Senior German lawmaker wants NATO deployed in Israel: "NATO must go to Israel"

Space Wars

November 19, 2003

NATO troops, possibly including a German contingent, should be deployed to Israel to keep the peace in the Middle East, the chairman of the German parliament's defence committee said Wednesday.

"The situation in the Middle East is so messed up that the two sides can't manage to agree on their own any more," Reinhold Robbe, a member of the ruling Social Democrats, told the online edition of the news magazine Der Spiegel.

"Both sides need a perspective, a military presence."

As US troops were already heavily engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, the only military option left was NATO, he added, pointing to the success of the alliance's past mission in Macedonia.

"NATO must go to Israel. It will happen, whether certain people in Germany like it or not."

Robbe also said a German participation could not be ruled out, despite its Nazi past and role in the slaughter of millions of Jews.

"Considering our history, we would have to examine very carefully what role the Germany army would play in an allied mission," he said.

Robbe said Israeli criticism of EU policy in the Middle East was justified in part.

"There is a phalanx of people in the EU who still think (Palestinian leader Yasser) Arafat is a great man. These people must think again."