Until July this year, the name of the group “White Helmets” was not very well known in Germany. Establishment politicians and the mainstream media much preferred using the term “Syrischer Zivilschutz” (“Syrian Civil Defence”). It sounds more decent, more serious – more official. A bit like “Red Cross” or like the well-respected German organization “Technisches Hilfswerk” (“Federal Agency for Technical Relief”) – a civil-protection organization controlled by the German government where 99 percent of its members are dedicated volunteers.
At the end of July 422 members of the organization managed to escape from Syria on quite a delicate route: They crossed the Syrian-Israeli border with the support of Israeli security forces. On July 22 the Twitter account of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) published the following statement: “Following an Israeli Government directive and at the request of the United States and additional European countries, the IDF recently completed a humanitarian effort to rescue members of a Syrian civil organization and their families.” Later the same IDF account empathised that this action should be considered as an “exceptional humanitarian gesture”. Again: The term “White Helmets” was not mentioned, instead the IDF spoke about a “Syrian civil organization”. The UK, Canada and Germany announced that they would accept members of that organisation as “refugees”.
It didn’t take long for German government representatives to discover the topic in order to present themselves as humanitarian pioneers, with the whole migration lobby clapping hands again. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said: “From the beginning of the conflict they have saved over 100 000 people.” He described it as an “act of humanity” to allow some of them to receive protection in Germany. And even German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer who was last lambasted for his criticism of unlimited migration, saw his chance to make a nice gesture. Seehofer said: “I have decided that Germany will take in eight members of the ‘White Helmets’ aid group and their families and grant them protection.”
Resistance against the migration of “White Helmets” to Germany is only visible within the political parties Die Linke (the Left) and the Eurosceptic AfD.
Heike Hänsel, member of the German Bundestag for Die Linke attacked Seehofer for his statement. “It is totally contradictory that minister Seehofer claims that he wants to fight terrorism, but on the other hand wants to accept those supporters of Islamist terrorist militias in Germany.”
Markus Frohnmaier, an MP from the AfD party criticised the German government as well: “The mercenaries of the so-called White Helmets who are suspected of cooperation with terrorists in Syria and who are strongly financially supported by the UK are a security risk for Germany. Under no circumstances should they be accepted as migrants to Germany.” And Frohnmaier added: “The UK should take all of them!”
Hänsel’s and Frohnmaier’s criticisms make sense. The British investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley has done research for years about the White Helmets and their activities in Syria. What Beeley reports about the organization, its supporters and funders and activities is alarming – but totally ignored by most European governments including Berlin:
The White Helmets are financed by a majority of regime-change governments. The funders and supporters are far from being impartial or neutral in the Syrian conflict. It is an organisation with friendly ties to Islamist groups with militias in Syria. There is evidence that activists of the White Helmets participated and mopped up terrorist executions of Syrian civilians and Syrian Arab Army soldiers in violation of all international rules of war, such as the Geneva Convention.
Activists of the White Helmets are not “peaceful” and “unarmed” as they claim – dozens of images show members of the NGO carrying arms. Many White-Helmet activists were identified as having ties to extremist and terrorist groups, even the leadership demonstrated allegiance to Al-Nusra Front – a branch of Al-Qaeda. Beeley also presented evidence that the “White Helmets” were far from being “non-sectarian” in their activities. Calls for “extermination” of Shia Muslims in the Kafarya and Foua, two towns besieged by terrorist forces, tell a different tale. And a fact check regarding the “selfless” activities of the “White Helmets” reveals something else: According to reports, members of the group receive 150 USD per month – three times as much as what soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army are paid.
And do the White Helmets really “save civilians”, also in areas under the control of terrorist forces as they claim? The contrary seems to be true: According to reports, the White Helmets flee together with terrorist groups and literally do nothing to help civilians exit via the humanitarian corridors during the liberation campaigns of the Syrian army. Civilians even accuse the White Helmets of war crimes during terrorist occupation and collaboration with terrorist groups. And even their branding as a “Syrian” volunteer organisation doesn’t seem to pass Beeley’s fact check, who reports about witnesses testifying to her that “many foreigners” are among the White Helmets. Not to forget: The whole project is entirely funded by foreign powers, controlled by the UK, established in Turkey and Jordan. The vast majority of Syrian citizens do not recognise the White Helmets as their “civil protection” organization.
Especially the German approach towards the “White Helmets” perfectly represents the suicidal stupidity of German lawmakers, journalists and even ministers when it comes to policy regarding foreign relations and migration. Why do they not even dare to discuss Beeley’s reports about the “White Helmets”? Why do only a handful of representatives from the oppositional forces Die Linke and AfD take the potential threat of “White Helmet” activists seriously?
The German SPD politician Martin Schulz said in 2016: “What the refugees bring to us is more valuable than gold.” That sentence represents the official German approach towards the whole migration and refugee complex: One doesn’t criticize the bringers of something “more valuable than gold”. And nothing represents the official German view on refugees better than the blasphemous action of the Roman Catholic church which represented a “refugee boat” as an altar in front of the Cologne Cathedral.
It is like an official and collective canonisation of the so-called “refugee”. When a complex is so emotionally charged with religious content, there is no space for facts and doubts – at least not in the minds of the German political elite. And for those who see in “refugees” their saints already – the “White Helmets” must be the revenants of the Saviour Himself.