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Germany condemns Israeli settlement plans
Merkel and Netanyahu in 2011. Photo: DPA

Germany condemns Israeli settlement plans

Published: 03 Dec 2012 13:55 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Dec 2012 13:55 GMT+01:00

Germany on Monday condemned Israel's plans to build new settlements on occupied Palestinian lands ahead of talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert called on Israel to withdraw its plan to build new Jewish settler homes, but said the government would not "for the moment" summon its ambassador to Berlin.

"The German government is deeply concerned about the announcement of the Israeli government to accept tenders for 3,000 new homes mainly in east

Jerusalem and the West Bank," he told a regular briefing.

"We urge the Israeli government to reverse this announcement. Both sides should act constructively and avoid obstructing what is urgently needed, namely the resumption of substantial direct peace talks."

When asked whether Germany would follow France and Britain in summoning the Israel ambassador, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Berlin had no immediate plans to do so.

Seibert said a Berlin meeting this week between Merkel and Netanyahu and most of their cabinets would also go ahead as planned despite the criticism. But in sharply worded remarks ahead of the talks, he warned that with the settlements announcement, Israel was torpedoing peace efforts.

"Israel is undermining faith in its willingness to negotiate and the geographic space for a future Palestinian state, which must be the basis for a two-state solution, is disappearing," he said.

Tensions between Israel and Germany had already flared last week when Berlin opted to abstain in a United Nations vote granting upgraded diplomatic status to the Palestinians. Israel reportedly asked Berlin to vote "no".

Media reports said this week's talks in Berlin could even be called off due to the friction.


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Your comments about this article

14:31 December 3, 2012 by raandy
At first Netanyahu said there would be no reprisals,

I have often wondered why Sarkosy said this about Netanyahu to Obama at a G20, when he though the sound system was off, "I cannot bear him, he's a liar." and Obama retorted "You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day."
14:50 December 3, 2012 by Bulldawg82
This just sounds like they are creating some leverage. Something to give up in any future negotiations. These settlements were only announced, not given the go ahead to start.
15:12 December 3, 2012 by trevzns
Tyranny and Thieves.

It has always been about a one state Israeli controlled solution in Palestine.
15:22 December 3, 2012 by mobaisch
Weird.. i cant believe my eyes.. Germany condemning israel? is this real?
16:32 December 3, 2012 by raandy
Bulldawg82 are you a fan of the John King Band?
16:56 December 3, 2012 by Bulldawg82
Raandy: I had to YouTube them. I have never heard of them but I listened to them and they sounded pretty good!
18:36 December 3, 2012 by JOHNATAN
well Raandy

As an Israeli I think that Netanyaho makes any mistake possibile in our forgein policy,and on 22.1.13 he will not get my card.

saying that most Israelies do suport the 2 states solution and do wish and wait a progress in that road, something that the right wing parties now in government could not supply.

Saying that Israel has the right to exsist inside secure borders exactly as Palestine does.talks are the best way to solve the problem, no military option exsist.

All Palestinian parties including Hamas must accept it.

Withdrown from occuppied territories and establishment of 2 independent states is the solution.

extremists on both sides obstacle this goal.

building 3000 houses in occuoied territories or even just talk on that is silly.
19:38 December 3, 2012 by Englishted
Cancel the meeting , isolating South Africa helped bring about change there.
20:19 December 3, 2012 by wxman
The goal since Israel's inception in 1947 is proceeding as planned. Their enemies intend to push Israel into the sea, and will therefore cease to exisit. The thousand year European dislike and constant war against Jews is back on track. There's only one problem, Israel will not tolerate it. This won't end pretty, but it will get the anti-Semites attention, I assure you. I am a pro-Israeli German-American.
20:45 December 3, 2012 by JOHNATAN

Still staying behind my up written post,but any compare to south africa story is wrong.

In Israel there are 7 millions citizen from them 6 millions belong to the Jewish faith and another 1 million are Israelies who belong to Moslem,Christian,Druze,Bahai,Cherques faith and even Atheists,

In south africa about 20 millions of whites controlled by racists laws 60 millions blacks, blacks studied in different schools as whites traveled in different buses had no right to vote or to get elected ,all this does not exsist in Israel,the problem is occupation of west bank -not all of it, since 1967,that peace of land is the subject of the 2 states solution
21:28 December 3, 2012 by tangent_pov
I am both surprise and not-surprised on this news.

Not Surprised: Because Israel is increasing illegal settlements.

Surprised: Because Germany condemns Israel.
22:40 December 3, 2012 by trevzns
@wxman #9

Where do you get a thousand year European dislike and constant war against Jews concerning the 1947 plan for Palestine?

Recent history and not ancient religious mythology indicate, it was Europes enlighten Christians. The Catholic Church crusades for Jerusalem that contributes to much of the present day hostilities and ignorance in the Middle East.

The control for Jerusalem and Jerusalem as a single religious Capitol. Does that sound familiar? With that said. It was the Islamic Arabs and African Moors that provided protection, human rights and religious freedom for Jews during the Christian crusade in Islamic occupied Spain.

Today it seems Islamic extremist and fundamentalist desire to keep Islam in a state of chaos, moral and intellectual decline.
01:19 December 4, 2012 by antistar
Jonathan, you are right that Israel proper is nothing like South Africa. In fact with significant Arab representation in the Knesset it does better than most countries with ethnic minorities. There are racist laws, however. The fact that Jews are paid to emigrate to Israel and Arab-Israelis who marry aren't allowed to bring their partner to the country is one glaring example. But it's not an apartheid state.

The West Bank, however, is worse than Apartheid ever was. And you can't escape the comparison with apartheid as long as you continue to occupy that land in that manner. The West Bank was annexed 50 years ago but Israel refuses to absorb the people like it absorbed the land. If Britain was to treat Northern Ireland in the same way Israel treats the West Bank, the UK would be considered a pariah state.

Imagine it: Catholics with no rights to movement, work or how their country is run, while Protestants control everything. Catholics living in pockets of the worst, lowest quality land, like holes in Swiss cheese, while the Protestants live in secure, militarized settlements on hills overlooking the Catholics. Imagine the Catholics reduced to poverty while the Protestants are subsidized by the British government to increase their presence and make Northern Ireland less Catholic.

Imagine that. For 50 years. That's the West Bank.
02:45 December 4, 2012 by Edin
I find it appalling how distorted image of ¦quot;Israel VS Palestine¦quot; conflict is shown over the public media, especially in the US. I will not even try to comment on it myself, but I will ask you to please read a book written by Miko Peled: The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. It is a remarkable story of a remarkable honest Israeli, who happens to be a son of renowned Israeli general Matti Peled.

For those with less patience check it on youtube, there are his speeches where it is all summed up: http://youtu.be/TOaxAckFCuQ

if you read or watch this, you will understand how horrifying is the ideology behind it, and the comment given by wxman is just there to prove it. As of German foreign policy, tah it is a joke, a bad one.
07:14 December 4, 2012 by wood artist
Israel continues to do the very thing they accuse the Palestinians of doing. In short, they say they want peace, but then deliberately do the very things they KNOW will aggravate the situation...build more illegal settlements in occupied lands.

On the other side, the Palestinians continue to fire their rockets and question Israel's right to exist.

In short there is no peace because both sides don't want peace!

07:22 December 4, 2012 by raandy
JOHNATAN like most of the world I was appalled by the Netanyahu decision to build 3000 homes, however in all fairness I praise the decision not to use ground troops into Gaza.I agree Israel has the right to exist and protect her citizens,but some painful decisions are going to have to be made, if there is ever going to be an everlasting peace.
07:42 December 4, 2012 by StoutViking
Building houses?! What a MONSTER!

Serisouly, Gaza and the PLO are Judenrein and Israel's the one committing genocide? Apartheid? Get a hold of yourselves, or at least pick up a dictionary and an encyclopedia before you throw big worlds into thin air. If it's anything, then it is Jews who are more likely to be shred to pieces if they take the wrong turn with their car, not the other way around.

The PLO refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist, refuses to stop an armed opposition (just takes ceasefires to rearm and regroup), violates the same Oslo agreements their demigod Arafat signed and expect Israel to keep following suit? I am yet to see a country with suicidal tendencies (except Germany, repeated attempts are just a cry for attention).

And of course Netanyahu wants leverage. He doesn't want to lose the next elections due to economic issues, so he hopes to score with the fundamentalist right ("settlers") to at least sit with him in the coalition and stink together. Then he will "agree" to "clear" those same settlements (that aren't even built yet) in return for something else (Swiss passport and full immunity from persecution?).

But what still baffles me most is... Why is it, that there are actual genocides happening around the globe, with tens and even hundreds of thousands victims (Sudan? Hello? Anybody?) - the focus is always on Israel.

It's news where there are Jews, isn't it?
12:26 December 4, 2012 by mobaisch
JOHNATAN #7 As a palestinian from westbank i am delighted to hear a voice from the other side who acknowledges my right to live. I understand your concerns about extremists and frankly, i agree with you. it is strange but true.

If people are not manipulated by "leaders", they would feel less threatened in israeli side and therefore more willing to accept the other side.

If palestinian feel any sense that israel wants peace -by easier life on the ground-, many of them (like me) will be completely against those "extremists" and they will get no chance to surface.

all theories unfortunately, the bad sides always win to surface and take the attention more.. all whats left, is to think may be there is some hope for the next generation.
20:34 December 4, 2012 by antistar
"Building houses?! What a MONSTER!"

It's stealing people's land, and this particular development cuts the West Bank in two, depriving people of their right to exist as a nation, their rights to freedom of movement, their right to self-determination. It's a war crime.

"Serisouly, Gaza and the PLO are Judenrein and Israel's the one committing genocide? Apartheid? Get a hold of yourselves, or at least pick up a dictionary and an encyclopedia before you throw big worlds into thin air. If it's anything, then it is Jews who are more likely to be shred to pieces if they take the wrong turn with their car, not the other way around. "

An Israeli can't make a wrong turn in Israel and end up in Palestine. There are walls and military check-points to cross. Palestinians have to cross these repeatedly just to visit another town, because the West Bank is pock-marked with Israeli settlements. Just as an example: It took me over an hour to pass through the wall from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. For Arabs it takes even longer, because they are treated with more suspicion.
The PLO refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist, refuses to stop an armed opposition (just takes ceasefires to rearm and regroup), violates t…
The Palestinian Authority (the PLO doesn't exist any more) accepts Israel's right to exist. But it refused to sign an amendment whereby they had to recognize Israel's right to exist as a "Jewish" nation. This was added simply because they knew the Palestinians couldn't accept this, and it guaranteed the peace process would fail. It's as reasonable as demanding the IRA recognise the UK as a Protestant country before signing a peace treaty.

And why shouldn't the Palestinians fight for their freedom? The Americans would have nuked the USSR before allowing themselves to be invaded an occupied, but the Palestinians can't fire a few rockets to fight for their freedom? I wish they wouldn't, and I wish there was a better way to bring peace to the region, but when our own countries bomb cities to the dust in order to protect our own freedom, to then turn around and criticise Palestians who haven't even got freedom seems hypocritical.

"But what still baffles me most is... Why is it, that there are actual genocides happening around the globe, with tens and even hundreds of thousands victims (Sudan? Hello? Anybody?) - the focus is always on Israel."

The focus is on Israel because it's a Western country in a strategically important part of the world. It works both ways: When the Palestinians kill Israeli civilians that gets far more press than Sri Lankan civilians being suicide bombed by Hindu separatists.
14:10 December 6, 2012 by StoutViking

Stealing land... I'm loving it... Jews building in JUDEA is stealing land, while Turks invading Cyprus is... Halal?

Their state is Jordan and they never called themselves "Palestinians" before 1967, and refused a country when offered one time and time again. These people were the subjects of Jordan/Syria before they got "occupied" and never requested to be recognized back then, nor did Jordan/Syria take responsibility for these "refugees".

Allow me to compare them to some 12 million German refugees, after the expulsion of Ethnic Germans after the 2nd world war. That was "kosher" and Germany had to take them in and find a solution for them and be responsible (the allies did very little and often backed on their own agreements), but when Arabs, who got stuck between Israel and Jordan, after the latter lost at a war IT STARTED, are refugees for over 3 generations now and it's ultimately Israel's fault.

Truth is, these "Palestinians" are the Gypsies of the Arab world. Everyone likes to cry how poor and mistreated they are, but no one actually wants them in his own backyard. Their fellow Arabs will gladly send them more weapons to fight Israel, but not humanitarian aid or help them build a hospital or whatever. They are the "useful idiots" and only good for being a pain in Israel's side.

And no, they can't "fire a few rockets" or detonate a few explosive belts for their freedom. You talk as if they were fireworks. And again, why didn't they do that when they were still under Jordanian rule? Or maybe they weren't occupied then? Well, it settles it then - their land is Jordan.

As for Israel breaking agreements... It was Abbas who broke the Oslo agreements when he one sidedly turned to the UN for recognition. By doing so he poofed Israel's obligation to the same agreements with his own hands.

And the focus on Israel? That's nonsense. What kind of strategic interest is there? And why aren't the Hindus in Sri-Lanka can't fight for their liberty? Or is liberty reserved only for some, not others? And what kind of strategic importance does Iraq hold for the USA? Oh well, maybe the genocide in Syria will be halted when they discover oil in Homs.
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