The Bundestag passed an anti-Israel resolution that will weaken the Jewish state, the German state of Hesse’s commissioner for Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism told The Jerusalem Post by email on Sunday.
Uwe Becker wrote that “The Bundestag was wrong. The decision of the German parliament towards Israel was wrong and might help by weakening the role and position of the Jewish state in further negotiations. Friends do not judge friends when it comes to parliamentary or governmental initiatives. The growing instability in the Middle East justifiably increases Israel’s interest in secure borders, especially in the east of the country.”
The commissioner was responding to an editorial in the country’s largest paper, Bild, on Friday thatblasted the Bundestag’s condemnation of Israel as “grotesque and packed with bias.” The parliament issued its non-binding resolution against Israel’s plan to exercise sovereignty over parts of the disputed West Bank territory.
Becker, who is also president of the German-Israel Friendship Society, said “The unwillingness on the Palestinian side to conduct serious negotiations and the Arab side’s rejection of all previous international peace plans increases the pressure on the Israeli government to solve related territorial issues unilaterally. This is understandable in my view. There could’ve been a Palestinian state for more than 70 years, if the Arab countries would have accepted and not rejected the partition plan of the United Nations in 1947.”
Becker noted that “Instead of reaching out to the hand that David Ben-Gurion was peacefully offering towards the neighboring states on the day of the declaration of Israel’s Independence in 1948, the Arab states declared war on the young Jewish state and have done so in the decades that followed. The Israeli government has not only the right, but the duty to protect its citizens and to secure the borders of the country.”
He concluded that “I believe that the political and international-law based assessment of Israel’s action by the German Bundestag is wrong. To my very own mind, it is not even an ‘annexation’ when Israel is expanding its sovereignty over the Jordan valley. In my view, Germany and the EU should increase the pressure on the Palestinian Authority so that the PA finally comes to the negotiating table with its own proposals for a two-state solution. Israel has long since declared its willingness to negotiate.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party and her coalition parties, the Christian Social Union and the Social Democratic Party, passed the resolution on Wednesday. The parties were joined by the Free Democratic Party. Aside from the resolution targeting Israel’s land dispute with the Palestinians, the Bundestag has not condemned any other of the over one hundred territorial disputes across the world.