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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Germans 'feel shame' over Holocaust

Germans 'feel shame' over Holocaust



Angela Merkel delivered her speech
to the Knesset in German [EPA]


Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, has told Israel's parliament that her countrymen are "filled with shame" over the Holocaust of the Jews.

In a speech delivered in German, Merkel pledged on Tuesday that her country would stand with Israel against any threats, particularly from Iran.


"The mass murder of six million Jews, carried out in the name of Germany, has brought indescribable suffering to the Jewish people, Europe and the entire world," Merkel said.

"The Shoah fills us Germans with shame," she said, using the Hebrew word for the Holocaust.


"I bow before the victims. I bow before the survivors and before all those who helped them survive."

Limited boycott

Merkel was the first German Chancellor to address the Knesset and about 1,000 guests, including Holocaust survivors, Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders, former Israeli presidents and residents of Israeli towns targeted by rocket fire from Gaza, gathered to listen to her.

However, several Israeli politicians stayed away from the event, including one who said he could not bear to hear the language spoken by the murderers of his grandparents.

Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland in Jerusalem said that the speech was important and symbolic given that it came from a German leader as Israel prepares for its 60th anniversary.

Germany is a key trading partner and one of Israel's staunchest allies, avoiding public criticism of the Jewish state even at times when others take Israel to task for its policies toward the Palestinians.

'True friend'

"Germany will never abandon Israel but will remain a true friend and partner," Merkel said on Tuesday.

She also promised to be vigilant about Iran's nuclear programme, saying that "if Iran were to obtain nuclear weapons, it would have disastrous consequences".

Tom Segev, an Israeli author who wrote a book on how the Holocaust has shaped his country, said: "It is quite extraordinary that she radiates so much friendship and support for the government of Israel.

"The public discourse in Germany is much more critical of Israel than she is. I don't really remember a time when Germany so wholeheartedly and uncritically stood by the government of Israel."

Merkel did not meet Palestinian leaders during her three-day visit to the region but during her speech called "clearly and unequivocally" for the Hamas movement to stop rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 01:15 PM
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 01:22 PM
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So I guess she didn't tell the old "how many Jews can you fit in a Volkswagen" joke.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 01:28 PM
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I am tired of hearing about Israel.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 02:03 PM
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My Jewish neighbor give me shit for driving a Mercedes. Yet, he drives a Toyota. The Germans and the Japanese both did some pretty bad stuff in WWII. WTF?

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 02:12 PM
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If only the Japs had some Jews to kill, he'd be driving a Yugo.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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