Berlin - German Jews Slam Party for Working With Fatah
Berlin - The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany blasted the countryâ€™s second-largest political party, the Social Democrats (SPD), for forming a â€śstrategic partnershipâ€ť with Fatah.
â€śThe SPD works with a terror organization, which has called for hate and agitation against Jews,â€ť said Dr. Dieter Graumann, the head of Germanyâ€™s Jews, in the Bild newspaper on Monday. He added that the SPD â€śshould be ashamed of itselfâ€ś for its alliance with the Palestinian faction.
SPD general secretary Andrea Nahles issued a joint paper declaring that her party and Fatah had engaged in a â€śstrategic dialogueâ€ť and shared â€ścommon values.â€ť She and the SPD leadership welcomed a delegation of Fatah members last week to the partyâ€™s Berlin headquarters, the Willy Brandt Haus.
Bild sub-headlined its story, â€śFatah is considered hostile to Israel and representatives of the organization continuously deliver anti-Semitic speeches.â€ť
According to the newspaper, SPD head Sigmar Gabriel was irritated about Graumannâ€™s accusations.
â€śI donâ€™t understand the criticism,â€ť said Gabriel, who rejected Graumannâ€™s accusation and noted that Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas had recognized Israelâ€™s right to exist and been the negotiating partner of many Israeli governments.
Graumann called on SPD chancellor candidate Peer SteinbrĂĽck to distance himself from the partyâ€™s alliance with Fatah.
â€śThe statement of common values is a scandal,â€ť said the Jewish leader, adding that he hoped the Social Democrats knew what type of organization Fatah was.
He also cast doubt on the SPDâ€™s leadership ability, saying, â€śThis SPD is entirely not suitable for governing.â€ť
Critics in Germany accuse the Social Democrats under Nahles and Gabriel of stoking anti-Israel bias. Gabriel said earlier this year during a visit to Israel and the West Bank that the Jewish state was an â€śapartheid regime.â€ť
He has also defended author GĂĽnter Grass, who blamed Israel in April for being the chief impediment to international peace and dismissed Iranâ€™s threats to wipe the Jewish state off the map.
Responding to Graumannâ€™s criticism, Gabriel said Fatah was an internationally recognized negotiating partner and that the radical Islamist Hamas â€śwould not be a good alternative.â€ť
He said the SPD had cultivated contact with Fatah over the years and that the rejection of violence, the recognition of Israelâ€™s right to exist and the desire for a Palestinian state formed the basis of the two partiesâ€™ relationship.
He added that Fatah was part of the values of social democracy and was represented in the European coalition of social democrats as an observer partner.
Reinhold Robbe, a member of the SPD and the head of the German-Israeli Friendship Society (DIG), has not issued a comment. DIG director Hildegard Radhauer said on Tuesday that she was certain Robbe would respond.
Robbe has come under fire for failing to confront anti-Israel sentiments within his party.
Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post
More of today's headlines“Denver - A Colorado man was charged on Tuesday in federal court with threatening to kill U.S. President Barack Obama during an October campaign visit, and court...” Denver - Colorado Man Charged With Threatening To Kill Obama “Tokyo - Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 2.77 million vehicles around the world for a water pump problem and a steering shaft defect that may result in faulty steering ...” Tokyo - Toyota Recalls 2.77 Million Vehicles for Steering, Pump Defects