• Germany's news in English

German subs key for Israel, says Netanyahu

The Local · 5 Jun 2012, 11:53

Published: 05 Jun 2012 11:53 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"Germany has underlined its commitment to Israel's security with the sale of another submarine," Netanyahu told the paper's editor-in-chief and foreign correspondent at his private residence in Jerusalem.

Germany has already supplied Israel with three Dolphin-class submarines while another three are to be delivered by 2017.

The interview follows a report in Der Spiegel magazine on Monday that Israel was arming the vessels with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles without the knowledge of the German government.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said he would not "speculate" about Israel's nuclear arsenal but indicated that Germany had not stipulated what Israel could do with its submarines once it took delivery. "I cannot confirm there are any such clauses," he told Der Spiegel.

Former diplomats were more forthcoming, however, with ex-undersecretary Lothar Rühl telling the magazine that it was "assumed" that the submarines would be armed with nuclear warheads.

In his wide-ranging conversation with Bild, Netanyahu was also asked about a recent survey showing that 70 percent of Germans believed Israel pursued its own interests without consideration for other peoples, while only 21 percent believed the Jewish state respected human rights.

He attributed the findings to an "enormous misperception of Israel... which in Germany, with its particular history and its particular ties to Germany, is especially unfortunate."

He also called on Germany and other countries to "make clear that the Egypt-Israel peace treaty must be respected," in light of the recent political upheaval in the north African state, culminating in last month's elections.

But he refused to be drawn on the question of whether he supported Western intervention in neighbouring Syria.

The interview comes hot on the heels of a difficult period in German-Israeli diplomatic relations. Tensions flared in April when Nobel literature laureate Günter Grass published an inflammatory poem warning that a nuclear-armed Israel "could wipe out the Iranian people [with a] first strike."

Chancellor Angela Merkel has also repeatedly criticised Netanyahu's pro-settlements policy.

AFP/The Local/jpg

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Nazi POW leaves estate to 'kind' Scottish village
The former German soldier stayed on to work in the Perthshire village for a time after the war. Photo: Andy Buchanan / AFP file picture

A former Nazi prisoner of war has left his entire estate in his will to a small village in Scotland to show his appreciation for the kindness he received there during his captivity.

US tries to block Chinese purchase of Aixtron
Photo: Oliver Berg / DPA / AFP

US President Barack Obama on Friday moved to block a Chinese company's purchase of German semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron by rejecting the inclusion of Aixtron's US business in the deal.

Merkel to chart 2017 election battle at party congress
Photo: Tobias Schwarz / AFP

After Donald Trump's shock victory, Francois Hollande's decision not to seek re-election and populism on the rise, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is next up on the campaign podium to set out her strategy for winning in 2017 polls.

Berlin vs Munich: whose newborn polar bear is cuter?
Berlin's (left) and Munich's (right) newborn bears. Photos: Tierpark Berlin / DPA

Both city zoos welcomed baby polar bears into the world in November, with Berlin zoo its releasing first photos on Friday. But which one is more adorable?

Learn how to speak German like a silver screen icon
Dirty Harry. Photo: DPA

We all agree that there is no other option than to learn irregular German verbs by rote. But when you want a bit of downtime, why not learn from your big screen heroes?

Stolen Dachau 'Work will set you free' gate found: police
The entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Photo: DPA

An iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp in Germany's Dachau with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") has been found two years after it was stolen, police said Friday.

Mystery flight path artist draws new message in sky
Photo: DPA

A pilot who likes to draw patterns in the sky using his flight path has returned with his greatest artwork yet.

Berlin 'abusing power' to stop Snowden coming to Germany
Edward Snowden. Photo: DPA

Opposition parties have accused the coalition government of overstepping its authority in its attempt to block American whistleblower Edward Snowden's trip to Germany.

Germany gains record number of Michelin-star restaurants
Head of the Michelin Guide, Michael Ellis (centre) with Michelin-star chefs at a presentation in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Germany had a slew of newly minted Michelin-star restaurants this year, and its top-rated establishments held onto their prestigious three stars.

At last: Germany passes major disabled rights reform
People in wheelchairs watch as the German parliament deliberates on the new disability rights reform. Photo: DPA.

For years people with disabilities in Germany have called for legislation to provide them with better benefits and opportunities in life and work. On Thursday the German parliament passed such a reform - but is it enough?

10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
This is how unequal German society has become
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
10 German books you have to read before you die
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd