• 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

"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."

Story continues below…

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

AFP/The Local/jpg

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record as wins Berlin marathon
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Trump protesters rebuild and tear down 'Berlin Wall'
The 'Stop Trump' protest at the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA.

US expats gathered at the Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Friday "rebuild" the Berlin Wall and protest US presidential candidate Donald Trump's own proposed wall-building.

Accusation of sexism within Merkel's party creates uproar
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chancellor Angela Merkel, two leading women in the CDU party. Photo: DPA.

A young politician from the ranks of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has caused a storm by suggesting that the party is institutionally sexist.

EasyJet 'in talks to buy German airline' to duck Brexit
Photo: DPA

EasyJet is in talks to acquire TUIfly, a board member of the German carrier said Friday, as the British no-frills airline looks for ways to keep flying freely within the EU after Britain quits the bloc.

Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum
Photo: DPA

A people smugglers' car, a dinghy and a life jacket are among items related to Europe's migration crisis due to go on display at a German museum.

Green party demand 'quick and easy' citizenship for Brits
Photo: DPA

The Green party has called for Brits living in Germany to be offered a painless path to obtaining dual citizenship as to "reassure them over the future".

Berlin the new London? 10m2 flat to rent for €750 a month
Photo: Immonet.de.

This shoebox apartment in the gentrified Bergmann-Kiez neighbourhood may be a sign that the tides are turning for Berlin’s comparatively cheap housing market.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd