Show Israel support by breaking Iran ties, German Jewish leader says


BERLIN (JTA) — Germany should break off diplomatic relations with Iran to demonstrate its stated support for Israel, Germany’s top Jewish leader said.

Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, reportedly made the remarks Oct. 23 at the Israel Congress in Frankfurt. Billed as Europe’s largest pro-Israel event, the second annual congress drew some 3,000 participants, according to organizer Sacha Stawski, head of the I Like Israel association and the driving force behind the Honestly Concerned pro-Israel watchdog organization.

"Solidarity with Israel is especially important today," Graumann said at the event, according to a report on the blog of the Israeli Embassy in Germany. "Israel is still fighting for its existence, and our values bind us to Israel, but it’s not enough to say so. Germany should cut off diplomatic and economic relations with the Iranian regime.

"Iran is responsible for the terror attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel. It is unconscionable to continue carrying on business with this regime."

Approximately 200 pro-Israel organizations, towns and communities that twin with Israeli counterparts were represented at the event, which took place under the patronage of the Central Council, the Israeli Embassy and SIXT, a German auto-rental company. Melody Sucharewicz, a German-born Israeli who was the 2006 winner of the Israeli reality show "The Ambassador," served as the event’s master of ceremonies.

Guest of honor at the event was Danny Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister. Also participating were Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Yoram Ben-Zeev; Frankfurt City Treasurer Uwe Becker;  Minister of the Interior for the State of Hesse Boris Rhein;  president of the German Football Association Theo Zwanziger; and Regine Sixt, vice president of marketing for the Sixt company.

Meanwhile, Yediot Achronot reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is considering postponing the sale of a sixth Dolphin class German submarine to Israel out of frustration over Israel’s recently announced plans to construct 1,100 new homes in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Israel already has received three of the submarines; two others are under construction.

In response to the report, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israeli Army Radio that the anger of European leaders was "not justified."

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