Friday, April 28, 2017

The Germans Wouldn't Meet

Seems the flap with Germany's Foreign Minister had a truly bizarre aspect, which, as the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports (ht JW) as does Der Spiegel had Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel of 

instinctual instability (or betterextremely insensitive)

The paper continues (original German below*) that 

Gabriel had also denied [Netanyahu's] clarifying discussion after the altercation. "I wanted to call on Foreign Minister Gabriel to explain my point of view and to clean up the matter, but he declined a telephone call."

What was the official German Foreign Office explanation?  They contradicted it

According to Gabriel, Netanyahu had already offered a telephone call instead of a meeting before his cancellation, but only under two conditions: Gabriel should not participate in the meeting with the government-critical peace activists themselves, but send a representative. In addition, a formal representative of a Jewish settlement in the Palestinian territories should attend the meeting. The German side did not want to agree to this. The Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories are, from a German perspective, illegal.

Just because you presume we are "illegal" we are outside the sphere of diplomacy?  German diplomats never met illegal groups or persons? There were no "secret contacts" in the 1970s? In 1989, PLO spokesman Bassam Abu Sharif met on Oct. 16 German Foreign Ministry officials, even if Arafat was too high profile to be received then.

Let's not forget Menachem Begin's run-in with the thinking in circles of policy that Hitler’s persecution of the Jews was responsible for the creation of Israel, specifically advanced by former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who said Germany has a special responsibility toward the Palestinians because of the consequences of the Nazi era.

But that Netanyahu pushed for a meeting with a Yesha community representative is good news.


P.S.  I know see here that Gabriel said that he

rejected the cancellation of the meeting on domestic policy motives. "I think that we can not now become the game of domestic politics in Israel," he said in Jerusalem. 


Who was playing a game of domestic politics if not Germany which funds domestice NGOs that act as agents of change to please foreign state donors?


* Der israelische Regierungschef Benjamin Netanjahu hat Außenminister Sigmar Gabriel Instinktlosigkeit vorgeworfen. 

...Gabriel habe zudem ein klärendes Gespräch nach dem Eklat verweigert. "Ich wollte Außenminister Gabriel anrufen, um meinen Standpunkt zu erläutern und die Sache zu bereinigen, aber er lehnte ein Telefonat ab."  Das Auswärtige Amt widerspricht dieser Darstellung. Nach Angaben aus Gabriels Umfeld hatte Netanjahu bereits vor seiner Absage ein Telefonat statt eines Treffens angeboten, aber nur unter zwei Bedingungen: Gabriel sollte an dem Treffen mit den regierungskritischen Friedensaktivisten nicht selbst teilnehmen, sondern einen Vertreter schicken. Außerdem sollte ein förmlicher Vertreter einer jüdischen Siedlung in den Palästinensergebieten an dem Treffen teilnehmen. Darauf wollte sich die deutsche Seite nicht einlassen. Die jüdischen Siedlungen in den palästinensischen Gebieten sind aus deutscher Sicht völkerrechtswidrig.


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