Article by Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier marking the German‑Israeli intergovernmental consultations, published in the BILD newspaper on 16 February 2016
Prime Minister Netanyahu is visiting Berlin with his cabinet today. Germany and Israel have a very special relationship. I am thankful for the miraculous fact that after the Holocaust we have been able to build this unique bond of friendship and cooperation, imbued with familiarity and steeped in trust.
Part of a trust‑based relationship is maintaining open dialogue. Many Israelis are concerned about anti‑Semitism rising in Europe, and we take that concern very seriously. We have zero tolerance for anti‑Semitism and xenophobia. And this is not just something for the police and judiciary to deal with – we all have to play our part.
Looking in the other direction, we are concerned that a peaceful future seems a more and more distant hope for Israelis and Palestinians. Far too many people have fallen victim to reprehensible terrorism on the streets of Israel. The situation in the Palestinian territories also cannot continue indefinitely. However hard it may be, the only hope of peace lies in seriously negotiating for a fair two‑state solution.
Israel has fought hard to become what it is today: for its democracy, its vocal civil society, its cultural diversity. These are the riches that make Israel so special.