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No to warmongering and repression!

“As well as commemorating 50 years of diplomatic relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the state of Israel, it is absolutely vital for President Gauck, Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier to send a clear message to the Israeli president regarding the scandalous and warmongering statements made by the new Israeli government”, stated the spokeswoman on human rights for the Left Party parliamentary group, Annette Groth, during Reuven Rivlin’s three-day visit to Berlin. She continued:

“Only last week, Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he has reached agreement on a right-wing religious coalition with Naftali Bennett’s settlers party and the ultra-orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism. Through Bennett’s party, “Jewish Home”, the settlers now have control over both the education and the justice ministries. The justice portfolio is to be taken on by Ayelet Shaked, who called during the Gaza War in summer 2014 for all Palestinians to be killed – including Palestinian mothers, for giving birth to ‘little snakes’. Israel therefore now has a justice minister who has incited genocide.

Anyone who fails to protest loudly against this, bears part of the blame. All democratic governments must condemn this kind of inhuman hate speech in the strongest possible of terms!”

Annette Groth went on to say:

“Benjamin Netanyahu has officially retracted the comment he made in the run-up to the election, when he said that there would be no Palestinian state while he is in office. Yet his politics, especially the stepping up of settlement building, have for years been aimed at preventing precisely this state – which, incidentally, Reuven Rivlin also opposes. Netanyahu is thus wholly in line with the views of his coalition partners, since a two-state solution is in any case out of the question for them – particularly for Naftali Bennett, who has repeatedly spoken in favour of annexing the West Bank, and his party.

Likewise, in the foreign policy field, we should not expect positive developments: the Israeli defence minister, Moshe Ya’alon, has made it crystal clear that, in future wars against Gaza and/or Lebanon, the Israeli army will again kill large numbers of civilians and – as he explicitly mentioned – of children. In addition, he has refused to rule out an Israeli nuclear attack on Iran ‘like in Hiroshima and Nagasaki’.

These comments and threats must not be met with silence. I urgently call on the Federal Government to make clear to the Israeli president that warmongering and repression cannot simply be accepted. Silence amounts to tolerance. As a close ally of Israel, the German government must seek to ensure that the massive violations of the Palestinian population’s human rights finally have consequences.