Reported by Gilad Atzmon
Haaretz reported recently that a spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy in Berlin told Israeli journalists it was ‘in the country’s interest to maintain German guilt about the Holocaust, and that it isn’t seeking full normalization of relations between the governments.’
Embassy spokeswoman Adi Farjon made the comments in a closed briefing session with Israeli journalists at the embassy.
The Israeli ambassador, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, was present for some of the briefing, as were other embassy workers who don’t speak Hebrew. One journalist commented, “It was so awkward. We couldn’t believe our ears. We’re sitting there eating peanuts, and behind the spokeswoman there are two German women sitting there who don’t understand a word of Hebrew – and the embassy staff is telling us they’re working to preserve the German guilt feelings and that Israel has no interest in normalization of relations between the two countries.”
Talking to Haaretz, Farjon made the usual distinction between Jews and ‘goyim.’ “It was an off-the-record conversation, a briefing talk. The way I speak with Israeli journalists is a little different. These things aren’t intended to get out.”
A spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry defended Farjon’s comments throwing a new light on the notion of ‘Journalistic ethics’. “It’s regrettable that someone decided to violate the rules of journalistic ethics and take selected statements out of their broader context and distort them in a way that alters their meaning.”
It was Abba Eban who back in the 1950s coined the priceless phrase ‘there is no business like shoah business.’ Six decades later, Israel’s attitude to Germany and Germans is fully consistent with Eban’s ‘business plan.’