Monday, May 29, 2017

German FM hosts Iranian official calling for Israel's destruction

Via The Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel welcomed Monday an Iranian religious leader who called for the elimination of Israel at last year’s al-Quds rally in Berlin. 
The appearance of Hamidreza Torabi, at a ministry event promoting religious peace, puts the spotlight back on Gabriel, who has been engulfed in a series of anti-Israel scandals over the years.
The Israeli Embassy in Germany told The Jerusalem Post on Friday: “Any person who incites for violence has no place in a dialogue that uses religions as a bedrock to bring peace, tolerance and understanding between people, nations and religions. Moreover, there is no doubt that a person who incites for violence against Israel and Jews in the name of God, in the city of Berlin, has no place in such a dialogue, certainly not one organized by the German government.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, head of the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post: “It is incomprehensible that an event sponsored by the Foreign Ministry invites a person who called for the destruction of the State of Israel.” (...) 
According to Stop the Bomb, Gabriel invited Iran’s ambassador to Germany, Ali Majedi, and Seyed Abdolhassan Navab, president of the University of Religions and Denominations. “The university is an Islamist academy that adheres to totalitarian and antisemitic Iranian ideology,” the NGO said. 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined last month to meet with Gabriel if the foreign minister went ahead with his meeting with Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence. Gabriel met with the group, which uses anonymous sources to criticize Israel’s army, prompting the prime minister to pull the plug on his meeting with Germany’s top diplomat. 
Gabriel previously called Israel an “apartheid regime” and belittled the Holocaust in an April opinion piece in the Franfurter Rundschau. 
Gabriel is one of Europe’s leading advocates of boosting trade with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Days after world powers reached a nuclear accord with Iran’s regime in July 2015, he traveled with a delegation of leading German business leaders to Tehran.
In 2008, Gabriel’s Social Democratic Party colleague and current president of the Federal Republic, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (then-foreign minister), sponsored an event at the Foreign Ministry to address “common solutions” in the Middle East. Iran’s former deputy foreign minister, Muhammad Javad Ardashir Larijani, called at the event for the “Zionist project” to be “canceled” and said that Israel “has failed miserably and has only caused terrible damage to the region.” Larijani also engaged in a form of Holocaust denial at the parley.
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