Jewish leader accuses minister of anti-Semitism

30th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

30 August 2006, BERLIN - The leader of Germany's Jewish community was on Wednesday holding a hastily-arranged meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel after accusing a cabinet minister of anti-Semitism. Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Central Council of German Jews, has been angered over calls by Development Aid Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul for a United Nations probe into Israel's use of cluster bombs in military strikes on Lebanese and Hezbollah targets. Knobloch, who is a Holocaust survivor, has

30 August 2006

BERLIN - The leader of Germany's Jewish community was on Wednesday holding a hastily-arranged meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel after accusing a cabinet minister of anti-Semitism.

Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Central Council of German Jews, has been angered over calls by Development Aid Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul for a United Nations probe into Israel's use of cluster bombs in military strikes on Lebanese and Hezbollah targets.

Knobloch, who is a Holocaust survivor, has repeatedly complained about what she terms a growing "antagonism towards Israel and the Jews" in Germany.

In comments to Der Spiegel magazine's online edition, Knobloch blamed German politicians for supporting for such views and singled out Wieczorek-Zeul and Left Party leader Oskar Lafontaine.

"These people support the anti-mood against Jews in Germany," said Knobloch.

A clearly embarrassed Merkel told reporters the views expressed by her minister on Israel, cluster bombs, and the UN were private opinions and had not been cleared with the government.

Merkel leads the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party while Wieczorek-Zeul is a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who hails from the party's left-wing.

The number of Jews in Germany has increased to about 110,000, up from 30,000 in 1989, thanks mainly to immigration of Jews from the former East Bloc.

DPA

Subject: German news

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