• Germany edition
 
Palestinians: Germany too biased for diplomacy
Photo: DPA

Palestinians: Germany too biased for diplomacy

Published: 20 Nov 2012 12:04 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Nov 2012 12:04 GMT+01:00

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who arrived in Jerusalem on Tuesday, carried "no weight" in the situation, said Abdallah Frangi, a personal advisor of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli fighter jets destroyed the Gaza headquarters of the National Islamic Bank on Tuesday, and the death toll there rose to more than 100, while rockets hitting Israel have killed three.

German engineering giant Siemens confirmed that around half of its 70 German employees had left Israel to go home.

A spokesman told Tuesday's Berliner Morgenpost newspaper the firm did not think the situation was dangerous enough to send them home, but had given them the option to leave.

About half had left their work servicing a gas power station at the small town of Rezer between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, which is within the range of rockets being fired from Gaza.

Diplomats across the globe have called for a cease-fire from both sides, terrified of the regional consequences of a potential Israeli ground invasion. French and Egyptian politicians have been heavily involved in trying to broker a cease-fire.

But Westerwelle was wasting his time trying to get involved, Frangi told the Rheinische Post newspaper.

He accused the German government and Chancellor Angela Merkel of ignoring the suffering of the people in Gaza and of following a one-sided policy.

"Ms. Merkel sees the right of Israel to act, but obviously she doesn't see the pictures from the Gaza Strip," he said.

Westerwelle said on his arrival in Jerusalem: "We stand by the side of our friends in Israel. Israel has the right to defend itself and its population."

Ahead of meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas, Westerwelle called for further efforts to be made to quickly reach a cease-fire. He also said Egypt must use its influence in the region to try to stop the violence.

The Local/DAPD/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:08 November 20, 2012 by Repatriated
Westerwelle is an idiot for going over there with intent to negotiate a peace settlement by making the biased statement : "We stand by the side of our friends in Israel. Israel has the right to defend itself and its population."

Germany has about as much credibilty as the US in trying to negotiate a peace settlemet between the two warring factions. The US has sided with Israel 110% of the time since 1948 and can never be the successful mediator. Similarily Germany with its perpetual WWII guilt complex will never ever criticize Israel for anything that they do that continues to fuel the fire, such as the ever expanding Israeli settlements in Palestinians captured land.
13:59 November 20, 2012 by rajkshan
No other way for Germany, as they are still prisoners of war and will always be untill the German politicians change their mentality.
14:29 November 20, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
The possibility of Westerwelle being of any use at all is a big joke! A person who has no credibility, in his own country, is hardly likely to be respected by either side in the Middle East.

While it is understandable for the German government to have a bad conscience, where Jews are concerned, because the Holocaust cannot in any way be defended, what Israel has been doing with the native people, in the areas of Palestine taken over since 1948, is no better.

A short look at the borders of Israel today, in comparison to those accepted by the UNO at the time the state was founded, is enough to show where the roots of the trouble are to be found.

Moslems claim to have a religion of e peace. The Jews too are, according to the commandments given to them by Moses, not allowed to kill, but It would appear that neither side take their religion seriously.

Unfortunately the same can be said of politicians who condemn Nazi crimes against humanity, but accept similar atrocities by friendly states. The best description of such an attitude would be hypocrisy and there Westerwelle is not alone.
15:07 November 20, 2012 by bernie1927
We all know that the German government is cowardly when it comes to Israel. Israel is committing mass murder by indiscriminately slaughtering women and children of innocent Gaza citizens. Netanyaho should be hauled into the international court in Belgium for crimes against humanity but instead, he is being supplied with the very weapons that cause the crime. The hypocrisy of Germany and America is shocking. And Israel is considered our friend? With friends like that, who needs enemies?
15:19 November 20, 2012 by Bulldawg82
Germany cannot be held hostage to the acts of a past generation. There will be those who will keep trying to beat Germany over their head with it, but you must resist. To accept your past and move on with your future is natural and healthy. Being stuck in the past, is not.
15:47 November 20, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Glad to see the antisemitism is still going strong in Germany. Nothing changes.

You do realize that Hamas is trying to instigate a fight. But I guess to you that just means Israel should just take the abuse. They deserve it, no? You do realize that Israel is over 20% Muslim, right?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/world/middleeast/israel-gaza-conflict.html?hp&_r=0
15:51 November 20, 2012 by Bulldawg82
@ IchBinKonig:

I am all for Israel taking care of business. I just made a comment on the German guilt trip that many keep trying to dwell in. Hamas is no friend to the Israeli, nor the Palestinian.
17:08 November 20, 2012 by JOHNATAN
bernie 1927

what about the Kasam and
18:28 November 20, 2012 by Repatriated
Why is it that whenever someone criticizes Israel's behavior or policies that the first thing they are accused of is being antisemite?

This overused label is not only ranked in the same category as a Nazi or racist, but seems to be worse than the other two put together. It's as if whatever injustices that Israel has perpetrated with impunity on the Palestinians since 1948 has had the blessing of God and cannot be questioned.

I don't support terrorism, but an unfortunate fact of life is that terrorism is a consequence of injustice perpetrated on the weak and underrepresented by the powerful, and in control.
18:38 November 20, 2012 by sonriete
What has not been said yet is how absurd it is for the German foreign minister to race to the middle east to present himself as a mediator by negotiating between Fatah and Israel while the war going on is between Hamas and Israel.

If you are not even willing to speak to one side in the conflict, how can you possibly mediate?

In fairness to Westerwelle, he is not the only one, Hillary Clinton is also flying in to do the same stupid thing.

Maybe they can play act using finger puppets, Hillary playing Israel and Guido playing the role of Hamas.

There is as much chance solving the problem that way as what they are doing now.
20:20 November 20, 2012 by Hendrich Stein
Any avoidable loss of human life is tragic, intentionally, it is barbaric.

We have evolved to this great state through mass cooperation. We can not turn back now,

Humanitarian leadership is admirable, it should be respected and embraced than undermined.

Although we are getting better through time, the world has not escaped the inevitable horrors of armed conflict.
20:39 November 20, 2012 by JOHNATAN
Bernie1927

Netanyaho defend our country, he used our armed forces in very caution mode when he retaliated in Gazza,he could have ordered the IAF to wipe Gazza from the map ,that could have been done in 48 hours,and then a big human tragedy and end to Gazza terrorism ,by the way you never mention our civilian targeting in purpose by the Hamas every day for 13 years with causulties among women ,children and old people, but that does not bother you because they are Israelies.

You are probably one of our enemies but we got many many friends all around the world, and yes we will defend our houses,families and land against all our enemies.

ISRAEL south
20:45 November 20, 2012 by Sashzilla
Same old anti semetic weapon. All people want is peace. And I don't know what mr westerwelle is doing there , blindly supporting one side again.
22:26 November 20, 2012 by PNWDev
@bernie

Bernie, Bernie, Bernie, how you are so easily led astray. Yes Netanyahu just woke up one morning and for no reason decided to slaughter some Arabs living in the region of Palestine.

And talk about masters of fabricating rage, when they are not hiding behind their women and children, they are mastering their propaganda techniques.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brad-wilmouth/2012/11/19/cnns-cooper-retracts-video-palestinian-man-faking-injury

@repatriated

First up: There is no such thing as siding with 110 percent of the time. It caps at 100.

Second up: (…..expanding Israeli settlements in Palestinians captured land.)

Oh here we go again. The fable that Palestinian refers to anything other than a made-up people continues to influence many. How entertaining it is to read the sheep try and rewrite history as though there were ever such a thing as an ethnic-Palestinian who was a citizen of a sovereign Palestine.

Third up: (…is that terrorism is a consequence of injustice perpetrated on the weak and underrepresented by the powerful)

Oh yaaaawn. Did you just land from your time-transporter? How was the ride? You speak as though Islam is a 21st century phenomenon. Long before America or Israel ever existed, there was Arab-Islamic terrorism. And the absence of America and/or Israel would not change that one bit, but rather redirect it.
23:02 November 20, 2012 by jmclewis
The Governments of Gaza & Israel have to want peace any other country trying to convince them is a waste of time..... Let them fight it out until they tire of it.
23:46 November 20, 2012 by bernie1927
@PNWDev

Tell me, why do the Palastinians send rockets to Israel? Could it have something to do with the fact that Israel stole their land and settled it with their own people and keeps harassing the Palatinians and keeps intimidating them at every turn? When you compare the casualty figures you should realize that this can't go on. Carter had suggested a fair settlement and Israel reneged on it. And you are surprised at the hostility? Netanyaho has to make the first move and he has to be sincere and be willing to talk to Hamaz and make some serious concessions. Germany and the US certainly are not the right parties but Egypt might just be act as the mediator or, maybe Jordan.Of course, Hamaz has to concede that Israel has every right to exist. I bet it can be done if we and Germany stay out of it.
01:34 November 21, 2012 by Valkyrie1944
The Arabs will only find peace when they love the lives of their children more than they celebrate the death of their children as martyrs to an irrational cause .

Germany learned that lesson the hard way, and came to value life over death.

Problem is, too many Germans fear to use force to end evil, and cannot make enough babies to out-number immigrants from the Muslim world.

Germany is the Canary in the Coal Mine for the USA. When Germany collapses as a civil society, the rest of the West will follow.
01:42 November 21, 2012 by Leo Strauss
A short and sweet video breakdown of the criminal theft and occupation of Palestine:

Israel & Palestine: A history of occupation

http://rt.com/programs/breaking-set-summary/human-devolution-palestine-history/

Starts at the 7:44 mark. :)
03:00 November 21, 2012 by Rover
Perhaps the foreign minister should have read the following (jewish) report on how this latest debacle came to be before making his statement:

http://mondoweiss.net/2012/11/4-myths-about-the-israeli-attack-on-gaza.html
07:19 November 21, 2012 by Hicham1st
It's no wonder that the whole West is supporting Isreal with its crimes against humanity and this is under the name of self defence. After seven days of fighting 135 people killed in Gaza and more than 1000 casualties, most of them are not Hamas fighters but rather civilians, poor children and women. Germany is haunted by its Nazi past and it will do anything possible to support Isreal. What a world! ):

I fell the End is coming, war is eveywhere and hatred is all over the place.
09:04 November 21, 2012 by lordkorner
One should never put one's hands in one's pockets when one is wearing a suit.
20:55 November 21, 2012 by JOHNATAN
hicham 1st

and firing rockets on us in all cities around Gazza for 13 years, killing people and wounding civilians, is not crime?
Today's headlines
Karstadt closes stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

Update: Consumer confidence in Germany has stopped falling, as households appear to be no longer fazed by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. READ  

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 26
An eyewitness captured the moment of the explosion on their phone. Photo: DPA

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 26

UPDATE: One person has died and 26 others are injured after a huge explosion in Ludwigshafen, western Germany on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,528
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd