Germany, EU Snubbing Israel

Germany sent a series of diplomatic barbs Israel’s way to pressure it to agree to a two-state solution. EU also gives Netanyahu the cold shoulder.

Gil Ronen,

Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
Israel National News photo / Flash 90

Less than a week into the new government’s term, Germany and the European Union are ratcheting up diplomatic pressure on Israel to agree to a “two state” final-status solution in the Land of Israel west of the Jordan.

“In a series of diplomatic barbs,” German magazine Der Spiegel reported Monday, “the German government has expressed its displeasure at the new, right-leaning Israeli government.” Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has put off a planned joint meeting of the cabinets of both countries, for “an undetermined amount of time.” The meeting was initially planned for June. 

In a telephone conversation with Binyamin Netanyahu, Merkel assured the Prime Minister that that the meeting would take place, but said a date could not be set before the German government's summer break. At the same time, she also pressed Netanyahu not to abandon the “two-state solution” which would create an Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has also contributed to the cooling of Germany’s relations with Israel. In his letter of congratulations to, Avigdor Lieberman, Steinmeier did not set any date for his first meeting with his Israeli counterpart, although this step is customary in such letters.

Steinmeier said Germany expects "constructive engagement" from both the Israeli government and the PA. "We urgently need progress on the path to peace and a fair two-state solution," he told Neue Presse, a German newspaper.

Meanwhile, the European Union is also considering “diplomatic sanctions” against Israel, the German magazine reported. Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has proposed canceling the planned participation of Israeli diplomats in a number of EU meetings. Asselborn said that "further diplomatic preferential treatment can not happen without conditions.” The new Israeli government, he explained, must "prove through its actions that it will accept a Palestinian state."