(June 11, 2020 / JNS) Israeli Defense Minister and Vice Premier Benny Gantz told visiting German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday that the Peace to Prosperity Middle East peace plan, rolled out by President Trump in January, is “an historic opportunity that should be promoted responsibly and constructively, in dialogue with the American government and with various regional and global players.”
Gantz met with Maas in Jerusalem, during the latter’s lightning trip to the region, where he had come, in large part, to discuss Germany’s and the European Union’s concerns over Israel’s stated plan to begin applying Israeli sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria on July 1.
Following the meeting, Gantz tweeted, “I thanked [Maas] for his personal involvement in outlawing Hezbollah’s activities on German soil and for his active efforts to battle anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. I will do everything in my power to strengthen the cooperation with Germany, a true friend of Israel.”
Maas also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi. According to an official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, Maas asked Netanyahu about the Israeli government’s intentions regarding Trump’s peace plan. Netanyahu responded that Israel’s vital interests, including complete security control west of the Jordan River, must be included in any future agreement with the Palestinians. He also said that any realistic plan has to recognize the reality of Israeli settlement on the ground, and not foster the illusion of uprooting people from their homes.
In May, the German-Palestinian Steering Committee, chaired by Maas and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, released a joint statement that “noted with grave concern the agreement between coalition parties in Israel to advance plans for annexation of occupied Palestinian territories as stipulated in the Israeli coalition agreement signed on 20 April.”
After meeting with Israeli officials, Maas—whose country will assume the European Union Council presidency on July 1—stopped over in Jordan before returning to Germany.
At a joint press conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi in Amman on Wednesday, Maas said, “We are very worried about the repercussions of the annexation decision. We in the E.U. agree and are committed to the two-state solution and reject unilateral action and plans to annex.”
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.