Saturday, December 31, 2016

Letter to German Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Dear German Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier,

I have recently been informed that in your role as German Foreign Minister, you have been making critical statements and sending critical tweets about Israeli democracy that even the Editor in Chief of Bild, Julian Reichelt, has characterized as astonishingly harsh. You are apparently blind to the devastatingly negative optics of a German government official referring harshly to anything regarding the world's only Jewish state, given that it has only been a few decades since your country's industrialized genocide of the Holocaust.

Your country has had very little experience with, or affinity for anything to do with democracy. Germany's first genuine foray into democracy, the Weimar Republic, was destroyed by German Nazis. Germany's current foray into democracy was militarily imposed on you at the cost of tens of millions of deaths, soldiers and civilians. Germany therefore has very little warrant to tell anyone else about democracy, and what is necessary for it to flourish.

Which brings me to your recent statement that "...a democratic Israel is only achievable through a two-state solution." I have news for you, Dr. Steinmeier. Israel is a Jewish and democratic country already, as even Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffan Siebert stated. Furthermore your own personal history of soft-pedaling statements regarding human rights violations in Russia, China, and Iran due to your pursuit of business opportunities there further impairs your credibility as an arbiter of democracy.

One of your recent tweets stated misleadingly that "Israeli settlements in occupied territories jeopardize possibility of peace process." A German official calling Jewish homes a menace evokes a great deal of concern, and awful memories. In fact Israeli towns and homes in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria have every right to be there. Nonetheless they exist on only two per cent of the land area, and Israel has a history of removing these homes in service of peace, as in Sinai in 1982 and Gaza in 2005. In return Israel has been attacked from every area it has vacated. And why, Dr. Steinmeier, have you made no reference to the real obstacle to peace, relentless Palestinian rejections of all generous Israeli peace offers because what they really want is Israel's destruction, and actually couldn't care less about a state of their own?

Unlike Germany, Israel has been a vibrant democracy by choice in the face of non stop attacks and attempts to destroy it, since its rebirth in 1948. Your proper approach to Israel should be one of remorse and support given your country's awful history. I am deeply offended by your statements of the German Foreign Ministry critical of Israel.

Daniel H. Trigoboff, Ph.D.
Williamsville, New York

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