A senior official in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office conducted a meeting with members of the extremist anti-Israel sect Natorei Karta last week, prompting Jerusalem to seek clarification from the German government about the purpose of the session.
A spokesman from the Israeli Embassy in Berlin told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that the Foreign Ministry had it send a formal information request to the German Chancellery.
A spokesman for the German federal government wrote the Post on Tuesday that,”Rabbi Yisroel David Weiss was received for a discussion on January 29 at a divisional-head level at the Federal Chancellery. This was viewed as a meeting with a member of the Jewish clergy.
The official was regrettably not aware of the rabbi’s connection to an extreme organization, otherwise the meeting would not have taken place. “ The socialist newspaper Neues Deutschland reported on the meeting in its weekend issue. The author of the article, Christoph R. Hörstel, is known for his pro-Iranian regime views and fierce opposition to the Jewish state. He said that Germany “has in no way responsibility for the security of Israel or for its right to exist.”
Hörstel participated in the meeting at the Chancellery with four Natorei Karta extremists, according to the German news outlet n-tv. The four men are Moshe Dov Beck, Heskel Klein, Yisroel Dovid Weiss, and Dovid Fedmann.
The outlet n-tv wrote that Natorei Karta’s “goal is the destruction of Israel.”
The Neues Deutschland article was titled, “We Jews should not establish a state.”
Hörstel’s photograph of the four Natorei Karta members appears above his article. The anti-Zionist Jews are standing in front of Berlin’s Holocaust memorial holding a poster with the words: “Misuse of the Holocaust for political goals; The Israeli state misuses a Jewish tragedy.”
Natorei Karta became infamous for its presence at former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial conference in 2006.
Neues Deutschland removed the article from its website.
The n-tv outlet wrote that the socialist daily regretted the publication of the article and providing a forum to Hörstel.
The left-wing paper, which published hard-core anti-Israel and anti-Zionist articles during the period of the now-defunct German Democratic Republic, said Hörstel’s views are not compatible with the paper’s political positions.
A spokeswoman for Chancellor Merkel declined to reveal which senior official from Merkel’s office met with Hörstel and the Natorei Karta members.