Hamas slams German parliament for endorsing Israel as Jewish state
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Hamas slams German parliament for endorsing Israel as Jewish state

Bundestag pro-Israel resolution, passed with overwhelming majority, 'destabilizes the region and the world,' terror group says

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Palestinians wave Hamas flags as they celebrate the prisoner swap deal reached between Israel and Hamas in East Jerusalem. Oct 18, 2011.(Kobi Gideon / Flash90)
Palestinians wave Hamas flags as they celebrate the prisoner swap deal reached between Israel and Hamas in East Jerusalem. Oct 18, 2011.(Kobi Gideon / Flash90)

Hamas on Sunday “strongly condemned” Germany’s parliament for a resolution passed last week in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday that calls for the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and urges the government in Berlin to confront groups opposed to Israel’s existence.

In a lengthy statement, the terror group rebuked the German lawmakers for failing to criticize Israel’s alleged crimes against the Palestinian people.

On Thursday, the Bundestag passed with an overwhelming majority a five-page resolution hailing the various aspects of bilateral ties, including Berlin’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. All parties, including two opposition lists, voted in favor of the text, except one faction on the far left, which abstained.

“At the time the Palestinians expected a strong support from the Federal Republic of Germany on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the Bundestag did not mention the seven-decade long aggression of the Israeli occupation on our people, as well as it did not denounce the Israeli racist and fascist policies,” Hamas’s statement read.

The Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe,” refers to Israel’s creation in 1948 and its consequences for the local Palestinian population, including the creation of hundreds of thousands of refugees.

The Hamas statements cited a long list of Palestinians grievances, including accusing Israel of building settlements, arresting children, “Judaizing” Jerusalem and imposing an “unjust siege” on the Gaza Strip.

“You, the Bundestag, described the Israeli occupation as a ‘state that embraces western European values.’ Are these values accept, for example, with the killing of dozens and wounding of thousands of peaceful demonstrators, most of them are children, who to demand their right to a decent life and return to their homes?” the Hamas statements read, referring to the so-called March of Return protests that have taken place the Gaza border for the last few weeks.

The Bundestag resolution “destabilizes the region and the world,” Hamas charged, giving Israel “a green light to continue its aggression against our people.”

Hamas, which is recognized by the European Union as a terrorist organization, said it was wondering “whether accepting a Jewish state is in line with the democratic values on which Germany was founded after [World War II], which basically do not consider differences between citizens on the basis of race, colour or religion.”

The statement went on to demand that the Bundestag annul its resolution, adding that “Europe, and foremost Germany, is a major cause” of the Palestinian people’s “decades of suffering.”

An illustrative photo of German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech at the Bundestag on April 27, 2017 in Berlin.(AFP/Odd Andersen)

The resolution was jointly proposed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’s Social Democrats and Liberals, a small opposition party. It also got “yes” votes from the Greens and the far-right Alternative for Germany party, both of which are in the opposition. Only the far-left Die Linke party abstained.

“The unique relations between Germany and Israel are and remain one of the essential pillars of German foreign and security policy,” the resolution stated.

The Bundestag resolution “decidedly rejected” the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, and said that whoever wants to live in Germany, “even if only temporarily,” must recognize Israel’s right to exist — likely a reference to suspected imported anti-Semitism by more than a million refugees from Muslim countries who entered Germany in 2015.

“Israel’s right to exist and security are for us non-negotiable,” the resolution read, reiterating Merkel’s statement, made in 2008 in the Knesset, that Israel’s security is part of Germany’s “raison d’etre.”

The Bundestag called upon the government in Berlin to “advocate for a solution of the Middle East conflict based on the two-state solution — a Jewish and democratic State of Israel in recognized and permanently secured borders and an independent, democratic, viable Palestinian state, living side by side and peace and security.”

It also urged the government to “oppose the forces in the Near and Middle East that question Israel’s right to exist with sometimes aggressive rhetoric or openly threaten Israel’s security.”

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