German FM in Israel rejects US Jerusalem move, warns of European ‘frustration’

During a visit to Israel, German FM Sigmar Gabriel blasted those who oppose a Palestinian state, demanding a two-state approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

By: Margot Dudkevitch, World Israel News

Are those who reject a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians willing to pay the price of perpetual conflict, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel asked while addressing the 11th annual Conference of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies on Wednesday.

“Some members of Israel’s cabinet are explicitly against the two-state solution but the two-state solution has always been the foundation of our engagement for Israeli-Palestinian peace and for the large amount of funding that Germany and Europe make available in support of the situation on the ground,” said Gabriel, reported the Jerusalem Post.

As a friend and close ally of Israel, Gabriel said Germany needs to know if Israel no longer supports a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “How do you want Israel’s future to look? Are you prepared to pay the price of perpetual occupation and conflict, a price that will continue to grow if there is no hope for self-determination on the Palestinian side?” local media reports quoted him saying.

He went on to note that currently across Europe and even in Germany there is growing frustration concerning Israel’s actions, which he claims are making it increasingly difficult to explain Germany’s continued support for Israel.

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Gabriel added that Germany is looking forward to the day it too will transfer its embassy to Jerusalem, but emphasized that this will only happen in the framework of a peace deal that includes two states that share Jerusalem as their capital.

While rejecting US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he vowed Germany will always defend Israel and the Jewish people’s “essential and historic connection” to Jerusalem. He also took to task the American Administration’s policy towards Israel and questioned whether it is a good thing that the United States seems to be taking Israel’s side more than ever before.

Referring to the nuclear deal struck with Iran, he noted that while Iran has profited immensely from wars an chaos in the Middle East, Germany opposes annulling the deal struck with Iran in 2015.

Earlier Wednesday, Gabriel also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It was Gabriel’s first visit to Israel since the diplomatic fiasco last April when Netanyahu cancelled a scheduled meeting with him after Gabriel chose to meet with members of the Breaking the Silence Group. At the time Netanyahu said he would not meet with officials who choose to meet with groups that slander IDF soldiers and call them war criminals.