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" A Headline We Never Thought to See : German Arms Embargo on Israel"

Paris, 28 October

Der Spiegel reported in July that the German Defence Ministry had contracted to supply Israel with two more Dolphin-class military submarines. Equipped with both German and Israeli technology, based on the IDF' Navy' s unique experience, the transaction was to receive a Berlin subsidy of $ 155 million.

The deal has, reportedly, been scuttled to pressure Jerusalem into further concessions to the Palestinians and to scold P.M. Netanyahu for construction in Gilo - a district of municipal Jerusalem. 

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, suggested that "a boycott of Germany for building in Prenzlauer Berg - a district of former Communist East Berlin - would be equally absurd." 

Samuels noted that the timing of the leak coincided with yesterday's scheduled meeting in Berlin of the government's coalition partner Free Democrats (FDP) spokesman, Rainer Stinner, with Iranian Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs, Mohammed Roza Farzin." 

"Could the submarine incident scapegoating Israel be a cover for German violation of UN and EU sanctions against Iran ? 

Could the potential bonanza of Iranian trade outweigh the loss of German jobs incurred by the cancellation of the submarine deal with Israel?", surmised Samuels. 

"The Simon Wiesenthal Centre vigorously urges Chancellor Merkel to unambiguously dispel a headline this generation never thought to see :'German Arms Embargo on Israel'",concluded Samuels.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is an international Jewish human rights organization with a worldwide membership of 440,000. Established in 1977, with headquarters in Los Angeles, it draws the lessons of the Holocaust to the analysis of contemporary issues of prejudice and discrimination. The Centre is an NGO in consultative status to the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.

For further information, please contact Dr Shimon Samuels at +33.609.7701.58