(photo credit: Knesset Channel)
Members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee expressed outrage at Germany on Thursday when they discovered they were visiting the Bundestag at the same time as an official Iranian delegation.
The committee members, including chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima), were surprised to find that while they were visiting the German parliament’s Defense Committee, representatives of the Majilis, Iran’s parliament, were speaking before the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
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“It cannot be that while Germany calls for tough sanctions against the Iranian regime, official representatives of Germany undermine this policy by meeting with Majilis members,” the MKs said in a statement.
“They are sending the message that sanctions against Iran are passed with a nod and a wink.”
The Israeli delegation, which included Mofaz and MKs Ronnie Bar-On (Kadima), Moshe Matalon (Israel Beiteinu), Ze’ev Bielski (Kadima) and Einat Wilf (Independence), originally wanted to “make a big stink,” a spokesman for their committee said. However, after consulting with the Israeli Embassy in Berlin, the MKs sent a letter of protest to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as to the German foreign minister, the Bundestag’s speaker, and the chairman of the Bundestag Defense Committee.
The lawmakers also expressed their ire in the joint meeting with the Bundestag’s committee.
The Knesset committee’s spokesman said the German lawmakers’ response was “not convincing enough,” and the committee remembers refused to shelve the letter.
“We, the members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, on an official visit to Berlin, firmly protest the visit of Iranian Majilis members in Berlin and express our deep disappointment in their acceptance by German officials, including the German parliament,” the letter reads.
The MKs added: “The Iranian Majilis is a façade of a parliament that covers a murderous regime that oppresses its people and tortures young students and protesters. They support and export terror, aid Assad’s regime in repressing protests against him, deny the Holocaust – all while manufacturing nuclear weapons and missiles in order to commit genocide against the Jews and erase our only state from the map.
“We cannot stand by while German representatives hold a dialogue with a regime that calls for genocide,” the MKs explained.
“We are very concerned about these dangerous ties between German representatives and their Iranian counterparts, and hope that these ties will end.
“We cannot be silent while the representatives of a murderous regime are accepted in the heart of democratic Europe,” the letter concluded.