tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV May 7, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT
♪ hello and a very warm welcome indeed to "quardiga." this week, the focus is on relationships between germany and israel. uniquely important and sensitive, those ties are currently being put to the test after a recent diplomatic clash between israeli leader benjamin netanyahu and germany's foreign minister. chancellor angela merkel, for is aart, insisted israel fundamental tenet for her government, as she put it. there are issues with israel's
ongoing occupation of palestinian territory. meanwhile, the questions are being asked about the future of the teen of-state solution to the middle eastern conflict. germany and israel -- a frayed relationship? that's what we're discussing on "quadriga" today. ,et me begin with adania shibli who says the presence of the extreme right in the middle east government finally makes a shift in german politics necessary. we are also joined by george -- bys on shani rosanes george abela -- by deutsche shani rosanes.
and our other guest argues the german israeli relationship has never been easy, not only because of the lack of understanding but the lack of empathy between the two sides. give us the bigger picture -- how uniquely important are the relations between israel and the germans? >> there's a long history and a history where i would always say it would be good if there would be more understanding, more questioning than ready-made answers, especially when it comes down to the complicated conflict that we have seen and observed over decades already, but i would agree, by now, there is a strong fundamental -- peter: you say there is a fundamental lack of empathy and understanding. sylke: there is, because the differences in the world israelis and germans or palestinians, for this matter, is really fundamental.
germans like to think they live in a world, at least recently, -- at least until recently, that is post national, post religious . we do not have much to do with our military. we would like to be pacifist, and we do not have conversation with religion anymore. national.not be post nationalism and patriotism is strong. it can certainly not be post militaristic and inherently dangerous environment. it is sometimes really difficult to yourself in different shoes. peter: what do you say to that from the israeli perspective? shani: i think it's true that israel is definitely in a completely different situation than germans. i think when we talk about german-israeli relations, there is a unique factor that is different than, obviously,
relations with americans or french or danes or anyone else, and that card constantly being played kind of distorts relationships in a way on both sides, for better and worse. i think it sheltered israel many years from real criticism. i know americans were criticized for that a lot, and you hear more and more voices on the left talking about the need to the open card israel has in germany, but at the same time, i think it also -- for israelis, there was also a lack true attempt to understand or its motives or what it is doing in this very ,articular relationship and why and maybe feeling we can do whatever we want because we will always have germany's back. this is very, very particular
connection that these countries has. peter: a special relationship between germany and israel. what does it mean to you, if anything? adania: drying on what -- shani says, it has always been there that they are being supported by germany it the u.s., and now i think is more on the side of the israeli government in terms of how germany is interacting with the israeli government, which i think is a shift in a global context of their political relation toward israel. for instance, steinmeyer used to meet these groups that now have created the crisis, and the israeli government has not processed that. i think the shift is happening in that sense important, also to put pressure on the israeli government to shift its policies
towards occupation, towards the two of-state solution, etc. peter: tell us a little bit about this recent spat between the foreign minister and the benjamin prime minister -- the israeli prime minister. what really happened? allow me to be a bit of an observer. my impression was that both had kind of an interest to at least not deescalate. as was said before, these groups have been met many, many times before, and this was the first visit as the foreign minister. usually very well behaved and you put the prime minister first and then meet all the others. my impression was both sides were for different reasons .unning out of patience germans had the feeling that netanyahu was stretching their patience quite a bit, and i disagree.
the germans have been really criticizing as well for the last years. if you look to german media, there is criticism of germany. germany was clear about we do want a 2-8 solution and we are not very amused by your settlement building, and if you get used to angela merkel's very understated tone, then there is much clarity, so now they get into the situation where they weically get the message don't want you to build these, and the israelis say we have had it and let's not deescalate. subtle -- let's not deescalate. sylke: you can on purpose escalate things, which i do not think was meant. reader: they were pushing the envelope. -- peter: they were pushing the envelope? sylke: absolutely. it was connected with the occupation but not so much about the occupation this time.
it was much more about ngo positive with the effect of the occupation, mainly on israeli society and an israeli government that is trying to undermine this part of civil society with an ngo law, etc., etc. i think --shani: i think it is mostly about politics. this was a clear case for both parties, the germans and israeli parties, because netanyahu was and still is using the human rights organizations -- he could outlaw them if he wanted, but he does not do that because it serves a good purpose. it helps him portray a facade of an open democracy to the world, which he desperately needs, and it helps him because he can use those organizations to rally his base on the right. because the biggest competition he has his from the right, not the left, in his own government. and then the foreign minister in germany is new, but it is
election year. he knows he has nothing to lose. in a way, as much as this might be an indicator for a shift that i think many people are wishing for in german-israeli relations, i hope i will not be accused of being too cynical, i think this was a game that both sides were very happy to play. it was a win-win situation for it is actually positive in a sense that both sides knew they can play the game without jeopardizing too much because there is a very solid race. he does notine is see any reason why this institution jeopardized -- sylke: merkel supported him. i'm not so very sure really agree with your argument that on the german side, this is so much about election campaigning already. there are lots of things in the next election campaign specifically that will be new and have not been part of the election campaigns. i would say that still most of
the politicians are careful enough not to get the israelis into the election because it always gets out of control. it always spins in two directions you do not want. it always gets into a situation where you have to do crisis management. it is really you want to have this, you can have this. you want to tell us what to do? we're not going to do what you want to do because we've been running out of patience for a long time and we will not let you tell us who we are going to be. a simple statement, and i do not think this is really a major crisis. there is noni: doubt the foundation is quite solid. israelii think with policy, it is to the inside and outside at the same time. there has been a lot of pressure within israeli society with the question of funding, and a think there is an attempt to also isolate them.
it is also a question of how netanyahu is facing critique from inside society to show that .e is actually more right-wing i think it is a gesture to make this point, compared to the past when it was not an issue, also kind of showing it is easier to show it with germany that you are being against us and to highlight this problem, when i think germany is trying also to be a leader in politics or presenting itself as a leader in european politics. after the u.s. elections, where trump is not being seen any longer as a person who would prefer the tune of-state solution, which is an important solution, kind of stating he will not enforce any solution on anybody.
if the one state solution will be there, he will support it, and i think european countries are opposing it because they know a one-state solution would mean a continuation of the occupation in a different formula. it is not exactly a big crisis, but it is one more step towards articulating a european position in my view. peter: before we move on, we will take a quick wake and get some images to our viewers so they can keep up. the foreign minister in israel was snubbed by benjamin netanyahu -- at least that's how it was widely reported -- and if that came as entirely a surprise is a good question because he had his own stratagem in all of this. let's just get some images and see where we go next. foreign minister gabriel
really that surprised that prime minister netanyahu canceled the meeting. decision, but we are not going to let ourselves be pushed around because of domestic israeli politics. >> his position is unclear to westafter he visited the bank city of hebron in 2012, he set on facebook there is no rule of law there and palestinians are living in an apartheid state and it's completely unacceptable. gabriel was one of the first foreign politicians to visit afterisrael's archenemy, tehran agreed to a deal that would limit its nuclear program. gabriel pascoe -- are his comments just poor diplomacy or do they signal a new direction in german policy on israel? peter: i wonder to what extent you would say that gabriel's view is quite harsh, despite the
fact that he views himself as very much a friend of israel? to what extent do they represent a deeper, substantial strand of opinion here, in germany, public opinion? he is not the first german politician who has been speaking harshly about israel. i think personally the apartheid metaphor or parallel is ahis torical. you can say a lot of things reallyebron which is a horrible place, but apartheid is probably not the right word. a horrible discussion about when ahmidt was comparing it to halfhearted fascist in the 1950's. we had german commentators speaking very honestly about germany. every time we speak about 180-degree turn in the way politicians speak about israel, we have to go back -- very
unfortunately, there had an insensitive wordings about israel. you can voice criticism in different ways. you do not have to always use words. really somebody who is anti-israel? i would not think so. visit and iran is often quoted, but it happened in a totally different context. i do not see him as very keen to make business with the mullahs because it is violating human rights but it happened in the context of a deal where getting back into a business relationship was part of the deal, so he was basically fulfilling that. apartheid was really a misplaced thing to say -- peter: but it would not go down well in israel. sylke: of course not, because this has been such a metaphor for something else. lot for propaganda. israel is doing a lot of things racism, ofit is
course, in israeli society. nobody would deny that, but the occupation is a political problem, not a problem of racism. gabrieluld not say that is symbolic of a climate shift in german politics. peter: how much sympathy do you, shani rosanes, have four israelis? many are angered when germans come to israel and meet with ngo's like the ones he was meeting with, that the israeli government brands as traders to israel. shani: i personally have very little sense of the. it is something that is just an automated response. anything related to human rights organizations, specifically these two, but the left-wing of israel is always criticized. the very has mastered strict division he does between us and then where us is a very
closed circle of only right-wing believers and supporters and the rest of the world come the rest of the leaders, thinkers, academic people within israel are just not -- almost not legitimate and their opinions are not legitimate. peter: but netanyahu wins elections. shani: he does. sylke: coalitions rather than elections. shani: sometimes yes, and part of a very troubling trend in israel, what is happening to public discourse and human rights, press rights, and so on, but it helps to remember that like usmuch of israelis and them, the whole world is position, butd of they also like being liked. they also like having friends and being supported. easily.it very differently, they are in different circumstances. it's very interesting
because we were talking about palestine, israel, but what is happening lately, and i trust what you say about this, it's , but there iseans this kind of wish to be part of the region, and i think you also could sense it in the 1990's, how this was a moment of high health and wishes, but there has not onlyeat shift within political opinion and shift to the right, but i think the practices of the occupation shifted and created a whole separation on the ground between palestinians and israelis. before, there was this possibility of mixing, but now for palestinians, where talking about a full generation that they will meet at checkpoints and for an israeli to meet the
palestinian it is kind of situation, confrontation or resistance, so this created a lot of friction but i think cause also a move to the right in relation to israeli society but also palestinians, kind of wishing what home do you want to be like, by those right next to you or the whole international community? i think this has -- the pressure for the israeli government is not lying with the palestinians or what the left and, but with what the international community is thinking. it is such a step meeting these groups, giving them legitimacy, and also having fun for them. peter: interesting, too, when you talk about what the world community things.
benjamin netanyahu said he wants israel to be proud and assertive, which is pretty much par for the course, but he also said something more significant politically -- he says he views israel as a rising world power. sylke: in certain sectors, you could say israel is a rising world power, particularly in i.t. and security. you would be amazed how often you hear people from the smaller i.t. community here or from the armed forces who speak about countless troubles to israel to study what they do in the i.t. sector on the economic side or seven security. you would be amazed when it comes to research, biotech, whatever, this huge foundation of daily contact, but that is not sufficient for foreign policy. it's not sufficient if you need partners in the world, and that is something i think netanyahu strategically get totally wrong.
he thinks he can play fool with obama, which he did for a long time, and now he puts his faith in donald trump, and now they are trying to recalibrate relations with moscow, and i strategically think it is not very clever and intelligent to kind of anger one country within europe which is not very toward israel for all the right and also some wrong reasons. that's not a very clever move. fascinating stuff, but we're running out of time. we're talking about israel's leadership, and it's fascinating that wanting to be an empire. sylke: a very small empire. shani: yes. there's always this attempt to deny the conflict or the occupation. we might have very impressive
high tech things, but this will not solve the reality of new -- millions of palestinians stuck in borders. you cannot distract the world from this. peter: what would or could resolve the situation? shani: oh, wow. peter: i want to know. shani rosanes is going to give me a blueprint now. shani: i will tell you it has got to come from the outside. peter: trunk says he is going to do things different e-trunk -- trump says he is going to do things different. shani: well, good luck. sylke: i think not from the outside is a very important point that is made here. these two had to carry and agree to whatever they put out. it is really kind of an absurd situation about this conflict, that basically teach side knows what it should look like at the
end if it is to be viable. the way that is for emotional, political, economic, whatever reason obviously very difficult and people cannot be pushed into peace to have to agree to this. , if the israeli side is more powerful, i think it is in their hands to come and decide, but this is a great effort. to say yes at some point even if it is not 100% perfect? actually, it is very clear, and the minute you understand there is a possibility there, like many resolutions -- sylke: conflict perceived, especially for those of have to live in it, but the absurd part of the situation is there are ideas that have been worked on.
the way there is so inordinately difficult. many players have to do it. peter: we've been talking about relations between germany and israel. we began with the german foreign minister. the german president, largely ceremonial, but a very important political role, is going to israel. what advice would you give to him? what should he do while he is very? remain presidential, you know? don't fall into the trap, do not play those games. he is there for a reason. just stay focused on your goal. anythingthink there is a shift happening in the relations, for better or worse, you know? it's just about trying not to ruin anything. old tensions, new
tensions? sylke: i would be interested to hear what these the two had to say. adania: i would tell him to become familiar with the situation, get closer to knowing reality if this is going to be influential in terms of political decisions. thank you for being with us. great stuff. thank you. if you have enjoyed the program as much as i have, do come back next week to "quadriga." for now, bye-bye and cheers.
>> this is a production of china central television america. >> a barrier is something that can keep people apart. it can prevent communication or even progress in one's life, but breaking barriers is often where growth happens. this week on "full frame," we talk with those who are breaking barriers and taboos in the world of arts and culture, from embracing creative expression new to their society or building awareness around issues people just don't want to talk about. i'm mike walter coming to you from the heart of new york city's times square. let's take it full frame.
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