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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:07 PM

 

Israeli-German Relations Strained after Abstention

It was one of the most unpleasant conversations that Christoph Heusgen had ever been required to have with Jaakov Amidror. On Wednesday evening, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's foreign policy adviser told his Israeli counterpart that Germany would abstain in the following day's vote at the United Nations General Assembly on whether to grant the Palestinians the status of a "non-member observer state." Merkel's government had just decided, he said.

Amidror made it clear what he thought about the Germans' decision. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government had been expecting Berlin to show its customary support for Israel by voting "no." The Israelis viewed Heusgen's announcement as an affront.

Germany's stance on this issue shows just how deeply frustrated its government is with the Netanyahu government's policies. The UN vote was a defeat for Israel. In the end, 138 of the 193 UN member states supported the Palestinians' petition, including France and 13 other European Union member states. Germany's abstention weighed particularly heavy because it meant that Canada and the United States were the only major Western nations to vote on Israeli's side.

This Thursday, Netanyahu and several of his ministers will travel to Berlin to discuss a range of matters, including regional security issues and economic and trade ties, with their German counterparts. But relations between Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Netanyahu have rarely been as bad as they are now. Merkel is upset because she believes that Netanyahu isn't doing anything to move forward the peace process with the Palestinians. Netanyahu, in turn, thinks that Merkel doesn't sufficiently understand the complicated situation his government is in.

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http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/german-abstention-in-un-palestine-vote-strains-ties-with-israel-a-870606.html

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Reply Israeli-German Relations Strained after Abstention (Original post)
Purveyor Dec 2012 OP
byeya Dec 2012 #1
FarCenter Dec 2012 #2

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:10 PM

1. There was a thoughtful post here from a German who explained that an abstenion would

 

be as far as Germany felt it would be able to go in registering the country's disappointment in the Israeli government.

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Response to byeya (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:25 PM

2. They should have canceled the meeting until Israel rescinded the settlements position.

 

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