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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Body of Missing Israeli Located in Hungary

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

The body of a missing Israeli citizen has been found in Hungary, according to Israeli government officials.

The family of Ofir Gross, 40, is traveling to Hungary to identify the body, which was found in a forest.

Gross, a resident of Jerusalem, was learning medical engineering in Germany when he disappeared from Debrecen while on a fishing trip more than a week ago. He had flown to Budapest and contacted his family last Thursday before the start of the Passover holiday.

Initial findings indicate that he may have been murdered, according to a report by the Hebrew-language Ynet website.

An eyewitness quoted by the Hungarian consul apparently last saw Gross drinking beer at a local bar. The witness alleged that Ofir had said he did not want to order food because “it was expensive” and also declined to take a hotel room for the same reason.

Israel’s Channel 2 television news interviewed Gross’s sister, who said her parents had spoken with their son, who said he was going to stay on a couch at the home of a local man.

The family has no idea whether he ever reached that destination, however. “It’s a terrible fear,” his sister told the news outlet.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Circle Working Overtime to Pushback Claim of German Rift

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

The headline of Sunday morning’s Israel Hayom, the pro-Netanyahu daily freebee bankrolled by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, was: “Jerusalem Sources: ‘Relations with Germany Tight.'” The optimistic message came in response to an embarrassing probe by Der Spiegel this weekend pointing a finger at Israel Hayom as the source of a grossly misleading story in February, which attempted to assign to German Chancellor Angela Merkel a position she never knew she held.

Whenever Merkel meets with Netanyahu, according to Spiegel, you can count on Israel Hayom to publish the confidential content of their discussion shortly thereafter. But this time, they went ahead and wrote this headline: “Merkel: This Isn’t the Time for Two States.”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with this headline, and many rightwing Israelis were delighted to see a leading Western leader coming to her senses in these trying times; the only problem was, of course, that Merkel never said nor even hinted anything of the kind. Merkel and her advisors were furious, naturally, because Netanyahu, the obvious source for the “leak,” had twisted the chancellor’s warnings against his policy in Judea and Samaria into an endorsement.

“Merkel had repeatedly made it clear to Netanyahu that she believes the effects of Israeli settlement construction in the occupied territories are disastrous,” Spiegel reported. “The settlement policy, she believes, makes it unlikely that a viable Palestinian state can be established in accordance with plans aimed at a two-state solution. Any other approach, Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier are convinced, would ultimately transform Israel into an apartheid regime. Netanyahu, however, has not shown himself to be the least bit impressed by such arguments.”

What emerges from the Spiegel story is a growing German concern that Netanyahu has been taking advantage of Germany’s support, cooperation and friendship and is using Berlin as a bulwark against policies Berlin supports. “The perception has been growing in the German government that Netanyahu is instrumentalizing our friendship,” Rolf Mützenich, deputy floor leader for the Social Democrats (SPD) in parliament, told Spiegel. The SPD is Merkel’s junior coalition partner. Foreign Minister Steinmeier is an SPD leader.

According to Spiegel, what Netanyahu has been doing these past few months, is turn warnings from Merkel and other senior German officials, such as Foreign Minister Steinmeier, that Israel’s settlement policy is making it impossible for a future two-state solution to ever work — into seemingly throwing in the towel and accepting this reality as inevitable. And nothing could be further from the truth. According to Spiegel, Germany, like the rest of the EU, is hell bent on establishing two states in Israel, because they are convinced that, with the Arab demographics being what they are, the only way open to Israel to remain a Jewish state otherwise is by a system of apartheid.

We can argue against this concept until we’re blue in the face, we can point to declining demographics on the Arab side, we can show a growing wave of Arab immigration from the PA and Gaza to Canada and the US, we can point to Israel’s history of an unwavering democratic approach to its minorities — the Europeans, at this point, aren’t prepared to buy any of it. And spreading headlines that they do when they don’t doesn’t change their minds, unfortunately.

The Israel Hayom Sunday article is an attempt to blame the Germans for the February faux pas. They cite “sources in Jerusalem” who say the Spiegel story is “an internal-German attempt to attack Merkel over her good relations with Prime Minister Netanyahu.” That statement could only be made by someone who didn’t read the Spiegel story, in which named sources in Merkel’s circle are accusing Netanyahu of misusing his friendship with Germany.

Then the Israeli paper claimed that this is what they heard in the Hebrew simultaneous translation, which is their version of the dog ate my homework. And finally, they pin the whole thing on Netanyahu, who pointed the entire Israeli press in that direction following the Chancellor’s remarks, saying she had finally come to her senses regarding the current slim chances of negotiations based on the two-state solution. For his part, Netanyahu pinned the blame for why the 2-state is dead for now on the “situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian Authority.”

The real problem is that the Netanyahu approach no longer works, at least according to Spiegel. The Chancellery has indeed lost hope that the peace process can be revived — “so long as Netanyahu remains in office,” the magazine insists, describing the visit of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to Berlin two weeks ago, when Merkel was “demonstrative in her support,” when she said, “I understand why President Abbas continually seeks out the Security Council.”

Ouch.

Finally, according to Spiegel, accusations from Netanyahu that the EU labeling of products made by Jews in Judea and Samaria are essentially an anti-Jewish boycott “are no longer taken seriously in the Chancellery. Merkel’s foreign policy advisor Christoph Heusgen is supportive of the EU approach.”

JNi.Media

Diplomatic Sources Say Israeli Ties With Germany Are Strong

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

Ties between Israel and Germany are strong, according to diplomatic sources in Jerusalaem.

The comment comes in response to a report in Der Spiegel that Germany is increasingly frustrated with the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The magazine wrote a piece claiming that Berlin was upset over an article in Israel HaYom that discussed bilateral relations and the two-state solution.

Ties are quite strong, however, and the source speculated the piece in Der Spiegel may have been linked to internal political dealings within Germany.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Report: Germany Spied on Israel’s PM, US, UK, EU, Vatican & OPEC

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Germany’S BND Spied on Netanyahu, US, UK, Austrians and Others

Germany’s BND (Federal Intelligence Service) reportedly has been spying on the office of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according a report Saturday by the German weekly Der Spiegel.

The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the report.

Israel’s espionage agency provided deep intelligence to Germany about an imminent terror attack on a list of targets. The alert, which included the Hanover soccer stadium, came just days after the Nov. 13 (2015) terror attacks in Paris, according to a report in the Stern weekly. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was set to attend the match together with other government officials to show solidarity with the French.

The BND pretty much has been spying on everyone, according to the report in Der Spiegel, which is what international intelligence agencies do. But it’s considered very bad form to get caught in the process, especially by media, who nearly always expose a spy agency for doing so.

Germany’s BND has been caught by Der Spiegel more than once, which prompts other media to wonder what this is really about.

The German weekly also reported the BND spied on American diplomats placed in various locations around Europe, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Air Force and NASA, the U.S. space agency.

Other targets that were under the German spy agency’s surveillance were the British Ministry of Defense, the International Monetary Fund, the interior ministers of Austria and Belgium and the headquarters of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Six months ago Der Spiegel reported the BND was monitoring all communication devices of the embassies and consulates belonging to the U.S., UK, France, Sweden, Spain and other nations. It also spied on the Vatican, the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, U.S. diplomats at the United Nations and in Brussels, the U.S. Department of the Interior, NATO officials and European Union states.

Apparently, Merkel took the American president at his word when he said last week at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C.: ““We’re all going to have to do more when it comes to intelligence sharing.”

Hana Levi Julian

U.S. Condemns Istanbul Attack, Cites 2 American Victims

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

The White House issued a statement Saturday night condemning the Istanbul terror attack that killed two dual American-Israeli citizens earlier in the day.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Istanbul, Turkey. Two American citizens were among those killed in this heinous attack,” National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those killed, and we wish a speedy recovery to those injured.”

A third Israeli and an Iranian citizen were both killed in the attack, along with the suicide bomber, Savaz Yildiz, 33, a resident of the Turkish city of Adana who was reportedly known to the authorities.

Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said the explosion occurred outside a local government office on Istiklal Street, where numerous foreign consulates are located. The area is also dotted with many cafes and restaurants.

The U.S. State Department also condemned the attack in a statement released by spokesperson John Kirby.

“The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack today on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick recovery for those wounded,” the statement read.

“We will remain in close touch with Turkish authorities during the investigation. The United States stands in solidarity with our NATO Ally Turkey in combating the common threat of terrorism. This vicious attack is the latest in a series of indefensible violence targeting innocent people throughout Turkey – Turkish citizens and international visitors alike. These acts of terrorism only reinforce our determination to support all those across the region working to promote peace and reconciliation,” the statement said.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the attack in a written statement saying there can be no justification for terrorism. He said, “NATO allies stand united with Turkey, determined to fight against terrorism.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also condemned the attack. “I strongly condemn this despicable and cowardly act that has caused the death of several people,” Ayrault said in a statement, adding Paris stands in solidarity with Turkey.

This past Wednesday Germany had closed its consulate and school in Istanbul due to credible security threats.

Hana Levi Julian

Exclusive: German Source Warns Jews in Danger as Anti-Migrant Movement Grows Violent

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

German Jewry is beginning to worry about anti-Semitism again, and according to a local source, it’s long past due time that they did.

In an exclusive interview with a peace activist from Germany, JewishPress.com learned this week that the threat to Jews in the country is rising steadily.

Right-wing extremists and neo-Nazi groups are increasing in popularity, albeit with their initial banner raised against the flood of refugees and migrants streaming into Germany from across Europe.

The activist, a German visitor to Israel, told JewishPress.com on condition of anonymity – is that a backlash is beginning among the German population which is starting to blame its “migrant population” on “the Jews.”

It has taken a while, but Joseph Schuster, president of the country’s Central Council of Jews also expressed the community’s concern in an interview published Saturday in the Sueddeutsche Zetung.

“The political mood in our society is clearly drifting off to the right,” Schuster told the newspaper, noting rising tensions over the steady flow of migrants into the country. Although Schuster told the paper he does not believe the Jews will immediately leave en masse, he did warn that many will “consider” it.

“It must be clear to the people that come to us that anti-Semitic behavior will not be tolerated,” Schuster said. He called on the government to teach the migrants – most of whom are Muslims – to recognize the State of Israel in their cultural integration courses “because among the refugees is a significant proportion of Arab people who have grown up with anti-Jewish and anti-Israel stereotypes.”

While it is true that many attacks on Jews in Europe over the past several years have been traced to Muslim immigrants, that has by no means ever been the source of anti-Semitism on the continent. Adolf Hitler was Austrian, not Syrian. Let’s not confuse the two.

According to the German source there have been weekly anti-migrant demonstrations by German native-born citizens in Leipzig for months already. On the secular New Year, when parties were going “full blast” the central downtown area was “empty, spooky, with no police coverage whatsoever because all the police were out dealing with attacks.

This New Year’s Eve, gangs of young migrant men sexually assaulted countless young women in mass attacks in Cologne and other German towns, according to France24 and myriad other international media. Last year Germany absorbed 1.1 million migrants and the nation’s citizens are reportedly livid with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door policy for the refugees.

“That night saw hundreds of assaults – it was the first time the media could not hide the facts about migrant violence and German violence in response,” the source said.

Riots were also been carried out by an extremist group known to international police as the neo-Nazi “football hooligans.” The group has branches throughout Europe – in Sweden as well as in Germany.

In Leipzig two weeks later they seized the opportunity to start a rampage during a march by supporters of the anti-migrant Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.) The local Pegida group in Leipzig is known as Legida.

“Merkel take your Muslims with you and go,” read one of the placards at a Legida protest.

Also in January, at least 250 neo-Nazis traveled by car to the Leipzig suburb of Connewitz from “all over the state of Saxony,” according to the World Socialist Web Site, which described a scene of “fascist terror.”

According to a report posted by the Peipziger Volkszeitung (LVZ), the “horde of neo-Nazis” were “goose-stepping” through the district and then began a “rampage of violence” with large stones they had clearly brought with them.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel, Germany to Link on African Development Projects

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Israel and Germany signed a Declaration of Intent in Berlin on Tuesday to cooperate on joint development projects in Africa.

The two nations will develop water and agricultural projects in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Burundi and Burkina Faso.

It is hoped the program will expand to other African nations once the first six are underway, according to Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold.

It was Gold who signed the Declaration together with Thomas Silberhorn, Germany’s parliamentary state secretary for the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

This is not the first time the two countries have joined forces to cooperate on projects in Africa.

For that matter, Israeli assistance in Africa has long roots dating back to the days of the late Israeli stateswoman Golda Meir.

In addition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Uganda in 2005 before returning to the prime minister’s office in 2009. During the visit he dedicated a memorial plaque to his brother Yoni at the old terminal building of Entebbe International Airport.

As did Meir, Netanyahu also pointed out in a recent meeting with American Jewish leaders that building stronger ties with African nations can have advantages for Israel beyond the continent – particularly at the United Nations.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-germany-to-link-on-african-development-projects/2016/02/17/

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