April 25, 2017
In Blog News
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled his meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Tuesday after the latter refused Netanyahu’s demand that he not meet with two leftwing groups Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem.
According to Der Spiegel, the meeting was canceled by Netanyahu because the German minister wanted “to meet with critics of the Israeli government.”
Sources within the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that the meeting, set for 5 P.M., will not take place.
Earlier Tuesday the Gabriel reposnded to Netanyahu’s ultimatum, saying it would be “regrettable” if the latter decides to cancel their meeting because of his meeting with representatives of left-wing Israeli organizations.
Gabriel, who arrived in Israel on Monday, told German TV network ZDF that his planned meetings with representatives of B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence are “totally normal.”
Gabriel said he had only learned of Netanyahu’s threat from the media and noted it would be “inconceivable” for the German minister to cancel a meeting with the Israeli leader if the latter met with figures critical of the German government. He nevertheless said “it wouldn’t be a catastrophe” if their meeting is canceled, and that it wouldn’t change his ties with Israel.
“You never get the full picture of any state in the world if you just meet with figures in government ministries,” he said.
Gabriel later met with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah and told reporters he hopes he will be able to meet with both Netanyahu and the left-wing groups on Tuesday.
Senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said Netanyahu issued an ultimatum to Gabriel, saying that if the latter does not cancel his meetings with the left-wing groups, the prime minister won’t meet with him. The ultimatum was first reported by Israel Channel 2 News.