Green Party Embroiled in Controversy

The parliamentary faction of the Green Party is embroiled in a bitter argument over the withholding of several “strategy papers” by a self-declared “anti-Zionist” delegation of Greens that visited Israel last month.

Juergen Reents, a Bundestag member who headed the delegation, yesterday rejected pressure from party colleagues to produce the documents for an internal debate over Green policy toward the Middle East, its allegedly anti-Israel tendencies and overtones of anti-Semitism.

He complained that Israeli journalists were notified in advance of the trip that the Bundestag Green faction was going to debate the Middle East trip. He accused elements in the faction of trying to undermine the work of his delegation. According to Reents, a “strategy paper” of the delegation leaked to the press last month was just one of several working papers prepared for the trip.

TRYING TO DEFUSE CRITICISM

He appeared to be trying to defuse criticism of the anti-Semitic tone of the leaked paper. Jo Mueller, another Bundestag member, persisted in his demand to see the alleged strategy papers. He told Reents that the delegation did much damage to the party by saying publicly that it was anti-Zionist and anti-Israel, though not anti-Semitic.

Mueller said the party’s center was beginning to take a critical look at the one-sidedness of the Bundestag faction in the Arab-Israeli conflict. He added that charges that the Green Party harbored anti-Semitic tendencies must be discussed seriously.

Several other deputies insisted that Reents produce his group’s papers and called the secrecy strange. Reents said he will prepare a document for the faction’s next meeting which will deal with Israel.

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