2 Presidents visit Israel – The world reveals its two faces
Visit by the Germany President
Thanks to the previous visit of his political party colleague and successor to the office of Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel - which went badly out of control - Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier faced a delicate situation during his first state visit to Israel since taking office. Mr. Steinmeier landed at Ben Gurion Airport in the beginning of May. On the one hand, the German side wanted to calm the waves while at the same time holding their line and making it clear to the Israelis that they would not march to Netanyahu’s drum. That’s how they see it in Berlin.
For that reason, thank God, there were no further provocations. There were no additional meetings with „Breaking the Silence“ and „B’Tselem“. However, in his speech to students at the Hebrew University and the ceremony of laying a wreath at Jasser Arafat’s grave, Steinmeier built two clearly opposing poles into his program. The Germans worked to restore balance. The greatest goal seemed to be to avoid a further debacle – using the policy of small pin pricks as the tool of choice in order to still not appear to be giving in too much.