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Green Leader Forced to Resign Because of Criticism of Israel

February 25, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A leader of Germany’s Green Party said he was forced to resign because he criticized Israel.

Hans-Christian Strobele, who was the party’s chief spokesman, told a Berlin radio interviewer Friday that because of strong internal reactions he could no longer credibly represent Green policies to the public.

A newspaper interview had quoted Strobele as saying Scud missile attacks on Israel are “the logical, nearly unavoidable consequences of Israel’s policies” in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, whose administration is “in principle the same unlawful act as the occupation of Kuwait” by Iraq.

The interview was published Feb. 20 while Strobele was visiting Israel as a member of a Green delegation.

As a result, the German delegation cut its visit short and canceled a news conference after receiving threats that it would be disrupted by force.

A spokeswoman for the Greens told Israeli army radio that the party opposed the force of arms in principle but was not hostile toward Israel. She admitted that Strobele’s remarks gave the opposite impression and said he had to be talked to.

The German Embassy in Tel Aviv refused to comment on the affair on the grounds that it was not involved in arranging the Greens’ visit.

The Green Party, a coalition of environmentalists and pacifists, has frequently criticized Israeli policies but also contains a pro-Israel faction.

The party was ousted from the Bundestag in the national elections last December but is still represented in several state legislatures.

JTA Jerusalem correspondent Gil Sedan contributed to this report.)

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