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German Chancellor’s Top Mideast Advisor Indicates Support for Goldstone Report

7:05 AM, Dec 3, 2010 • By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
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The German equivalent of Charles W. Freeman Jr. has surfaced in a WikiLeaks cable from the U.S. embassy in Berlin. His name is Christoph Heusgen and he is a senior adviser on the Mideast to German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Heusgen urged the U.S. to heavily tone down its opposition to the U.N.’s anti-Israel Goldstone Report in order to force Israel to freeze settlement construction, according to a cable from the U.S. embassy in Berlin published by WikiLeaks on Wednesday.

By outing himself as a supporter of the viciously anti-Israel Goldstone Report, Merkel’s top point man has revealed the emptiness of Merkel’s often repeated declarations to the U.S. Congress and the Israeli Knesset that the Jewish state’s security is “non-negotiable” for Germany.

The embassy said in the November 2009 cable:

[National Security Adviser Christoph] Heusgen said that Germany “perceives this differently” and thought Netanyahu needed “to do more” in order bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table. With Palestinians in East Jerusalem getting notices from Israeli authorities that their houses will be destroyed, it would be ‘suicide’ for President Abbas to move under the current circumstances.

Heusgen said he could not fathom why Netanyahu did not understand this. He suggested pressuring Netanyahu by linking favorable UNSC [Security Council] treatment of the Goldstone Report to Israel committing to a complete stop in settlement activity.

Heusgen conveyed his remarks in a November 10 meeting with U.S. assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon and with U.S. ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy.

According to the cable, “Gordon said that making a direct linkage between the two would almost certainly be counterproductive, but agreed that it was worth pointing out to the Israelis that their policy on settlements was making it difficult for their friends to hold the line in the UNSC. Heusgen said this certainly would be an issue when Netanyahu and ‘half of his cabinet’ visit Berlin on November 30 for bilateral government consultations.”

All of this helps to explain why Chancellor Merkel’s pro-Israel rhetoric does not amount to an actual pro-Israel agenda.

Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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