Knesset Speaker to his German counterpart regarding Iran: “Israel is prepared that once again the world will sit on the fence”. Bavarian Prime Minister and President of the Bundesrat Horst Seehofer: “Nuclear weapons in Iranian hands are not an option”
Publicized: September 11, 2012
Rivlin addressed the German initiative for marking agricultural products from the settlements: “Many Palestinian workers are employed in Israel; marking products will exacerbate the economic crisis in the Palestinian Authority.”
Knesset Speaker Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin met with the President of the German upper house, Mr. Horst Zyahufr as part of his official visit to Israel to discuss political issues and cooperation between Israel and Germany.
On the Iranian issue Rivlin said to his colleague that “the Iranian nuclear program threatens our existence,” and that “there is no attempt by the Israeli government to be overly determined or aggressive. Recent developments indicate that we must be prepared that this time the world will sit on the fence once again. It is the duty of the Prime Minister to prepare for a situation in which the world will stand idly and do nothing against a threat on Israel and the world. Past experience shows that we must take our fate in our hands and not rely on anyone to do the job for us.”
Rivlin added: ”It seems that even when the free world declares that Iran should not have nuclear weapons, it’s only lip service. The struggle being held today must be more determined and unequivocal. History should not prove once again that the world remains on the fence.”
Rivlin referred to the initiative led by Germany to mark agricultural products originating in the settlements, and said: ”This move will cause damage to Israelis and Palestinians alike. Many Palestinians work in agriculture for Israeli employers in the Jordan Valley and in Judea and Samaria, and this process would be further exacerbated the economic crisis in the Palestinian Authority, a major crisis as it is.” Rivlin added: ”Every step like that keeps the sides from the negotiating table, and the German government should work to cancel it.”
On the issue of circumcision, Rivlin said that the Knesset thinks there is no need to intervene, seeing how the German government is handling the case. ”I heard the Chancellor`s speech about the law which prohibits the existence of circumcision, and I think that no Jewish or Israeli could have treated the matter as well as she did.”
The German Upper House President thanked his host, and said that ”the relations between Israel and Germany are very friendly. We support Israel`s desire for peace and life within secure borders, and we will continue our support to strengthen the security of the State of Israel. ”
In his remarks on Iran, Seehofer noted that ”Germany and Israel have a common interest in preventing the continued development of the nuclear program and thus nuclear weapons in Iranian hands are not an option. This is our approach and I believe we will reach a diplomatic solution to this problem.” About the German boycott on products originating in the settlements, Seehofer said that he studied the issue in recent days and plans to clarify the matter with the German Agriculture Minister.
On the issue of circumcision Seehofer said that his position is to allow freedom of religion. ”The issue is being treated by the government and I hope that over the coming months there will be a clear position on the matter.”
Mr. Horst Seehofer (63) holds positions as the Bavarian Prime Minister for the past four years, as President of the Bundesrat (the parliamentary body representing the 16 states of Germany at the federal level) and heads the CSU party. Formerly he held positions as the Federal Minister of Agriculture and the Federal Health Minister. Seehofer initiated and sponsored the opening of the Israeli Consulate in Munich one year ago and will participate in the 40th memorial ceremony for the athletes who were murdered at the Munich Olympics.
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