Germany's abstention from the UN vote on the status of the Palestinian Authority angered Israel and raised questions about whether Germany's once almost unconditional support is changing.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained about Germany’s “lack of consistency” toward the Middle East peace process and attacked Chancellor Merkel personally: “I am disappointed in her,” he told German newspaper Die Welt before he went to meet the chancellor for dinner on Wednesday.
“Israel’s security is part of Germany’s raison d’etre,” said Merkel today.
Taking responsibility for the Holocaust has turned Germany into one of the strongest allies of the Jewish state, next to the United States.
But the German public seems to be saying it is not so sure it wants to support Israel as unconditionally as it has in the past. Any criticism, perceived or intended, from Germany is a big deal, as Berlin has solidly backed Israel in recent decades, leaving observers wondering if that support is changing now.
Even though it is not officially confirmed, Germany’s UN vote is widely seen here as a reaction to Israel’s latest settlement announcement, which the Germans got wind of early.