Arab Demands for Sanctions Against Israel Gaining Support Among Some German Politicians

Demands for sanctions against Israel by Arab Ambassadors here have drawn a favorable response from some West German politicians, particularly in the Bundestag faction of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) the junior partner in the Social Democratic Party (SPD) coalition government.

FDP Deputy Mandred Vorher has called for a freeze on economic assistance to Israel as long as Israeli troops remain on Lebanese soil. West Germany provides 140 million Marks to Israel annually for specific development projects, a sum repayable as long-term loans.

Juorgen Moellemann, the FDP’s foreign policy spokesman, was quoted in the conservative newspaper Neoe Osnabruecker Zeitung yesterday as urging West Europe and the U.S. to “exert massive pressure on Israel to change its aggressive policies.” He said he had in mind “the immediate withdrawal by the Western world of all financial and military aid for Israel until Israel becomes more reasonable.” He called for a Middle East peace conference involving the U.S., the Soviet Union, all countries of the region and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

GENSCHER REVERSES HIS EARLIER POSITION

While attacking the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, none of these political figures have mentioned the Syrian and PLO presence on Lebanese soil. In fact, Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, who headed a delegation to Cairo last week, reportedly has reversed his earlier position against re-establishing the status quo ante in Lebanon.

According to a German State Television report, West Germany is insisting on the evacuation of all foreign forces from Lebanon. But asked if this specifically included the PLO, Genscher replied that the principle applied to all foreign forces except those accepted by a legitimate Lebanese government.

West Germany and Egypt apparently agreed, during Genscher’s visit, that the PLO should not be forced to leave west Beirut before it achieved a major political breakthrough. But there was no mention in any reports of making a PLO evacuation dependent upon political gains or recognition.

NEXT STORY