Several days before the German President’s visit to Israel, German Foreign Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following his request that he should not meet with left-wing organizations while in Israel.
Netanyahu and Gabriel Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News
After refusing to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultimatum to not meet with left-wing organizations while in Israel, German Foreign Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel criticized Netanyahu. In an interview with German Bild news, Gabriel stated that he doesn’t regret his decision and would do the same thing again.
“Democratic officials must be able to meet with anti-government organizations,” Sigmar said. “There is no such thing as an ultimatum among Democrats. We aren’t the only ones who think that the Israeli settlement policy violates international law and is an obstacle to the peace process. This policy is controversial in Israel as well and therefore it is natural for me to listen to its opponents.”
Gabriel’s statement was made only two days before German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is expected to visit Israel. As reported yesterday by JOL, Steinmeier will not meet with representatives from the left-wing NGO Breaking the Silence in order to prevent another diplomatic crisis between Jerusalem and Berlin.