Skip to comments.Merkel tells Israelis of German 'shame' (first "head of government" to speak in the Knesset)
Posted on 03/18/2008 2:36:17 PM PDT by Michael81Dus
JERUSALEM: Angela Merkel on Tuesday became the first German chancellor to address the Israeli Parliament, crowning a three-day visit intended to upgrade ties between the two countries. The Merkel visit was seen as highly symbolic by both sides, as the Jewish state prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its establishment against the background of the Holocaust. Paying tribute to the "special relationship" between Israel and Germany, Merkel said that the Nazi genocide filled Germans "with shame." High on the agenda was what Israel sees as Germany's crucial role in the international campaign against the development of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...
Not quite as dramatic as Elie Wiesel’s appearance at the Reichstag years ago, but (M)Erkel still chose the right words for a change.
How comes you´re using that unfriendly words about her? After all, it was Merkel who addressed Iran, human rights issues in China and Russia right from the taking the oath as Chancellor. I don´t think that there´s space for reproaching her with failure in foreign policy, except maybe the lack of support for more German troops in Afghanistan.
Bravo for Merkel! And bravo for modern Germany! No country has done as much to redress past wrongs than Germany.
It’s a great country.
Which genocide is a “minor faux pas” at all? And which murder can be called “minor”? Killing a human being is the ultimative crime. One can distinguish between the number of victims, but murder always is the most severe crime. No other nation has “made up” with its dark chapters of history like Germany, though there are many which are guilty of genocide, too. The relationship Germany has with Israel today is a great example that forgiving (a country) doesn´t mean forgetting.
Europe in general, and up through WWII has a long, sad record of anti-Semitism, definitely not limited or even historically (before the Nazis) primarily in Germany. As a matter of fact, one reason there were so many Jews in Germany before the Nazis is that Germany had a long record of tolerance...unlike most of the rest of Europe.
Even since the war, Germany has been the scapegoat for much of the atrocities which Austria was nearly equally culpable for, as well as Poland, Czechoslovakia, (Vichy) France, among others. And since the war, Germany has done the most, compared to all of Europe, to make amends—even though those in power now, and for a long time now, had nothing to do with the Nazi dictatorship.
The vast majority of Germans alive today are as appalled, or more, to what happened 65+ years ago, as any American or Israeli. Germany has definitely changed—and changed more than the rest of Europe for sure.
Yes, I agree with that. Red China and Russia haven't begun to pay for all the people they've murdered in cold blood.
For sheer cruelty, no one holds a candle to Pol Pot's regime, imo.
If we take the islamofascists at their word, more than anything in the world they hope to be a hundred times more efficient at murder than Nazi Germany ever was.
I don't know, Michael... When people think of genocide 100-200 years from now, Germany may not even come to mind anymore, so many groups today and so many governments seem hellbent on outdoing it.
“No other nation has ‘made up’ with its dark chapters of history like Germany, though there are many which are guilty of genocide, too.”
Very true. Turkey to this day hasn’t even acknowledged the genocide on the Armenians, let alone apologized for it.
i was in dachau last year. very impressive display of contrition. and very moving...
Not a fan of the “human rights must be spread around the world” club. Prefer the foreign policy of Metternich and Bismark myself.
“And since the war, Germany has done the most, compared to all of Europe, to make amends”
Not in my opinion. Germany vehemently opposed the removal of Saddam Hussien and opposed democracy in Iraq (whereas Poland not only supported our efforts but provided troops). Germany supports terrorist states that are an enemy of America. They are the leading European trading partner of the terrorist regime in Tehran and oppose efforts to enact meaningful sanctions against Iran. They even cheated on their obligations to NATO by changing their rules of engagement in regards to Afganistan.
I imagine there’s a lot more to her if she had the chance, but she’s boxed in to a large degree. No doubt, she’s more pragmatic when it comes to Russia, Belarus (There’s another sleeping problem), China, Iran, and even the threat of radical Islam.
No matter how you look it, throughout the entire Cold War they paid less, and did less than even other NATO nations proportionally. What you see in Afghanistan and elsewhere is in reality nothing more than the continuation of this “do nothing” or “do as little as possible” way of thinking which has dominated German security policy post WWII, even when their own rear was on the line.
Essentially what it all boils down too is the complete lack of a threat picture, some anti-American undertones, the opportunistic advantages economically when standing on the sidelines and doing trade with such rogue states, and the avoidance of any associated costs may they be politically (damage to your career), economically (defense spending) or in blood (dead soldiers and/or terrorism).
Politically Schroeder probably had to do what he did to survive 2002. It wasnt right, but his political survival was paramount (to him personally) and thats why he retreated in Afghanistan and even played the anti-war card in the 2002 elections.
To give you some insight let me use a real world example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lufthansa_Flight_181
Had this operation gone wrong, Schmidt would have been crushed. It would have instantly ended his political career. Politically the low risk alternative was to let things go their course and even if there is a negative outcome (i.e. the terrorists blow up the plane), Schmidt himself would have politically survived that. Letting the terrorists have their way would have been the political less dangerous course of action.
Schmidt was willing to take egg in the face reference the stationing of nuclear Pershing missile systems. He defended low altitude flights, etc. But today the average German has a near zero threat perception, so what politician is realistically going to stand up and defend an eavesdropping system in Bad Ailbling, a missile defense shield, etc? Most will stand there saying nothing while the media is in attack mode and some provincial politician is scoring big with cheap shots.
Dont expect them to do much. They never did much in the past, and now they dont even see a threat to themselves, at least the layperson sees it that way. What their security apparatus see and operate under is completely different. Their version of the FBI (BfV) and CIA (BND) know very well whats going on. But its the perception of the layperson which many politicians pander too. So realize, pre-1989 the Germans own rear was on the line and at least then they could be expected to toe the line on issues of collective security. But today that isnt the case either, and Schroeder was the perfect example in 2002. The Realpolitik is dead, and today may it be over flights of jets, or the SOFA, the Germans will play games because they dont have a perceived need for us or NATO. They actually did in 1997 and 1999 but that was quickly forgotten.
The Germans in all reality share ALL our collective interests. More so than France or Spain! They are and will remain allies because our interests are all aligned, but they will be worthless for the foreseeable future in regards to security matters and they might even fall in our back when internal political opportunism sees an advantage in doing so (i.e. internal national politics drives foreign policy).
Merkel in the grand scheme of things is a good guy. Its not even that shes pro-US, but shes pro-Germany, and she realizes that these threats and problems like in Russia are no joking matter. Unlike Schroeder she is willing to take some egg in the face, she has made several statements reference certain threats
While you can't expect the Germans to do much anywhere, at least she won't take shots at the missile defense shield as Schroeder did in 2000 when the whole thing began rolling. If we were to attack Iran in the future, Merkel would not work against us like Schroeder did....... Merkel is someone constructive and pragmatic in security matters, and that's good.
Yep, we are in a box. Oh, wait, actually, we´re in a cage - with the Linkspartei being the snake awaiting to eat finally the rabbit. The other rabbit is almost eaten up - the SPD. 22% compared to 14% for the Commies is not what you can call a “Volkspartei”.
How did you like Putin´s Kampfschlumpf?
I pray for a victory next year, but chances are at best 50:50.
Btw, good for you that McCain is leading now in polls. And I hope that the Obama hype has finally ended.