Germany refuses to call Jerusalem Israel’s capital

In a response to an opposition question on Jerusalem, a foreign ministry official dodged the question: "Every state has the right to determine a city within its territory to be its capital."

April 25, 2018 16:38
2 minute read.
DATE IMPORTED: January 09, 2017 The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, is illuminated with the col

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, is illuminated with the colours of the Israeli flag to show solidarity with Israel. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The German Foreign Ministry vehemently opposed calling Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish state on Friday in a written reply to a question from a member of parliament.

When asked by MP Petr Bystron, from the populist far-Right party Alternative for Germany, “What is the name of the capital of Israel (please only answer with location name)?” Niels Annen, a State Minister in the Foreign Ministry, declined to name Jerusalem. Annen dodged the question and said: “As a matter of principle, every state has the right to determine a city within its territory to be its capital.” Bystron is the foreign policy spokesman for the Alternative for Germany.

The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy of the letter in which Annen denied Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Annen, a member of the Social Democratic Party, wrote in the letter to Bystron that Israel declared in 1980 in its Basic Law that Jerusalem is the “completed and united” capital city of the Jewish state. He said Germany along with the international community does not recognize Israel’s absorption of Jerusalem into its territory after the 1967 Six Day War. Annen cited the United Nations General Assembly resolution 478 from 1980 that said Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a “violation of international law.”

Annen wrote that “Federal government is of the view that the status of Jerusalem, just like other final status issues, can only be clarified in negotiations.” He added that the German government supports the European Council’s conclusions that the “Israelis and Palestinians must find in negotiations a solution for Jerusalem as the future capital of both states.”

Andreas Nahles, then General Secretary of the Social Democratic Party, declared in 2012 that the party has “shared values” and “common goals” with the Palestinian Fatah party.

The Social Democratic Party’s former foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel termed Israel an “apartheid regime.” Gabriel said last week that he regretted using the pejorative phrase and would not repeat it. The US and EU designated terrorist organizations praised Gabriel in January for slamming Israel.

The SPD’s Willy Brandt headquarters in Berlin held a Breaking the Silence exhibit in 2012 where former German foreign minister Steinmeier praised the group’s work. Breaking the Silence uses anonymous sources to defame the IDF, according to critics in Israel. Steinmeier, who is currently the German president, has met with six left-wing NGOs, including Terrestrial Jerusalem, B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence and Machsom Watch.

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