Menu JTA Search

Israel, Germany Preparing for Genscher’s Visit to Israel June 2

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

Israeli and West German diplomats are seeking to create a warm atmosphere for the visit to Israel, on June 2, by Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher. The Israeli Ambassador to West Germany, Yitzhak Ben Ari, said in an interview published in the Frankfurter, Rundschau today that the visit would mark a positive shift in German-Israeli relations.

“The declarations made by both sides are very positive signals. We are again on the right track,” the Israeli envoy said. German diplomats matched Ben Ari’s friendly remarks by stating that Genscher intended to express “Germany’s admiration for the great military, psychological, economic and strategic concessions made by Israel in order to make peace with Egypt possible.” The reference was to Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai last April 25.

Ben Ari observed that while there are differences over how to achieve on overall settlement of the Arab-Israel conflict, “the aim of Bonn and Jerusalem was and remains the same — a just and lasting peace.

The envoy was critical, however, of West Germany’s support of the right of the Palestinians to self-determination. This was unacceptable to Israel, according to Ben Ari, because “it would lead to the creation of a second Palestinian state, while eliminating the only Jewish state existing.” The Israeli government contends that Jordan is in fact a “Palestinian state.”

Ben Ari cautioned Bonn on the issue of self-determination. “Pragmatically, if one applied the right of self-determination for all Germans today, that would lead to a third world war,” he claimed.

NEXT STORY