Sunday, April 30, 2017
German Foreign Minister Does Everything To Alienate Israel
When it is the task of diplomacy to poison the political relations between two countries, then Sigmar Gabriel is a great diplomat. If it is the task of diplomacy to aggravate the political contradictions in other countries, Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) is a great diplomat.
If it is the task of diplomacy to foster prejudice against other countries in its own country, then Sigmar Gabriel is a great diplomat. For he did all this with the deliberately induced eclat in Israel.
But if diplomacy is to nurture relations, promote mutual understanding, seek common interests and solve common problems, then Sigmar has denied Gabriel as a diplomat.
And that against a country whose security, according to the words of its chancellor, belongs to the German Staatsräson. And this in a region that touches Germany's security interests elementally, and where we have no reliable friend except Israel.
A diplomat is building bridges
In short, if a bull in the china shop is a good diplomat, then Gabriel is a great diplomat. If, however, you should build porcelain as a diplomat and build bridges, then Gabriel has done a bad job.
In Israel, the new German Foreign Minister was suspicious of the new German Foreign Minister, not only in the office of Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. After a visit to the city of Hebron in the West Bank in March 2012, Gabriel had posted on Facebook: "I was just in Hebron. This is a right-wing area for Palestinians. This is an apartheid regime for which there is no justification. "
Every tourist can board a bus from Jerusalem to Hebron and convince themselves that the city is not a "right-free space" for Palestinians. On the contrary: 95 percent of the city is administered by the Palestinians themselves and are blocked for Israelis.
Since the days of Abraham and Isaac until the massacre of 1929, Hebron has been inhabited by Jews all the time. At that time, an Arab mob, incensed by the Jerusalem Mufti, raged "Hebrew".
The phrase "apartheid regime" is fatal
For several years now, there is a Jewish settlement in Hebron, and it is protected by repeated Israeli military assaults. One may regret the checkpoints, safety locks and evictions, one may think that the settlers are in the way of peace. But talking of an "apartheid regime" is nonsense.
Gabriel, therefore, had every reason to quit during his first visit as Foreign Minister and to promote confidence. Instead, he insisted on a meeting with two organizations confirming his view at that time. B'tselem speaks of a "practice of apartheid" in Hebron and elsewhere in the West Bank.
Members of Breaking the Silence speak of "apartheid" and even "ethnic cleansing". This is their right, and no one in Israel forbids them. Nevertheless Gabriel could hardly have chosen two more provocative conversation partners.
And that was probably done with full intention. According to Volker Beck, the Israeli Foreign Minister of the German Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Israeli Foreign Ministry offered to invite additional civil society organizations to the planned talks with B'tselem and Breaking the Silence The image is less unilateral.
Poisoning of the atmosphere
The German ambassador had, however, "rejected the suggestion." The government-critical Israeli newspaper "Ha'aretz" reports that a telephone call with Gabriel, requested by Netanyahu, had been refused by the Federal Foreign Office.
So much to poison the atmosphere between our countries. Now on the situation in Israel. There are, of course, many people, and not just on the extreme left, who welcome Gabriel's appreciation of B'tselem and Breaking the Silence, funded mainly by European money, and welcome the diplomatic affront against the "Bibi" Netanjahu, also hated by Israeli liberals.
And there are Israelis, and not only on the right, who find it unheard of when a German foreign minister pretends to teach Israelis what human rights are and who represents them.
Why did not he meet the parliamentary opposition?
Gabriel's affront will thus exacerbate the internal political tone in Israel. If this is served in the end, it will be revealing, but it is perhaps significant that the "Ha'aretz" was indignant in a commentary, Gabriel, pointing to his meetings with NGOs in Saudi Arabia, China and Russia , The democratic, Western Israel in a series with dictatorships and autocracies.
In Israel, there is a lively and powerful parliamentary opposition in which the Arab Israelis are also represented. No one could have denied Gabriel a meeting with Knesset deputies. Gabriel preferred to act as if he were in a country where the opposition could only act outside the parliament.
On the day before Gabriel's provocation in Israel, the expert group put forward by the Bundestag on anti-Semitism in Germany presented its report. It states that views that could be called "Israel-based anti-Semitism" are now shared by 40 per cent of the German population.
Antizionism as a new anti-Semitism
As a result, according to the report, Jews in Germany no longer feel safe. Only recently, a Jewish student of British-German origin was bombed out of his school , while school leaders, social workers and teachers looked helplessly, and in the first statements the event was played down, expressed understanding for the perpetrators, and were concerned solely about the damage to the reputation Their "multicultural", but now again jewel-free school. Representatives of the Senate or the government were not seen in Friedenau so far.
Antizionism is the breaking-out of the new anti-Semitism. By demonizing Israel, for example, as an "apartheid state," and "the Jews" are made responsible, the resentment and hate is opened to the door.
One does not want to assume that, like Jürgen Möllemann, Gabriel, after the votes of those 40 percent, among them many Turkish and Arab voters who criticize not only Israel, but who hate the Jewish state formally.
But the man, who is often called "pack", has done nothing in Israel to make the anti-Semitic pack where Germany stands.