Daily Israel Report

Czech FM: I Love Coming to Israel

Czech FM Karel Schwarzenberg believes that Israel and the Palestinian Authority can solve their own problems
By David Lev
First Publish: 2/2/2012, 9:39 AM

Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Flash 90

Unlike the U.S., EU, and UN, Karel Schwarzenberg does not believe that outside intervention is necessary to solving the issues between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In an interview with Army Radio Thursday, Schwarzenberg said that the two sides were perfectly capable of solving their own problems.

The long-standing competition for control of the Holy Land has stumped diplomats and statesmen for decades, and Schwarzenberg does not pretend to have any solutions or prophetic insight, he said in the interview. “I don't know what the solution is, but even if I did, I would not get involved in the dispute, perhaps only if one side asked for my help. But a Foreign Minister of another country should not get involved, at least in public. I am not a journalist or an academician; as a Foreign Minister, I must put limits on my behavior,” he said.

Despite his proclaimed neutral status, Schwarzenberg does believe that the dispute must be resolved in a manner in which “all residents of the state are able to live a normal, peaceful life. This is the most important objective.” With that, he added, “we have seen in our own country how occupation damages not only the occupied, but corrupts the occupier.”

But most of the interview involved Schwarzenberg's love for Israel, which he first visited in 1964. “Since then I try to come back here at every opportunity,” he said. “When I first came here, nobody even locked their doors. In recent decades Israel, like many other countries, has gone through many changes, for better or worse.” Still, he added, Israeli society was “a wonder. I try to come back to this wonderful country as often as I can.”