Thursday

28th Jul 2016

Israeli PM 'disappointed' with Angela Merkel

  • Benjamin Netanyahu and Angela Merkel visiting the Holocaust museum in Berlin in 2010 (Photo: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ Moshe Milner)

A joint German-Israeli government meeting in Berlin on Thursday (6 December) is likely to be the scene of more disagreements between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the two traditional allies are having increased difficulty finding common ground.

The scene was set already on the eve of the meeting. Netanyahu told Die Welt about his "disappointment" at Germany's decision last week to abstain instead of saying "No" to Palestine's status upgrade within the United Nations.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"I think Chancellor Merkel thought this vote would somehow promote peace. But the opposite has happened: Ever since the UN vote, the Palestinian Authority has made moves towards uniting with Hamas terrorists," Netanyahu said.

Merkel, for her part, said on the margins of her party congress in Hannover that talks with the Israeli ally would be "frank" and not shy away from criticism about Israel's ever-expanding settlements in the West Bank.

"Germany will always defend Israel's security, that is part of our foreign policy. But friends can also have disagreements," Merkel told N-tv.

A dinner on Wednesday evening between the two lasted over three hours and produced no official statements. Government sources told Handelsblatt and Spiegel that the meeting had a "detailed exchange of views in a spirit of mutual respect."

As a tit-for-tat move after the UN vote, Israel said it would build 3,000 more homes in the controversial E-1 area between east Jerusalem and the West Bank. Germany, like other EU countries, is seeking to persuade Netanyahu to stop this policy, which is hampering peace talks with the Palestinians.

Palestinian officials said they will ask the UN security council to demand a halt to settlements. “If the Israelis build E-1, the idea of peace, of a two-state solution, will disappear,” said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Out of EU's 27 countries, only the Czech Republic voted against the UN status upgrade - signalling a change of mood against the Israeli government. Fourteen EU states voted in favour, while 12, including Germany, abstained.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleHelping Emergency Services Find You When You Need It Most
  2. Counter BalanceWhat's New in the Investment Plan for Europe: Business as Usual or True Innovation ?
  3. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event 2016
  4. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  5. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  6. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  7. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  8. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  9. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen Calls for International Probe Into Turkey Coup Allegations
  10. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  11. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children
  12. Counter BalanceReport: Institutionalised Corruption in Romania's Third Largest Company