BERLIN – The Simon Wiesenthal Center urged Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday to
debunk media reports that her government had blocked delivery of a German
submarine to Israel to force Prime Minister Netanyahu to stop housing
construction in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood.
Gilo, with some 40,000
residents in the south of the Israeli capital, is over the Green Line in an area
that was captured in the Six Day War.
The advanced Dolphin vessel can
carry nuclear missiles, making it possible to launch a second- strike attack
against aggressors. A second-strike capability is widely viewed as a important
deterrent mechanism necessary to ensure Israel’s security.
Wiesenthal Center vigorously urges Chancellor Merkel to unambiguously dispel a
headline this generation never thought to see: ‘German Arms Embargo on Israel,’
Shimon Samuels, the center’s director for international relations,
Yediot Aharonot reported last week that Merkel threatened to cancel
delivery of a planned sixth second-strike capability submarine because of
Israeli construction in Gilo and Netanyahu's failure to make progress with the
Palestinian Authority on a peace agreement.
The Israeli Defense Ministry
and the Merkel administration have remain tightlipped about the
According to the Wiesenthal Center, “The deal has, reportedly,
been scuttled to pressure Jerusalem into further concessions to the Palestinians
and to scold PM Netanyahu for construction in Gilo - a district of municipal
“A boycott of Germany for building in Prenzlauer Berg – a
district of former Communist East Berlin – would be equally absurd,” Samuels
He criticized last week’s meeting between German politicians and
policy-makers and a leading representative of Iran’s government, noting “that
the timing of the leak [about the submarine] coincided with yesterday’s
scheduled meeting in Berlin of the government’s coalition partner Free Democrats
(FDP) spokesman, Rainer Stinner, with Iranian Deputy Minister for Economic
Affairs Mohammed Roza Farzin.
“Could the submarine incident scapegoating
Israel be a cover for German violation of UN and EU sanctions against Iran?”
Samuels asked. “Could the potential bonanza of Iranian trade outweigh the loss
of German jobs incurred by the cancellation of the submarine deal with Israel?”
Stinner opposes a ban of trade with the Revolutionary Guard Corps. The US
designated the Guards a global terrorist organization in 2007. The Guards runs
Iran’s nuclear program and controls around a third of its economy through a
series of subsidiaries and trusts.
Stinner and Bundestag deputy Ruprecht
Polenz, from Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, frequently meet with Iranian
lawmakers and face criticism for failing to isolate the Tehran regime. Polenz
welcomed a delegation of Iranian parliament members to the Bundestag in June,
claiming sanctions do not rule out talks with Iranian politicians.
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