Posted Thursday, September 19, 2002

Quick navigation

Alphabetical index (text)   Index to the Traditional Enemies of Free Speech

I will continue to describe Israel as a war-mongering state as long as Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister, violates the Oslo peace treaty. -- Jürgen Möllemann
[image added by this website]


London, Thursday, September 19, 2002


Israel critic breaks national taboo

By Roger Boyes

GERMANY'S election campaign took a nasty twist yesterday when a senior politician from the Free Democratic Party attacked the Israeli Government and a leading member of the German Jewish community.

Jürgen Möllemann, deputy chairman of the Free Democrats, has already been in hot water for declaring that there should be no taboo on criticising Israel. His comments in May almost ripped apart his party, but also gave it a temporary boost in the opinion polls. Many German voters agree with Herr Möllemann.

Now Herr Möllemann has returned to the fray. At an election rally in Aachen he was applauded when he said:

"I will continue to describe Israel as a war-mongering state as long as Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister, violates the Oslo peace treaty."

No one, he said, would stop him, not even "the Friedmanns of this world". Michel Friedmann, a Christian Democrat who is also deputy leader of the Jewish community, is one of Herr Möllemann's most outspoken critics.

Schroeder, Spiegel, Friedmann etcFor the Free Democrats, the incident is profoundly embarrassing: the party regards itself as the kingmaker in a tight election, capable of a coalition with either the Social Democrats or the Christian Democrats. Only last week Gerhard Schröder (left, with Jewish community leaders) described Herr Möllemann as one of the sensible voices in the Free Democratic Party.

Herr Möllemann hatched the Free Democrat plan to declare 18 per cent support as its target. A liberal group appealing mainly to small businessmen and economic reformers, it rarely scores much more than 10 per cent. Both the phrasing and the timing - in the midst of a debate on whether Germany should fight Iraq -- have ensured that Herr Möllemann is being ostracised by the political establishment.

Paul Spiegel, the head of the Central Council of German Jews, said:

"Anyone who positions himself like this in the final stretch of an election campaign has disqualified himself from a democratic election."

Other Free Democrats, nervous that Herr Möllemann would deny their chance of power, distanced themselves. "An unbelievable error," Burkhard Hirsch said. "Not very sensible," Guido Westerwelle, the party leader, said.

Herr Möllemann chairs the German-Arab friendship society and has many contacts in the Middle East. He has visited Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader.

Related items on this website:

The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical
 Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

David Irving's ACTION REPORT

© Focal Point 2001 F Irving write to David Irving