November 23rd, 2009

Secretary General Stephan J. Kramer on Foreign Minister Westerwelle's inaugural visit to Israel

Berlin – The Secretary General of the Central Council of Jews in Germany , Stephan J. Kramer, is sceptical about the inaugural visit to Israel of the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. In an interview with the newspaper Passauer Neue Presse, Kramer said the visit was but the first step on a long road for the Free Democratic Party (FDP). "The anti-Semitism debate of 2002 and the scandal caused by Jürgen W. Möllemann have not been forgotten. Far too late did Westerwelle disassociate himself from Möllemann's campaign. Initially, he even banked on its success. This left a bitter taste. The Möllemann scandal is a large mortgage loan. It is still hanging like the sword of Damocles over Guido Westerwelle and the FDP."

With regard to the debate on sanctions against Iran , Kramer said: "The FDP has to decide between the economic interests of Germany and Israel 's right to exist and security." He also said that the new Foreign Minister had to do a lot of catching up concerning his relationship with Israel beyond the day-to-day political business. Kramer pointed out that Westerwelle's last visit to Israel was seven years ago and commented, with regard to the Foreign Minister's current visit: "This is an attempt to generate positive PR through symbols and gestures. What I miss here, is concrete substance. One swallow does not make a summer." (23.11.2009)