Anti-Israel Sentiment Grows in Germany
Israeli Foreign Ministry officials are concerned about increasing anti-Israel sentiment in Germany.
While German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed her country's strong support for the Jewish state, public opinion against Israel is beginning to sway government officials.
Israeli officials fear that the public's anti-Israel mood will take its toll on Germany's willingness to stand behind Israel, especially with the increasing threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.
"The Germans are filled with prejudice against Israel. Our public relations delegates are pulling their hair out in frustration when they meet young and old people there," a senior official told YNet news.
"More than once, they hear remarks like, 'That's not your country,' 'It's a shame that a Jewish country was established on stolen land,' 'Israel is treating the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews,' We are equally responsible for the Palestinians as we are for the Jews,'" he said.
During a recent meeting of the Israel-Germany Friendship Youth Forum, a number of participants disagreed with isolating Iran despite the Islamic Republic's nuclear arms program, reported a staff member at the Israeli Embassy in Berlin.
Germany does more business with Iran than any other European country, with projected exports of 4 billion euros in 2008.