“Politics transparent – the expertise of Thomas Jäger”: One question will accompany Baerbock from now on – until she answers sensibly.
Annalena Baerbock would undoubtedly have voted to reject the latest UN resolution if she had taken her own approach to foreign policy seriously. The Foreign Minister still owes the answer to a crucial question.
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Israel’s UN ambassador fumed at what he called a “ridiculous resolution.” The terrorist organization Hamas, on the other hand, was very satisfied with the text. The United Nations General Assembly had just decided to call for a humanitarian ceasefire. A large majority, 120 states, were in favor of it. 45 abstained and 14 voted against.
The resolution has no practical consequences because General Assembly resolutions do not commit anything and Israel will not observe them. Only a resolution in the United Nations Security Council could demand this. But there is no sufficient majority for any text.
The very fact that one of the two warring parties, namely the terrorist organization Hamas, was satisfied, made it clear that the resolution had to be one-sided. And that’s what it is, putting both sides, Israel and Hamas, on the same level.
The resolution pretends that October 7th is another event in the long history of violence in the Middle East
It is mentioned that there was terror on October 7th, but not by whom. Hamas is not mentioned. Although there are calls for civilians to be released, there is no word that Hamas has kidnapped hostages and is holding them captive. The resolution makes it seem as if the October 7 terrorist attack, in which more than 1,400 people were massacred, was just another event in the long history of violence in the Middle East. This is the view of Iran, the sponsor of Hamas, because Tehran is interested in the spiral of violence continuing.
Germany abstained from voting. Some EU states voted in favor, Spain and France for example, while others voted against, the Czech Republic and Austria. Russia was for it, the USA was against it. North Korea was among the states that introduced the resolution.
Foreign Minister Baerbock justified German behavior in not agreeing to the resolution with three arguments: Hamas’ terror was not named, Israel’s right to self-defense was not mentioned and the demand for the release of the hostages was not expressed forcefully enough. She was immediately met with a storm of indignation. Germany should have rejected the resolution. However, more than what she said at the beginning has not been heard from her since then.
About the expert
Prof. Dr. Thomas Jäger has held the chair for international politics and foreign policy at the University of Cologne since 1999. His research focuses on international relations and American and German foreign policy.
Scholz wanted to get away with the same rhetorical trick as Baerbock
Since the criticism did not subside, Chancellor Scholz felt called upon to explain Germany’s voting behavior. Like Baerbock, he wanted to get away with the same rhetorical trick. For the reasons mentioned, they could not agree, but they are firmly on Israel’s side. That’s why they abstained.
Finally, the available government spokesman was sent to the press, but he didn’t say anything else. They couldn’t agree, but they would have liked to if Baerbock’s triad had been fulfilled. So the abstention remained.
Except three times it was an answer to a question that was never asked. Nobody asked: Why didn’t Germany agree? Rather, the question was: Why didn’t Germany reject the resolution?
The answer to this question is still pending. Baerbock can be sure that this question will stay with her until she gives an answer that the listeners won’t think is completely wrong.
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Baerbock’s foreign policy: fickle, indecisive and lacking in attitude
Baerbock would undoubtedly have had to vote for rejection if, firstly, she had taken her own approach to foreign policy and, secondly, the Federal Government’s statements on Israel’s security seriously. So it’s not a question of the federal government adopting a different policy; she was only expected to stick to what she herself had proclaimed.
Baerbock and Scholz assured Israel’s security that it was part of Germany’s raison d’etre when they were in Israel after the terrorist attack. What did that mean? Given Germany’s weaknesses, nothing more than diplomatic support could be expected. And this has now been refused.
Ultimately, Baerbock’s own claim to a values-based foreign policy was shattered by this resolution. Even if their practical implementation cannot be carried out to the letter, because the world is what it is, keeping the same distance between a terrorist organization and an attacked state does not mean in any case.
But that’s exactly what the German vote expressed: not for one, not for the other. German foreign policy appeared fickle, indecisive and lacking in attitude.