Ne­tanyahu can­cels meet­ing with Ger­man for­eign min­is­ter

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

JERUSALEM | Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu abruptly can­celed talks Tues­day with the Ger­man for­eign min­is­ter over the vis­it­ing diplo­mat’s plans to sit down with an Is­raeli rights group, spark­ing a rare diplo­matic feud with one of Is­rael’s clos­est and most im­por­tant al­lies.

The last-minute can­cel­la­tion cast a cloud over a visit that had been meant to draw attention to years of friend­ship be­tween the two coun­tries and co­in­cided with Is­rael’s an­nual Holo­caust me­mo­rial day.

Mr. Ne­tanyahu’s of­fice said the prime min­is­ter wouldn’t meet with for­eign dig­ni­taries who meet “groups that slan­der [Is­raeli] sol­diers as war crim­i­nals,” re­fer­ring to Break­ing the Si­lence, a whistle­blower group crit­i­cal of Is­raeli mil­i­tary ac­tions in the West Bank.

Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter Sig­mar Gabriel said Mr. Ne­tanyahu’s can­cel­la­tion was “rel­a­tively sur­pris­ing” since such meet­ings were “rather stan­dard” for for­eign diplo­mats.

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