Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives exclusive interview to German newspaper Bild, says "Israel is maligned day in, day out" • Netanyahu says Germany's support for Israel is "tangible" but that Israel has never asked other countries to defend it.
Western European countries including Germany have a distorted view of Israel and the threats its faces, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an exclusive interview with German newspaper Bild, excerpts of which were published on its website Tuesday.
"There is a vast misperception of Israel in Germany and in Western European society in general," Netanyahu told the newspaper after being confronted with statistics that show only 36 percent of Germans find Israel sympathetic, while only 21% believe Israel respects human rights.
"We are a vibrant democracy faced with Iran and its violent proxies, defending itself against thousands of rockets and Islamist convulsions all around us," Netanyahu continued. "It is the only democracy, the only beacon of freedom, of human rights in this region. How many Germans know there are over a million Arab citizens in Israel who enjoy full civic rights? ... Israel is maligned day in, day out, and this maligning filters into the public consciousness. That’s a general problem. But it is particularly unfortunate with Germany because of the unique relationship and the unique history [the two countries share]."
Netanyahu said that while it is unfortunate that "the slanders that were once reserved for the Jewish people are now directed at the state of the Jewish people," he believes Germany's commitment to Israel is "real and tangible."
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