An open letter to Her Excellency Angela Merkel

The unilateral and brutal move planned by the European Commission is morally unjust and it undermines the trust and confidence of Israel in its allies in Europe.

July 19, 2013 15:56
3 minute read.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel 300. (photo credit: REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

Her Excellency Angela Merkel                                                                  

July 18, 2013

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Chancellor of The Federal Republic of Germany

The Chancellery, Berlin

Dear Madam Chancellor,

I have had the privilege of meeting with you several times in my various positions serving the government of the State of Israel. I have always been impressed with your leadership and commitment to Israel's security and well-being in our region, with its risks and uncertainties.

A special relationship exists between our two countries, and Germany has been a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people, proven many times over. Under your direction, Germany has become the leading country in the European Union economically and financially. You have overcome historical sensitivities to become leaders politically and militarily as well. There is no doubt that today Germany is the most influential country in the EU and a major player in the global arena.

I am quite sure that decision to impose economic sanctions on Israel, made by the EU bureaucracy in Brussels, was an unexpected surprise for you, as it was for all friends of Israel worldwide. This is not only because of your support of Israel, but also because of your sense of justice and morality.  This decision lacks any political and diplomatic logic.

Modern history cannot recall a case in which democratic nations imposed sanctions on any other democratic country which shares with them the rule of law, transparency, and preservation of minority rights. Nor has there been a case of imposing such sanctions without going through the legal process in the UN Security Council according to its mandate.

Even dictatorships like Iraq of Saddam Hussein, South Africa during the apartheid and Iran today, were punished with sanctions only after exhaustive international deliberations and resolutions made by the Security Council.

The immorality of this action without a legal international case is especially flagrant in light of the EU's refusal to impose sanctions on terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah after murderous acts committed on European soil as demonstrated in Burgas, Bulgaria.

Imposing sanctions on Israel which has an existential conflict with the Palestinians is blatant interference in the process that should be dealt with directly between the parties, without preconditions. Active interference in favor of one side will cause irreversible damage. Such a step will harden the position of the Palestinians who will lose any reason to negotiate. This, in turn, will stifle any flexibility that Israel may have thought to offer, thus alienating prospects for peace.

Israel has always deemed Europe as a partner based on shared values of democracy and freedom, and common economic and security interests.

The fate of Europe, Israel and other Western democracies are intertwined in the common fight against international terrorism and extremism. We have always viewed Europe as a role model, objective and fair, that can bring both sides together, rather than driving them apart.  Europe should encourage a peaceful solution and not perpetuate the conflict.

This unilateral and brutal move planned by the European Commission is not only morally unjust and politically illogical, but it undermines the trust and confidence of Israel in its allies in Europe.

I know, Madam Chancellor, you realize the tremendous responsibility Germany has as the leading country in the European Union, and as an ally of Israel, to intervene in time to stop and roll back this harmful development coming out of Brussels.

With great respect,

Sincerely yours,

Danny Ayalon

The writer is the former deputy foreign minister.

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