January 20, 2010

AND REALLY...:

Embracing Israel Costs Merkel Clout ( JUDY DEMPSEY, 1/21/10, NY Times)

[M]rs. Merkel’s policy is inconsistent. When she was first elected chancellor in late 2005, she placed much emphasis on human rights and freedom. She criticized China’s human rights policy and made the highly controversial decision to meet the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, in the Chancellery in 2007. China warned of dire consequences, such as severing lucrative trade contracts. Apart from the cancellation of a few high-level meetings, little happened.

When Mrs. Merkel met nongovernmental organizations that Vladimir V. Putin had tried to ban, the relationship between Berlin and Moscow became frosty. That was all.

But as far as the Middle East is concerned, Mrs. Merkel has paid scant attention to the miserable living conditions of Palestinians in Gaza as well as Israel’s settlements and detention policies. German legislators and analysts say that of all chancellors of the postwar period, Mrs. Merkel is considered the most pro-Israeli. “The chancellor is particularly close to Israel,” said one conservative legislator, Ruprecht Polenz, who is chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Parliament.

So close that Mrs. Merkel was muted in her criticism of Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip in late 2008, which killed many civilians. In contrast, when the Iranian authorities used force last year against the opposition, which was claiming that the presidential elections had been rigged, Mrs. Merkel took an admirable stance, becoming one of the few leaders to publicly criticize the regime, even calling for new elections.


...what's the difference between the PRC, Putin, Ahmedinejad and Israel?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 20, 2010 1:59 PM
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