German FDP (Re: Forwarded from Einde O'Callaghan)

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at
Thu Apr 25 04:04:48 MDT 2002

This is somewhat related to the FDP and very telling about the Greens:

>From today's FAZ at

German Foreign Minister Accuses FDP of 'Anti-Israeli Positions'
F.A.Z. BERLIN/DÜSSELDORF. German Foreign Minister Joseph (Joschka) Fischer
of Alliance 90/The Greens blasted the Free Democratic Party on Wednesday for
admitting Jamal Karsli, a former Green representative, to its parliamentary
group in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
"I never thought the party of Ignaz Bubis would become a catch basin for
anti-Israeli positions," Mr. Fischer said in Berlin.
The late Mr. Bubis served as president of the Central Council of Jews in
Germany and was active in the FDP.
Mr. Karsli, a native of Syria, said he had left the Greens because he
disagreed with what he called the party's pro-Israel slant on Middle East
policy. He said he planned to bolster the critical stance toward Israel
taken by the FDP's chairman in North Rhine-Westphalia, Jürgen Möllemann.
In the North Rhine-Westphalia state capital of Düsseldorf, Mr. Karsli said
that a press statement he had written in the name of the Greens after the
Israeli army launched its military action in Palestinian areas, in which he
said the Israeli army "uses Nazi methods" was "a slip" that would not be
For his part, Mr. Möllemann appeared to question the sincerity of Mr.
Fischer's comments, saying, "The Greens seem to have discovered the uproar
over this wording only yesterday." Mr. Möllemann described Mr. Karsli's
position as "fundamentally sensible," and said his own criticisms were not
anti-Israeli but directed -- in line with United Nations Security Council
resolutions -- against the government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Jewish organizations in Germany have sharply protested Mr. Karsli's
comparison, as well as earlier pro-Palestinian remarks made by Mr.
Möllemann, who is president of the German-Arab Society.
North Rhine-Westphalia's environment minister, Bärbel Höhn of the Greens,
said she was "deeply disappointed" by Mr. Karsli's decision to leave the
party. He specialized in immigration issues.
With Mr. Karsli's switch, the parliamentary majority held by North
Rhine-Westphalia's governing coalition of the Social Democratic Party and
the Greens has now shrunk to five votes. But as Ms. Höhn put it, "Slim
majorities increase discipline."
Mr. Möllemann said that Mr. Karsli, a 45-year-old interpreter, would "serve
the approximately 3.5 million Muslims in North Rhine-Westphalia," adding
that 800,000 of them were registered voters. He said the newcomer's
application for admission to the FDP had been approved by the party's state
parliamentary group with one abstention.
Despite his sharp criticism of the FDP and his party's intense rivalry with
it to become Germany's unquestioned No. 3 party, Mr. Fischer, the Greens'
standard-bearer in national elections set for Sept. 22, said there would be
no "electoral labeling" between the rival political camps.
He said that practice was essentially "dead" in Germany.

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