• Germany edition
 
Israel: selling subs to Egypt endangers us
Photo: DPA

Israel: selling subs to Egypt endangers us

Published: 04 Sep 2012 11:33 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Sep 2012 11:33 GMT+02:00

Modernising the Egyptian submarine fleet would have “significant strategic effects,” said Schlomo Brom, retired brigadier general, now an academic at Tel Aviv University.

The Financial Times Deutschland reported on Tuesday that a host of Israeli experts were speaking out against the deal.

“In the case of a conflict, they could threaten shipping to Israel’s harbours, upon which we are completely dependent,” said Brom. He said Israel would not be able to effectively defend itself against modern submarines.

The timing of the sale was particularly unfortunate, said Eli Shaked, former Israeli ambassador to Egypt. He said tension in the region was high enough as it was. “One should not increase it,” he said.

Arms sales to the Middle East were, “always about the military balance of Israel and its Arabic environment,” said Shimon Stein, former Israel ambassador to Germany. “We have been observing for a considerable time that the Egyptian army is arming itself – but against which enemy? Libya and Sudan are certainly no threat.”

The relationship between Germany and Israel has deteriorated dramatically recently, wrote Israel’s biggest newspaper Jedioth Achronot this weekend. The sale of submarines to Egypt as announced last week by the head of Egypt’s navy, was just part of a process that had been going on for years, the paper’s Berlin correspondent Eldad Beck wrote.

“It begs the question what the government actually means when it talks of its special responsibility for Israel’s security. It seems to be empty,” he said.

Head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, Ruprecht Polenz, of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party, has called for information from the government about the deal.

“We are talking here about a sensitive region, and the strategic security of Israel is in Germany’s particular interest. Thus I would like to know how such a deal fits in with that,” he told the FTD.

He said he could imagine there was good reason for it, but that the government had to explain how it did not affect Israel’s security.

Government sources told the paper the Israelis had been consulted before the contract was signed with Egypt.

“We would never do anything which would endanger Israel’s security,” the source told the paper. It was also told that Israel has itself long had German Dolphin class submarines. And not only had the Israelis received significant financial subsidies for the six which it bought, they were far more advanced than the 209 class subs which Egypt wanted.

The Financial Times Deutschland said the government aimed to tie the Egyptian government into western alliances with the deal, saying that the new Egyptian leadership had so far maintained a “sensible” distance to Iran.

The Kieler Nachrichten newspaper reported that the two German submarines which are being built in the city’s HDW shipyard, would be delivered in 2016.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:40 September 4, 2012 by tedesco
Oh look, israel fiddling with german interest again. That should be something new...
14:12 September 4, 2012 by boxtuna
Usraeli hypocrasy at its best.
14:20 September 4, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
All right to sell to Israel then? That doesn't upset any balance of power?
14:33 September 4, 2012 by raandy
It would be better if no Nation sold arms, it is a lucrative business and many do.

Israel has these German made subs at a very low price. Egypt I am sure did not get the same deal. Israel should not try to block the sale. if they feel the balance of power has changed, they are free to buy more.
14:36 September 4, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Could be a way to boost exports for Germany. Create an arms race in the middle east and keep the euro weak so Israel and Egypt can buy lots of Submarines.
14:48 September 4, 2012 by tedesco
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:16 September 4, 2012 by mobaisch
it will actually try to (though its far away from getting to) balance power.

finally, some people starting to see some truth about M.East!
16:12 September 4, 2012 by mos101392
As far as I know, Israel has the only nuks in the region. Every one else should be screaming foul.
16:16 September 4, 2012 by Legal E
and here it comes... "Dear Berlin, ok, we will not cause any more issues if you sell us 4 more subs at 10% of real value.... rdgs Tel Aviv"
16:26 September 4, 2012 by insight101
@boxtuna

Germany has been selling tanks and subs etc. all over the place lately. I believe they are the 3rd biggest exporter of weapons in the world, and they get around their

"strict regulations" on risky nations by selling to a middleman that can sell it to the final destination. There is plenty of hypocrisy to go around in Germany or any other country for that matter. So why doesn't that bother you enough to mention?
17:14 September 4, 2012 by Repatriated
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:27 September 4, 2012 by tedesco
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:35 September 4, 2012 by bernie1927
@Repatriated

You are so right. How about Israel opening up their nuclear arsenal to international inspections? Right now Iran has every right to protect itself, and if Egypt feels threatened by Israel that would be quite understandable. I wish Germany would finally grow up and treat Israel like any other country.
19:51 September 4, 2012 by ITAMAR
Germany make buisness exactly like every country ,also Israel sells weapons and sophisticated weapons, Eygpt has an huge moderne army built on modern American weapons and advanced tanks, of course the Israeli politician have to say something against it ,but they know it is a rethoric talk , nobody can stop a westren state from selling weapons,

bernie

There will not be attack against Iran all are political talks in order to put pressure on Iran , Israel has interests and try to put pressure and to avoid things which may endager its exsistence but our government can not operate without the agreement of the western states which is for now agaINST ANY OPERATION, but the pressure on the GermanS not to sell is just political and has its limite inside the good relations between the governments,its reminds me the pressure Israel made on USA not to sell advanced jet fighters to Saudia, of course it did not help and we had to sollow the bitter pill,In what concerne nuclear weapon Israel announced it will not be the first to use that weapon.and no we are not using allways the holocaust as excuse to get stuff from Germany.

AND YES WE WILL DEFEND OUR RIGHT TO EXSIST AS WE DID IN PAST.
06:50 September 5, 2012 by wenddiver
The End User is probably Chinese stealing German technology. The Red sea and the Mediterean are notoriously bad locations for submarine operations and two subs might be an inconvience, but hardly a great blockade to a modern military like Israel.

If Israel intercepts info that the sib would be transfered to a hostile niddle eastern power it could provide the spark for a pre-emptive strke, which has the potential to spark nuclear war in Eurpes front yard.

TheArms sales to the Middle East will eventually come back to bite the player, hopefully it will not be a nuclear bite coming down in Europe.
11:21 September 5, 2012 by NEUEVILLA
Typical German export policy!

Sell weapons to both sides in any area of potential conflict, and try to keep any intervention to be as low as politics will allow.
16:58 September 5, 2012 by insight101
@ NEUEVILLA

and at the same time encourage your people to criticize the u.s. for its sale of weapons to nations that it later has problems with. well the german superiority complex must live on...
04:10 September 6, 2012 by vonSchwerin
@bernie1927,

Uncle Bernie! My favorite veteran of the Nazi Wehrmacht!

Have you forgotten that Israel is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and therefore Israel is not under a legal obligation the same way that Iran is?

As for arms sales, maybe Germany shouldn't be selling arms to any foreign powers. Haven't the Germans spread enough trouble around Europe and the world with their arms? Surely there is a better way for Germany to make money abroad than selling subs to Egypt and Israel and poison gas to Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
11:31 September 7, 2012 by JenDigs
@vonSchwerin: You are correct... Israel did not join in... I wonder why... (yes, that is sarcasm)... I guess all those nasty, evil middle eastern countries who did join up (including, but not limited to: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Suadi Arabia, etc. etc. etc.) should just back out like North Korea, huh? That'll even things up I guess. No one will start screaming about their withdrawal like they scream about the fact Israel refused to join. (Oh wait, is that silence I hear? Nevermind...)
Today's headlines
Most Germans fear Russian action: Poll
Photo: DPA

Most Germans fear Russian action: Poll

Ahead of the Nato summit in Wales starting on Thursday, a new poll has shown that while most Germans fear military escaltion between Russia and the Ukraine, only half want to see the alliance intervene. READ  

Farmers 'not to get full sanction compensation'
Photo: DPA

Farmers 'not to get full sanction compensation'

Germany's agriculture minister warned on Tuesday that European farmers hit by a Russian import ban would not receive full compensation, ahead of talks with his French and Polish counterparts. READ  

Denmark, Germany launch joint patrols
A Danish officer (l) with a German colleague on patrol in a Danish squad car near Pattburg. Photo: DPA

Denmark, Germany launch joint patrols

Police officers from both countries will in the future mount joint patrols in frontier areas, both in uniform and in plain clothes, the sides agreed on Tuesday. READ  

Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims
Floral tributes were laid on Tuesday at the new Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims

A 24-metre blue glass wall in Berlin has been unveiled to commemorate the systematic murder of up to 300,000 mentally ill and disabled people under Adolf Hitler. READ  

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees
Migrants aboard an Italian navy patrol vessel in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Tuesday pledged support for his Italian colleague in the struggle to manage refugees trying to reach the European Union via its southern coast. READ  

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week
Elephant Nelly takes part in the ice bucket challenge in a Lower Saxony safari park. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week

The coffers of the German Society for Muscular Disease (DGM) are overflowing with donations thanks to the viral craze for videos of donors dousing themselves with ice-cold water. READ  

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict
The GRIAT will open in the Russian city of Kazan. Photo: Shutterstock

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is pressing ahead with its German-Russian Institute of Advanced Technologies (GRIAT) against a backdrop of international tensions over Ukraine. READ  

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw
Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw

Bastian Schweinsteiger will replace fellow Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm as captain of the German national football team, head trainer Joachim Löw said on Tuesday. READ  

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'
Christine Haderthauer at her resignation press conference in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'

Christine Haderthauer, head of the Bavarian state chancery, resigned “with immediate effect” on Monday evening over the so-called “model car scandal” in which her company sold scale models built by a man convicted of three sexual murders. READ  

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,439
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd