German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein meet in her office in Berlin.
(photo credit: BOAZ ARAD)
BERLIN – Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in talks on Thursday he saw “no magic solution” in the fight against terrorism.
The 45-minute meeting that also covered the issued of the Islamic State and the wave of refugees arriving in Europe, took place on the last day of Edelstein’s official visit to Berlin.
Edelstein said of the current wave of terrorism in Israel that the attacks were a result of incitement that Palestinian youth hear and read about, including on social media.
“We have warned against incitement for a long time, and now we see its result, terrorist attacks,” Edelstein told Merkel.
“There is no magic solution for knife terrorist attacks, because it is not organized,” he also said.
Edelstein spoke about Israeli, Palestinian cooperation on matters of water, agriculture and technology, saying these endeavors were “steps that will change the atmosphere and make diplomatic solutions and signing agreements, easier.”
With regard to the refugee problem Germany is currently dealing with, Edelstein pointed out that Israel has experience absorbing large groups of immigrants from around the world.
Merkel took a special interest in Edelstein’s life story, as he was a Prisoner of Zion, for having been refused a visa to Israel in the 1970’s, and he spent about two years in Soviet Prison in the 1980’s.
Edelstein told Merkel about how he had taught Hebrew in the USSR, “which is the reason I was very unpopular with the government.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, Edelstein thanked Merkel for the warm welcome he received in Germany. He said he found positive attitudes and true friendship towards Israel.
Edelstein and the rest of the delegation – including MKs Nachman Shai (Zionist Union), Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union) and Hamed Amar (Yisrael Beytenu) and Knesset Secretary Yardena Maller-Horowitz – had lunch with German President Joachim Gauck.
“Even if we disagree, especially on the settlements issue, the friendship between Germany and Israel is so strong that we have total certainty that things will be resolved through dialogue, in a friendly and pleasant manner,” Gauck said in his toast.
Edelstein responded: “The friendship between Germany and Israel is so close that I allow myself to ask Germany to express our stances and even represent us in conversations and forums with countries that, unfortunately, do not understand us the way Germany does.”