German parliament chief: Israel has right to live without fear
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German parliament chief: Israel has right to live without fear

Addressing Knesset, Norbert Lammert urges ‘stable’ and ‘peaceful’ Palestinian state, condemns ‘shameful’ anti-Semitism

German Bundestag President Norbert Lammert (left) shakes hands with Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein at the Knesset in Jerusalem on Wednesday, June 24 2015. (Knesset)
German Bundestag President Norbert Lammert (left) shakes hands with Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein at the Knesset in Jerusalem on Wednesday, June 24 2015. (Knesset)

The president of the German Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, addressed the Knesset on Wednesday, telling lawmakers that Israel has the right to secure and internationally recognized borders, while urging the establishment of a peaceful and democratic Palestinian state.

“Israel has the same right as its neighbors to live in internationally recognized borders, free of fear, terror and violence,” Lammert said. “In the same manner, we cannot ignore the fact that Israel is also responsible for the situation in the Palestinian territories.”

Lammert said only a regional initiative for Palestinian statehood would guarantee Israel’s security and a lasting peace deal, and maintained Israel’s right to exist was not up for debate.

“I can confirm: Many issues are up for negotiation, but not Israel’s right to exist. On the other hand, there is a need to solve the conflict with the Palestinians,” he said.

Lammert urged a “stable Palestinian state, peaceful, and based on democratic principles,” which he said would “answer Israel’s security needs long-term.”

The Bundestag president, who was in Israel to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries, said the relationship between Jerusalem and Berlin was a “historical miracle.”

“This miracle started thanks to the decisive vision of two veteran and experienced leaders, Konrad Adenauer and David Ben Gurion,” said Lammert.

“We are especially grateful for the fact that after the Nazi dictatorship and the Holocaust, the Jews can again build their lives in Germany. This is the finest declaration of trust granted to the second German democracy,” he added.

He also condemned the recent “shameful” displays of anti-Semitism in Germany.

“The fact that there are still anti-Semitic outbursts all over Europe is therefore all the more shameful and we must fight these outbursts decisively. Because of this we intend to organize next year in Berlin the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combatting Anti-Semitism (ICCA), because we know the implications of anti-Semitism in Germany were worse than anywhere else,” Lammert said.

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