German Lawyers Accuse Top Politicians, Including Chancellor Scholz, of ‘Aiding Genocide’ in Gaza

Berlin, Germany – A group of lawyers representing Palestinians has filed a criminal complaint with the German federal prosecutor against senior German politicians, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The lawyers accuse them of “aiding and abetting” the alleged genocide being committed by Israel in Gaza. The case was filed on Friday against members of the Federal Security Council, which is responsible for national security policy and authorizing weapons exports.

In addition to Scholz, other politicians named in the complaint include Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Economics Minister Robert Habeck, Finance Minister Christian Lindner, and others. The lawyers behind the case are representing families of two Palestinians with ties to Gaza, including Nora Ragab, a Palestinian-German migration scholar.

Ragab expressed her determination to hold the German government accountable, stating, “We, Palestinians in the diaspora, will not stand by and watch a genocide being committed against our families and our people. We will use all means at our disposal. … Today we aim to hold the German government accountable for its complicity in the genocide in Gaza.”

Several civil society organizations, including the European Legal Support Center, the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, and Law for Palestine based in the UK, support the legal case. In a joint statement, they accused the German state of providing significant political and material support to Israel during its assault on the Gaza Strip and the Palestinians.

Alexander Gorski, one of the supporting lawyers, acknowledged the challenges they may face given the legal and political landscape in Germany. Nevertheless, he emphasized their responsibility as individuals working in the judicial sector to take action. Gorski pointed out that the world is witnessing a genocide being livestreamed, and despite this, other countries continue to support the Israeli government and provide it with weapons.

The case will also focus on German weapons exports to Israel, which increased significantly in 2023 compared to the previous year, with most of the increase approved by the German government after October 7. The lawyers argue that Germany and other third-party states should have been working to prevent Israel from committing acts that violated the international Convention on Genocide since the International Court of Justice’s decision in late January.

The legal complaint alleges that since October, many German officials have “incited” genocide through their statements. Despite the ICJ ruling, Germany has already agreed in principle to send more tank ammunition to Israel. The lawyers contend that the devastating civilian toll in Gaza caused by the military campaign launched by Israel in response to attacks by Hamas is causing alarm among world leaders.

While the outcome of the case may be uncertain, the filing of the complaint by these Palestinian lawyers highlights their determination to hold the German government accountable and draw attention to the ongoing conflict in Gaza. The case also underscores the complex relationship between Germany and Israel, particularly regarding weapons exports and political support.