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February 25, 2016 7:15 am

A Lightning ‘Boldt’ of German Support for Israel

avatar by Orit Arfa / JNS.org

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Andreas Boldt. Photo: provided.

Andreas Boldt. Photo: provided.

JNS.org – Andreas Boldt can’t help but effuse praise and love for Israel with seemingly any chance he gets — with his kids, too. In some of his Facebook posts, the 37-year-old has his dirty blonde-haired children (ages 5-13) passionately singing “Adon Olam” and “Hatikvah.” Documenting a recent trip to Israel, he took particular pride in his meeting with IDF Maj. Gen. (ret.) Doron Almog, the first commando to land on the Entebbe runway for the famous hostage-rescue mission in 1976. With his bright blue eyes, carefully trimmed beard, and fit build, he sometimes models on Facebook with the Israeli and German flag.

A casual observer might think he has some sort of irrational or religious obsession with Israel, but sitting down with Boldt over coffee at Kaffehaus Einstein in Berlin near Brandenburg Gate, ahead of his February trip—his sixth to the Jewish state — Boldt said his support for Israel is dictated entirely by reason and ethics.

“People ask me: Why do I support Israel this way? Why do I put in so much effort, time, and money into Israel? There is no people, no state on the planet that has so many enemies, that’s fighting so much in this life, like the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” he told JNS.org.

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For Boldt, supporting Israel is the only rational, humanitarian choice for a thinking, freedom-loving person. Germany’s “historical responsibility” to address its Holocaust past has nothing to do with Boldt’s support, nor should it, he said.

“I refuse to think about historical responsibility as a German,” said Boldt. “I know the history, and I think that every human being is responsible to help their fellow human beings.”

In 2011, he stared the Freundschaft Deutschland-Israel (German-Israel Friendship) Facebook page, which today boasts 13,000 members. He has emerged as the go-to man in Germany for unabashedly pro-Israel perspective and commentary, although he holds no organizational affiliation. His “day job” is working for a company that manufactures industrial tools for the automotive industry. He lives with his family in a village, population 1,000, near Bielefeld, where his children are known for painting Stars of David in school.

Boldt was born in Siberia to a German family that returned to his motherland when he was 10 years old. He grew up as a Christian, but no longer identifies as one. He first encountered Israel through biblical stories, yet he is among a few of his (former) co-religionists in his circles (aside from his immediately family) who took a keen interest in modern Israel. He conducted independent research on Zionism when Israel would be portrayed in the media as an aggressor.

“From my personal experience in life I had until then, and the people I met, I felt something was wrong there. Because I know the Muslim-Arab mentality in the Mideast, and I couldn’t imagine that Israel was the big aggressor in the area,” he said.

Boldt befriended Israelis over social media and fell more in love with the country — and its people. He has observed that Germans are largely neutral on the subject of Israel. The German far-right is irrelevant. Most of the hate mail he receives comes from Arab Muslims and the occasional left-wing Israeli. The latter group saddens him because they set back his work by touting their credibility as Israelis. Boldt fears that with Germany’s influx of Muslim migrants born and bred on hatred of Israel, the day will soon come that they will bully Germans into embracing anti-Israel — and hence, antisemitic — attitudes.

“I really was sure that in two or three generations to come, Germany would have normal relations with Israel and the Jewish people in general,” he said. “I was very optimistic we would overcome the issue of the Holocaust and German history in the sense of having a normal relationship in the way we have with the British, French, etc.…With the rise of Islamism in Europe and Germany in general, we hear more talk about BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) and against Israel.”

In fact, he believes that Germans’ concern with overly repenting for the Holocaust sins of their forefathers has led to a misguided open-immigration policy. As far as refugees go, he doesn’t believe that Germany has any more obligation than other countries to help them flee chaos in Muslim countries, such as the ongoing Syrian civil war.

“What is historical responsibility and how far does it go? If you look at daily reality, you won’t find anyone who really feels a historical responsibility. To speak about that in public is nice, but I don’t think it will lead us to somewhere helpful. I think the only responsibility to speak about is a moral responsibility,” he said.

While Germans learn about the horrors of their country’s past in school, Jew-hatred is sometimes still casually thrown around the dinner table by grandparents who lived in the rabidly anti-Semitic generation. It’s this dormant anti-Semitism, Boldt reasons, that Israel-haters prey upon.

“The average Germans just don’t want any conflict,” he said. “We want a peaceful life. We want to save money for our lives. They’re quiet, usually. They don’t demonstrate…the Muslim population is pushing the Germans, saying, ’Hey, we have to do something.’ Starting with boycott calls in front of shops, so they avoid those shops because they don’t want conflict.”

But Boldt also believes that backlash against the behavior of some Muslim migrants, such as the sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve in Cologne and other cities, may help Germans realize what he already understands: that Israel is the beacon of civilization in a region of barbarism and misogyny.

The Holocaust, Boldt said, should not be used justify Israel’s existence to the average German, let alone in general.

“If you approach a German and speak about the Holocaust, he’ll automatically feel bad, but the German today wasn’t alive 70 years ago…I try to show people we have common values. You love life. You love human rights. Your children grow up in freedom. You’re creative. You respect animal rights,” he said.

For Israelis, Boldt conveys a much simpler message. “You know, Israelis ask me everyday: ‘Why do you support us so much?’ The general answer for me — and I answer the Jewish way — is, ‘How can I not support beautiful people like you?’”

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  • FlaGuy954

    God bless Andreas Boldt!

  • Pete Dawgg

    As a German myself, I have to clarify some things:

    -this country is neither run or ruled by “left-wing” liberals, nor by “Islamists” or “jihadists”; these groups don’t have any infulence on politics

    -Ms. Merkel most certainly is not in any way “left-wing”

    – there is a disquieting amount of blantant anti-semitism among Arab/Near-East communities, but it is by far surpassed by the amount already and still active in the “average” German; old or young. The antisemitic Germans are much smoother in their antisemitic behaviour (they learned to call it “Israel-critic” i.e. critical of Israel), but at the core it is the same. When Anti-semitism becomes too blatant and obvious, these people like to blame it all on the evil immigrants.

    -contrary to the public image, Ms. Merkel is anything but refuee-friendly: she (and her govt) ripped the last traces of anything resembling humanism out of the German immigration laws (here called asylum-laws because there is no concept of “immigration” in(to) Germany) and has so worsened the situation for all refugees seeking shelter in one of the most affluent countries in the world. (Eg underage children are not even allowed to live with their parents anymore because they are not alloewd to enter the country; “fast-track-courts” have been established to decide about political asylum in just one day etc.)

    -instead of actively fighting the far-right populist, fear-mongering parties by setting the opposite example Ms. Merkel’s and all the big parties coopt their xenophobic ideas and allow their hatred to enter into the mainstream discourse by diminishing it as “legitimate fears of concerned citizens.”

    I work in a public place where a lot of people come and go and i make it a point to often wear clothing with highly visible IDF-logos. So far, many, many more Germans voiced disagreement with this than the many, many Arabs/Near-Easterners who frequent this place.
    I think Mr. Boldt is doing a great job for Israel here but should be careful not to endanger itwith statments like “Ms. Merkel is too Islam-friendly.” Most of the Russian immigrants have sadly voted for the right-wing populists mentioned above in the just-past elections in three states.

  • Atilla

    Der Fuherin Merkel will have Mr Boldt sent to the re-education
    camp……..

    ” DANTE BENEDETTI
    February 26, 2016
    4:42 am
    Mr. Boldt is a remarkable man; it is reassuring, encouraging, that there are good, loving, decent people like him; it is discouraging that Mr. Boldt doesn’t have much company.

    How very true.I believe that 50% of Germans are cabbage brains,
    believing the leftist / liberal BS they have been indoctrinated
    in. Why else is Merkel still in control , after seizing power
    like a third world dictator?

  • Reda

    I think we need more of these kind of initiatives to have all parties recognize the right to leave in peace of other parties. There will always be some extremists and conservative everywhere but always room for more tolerant people and people that make the effort to reach out.

    Peace is the only way on this earth

    • Pong

      Putting extremists and conservatives “in the same buscket is the way lefties pushing their propaganda. Hope it is just an honest mistake.

      • Esther Schneider

        Spot-on, Pong!

  • Esther Kaplan

    I did not mean to put my comment up twice. I thought it got lost. Please omit the second (more recent) one…

  • Esther Kaplan

    Now and then comes a beacon of sanity and humanity.
    Mr. Boldt is one of these.

  • Esther Kaplan

    Every now and then comes a beacon of sanity and of humanity. Mr. Boldt is one of these
    and puts to shame those of us who say, “I am just one person. What can I do?”

  • David Hunter

    Mr. Boldt’s attitude (‘How can I not support beautiful people like you?’”) seems so self-evident to me!

    As an Evangelical, ReBorn Pro Zion Christian from the USA now living in Germany I am greatly outnumbered by Germans who feel Israel should repent of its “Apartheid” imprisonment of “Palestinians”.

    I have had many irrational, frustrating, ahem, Encounters with close family & friends in Germany.

    The massive invasion of Europe by residents of these countries whose official state policy is hostile to Israel and Jews has so naturally contributed to the rise of not just Anti-Semitism but an increasingly violent expression of it.

    I argue all the time in the United States that Israel is our ONLY true and truly committed ally in the counter war against Islamic terrorism. That the Obama Admin has been utterly duplicitous, lying through their teeth, when vowing that we “Support” Israel.

    It has been frustrating, enraging to see how blind the world is to this obvious distorted and out-of-control condemnation of Israel.

    So it IS REFRESHING to see some Germans making sense of the truth.

    יחי ישראל

    • Andrew X

      What about the Kurds?

  • Shaul Abir

    Mr. Boldt is an amazing Israel supporter. I have met him quiet a few times and he impressed me over and over again. He is logical, straight forward and sides with the good guys, the Israelis who try & succeed to keep their values and sanity in a bloody neighborhood that has no values and one mission – to kill, to murder, to cut heads of anyone who is not like them in the name of Islam. Mr. Boldt is a shining light in a dark Europe.

  • Chaya

    What a wonderful man! Anyone who uses logic has to come to the same conclusion. Please continue to spread your message of peace and understanding. We sure need it in this world.

  • Raquel Jacobs

    Baruch Hashem! Thank you and be very blessed! 🙂

  • Bart

    In 1993, when Schindler’s List premiered in the Western World (arab countries banned it and all other Jewish themed films long ago) one film critic from Germany wrote a scathing indictment of his modern day fellow German’s in a column in which he (I believe titled): ‘Watching Schindler’s List with a German movie audience. He said he was shocked and horrified during the scene in which a German soldier forces an elderly Orthodox Jewish man in the street, already suffering from starvation and torture apparently, to ‘dance for me’ right there in the street. The film critic said the entire German film audience ERUPTED with guffaws of laughter. This is what the German of today feels, what they connect with of their past.

    • Felix

      This is certainly not true as a general rule.

      • siftet

        How do you know?

  • DANTE BENEDETTI

    Mr. Boldt is a remarkable man; it is reassuring, encouraging, that there are good, loving, decent people like him; it is discouraging that Mr. Boldt doesn’t have much company.

    One should not be overly optimistic about the potential for a popular rejection of islamists and islamism. On the contrary, one can anticipate that those revolted by islamism will try to prove that they are not “islamophobic” by declaring their hatred for Israel and the Jews.

    • Andreas Boldt

      You don’t know me, you should not judge.

  • Livin’ Out Loud

    Thank you, thank you, Mr. Boldt

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