Green Party Delegation in Israel

The Green Party, a minority opposition faction in the Bundestag with a record of hostility toward Israel, has sent a delegation to Israel for a five-day visit at the invitation of the Progressive List For Peace, a new coalition of Israeli Arabs and Jews that will participate in the Knesset elections next Monday.

The delegation was due in Israel today and will remain there until election day, July 23. A statement issued by the party here praised the Progressive List for Peace as an historic movement promoting Jewish-Arab understanding. Its platform calls for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside an Israel reduced to its pre-June, 1967 borders.

The Green delegation is headed by Otto Schily, a member of Parliament who practiced law before he entered politics. He is well known in West Germany for his defense of several members of German urban guerrilla movements when they were brought to trial.

The Green Party is composed largely of environmentalists and pacifists. Early in its career it helped circulate a calendar with anti-Semitic slogans. During the war in Lebanon party spokesmen publicly equated Israelis with Nazis. They also demanded that reparations monies paid to Jewish victims of Nazism be diverted to help Palestinians who suffered alleged Israeli “genocide.”

More recently, the party has backed away from such extreme positions and takes a more moderate line toward Israel.

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