Sunday, October 25, 2009

Treat 'Em Mean...

"A committee of Israeli lawmakers voted Tuesday to allow German Chancellor Angela Merkel to address the Knesset in German during her visit next week to mark Israel's 60th anniversary The decision bends a rule which says only 'presidents, heads of state, and kings' - but not explicitly chancellors - may speak to Israel's parliament. The Knesset House Committee's 7-2 decision to let Merkel give a speech ends a legal squabble. But protests lodged by the two nay-voting members make the ruling more than just a technicality. 'I can't hear German in the Knesset plenum', said Arieh Eldad, a member of the right-wing NRP-National Union Party... 'It's the language my grandfather and grandmother were killed in. I will get up and leave." (Merkel allowed to address the Knesset auf Deutsch,, 11/3/08)

"Germany, Merkel said [in the Knesset], would 'never abandon Israel, but instead will remain a loyal partner and friend'. As in the past, Merkel's speech contained only homeopathic doses of criticism of Israel's occupation policy and its hesitation to commit itself to the peace process. 'One must also have the strength to make painful concessions', the chancellor hinted, only to quickly dilute what had sounded like the beginnings of a rebuke. 'In order to be a realist you must believe in miracles', she said, quoting David Ben-Gurion the founder and first prime minister of the state of Israel." ('We would never abandon Israel', Ulrike Putz, spiegelonline, 18/3/08)

"'The terror of Hamas cannot be accepted', said Merkel in her [2009] New Year's address. According to her spokesman... she said in a conversation with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that the responsibility for the [Gaza] conflict lies 'clearly and exclusively' with Hamas. Merkel demanded that Hamas 'immediately and permanently' stop its rocket attacks on Israel." (Merkel: The terror of Hamas cannot be accepted, Benjamin Weinthal, The Jerusalem Post, 4/1/09)

"Israel has asked Germany to supply it with two warships free of charge, a German newspaper reported Friday. The Israeli state hopes Germany would help strengthen its defence forces by financing the costs for the two state-of-the-art corvettes. The pair would cost hundreds of millions of euros... The ships, which are hard to detect by radar, are reportedly to be built by Hamburg's Blohm & Voss shipyard, while the weapons are to be provided by the US. Israel reportedly wanted a sea-based missile defence system. Germany has previously helped equip the Israeli navy, and delivered 3 submarines in the years 1999-2000. Two further submarines are currently being built in Kiel, costing at least 500 million euros apiece, of which Germany is to pay a third." (Israel asks Germany for two warships: report, Deutsche Presse-Agentur,, 23/10/09)

... keep 'em keen.

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