Middle East Monitor / May 12, 2023
German Parliament held a special plenary session on Friday to mark the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Lawmakers from Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition government used their speeches to highlight Germany’s historical responsibility for Israel, but avoided criticizing Tel Aviv’s controversial policies toward Palestinians.
Katharina Droege from the Green party underlined that Germany bears special responsibility for Israel’s security due to Nazi crimes committed against Jews during World War II.
“After Germany committed the greatest crimes in human history, after the murder of the Jews of Europe, Israel accepted shaking hands with us; for this we will always be grateful,” she said.
“Israel’s security will be our responsibility forever; it is part of Germany’s reason of state,” she added.
Christian Durr from the liberal Free Democratic Party said Germany and Israel are linked not only with history, but also with their commitment to liberal and democratic values.
“In these turbulent times, it is important for us to emphasize that Israel’s right to exist and its security are non-negotiable for Germany,” he stressed.
Social Democrat lawmaker, Gabriela Heinrich, expressed regret that, in today’s Germany, many Jews still face anti-Semitism, Jewish schools and synagogues had to be under police protection.
“Last year in Germany there were 2,641 anti-Semitic crimes, including 88 violent attacks. This is unbearable,” she said.
“It is our job as politicians to ensure that Jews feel safe in our country,” she stressed.
German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Israel’s ambassador in Berlin, Ron Prosor, also attended the special plenary session at Parliament.