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Gauck to tread delicate line in Middle East

The Local · 28 May 2012, 12:12

Published: 28 May 2012 12:12 GMT+02:00

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Anti-Semitism and racism are “a big danger,” said Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, according to a story in Die Welt newspaper on Monday.

“Anti-Semitism is more present in Europe. We see it unfortunately nearly every day. Also in Germany this phenomenon is rising and becoming more widespread,” the ambassador said.

Hadas-Handelsmann was also critical of German author Grass’ poem, published in April, which severely criticized Israel’s position in the nuclear conflict with Iran and portrayed Israel as the aggressor.

The poem caused much outrage in Israel, led to Grass being banned from the country and was debated for weeks.

“Of course this topic will be discussed during his visit,” the ambassador said.

Gauck’s visit to Israel is important because Germany and Israel are closely tied due to their histories, but also because Gauck is from the former German Democratic Republic and personally experienced persecution and repression, Hada-Handelsmann said.

Gauck’s office said he wanted to, “put down a marker of solidarity with Israel in difficult times,” yet at the same time he would stress Germany’s “continued commitment” to the creation of a Palestinian state.

After two days in Israel, Gauck will spend a day in the Palestinian territories, opening a girls’ school built with German funding and holding political talks in Ramallah with President Mahmud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Story continues below…

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:01 May 28, 2012 by smart2012
Racism is growing in germany: well done merkel!
18:34 May 28, 2012 by karldehm
What does Merkel have to do with the supposed growing racism????

Maybe being smart isn't always smart!
19:01 May 28, 2012 by smart2012
please read this


Ops sorry, I meant Merkozy in my original message, but I tend to forget now the "ozy" part as luckily Sarkozy is gone :-)
20:07 May 28, 2012 by mikerol
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:53 May 28, 2012 by expatriarch
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
08:48 May 29, 2012 by HansT
@ expatriarch

A well-written compendium of nonsense, unfounded assertion, misrepresentation, historical ignorance, hate, and yes! ... anti-semitism. Ignorance of this magnitude is best left in the echo chamber of empty heads, but since The Local is not by any stretch an outlet of any importance or influence, it is just as well to ignore it.
09:37 May 29, 2012 by frankiep
I didn't think it was possible for so much stupid to be in such a relatively small area.....then I read the post by expatriarch and can see that truly anything is possible. It's as if "Mein Kampf" has been condensed into 8 rambling, hate-filled paragraphs.
19:09 May 29, 2012 by mikerol
I have been paying some real attention to the situation since I started to follow the controversy that erupted with the publication of Guenter Grass's poem warning of the consequences of an Israeli first strike, here the links to the archive for the controversy,


and to various ensuing discussions

A compendium of critical opinions http://summapolitico.blogspot.com/2012/04/part-synopsis-of-grass-poem-controversy.html

And of positive takes




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