Along with 13 other members of the United Nations Security Council â€“ that is everyone, discounting U.S. president Obama â€“ Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany voted in favor of a resolution deeming Jewish settlements outside of pre-1967 borders, illegal.
Germany historically has voted ‘nay’ or abstained from voting in any laws criticizing the Jewish State. Chairman of the German Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Ruprecht Polenz, told the New York Times’ Judy Dempsey:
â€œthe vote was highly unusualâ€¦It means that Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to explain to the Israeli government that with the extraordinary changes taking place across the Middle East, time is not on its side when it comes to resolving the conflict with the Palestiniansâ€¦”
Merkel’s calling Jewish settlements the true flashpoint of the conflict is a misnomer. The source of the conflict really goes back to the beginning of the 20th century; and some would argue it is really a metaphysical phenomenon, one that Germany knows better than anyone else in the world.
When Netanyahu caught wind of Merkel’s change of heart he furiously phoned the Chancellor to make clear his grievance. The conversation leaked to Haaretz:
Merkel replied to Bibbi’s complaint:
â€œHow dare you?â€
â€œYou are the one who has disappointed us. You havenâ€™t made a single step to advance peace.â€
Last year, the German Parliament unanimously passed a resolution criticizing the blockade of Gaza and Israelâ€™s storming of the Mavi Marmara.
Israeli and German relations are now the rockiest they have been in some 63 years.