German op-ed: Israel cannot be a Jewish state

( A German newspaper, Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (Neue OZ), published an op-ed last week titled “Israel as Jewish state: Unacceptable demand" that has sparked outrage in the German Jewish community. Author Franziska Kückmann compared the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by the Palestinians with the creation of either a theocracy like the Islamic Republic of Iran or an “apartheid state” where non-Jews would become second-class citizens.

 A regional paper based in the German city of Osnabrück published an editorial claiming Israel cannot be a Jewish state. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

"Both versions are incompatible with [Israel's] claim to be a modern state, and may not be accepted by the world community. As long as Israel provides such unreasonable conditions, [its] assertion to be interested in a two-state solution is not worth nothing," Kückmann wrote, as translated from German by

A representative from Israel’s embassy in Germany told the Jerusalem Post, “Germany more than all other states should be aware of the necessity of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. Every attempt to define Israel as a two peoples’ state—and not to be defined as a Jewish state—misjudges the reality and damages the chances for success in the peace process. Israel is a democratic, pluralistic state, in which all citizens are treated equally, independent of religion, sex and nationality.”

“Israel is committed to the two-state solution. Our goal is two national states for two peoples. Israel recognizes the right of the Palestinians to their own state and expects, in return, that the Palestinians will recognize Israel as a Jewish state," the representative added.

Michael Grünberg, head of the Jewish community in the city of Osnabrück, said the article is a “new form of anti-Semitism” and that the author “denies Jews the right to their own state."

Posted on January 6, 2014 .