According to a story in the German weekly Der Spiegel, a number of members inside the German Chancellery and the Foreign Ministry want to rethink Berlin’s relationship with Israel as a result of its settlement policy and and the belief that Netanyahu is perpetually disinclined to act on the Palestinian issue.
Some have suggested that Israel has been taking advantage of “automatic” support from Germany and that no longer sits well.
“The perception has been growing in the German government that Netanyahu is instrumentalizing our friendship,” the magazine quoted Rolf Mützenich, deputy floor leader for the Social Democrats (SPD) in parliament, as saying.
Some even questioned Israel’s overall policy regarding Palestine and regional and domestic affairs.
“Israel’s current policies are not contributing to the country remaining Jewish and democratic,” argued Norbert Röttgen, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Bundestag and a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union,
The article argued Netanyahu had “twisted her words,” making it appear that she backed his policies.
“In fact, though, Merkel had repeatedly made it clear to Netanyahu that she believes the effects of Israeli settlement construction in the occupied territories are disastrous,” they explained. “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.”
However, the article noted that, while the future relationship may be murky, plenty officials believe Germany’s support will remain unwavering.
“The relations between Israel and Germany are, and will continue to be, close and good,” an unnamed senior official was quoted as saying. “It seems these statements are an internal German attempt to attack Merkel for her close relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu.”