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      German Opposition Party's 'Strategic' Fatah Ties 'Shameful'

      German Jewry issued harsh criticism of country’s main opposition party after it had announced launch of a “strategic dialogue” with Fatah.
      By Rachel Hirshfeld
      First Publish: 11/15/2012, 11:57 AM

      Mahmoud Abbas
      Mahmoud Abbas
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      The German Jewish community issued harsh criticism of the country’s main opposition party on Wednesday after it had announced the launch of a “strategic dialogue” with the Palestinian Authority (PA) Fatah party.

      The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, lashed out at the chairman of the Social Democrats (SPD), Sigmar Gabriel, after his party had published a joint paper with PA Chariman Mahmoud Abbas’ party.

      Graumann told the German daily newspaper, Bild, on Monday that SPD “should be ashamed” of last week’s paper, which he claimed “amounted to linking up with a terror organization that calls for hatred and agitation against Jews”.

      Responding to the accusations, Gabriel insisted Fatah is an internationally recognized authority, as opposed to the terrorist organization of Hamas, which is outlawed by the US, the EU and Israel.

      "I don't understand the criticism," Gabriel said, adding that the party had deliberately avoided collaborating with Hamas, which he described as  “not a good alternative”.

      Graumann concluded that SPD's ties with Fatah made it “unfit for government”, as it aims to take on Conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration in next year's national elections.