Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened on Monday to cancel his meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel over his plans to meet with the ultra left-wing anti-Israel organization Breaking the Silence.
The Prime Minister’s Office would not comment on the matter, but it sent out Netanyahu’s schedule for Tuesday without mentioning the meeting.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely congratulated Netanyahu for setting a redline with regard to anti-Israel organizations.
“This is battle against those who slander Israel in the world,” she said.
The German Foreign Minister arrived in Israel on Monday and is set to meet with President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority ‘Prime Minister’ Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah on Tuesday.
Gabriel is a controversial figure in the relations between Israel and Germany, which have been deteriorating in recent months.
He is a member of the Social Democratic Party and, before serving in his current post, wrote many articles on social media condemning Israel, which he called “an apartheid state.” He refused to apologize for these statements, although he was asked to do so.
The German foreign minister is also one of the leaders of the foreign policy of the Merkel administration, and has worked to strengthen Germany’s relations with Iran as much as possible after the lifting of sanctions from the rogue state.
The German media reported this morning that due to the deterioration in relations, Israel conveyed a clear message to the Merkel government that it is not interested in its involvement in attempts to renew contacts with the Palestinian Authority.
PM Netanyahu’s comments following the cancellation of his meeting with the German foreign minister:
“I am leading Israel’s foreign relations to unprecedented growth. But based on a proud, assertive national policy, not out of weakness. Our relations with Germany are strong and important and will also continue as such. My policy is not to meet diplomats who visit Israel and meet orgs that slander IDF soldiers and seek to put them on trial as war criminals. Those same diplomats would never dream of doing this in the US or UK, or in any other place. Our soldiers are the basis of our existence. They guard us and we will guard them”.