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Hamas endorses German FM's comments slamming Israeli 'apartheid' in Hebron

le chef de la diplomatie allemande Sigmar Gabriel le 20 juillet 2017 lors d'une conférence de presse à Berlin
Kay Nietfeld (dpa/AFP)
The FM has a history of aligning with left-wing Israeli organizations

A tweet by Hamas quoting Germany's Foreign Minister is causing outrage among Israel supporters. “German FM describes the Israeli occupation as an apartheid regime like the one was in South Africa,” read the tweet posted by the terror organization Sunday on its English-language Twitter page, alongside a photo of Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

In a 2012 post on Facebook, following his visit to Israel, Gabriel wrote “I was just in Hebron. There’s a legal vacuum there for Palestinians. This is an apartheid regime, for which there is no justification.” The post drew much criticism from pro-Israel activists at the time.

But the minister reiterated the statement recently, during a public event in Berlin two weeks ago. During a panel discussion attended by Muslim migrants, activists and participants of the Kreuzberg Initiative Against Anti-Semitism, held in the midst of anti-Israel protests in the streets of the German capital, Gabriel was confronted by a German-Palestinian activist claiming that the German debate on anti-Semitism does not leave room for any critique of Israel's policies.

“You are wrong,” minister Gabriel then responded, reminding of his own harsh criticism and the comparison he made after visiting Hebron.

On Sunday, screen captures of the Hamas tweet spread on social media among groups of German Israel supporters, slamming Gabriel and expressing outrage over the fact that the words of their foreign minister are now being utilized by a terror organization for propaganda purposes.

“Congrats Sigmar Gabriel for having such friends—a totally reliable way of living the German 'reason of state' of protecting Israel,” wrote Daniel Killy of the German-Israeli Society (DIG). “As a Social Democrat I'm going bright red with shame!”

The German foreign minister has a history of aligning with Israel's left and even found himself in a diplomatic feud with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after he scheduled a meeting with representatives of the Breaking the Silence and B'Tselem, two leftist Israeli organizations which protests Israel's policies in the West Bank, during a trip to Israel.

Netanyahu then canceled a planned meeting with Gabriel over the envoy's refusal to cancel the visit to left-wing NGOs.

“Imagine if foreign diplomats visiting the United States of Britain met with NGOs that call American or British soldiers war criminals,” a statement released from Netanyahu's bureau said in April. “Leaders of those countries would surely not accept this. Prime Minister Netanyahu's policy is not to meet foreign visitors who on diplomatic trips to Israel meet with groups that slander IDF soldiers as war criminals.”


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