Trump's Berlin ambassador appointee criticised 'sick mentality' of Germans atoning for Nazis

American Jewish groups have hit out at appointment of Douglas Macgregor as US ambassador to Germany


Jewish organisations in the US have criticised President Donald Trump’s ambassadorial appointee to Germany, who, in comments recently unearthed by CNN, criticised the "sick mentality" of Germans atoning for "sins of what happened in 13 years of German history".

Douglas Macgregor, a recurring guest on Fox News and decorated combat veteran, was also alleged to have made a string of incendiary comments about refugees, Muslims and immigrants in Germany and the US.  

In 2018, Mr Macgregor said that Germany had a “sick mentality” that “generations after generations must atone sins of what happened in 13 years of German history and ignore the other 1,500 years of Germany”.

He added that: “Germany played a critical role in central Europe in terms of defending then serving Western civilisation. So, I think that’s, that’s the problem.”

President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Mr Macgregor on July 27.

Mr Macgregor had also stated that he believed Muslim migrants, whom he referred to as “invaders”, sought to turn “Europe into an Islamic state”.

On July 28, before the CNN report, B’nai B’rith International had signalled concerns about the appointment over past a statement by Mr Macgregor appearing to insinuate that “neocons” serving Israel were controlling American foreign policy.

B’nai B’rith stated: "It is important that American diplomats not question the patriotism of other Americans who hold political views different from their own, especially given that questioning Jewish loyalty to America is an antisemitic trope."

Since the CNN report was published, other Jewish groups have expressed concern.  

David Harris, the CEO of the American Jewish Committee, on Friday urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo withdraw Mr Macgregor’s nomination, stating: “It is because of our intensive engagement with Germany that we were so troubled by the reports of recent days regarding Col Macgregor’s many incendiary comments over the years about the German government, Germany’s confrontation with its Nazi past, the Nato alliance, immigration policy, and other topics.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, criticised Mr Macgregor’s comments on Nazi Germany and stated that his other comments were “bigoted and abhorrent”.  

Dylan Williams, the Vice President of J Street, also criticised Mr Macgregor’s “shameful record of expressing profoundly bigoted views.”

White House spokesperson Judd Deere said that Mr Macgregor was “enormously qualified” to serve as American ambassador to Germany, referring to his knowledge of German and German history and his military service in West Germany.  

Diplomatic appointees must be confirmed by the US Senate, in what is normally a straightforward procedure.

However, Senate Foreign Relations member Bob Menendez said that Mr Macgregor’s history of problematic statements disqualified him from serving in any official capacity and called on fellow senators to reject his nomination.

He stated:  "Colonel MacGregor's public statements over the years on immigration, Muslims, and our relationship with Germany should disqualify him for any government office, much less to represent the United States as an ambassador. Even if his views reflect those of President Trump, it is incumbent on the entire Senate, including Senate Republicans, to reject this nominee.”

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