists who were killed, as well as Jewish victims of terrorism.
Avivi criticized Felix Klein, the German federal commissioner tasked with fighting antisemitism, for omitting Palestinian and Iranian antisemitism in Germany's national strategy report to combat antisemitism. Klein declined to comment.
Avivi also urged the German state of Baden-Württemberg to fire the controversial German civil servant Michael Blume for denigrating the IDF and praising an allegedly pro-Hamas activist, Jürgen Todenhöfer. Blume’s job is to fight antisemitism but was accused by Natan Sharansky of stoking an antisemitic conspiracy theory against the Jewish people and Israel.
Israel’s government accused Todenhöfer of participating in a Hamas-stoked “March of Return” 2019 demonstration in the Gaza Strip, with the aim of crossing into Israel, a harbinger of the massacre of 2023, according to experts. Israel’s government said in 2019 “Instead of reporting about the March of Return”, he participated in it.” Todenhöfer registered as a journalist and then held a sign stating:" Dear Israelis, please treat Palestinians the way you want to be treated.”
In 2012, Blume praised a book by Todenhöfer about Islam, who is known for his Islamist sympathies, on the obscure website Spektrum.de SciLogs. On the same website, in 2022, Blume called the father of the IDF, Orde Wingate, a “war criminal.” Blume’s wife, Zehra, has faced criticism from the German Jewish activist Malca Goldstein-Wolf, for distributing a Todenhöfer article. Goldstein-Wolf wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Zerha cannot be considered a “friend of the Jews” due to her promotion of Todenhöfer. A German Jewish weekly paper also slammed Todenhöfer for repeatedly belittling the Holocaust.
Blume declined to answer Post press queries.