Merkel squirms during Netanyahu’s love song to ‘special relationship’

on 37 Comments

I stumbled across this little gem of a video last night. Merkel’s expression is priceless, as Netanyahu offers this lovesong:

I want to thank you for your warm reception to me… I know and I heard it again yesterday an today how important to you is the relationship between Israel and Germany. You said, it’s not just another relationship, it’s a special relationship, and it’s deeply felt that you deeply feel it, and I appreciate it greatly. I appreciate the time and energy that you’re devoting to strengthening this relationship. And I want to take this opportunity to make it absolutely clear that I have no doubt whatsoever about the depth of your commitment to Israel’s security and to the well-being of the Jewish state.

 New York Times:

Asked whether Israel had “lost Europe,” Mr. Netanyahu said that was not the case, but he acknowledged, “There is obviously a difference of view in Europe on the issue of the settlements.”

Ms. Merkel concurred. “On the question of settlements, we agreed that we do not agree,” she said.


Any expectations that Mr. Netanyahu would try to defuse the situation or at least play it down during his visit to Berlin were dashed Thursday when he brushed aside criticism.


Referring to the “special relationship” between the two countries, Mr. Netanyahu said to Ms. Merkel, “I want to take this opportunity to make it absolutely clear that I have no doubt whatsoever about the depth of your commitment to Israel’s security and to the well-being of the Jewish state.”

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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37 Responses

  1. AhVee
    December 8, 2012, 12:06 pm

    “I want to take this opportunity to make it absolutely clear that I have no doubt whatsoever about the depth of your commitment to Israel’s security and to the well-being of the Jewish state.”

    I love the underhanded commanding tone apparent in his declaration of love, Bibi should consider having that patented. If he expands on that, it could become something akin to the Edgar Wallace’ Plot Wheel, Bibi potboiler edition.
    At any rate, he has little to fear from Merkel.

  2. Ramzi Jaber
    December 8, 2012, 12:32 pm

    Time for Germans to throw Merkel out. When will the guilt stop???? BTW, Merkel can feel guilty for ever but she must NOT make us Palestinians pay for her guilt.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 8, 2012, 1:14 pm

      i don’t know that i would describe her expression as one of guilt Ramzi. not sure what i would call it actually, there’s almost a disdainful quality about it.

      curious what others think.

      • Ramzi Jaber
        December 8, 2012, 1:33 pm

        Looked at it again. You’re right Annie, more disdain than guilt. Hope this disdain will spurn courageous, long-overdue action by Merkel……….

      • ToivoS
        December 8, 2012, 3:01 pm

        I didn’t see disdain, but you are right it was not a welcome expression. Pained perhaps, with a touch of exasperation.

      • Bandolero
        December 9, 2012, 4:15 am

        As far as I know Merkel’s face: he’s almost done. Mutti is not hiding her feelings, and I’ve seen that before.

        Before there were Kohl, Stoiber, Koch, Wulff, Sarkozy, Berlusconi, and many more – they are all done, and they all laughed at her when she made that expression.

        The zionist lobby in Germany is extraodinarily strong, but I think, Mutti is the right person to take on that challenge.

      • Antidote
        December 10, 2012, 6:47 pm

        “Before there were Kohl, Stoiber, Koch, Wulff, Sarkozy, Berlusconi, and many more – they are all done, and they all laughed at her when she made that expression.”

        she does seem to suffer much more than usual from having to deal with Netanyahu. Maybe Westerwelle had just slipped her a note saying that Berlusconi, also known as the ‘Mummy’, is back?

      • NickJOCW
        December 9, 2012, 4:22 am

        A marked absence of euphoria?

      • Stephen Shenfield
        December 9, 2012, 6:38 am

        Seems to me she just looks miserable, all the way through.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      December 8, 2012, 1:52 pm

      Exactly. Most Germans weren’t alive at the time of the Holocaust (neither were most Israelis). Why should vicarious guilt stop them from doing the decent thing re Palestine?

      But of course, the problem is that there is no incentive for Germany – or any other EU country – to step away from the pro-Israel fawning of the EU. As far as Merkel et al are concerned, that way lies only harassment (from the US and Israel), insipid accusations of ‘antisemitism’ , with no real rewards to balance it out. Obviously, working towards justice for Palestine isn’t a reward for pragmatic, ‘here and now’ European politicians.

  3. HarryLaw
    December 8, 2012, 1:29 pm

    “I want to take this opportunity to make it absolutely clear that I have no doubt whatsoever about the depth of your commitment to Israel’s security and to the well-being of the Jewish state.” to which he should have added “including Judea and Samaria in the Land of Israel which has existed for four thousand years”

    • Ramzi Jaber
      December 8, 2012, 1:56 pm

      Not sure about what you mean by “Land of Israel”. You should read “The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland” by Shlomo Sand.

      Also note that Christians and Moslems and Jews are RELIGIONS (not nationalities or states or political entities) that descended from the ARABS, with Arabs being one of the largest Semitic tribes who claim Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ismail (Ishmael) as their ancestors.

      So if you’re using “Land of Israel”, ” Judea and Samaria”, and “Jewish State” to establish the legitimacy of the so-called current state of israel, then you cannot avoid including Palestinians as an integral part of that state!

      • Inanna
        December 8, 2012, 8:33 pm

        More correctly, Christians, Muslims and Jews are religions that descended from Semites, of whom the Arabs are one of the largest tribes.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 8, 2012, 9:15 pm

        ha! harry was mocking netanyahu throwing in some extra zio-speak.

        ramzi, for future reference, if you click on a posters name you can access their comment feed, gives one a little heads up on their ptv.

      • Ramzi Jaber
        December 9, 2012, 9:03 am

        Thanks for the tip Annie, I’ll certainly do that moving forward!

        Good one HarryLaw ;-)

  4. pabelmont
    December 8, 2012, 1:32 pm

    It’s not what the gentiles say, but what the Jews (sorry, Israelis) do, that matters. ditto facial expressions. Until EU does more than talk, it is all somewhat less than a hill of beans.

    Disagree on the settlements issue? Disagree as in “talk”? And what “issue”? Whether they are illegal? Whether they should all be torn down? Whether they should — from here on out — not be augmented? “Issue”? Whether they should be talked about disdainfully, and with bad faces?

    Or whether the EU should get tough on Israel — to any purpose including a purpose relating to settlements?

  5. amigo
    December 8, 2012, 2:07 pm

    I see disgust in her facial expressions.

    She is thinking she would rather be anywhere besides listening to this lying toad,s patronising claptrap.

  6. Koshiro
    December 8, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Meh. Merkel has two facial expressions: Sour-dour and inane smile. I wouldn’t read too much into the fact that she opted for the former on this occasion.

    In any case, Merkel remain’s Netanyahu’s lapdog as far as all relevant questions are concerned. Most of the the German political and intellectual elite share this abject cowardice when it comes to Israel – and are increasingly out of sync with the general public.

  7. Klaus Bloemker
    December 8, 2012, 3:12 pm

    Here are a some headlines by German papers on the visit:

    – “Two friends with two different opinions”
    – “A dinner for two recalcitrant friends”
    – “A friendship that can withstand a lot”
    – “Netanyahu and Merkel spit on settlements”
    – “Netanyahu ‘disappointed’ about Merkel”
    – “Netanyahu’s paranoia. He who only knows enemies.”

    The TV and radio news primarily mentioned the settlement disagreement.

    Merkel seems to feel very uncomfortable in the video. She usually looks as if she was chewing a lemon but normally she has an air of being in control. She feels, she isn’t with Netanyahu talking. – I think she somewhat regrets her statement in front of the Knesset that “Israel’s security is Germany’s reason of state (part of Germany’s raison d’etre)” because Netanyahu is nailing her down on that.

  8. piotr
    December 8, 2012, 3:23 pm

    I was thinking that Merkel is looking around, thinking if she needs a sickbag or not. At least Germans seem to be polite and well behaved. Czechs are more given to sarkasm. One reader comment I understood was “Does he comes with thanks, or also with orders and instructions?” (I know Polish which is somewhat similar, think about verboten being similar to forbidden, braun to brown and weiss to white, but schwartz is not similar to black).

  9. Jeff Klein
    December 8, 2012, 4:34 pm

    Looked like a marriage counseling session where the wife has already decided to call it quits but agreed to go through the motions — and the husband is on speed. . .

  10. HarryLaw
    December 8, 2012, 4:52 pm

    Ramzi Jaber, Most countries of the world recognise Israel within the territorial borders and limits of the green line of 1967, as I do, and as presumably Merkel does, Natanyahu and fellow Zionists do not, that is the question which European leaders in their obsequiousness dare not ask because all their trade deals and agreements are based on a lie, Natanyahu believes those agreements have been concluded with the state of Israel, including Judea and Samaria or in his parlance “The Land of Israel” The US/Europe have got to stop living this lie, because in the end it will blow up in their faces.

    • Ramzi Jaber
      December 8, 2012, 5:23 pm

      Thanks for clarifying HarryLaw. Glad that you believe in the 67 green line as the delimiter. Peace and security to all.

  11. eljay
    December 8, 2012, 5:14 pm

    I thought she did a great job of maintaining an impassive facial impression. :-|

    No surprise, given the incredible restraint she demonstrated when, a few years back, Dumbya took it upon himself to give her an improptu shoulder massage

    • Annie Robbins
      December 10, 2012, 12:51 am

      perfect! of course i immediately recalled her response to bush’s ‘massage’, but what i liked best about your comment was the face ” :-| ”

      thanks for the laugh eljay.

      • eljay
        December 10, 2012, 8:53 am

        >> thanks for the laugh eljay.

        Happy to provide it. :-)

        Oh, and I just noticed that I wrote “impassive facial impression”. Don’t know why I wrote that instead of ” … expression”.

        (I wish there was a simple emoticon for facepalm… ;-) )

  12. Basilio
    December 8, 2012, 7:48 pm

    It’s hard for the woman to hide that she has disgust for the man and Israel’s behavior.

  13. Annie Robbins
    December 8, 2012, 9:19 pm

    i like her transparency

  14. Accentitude
    December 9, 2012, 3:58 am

    It’s almost 2013, are finished with exploiting World War 2 and the holocaust?

    • Stephen Shenfield
      December 9, 2012, 6:41 am

      No, but with the passage of generations it will get harder and harder. That’s why I suspect that the dates will soon be pushed forward by a decade or so.

  15. Erasmus
    December 9, 2012, 9:14 am

    Re: Merkel’s Sauerkraut-Face

    Agreed – her face and Sauerkraut mimick is great.

    Apart from that, for me her facial expression is just to show the German public, that she is rrreally angry with NTY and that she has thoroughly given NTY a brush…… in private and this remains of course, as always so far, without any tangible political and/or economic consequences.
    Her Sauerkraut-face is just a show only.
    The reason being is that Merkel knows that roughly 70-80 % of Germans DISAPPROVE of her handling the I-P-conflict sooo one-sidedly.

  16. NickJOCW
    December 9, 2012, 9:39 am

    Until EU does more than talk, it is all somewhat less than a hill of beans.

    pabelmont, Most Europeans don’t really give two figs about Israel, they neither love nor hate it, neither like nor dislike it. It is simply not an issue in their lives anymore than Iceland or Monaco. Nor would you find any remarkable affection for Palestinians. Inhuman behaviour motivates people to bestir themselves but, as your Zionist apologists so often point out, there’s an awful lot of that around elsewhere, and while in specific debate about IP raising that amounts to dialectical infelicity, it is perfectly relevant on a broader scale. In Europe there is not the same level of press misrepresentation that exists in the US so much as a lower level of interest in what goes on in Palestine; there has, for instance, been more coverage of the recent suicide of a nurse at the Edward VII hospital who was pranked by an Australian radio team than the whole of the most recent Israeli attack on Gaza.

    Politicians are not motivated by morals, at best they are pragmatists, at worst sheep. The recent European support and abstentions at the UN Palestinian status vote were not the result of moral sensitivity. What were they then? Small demonstrations in front of Israeli embassies are gathering momentum, the more serious papers are focusing somewhat more attention, the electorates are stirring, and one would like to think the various nations’ UN voting reflected a shifting reality. I did think that at first but I now believe it was more likely orchestrated from the White House. Most ordinary Europeans are not involved in the conflict one way or another so any apparent switch in position doesn’t create the storm it would in the US. In fact most of those who do follow these events would probably approve while for others it carries a touch of ‘standing up to the US for a change’, which is always popular. Furthermore, there is no single EU position, to talk about a European response is to talk about the separate responses of 27 different nations. Obama has boasted of his intention to ‘lead from behind’ and might not this be exactly that policy in motion? European progress towards a pro-Palestinian position would be easy to accomplish because ordinary Europeans have never ‘supported’ Israel, they are or have been largely indifferent to the whole business and it’s a hell of a lot easier to evolve from indifference to a concerned position than switch from one conviction to its opposite.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 9, 2012, 1:41 pm

      likely orchestrated from the White House

      this occurred to me as soon as i heard of O’s request to hold the UN vote til after the election. there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

  17. dbroncos
    December 9, 2012, 11:56 pm

    Merkel’s frustrated expression reflects the current stock of good will that exists on the part of European leaders towards Israel and Netanyahu. Apparently, the same can be said of Obama based on what he told Sarkozy about Netanyahu being a pain in the ass. This undercurrent of exasperation is not insignificant and it’s about much more than the arrogant, irritating personality of Netanyahu, who, in any case, seems oblivious to the disdain of Obama and Europe’s leaders and the implications that disdain has for Israel’s future.

    • NickJOCW
      December 10, 2012, 4:23 am

      That is certainly so. If the camera had panned to the audience I imagine the same look would have been on many faces.

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