A turning point in Israeli-German relations

German public opinion of Israel is slumping ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit there. There is growing public and political disillusionment over Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian neighbors.

Merkel and her 15 cabinet ministers will participate in the largest-ever bilateral consultations on Monday and will kick off official preparations for next year’s celebrations commemorating 50 years since diplomatic relations between the two countries were established.

However, the visit has been overshadowed by reports of the worst crisis in diplomatic ties since Merkel took office almost 10 years ago. A recent BBC poll showed that only 14 percent of Germans today had a positive view of Israel.

“I think German public opinion is actually worse than what’s shown in the polls because Germans don’t publicly state their opinion, they play it down,” said Israel’s former ambassador to Germany and the European Union, Avi Primor. Continue reading