Misfelder 370 .
(photo credit: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters)
BERLIN – Israel’s vital security interests are integral to the interests of the
Federal Republic, according to Philipp Missfelder, the Germany deputy spokesman
for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party in the Bundestag.
In a wide-ranging
telephone interview with The Jerusalem Post on Friday, the Christian Democratic
Union deputy covered the pressing security issues unfolding in the Middle
“The Chancellor is 100 percent right that Israel’s security is in
Germany’s national interest,” he stressed. “Israel’s military capacity should
not be underestimated.”
“It was a mistake in the fall to rule out a
military option,” Missfelder continued. “Obama was correct in how he handled it.
The military option must remain on the table because, if not, the negotiating
strategy will not be taken seriously by Iran.”
Last November, German
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, of the pro-business Free Democratic Party,
spoke differently: “We reject a discussion about military options” in connection
with the Iranian nuclear threat, he said.
Additionally, in February,
German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere delivered a grim assessment of
Israel’s capability to knock out Iran’s nuclear facilities. He said an IDF
strike on Iran would be “highly unlikely” to succeed, and would cause “obvious
The 32-year-old historian is viewed by close followers
of German-Israeli relations as a politician who seeks to breathe new life into
strengthening the security bond between Israel and the Federal
Israeli diplomats in Berlin have praised Missfelder’s
unwavering support for the security of the Jewish state over the
“Germany’s population wants to be the like the Swiss and stay out
of conflicts, such as the one in Afghanistan,” Missfelder told the Post
that is no longer possible.
There is a joint responsibility towards
Israel, to say to the German population that we have a new role in Europe and
When asked about what the UN has characterized as civilian
massacres by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, Missfelder said, “Syria
shows the region is in upheaval...There is no unity in the
UN...[They are] no longer in the position to engage in protected
responsibility in connection with Syria. Many have criticized [former president
George W.] Bush for intervention, but the US should take more
He noted that a military option for Syria would be very
difficult after the Libya decision, and one option would be to arm the
Missfelder added, “We will not profit from instability,
friends of Israel and the West – and Israel belongs to West, in my view. My main
concern is Iran will win great influence.”
In regard to the so-called
“Arab Spring,” he said he was very skeptical in the beginning: “It was great
that young people became political. But foreign policy is very
There is romanticism in the world of art, but in foreign policy
that is ridiculous.”
Egypt and Yemen, he said, are the largest
“Egypt is a challenge,” he continued. “It has not become
easier. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation worked successfully in Egypt, but now is
massively prevented. I cannot say that I was disappointed [when] I saw this
development. It is not clear who will take over power on the long
The Konrad Adenauer Foundation is a think tank affiliated with
Missfelder’s party that promotes pro-democracy work.
that the EU government in Brussels tends to be pro-Palestinian.
is orientated on the Palestinians. I know this phenomenon from the Left in
Germany,” he said.
Critics argue that the Left movement in Germany and
many Left Party deputies have focused the bulk of their foreign policy work on
criticizing Israel and advocating for the Palestinians – including, at times,
the Hamas terror group in the Gaza strip.