German minister reiterates anti-Israel criticism
Lebanon-Israel-Germany, Politics, 8/31/2006
Unfazed by the ongoing pressure tactics of Germany's powerful Zionist lobby, German Development Aid Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul reiterated her criticism of Israel's brutal military onslaught in Lebanon, DPA reported today.
"I also have, like all aid organizations and the UN, called the attention to all the cluster bombs in south Lebanon...," Wieczorek-Zeul told the German ZDF television station.
These bombs endanger the rebuilding of Lebanon as well as the lives of women and children in the war-ravaged country, added the minister, stressing that cluster bombs should be outlawed.
Wieczorek-Zeul caused a stir on Germany's political scene after she called for a UN probe of Israel's misuse of cluster bombs against Lebanese civilians.
The head of Germany's influential Central Council of Jews, Charlotte Knobloch accused Wieczorek-Zeul of anti-semitism and being biased against Israel.
Knobloch held the minister responsible for creating what she described as an "anti-Jewish mood."
It is worth noting that many Jewish organizations and Jews call non-Jews who disagree with them as anti-Semitic.
In a hastily-arranged meeting on yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks with the heads of the Central Council of Jews in a bid to defuse the growing crisis.
The chancellor had earlier distanced herself from Wieczorek-Zeul's anti-Israel remarks, stating this was not the official position of the German government.
While Merkel has repeatedly expressed her unconditional support for Israel, a clear majority of Germans have a very critical view of Israel.
Meatime, Germany's Central Council of Jews removed the head of of the Jewish community in the north German city of Luebeck from office for strongly criticizing the 34-day Israeli war in Lebanon, the Hamburg-based daily Die Welt reported today.
Rolf Verleger who was chairman of the Jewish community in Luebeck, was dismissed from office after writing an open letter to the Central Council of Jews in which he lashed out at Israel's brutal and murderous policies in Lebanon and the Palestinian-run areas.
In the letter, Verleger lambasted Israel for its target killings, the collective punishment and discriminatory policies of other people and the massive bombing of civilian areas in Lebanon.
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