Disappointment Over Upgrade of Palestinian Mission in Berlin
B’nai B’rith International sent a letter to German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle expressing “deep concern over the German government’s decision to upgrade the Palestinian diplomatic presence in Berlin from a delegation to a mission headed by an ambassador,” and asked the German government to reconsider its decision.
The letter continues: “Actions by the international community that confer the privileges of statehood upon the Palestinians before they have negotiated a peace agreement with Israel will only undermine stability in the region and further delay the day when Palestinian statehood will become a reality…
“The move is particularly unsettling in light of Germany’s longstanding role as Israel’s closest ally in Europe. B’nai B’rith views Germany’s leadership as indispensable to ensuring Israel’s security and affirming the crucial importance of peace through direct negotiations. We feel strongly that this latest move will hinder those objectives.”
The Palestinians have been working to garner international recognition to help their bid for U.N. membership as a sovereign state. By doing so, they are attempting to delegitimize Israel and are displaying a blatant disregard for direct negotiations.
“Germany has been a strong friend of Israel, but this is a discouraging development that sends the wrong message: that the Palestinians can gain international recognition without sitting down at the negotiating table,” said B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs.
“This move demonstrates mounting Palestinian resolve to disregard the necessity of direct talks,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin. “Upgrading the Palestinian representation in Berlin is a boost to the Palestinians but bypasses discussion of important issues such as borders and security.”