The barn-burning revelations in the British newspaper Daily Mail in August that Jeremy Corbyn  – head of the UK’s Labour Party – laid a wreath at the graves of the Black September terrorists who executed 11 Israeli athletes and a German police officer 46 years ago today (September 5) raise unsettling questions about Germany’s reaction to the events of Munich in 1972.

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and her social democratic Foreign Minister Heiko Maas have remained silent about Corbyn’s 2014 visit to Tunisia to commemorate the Black September Palestinian terrorists. Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post that Germany’s government “should have said something” because Black September murdered German police officer Anton Fliegerbauer.

“It was out-and-out terrorism in the heart of Europe, in Munich,” said Zuroff, of the Munich massacre. “This is something you would assume would get universal condemnation,” he added.

Zuroff, the Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, believes “Germany is hoping to avoid any sort of confrontation with Corbyn because Brexit is not a done deal. If Corbyn comes to power, Corbyn could bring England back into the EU.”  The German government is an energetic proponent of the European Union and opposes the UK’s decision to the exit the 28-state union.

Corbyn’s visit to honor the Black September terrorists prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to tweet: “The laying of a wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves of the terrorists who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation from everyone – left, right and everything in between.”

Corbyn tweeted back: “Israeli PM @Netanyahu’s claims about my actions and words are false. What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children.”

Corbyn – who is seen in a photograph laying a wreath for Salah Khalaf, who founded Black September; his top aide Fakhri al-Omari; and Hayel Abdel-Hamid, PLO chief of security – said he didn’t participate at the event. “I was present when it was laid” he said. “I don’t think I was actually involved in laying it.”

Said UK’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid, about Corbyn’s pro-Black September conduct: “If this was the leader of any other major political party, he or she would be gone by now.”

The German political scientist Dr. Wolfgang Kraushaar has described the Munich massacre “as a joint work of German Left radicals and Palestinian terrorists.”

Wilfried Böse, a leftist student in Frankfurt in 1969 who helped create the terrorist organization Revolutionary Cells, worked closely with Palestinian terrorists.

“There is serious information that Böse also supported the terrorists of the Black September in the Olympic attacks,” Kraushaar said. Böse was involved in the hijacking of  Air France Flight 139 in 1976 that caused Israel to deploy commandos to free the hostages in Entebbe, Uganda.

Böse, who played a role in separating Jewish from non-Jewish passengers, was killed during the rescue operation.
The German left-wing terrorist group Red Army Faction leader Ulrike Meinhof cheered the 1972 murders of Israeli athletes as an expression of “anti-imperialism.”

When this reporter in 2002 asked the former head of the East German foreign intelligence section of the Stasi, Markus Wolf, if the Stasi played a role in the Munich Massacre, he declined to answer.

One could argue that Germany’s silence about Corbyn’s praise for the Black September terrorists is part and parcel of a long history of soggy appeasement toward secular and Islamic terrorism from the Middle East. West Germany’s government failed to pursue the Black September terrorists after the attack, helping to trigger Israel’s operation to hunt down the terrorists.

The then-West German government federal government went as far as releasing Black September terrorists Mohammed Safady, Adnan Al-Gashey and Jamal Al-Gashey in the month after the Munich attack, in exchange for freeing the Lufthansa flight 615, which was seized by supporters of the Black September terrorists. The three Palestinians were the only three of the eight terrorists to survive the firefight with German police at Fürstenfeldbruck air base.

The West German government capitulated to the terrorists’ demands without any semblance of consultation with the Israeli government.

Germany allows 950 Hezbollah members to operate within its territory to fund raise and recruit new members, according to German intelligence reports released in 2018.

The Corbyn affair regarding the Black September terrorists is another litmus test on whether the German government’s counter-terrorism strategy takes the business of anti-terrorism seriously. The optics of Germany’s posture toward combating Palestinian, Hezbollah and Iranian terrorism don’t look good within the field of counter-terrorism.