Netanyahu congratulates Merkel

Prime Minister Netanyahu congratulates German Chancellor over her reelection, says she is a true friend of Israel.

Ben Ariel ,

Netanyahu and Merkel
Netanyahu and Merkel
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday night congratulated German Chancellor Angela Merkel after she was elected for a fourth term in office.

"Congratulations to Angela Merkel, a true friend of the State of Israel, for her reelection as German Chancellor," Netanyahu wrote on Facebook.

Exit polls released earlier on Sunday showed that Merkel’s center-right Conservative Democratic Union/Christian Social Union had won 32.5% of the vote, retaining its position as Germany’s largest party.

A nationalist, anti-European Union party, the AfD, beat expectations and is likely to win 13.5% of the vote, marking the first time the party has ever enjoyed parliamentary representation since its founding in 2013.

Germany and Israel are considered close allies, even though Netanyahu and Merkel have had some differences, mostly around the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Merkel has several times insisted that the “two-state solution” is the best way to end the Israel-PA conflict while criticizing Israel over its construction in Judea and Samaria.

At a Government-to-Government meeting in Berlin in December 2012, Merkel and Netanyahu “agreed to disagree” over Israeli construction in areas the PA claims for a future state.

Earlier this year, Germany delayed a summit with Israel planned for later this year, in what was reportedly a punitive measure in response to Israel’s passing of the Regulation Law.

President Reuven Rivlin recently visited Germany and met Merkel. During the meeting, the Israeli president expressed thanks and appreciation for Germany's deep commitment to Israel's security and identity as a Jewish and democratic state.

Earlier on Sunday, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the President of the Conference of European Rabbis and Rabbi of Moscow, congratulated Merkel on her reelection.

Rabbi Goldschmidt described Merkel as the “responsible” leader of the western world and the hope for Europe.