A top German Jewish leader questioned his government’s commitment to Israel following “scandalous” remarks in Berlin by Iran’s former foreign minister.
Stephan Kramer, the general secretary of the Central Council of Jews, said in a statement released Friday that the remarks made June 25 by Mohammad Javad Ardashir Larijani were “not only scandalous,” but because the event was supported in part with federal funding, “called into question the government’s official declarations of solidarity with Israel.”
Larijani, speaking at Berlin’s Third Transatlantic Conference on missile defense systems, said the “Zionist project” should be canceled and that “the Zionist plan has failed miserably and has only caused terrible damage to the region.”
Larijani also told Israeli journalists that “denial of the Holocaust in the Muslim world has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. And President Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad has never denied the Holocaust.” Ahmadinedjad has questioned the Holocaust in highly publicized remarks and invited well-known Holocaust deniers to a program on the subject in Tehran in 2006.
Last week’s conference was presented by the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt and hosted by the Berlin Representation of the State of Hessen, located within sight of Germany’s national Holocaust memorial. According to the institute’s Web site, the event was sponsored by the German government and the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, which is affiliated with the Social Democratic Party. “The German government is currying favor with the Mullah-Regime,” said Kramer, “by offering an uncritical platform for them to spread their inhuman propaganda and incitement, to say nothing of the eroding credibility of German foreign policy.” It was unclear from the Internet invitation which German ministry or ministries supported the event. According to the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot, Germany’s foreign ministry said the event was funded by the finance ministry.