German MPs upset by PM’s stand on Palestinian statehood

MP's express concern over Netanyahu's rejection of a Palestinian state in remarks made before Tuesday's vote.

March 19, 2015 00:24
1 minute read.

A view of the German Bundestag. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Members of the Bundestag’s German-Israel group praised on Wednesday the Israeli election but expressed concern about the prime minister’s rejection of a Palestinian state.

Volker Beck, chairman of the parliamentary group, and executive board members Gitta Connemann, Kerstin Griese and Jan Korte wrote in a joint statement, “We would like to congratulate all elected deputies to the 20th Knesset,” adding the Israeli voters made it particularly exciting and left no doubt about the country’s democracy. The deputies recognized the “especially high electoral participation of Arab Israelis as a sign that the Arab population identifies with the Israeli state and would like to be part of the Israel’s state.”

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The deputies said they hoped the Israel-Palestinian peace process would continue, and noted “with great concern the rejection of a Palestinian state by Prime Minister Netanyahu,” in remarks shortly before the vote.

Der Spiegel titled its online commentary “Panic victory.”

The left-leaning publication’s Nicola Abé slammed Netanyahu as playing the race card by warning that Arab voters were flooding to the polls. The newsweekly said the prime minister aimed to make voters concentrate on existential dangers and “forget and not question all other unsolved problems and bad performance.”

Der Spiegel’s editorial direction was clear before the election: A commentary by Raniah Salloum was titled “Not Netanyahu Again.”

Writing on his blog for the conservative-leaning Die Welt, Clemens Wergin, the paper’s Washington correspondent, said that “many criticisms [targeting Israel] from Europe are hypocritical and show double standards.” Wergin wrote that Netanyahu’s victory is loss for US President Obama.

The liberal weekly Die Zeit’s Kersten Augustin wrote if the prime minister sticks to his “promise to make a Palestinian state impossible, the international community should not allow Netanyahu to get away with it.”

The popular German-language blog Lizas Welt had a commentary ridiculing the bashing of the Jewish state by German media outlets, noting “the newspaper world is furious” about Netanyahu’s election victory. Lizas Welt delved into the reasons why Israelis have good reasons to ignore critical German editorials. The blog cites things such as Hamas’s jingoism, Hezbollah’s terrorism, Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and the PLO’s violation of the Oslo Accords.

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