German Press Criticizes Merkel's Palestinian Snub

Papers praise leader's Holocaust treatment, but level accusations of bias
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2008 3:39 PM CDT
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, top left, receives a standing ovation after she addresses the Knesset, Israel's parliament during a special session of the Knesset in Jerusalem, Tuesday, March 18,...   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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(Newser) – The German press is praising Chancellor Angela Merkel’s historic visit to Israel and her diplomatic handling of the two countries' shared history, Der Spiegel reports. But Merkel has also been chastised by commentators who feel her focus on German-Israeli unity in remarks yesterday to Israel's parliament gives the impression of a German bias against the Palestinians.

  • “In her speech the Palestinians were hardly mentioned,” writes Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Merkel has to protect her independence and criticize Israel’s occupation and settlement polices. That is also part of friendship: telling the truth."
  • "She did not meet with a single Palestinian” writes Die Tageszeitung. “Merkel is acting even more one-sidedly than George W. Bush, who recently met with President Mahmoud Abbas as a matter of course."