Bonn (May. 18)
Hans Maier, president of the Central Committee of German Roman Catholics, has criticized Bonn’s policy of appeasing the Palestine Liberation Organization and also censured the Vatican for giving yet more political weight to the PLO.
Returning from a visit to Israel with a delegation of his committee, Maier said his organization is concerned over attempts to give moral weight to the PLO as long as this group does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. He made his statement as a warning to all political institutions and personalities. Two weeks ago Chancellor Helmut Schmidt on a
television program, called the PLO a “liberation movement” and said that it should be a partner of the West in order to keep it from falling into Russian hands.
Maier also expressed regret over the recent meeting between Cardinal Agostino Casoroli, the Vatican Secretary of State, and Farouk Kaddoumi, the foreign affairs spokesman for the PLO. That meeting was largely interpreted as paving the way for some form of recognition by the Vatican of the PLO.
On the issue of possible German arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Maier said his delegation got the impression that this would endanger the process of reconciliation between Israel and Germany.
PRESS DEFENDS ‘INVERTED GUILT COMPLEX’
A number of German newspapers have defended the so-called “inverted guilt complex” according to which Germany has a special responsibility toward the Palestinians since the creation of the State of Israel was, so to speak, an “outcome” of the Holocaust.
The Frankfurter Rundschau published a special feature yesterday aimed at proving that in some sections of the Zionist movement itself such an interpretation has been advanced. The newspaper cited an undated letter written in 1943 by a one-time head of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel Sieff.
The quoted segment stated: “… it is clearly impossible for Germany to make reparation to individual Jews for the wrongs they have done but it would be possible to make corporate reparation in the form of accepting responsibility for such resettlement of our cousins (Palestinians), involving compensation for land left in Palestine, purchase of land held by large owners, costs of resettlement of peasants, and cost of irrigation schemes and other large-scale operations necessary to make large-scale settlement possible in poor Arab countries.”
The publication is considered here as typical inasmuch as it tries to defend a theory gaining ground in Bonn circles and expressed by the Chancellor himself, who spoke of a special German “moral commitment” toward the Palestinians.