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German Chancellor Angela Merkel's upcoming address to the Israeli parliament has inflamed passions here, with one lawmaker threatening Wednesday to storm out of the session.
Arye Eldad said he was furious Merkel has been allowed to address the Knesset at all because it is a privilege reserved for heads of state — presidents and monarchs. Allowing her to speak in German, instead of the more neutral English, makes it even more painful, he said.
"German was the last language my grandmother and grandfather heard before they were murdered. The execution orders were given in German ... I plan to stand up and leave" before she speaks, Eldad said.
However, she "also asks for understanding that she, as a representative of the German government and the German chancellor, speaks in her mother tongue, in German," Wilhelm said.
Merkel is not the first German dignitary to address Knesset in German.
In 2000, then-President Johannes Rau broke that barrier, delivering an emotional appeal "for forgiveness for what Germans have done."
Current German President Horst Koehler expressed "shame and humility" toward Holocaust victims in a February 2005 Knesset speech marking 40 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The music of Richard Wagner, whose works were played in the Nazi death camps, is barred from broadcast on state-run Israel Radio and informally banned in Israeli concert halls.
Germany is one of Israel's staunchest allies in Europe and a leading trade partner. It has paid an estimated $25 billion in reparations to Israeli Holocaust survivors, and provided more than $700 million in goods and services to the Israeli government.
Arye Eldad was mad at Merkel because heads of state are supposed to be the only ones to address the Parliament. What does "Chancellor" mean to you? PRESIDENT/PM dumbass.
Originally posted by Skyfloating
infinite: The German "President" has no powers whatsoever. The Chancellor (Merkel) is the highest rank.
Originally posted by neformore
Just seems petty to me.
I understand the sensitivity of the Israeli's, but its time to build some bridges. Quite simply you cannot blame the current German generation for the actions of their predecessors.
Originally posted by Britguy
They have to keep blaming in order to extort more money. Keep the planet on a permanent guilt trip with a Holocost museum in every town (paid for by the taxpayers of course) and skew everything to portray themselves as eternal victims.