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Angela Merkel makes a 14-year old Palestinian girl cry by telling her she is not welcome in Germany

Middle East
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A video has gone viral on social media of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a high school gymnasium bringing a teenage Palestinian refugee to tears after telling her that she is not welcome in Germany. What comes next is cringe inducing. Merkel tries to “hug” the teen named Reem Sahwil, 14, then settles on awkwardly stroking her arm. Thus, the hashtag #merkelstreichelt (Merkel strokes) along with images mocking the petting chancellor ensued.

The Guardian subtitled the video into English, which was filmed today at an event entitled, the “Good life in Germany” at a school in Rostock, Germany. Reem is one of many children at the forum and explained to Merkel that her family is facing deportation. They arrived in Germany from a Lebanese refugee camp four years ago, reported The Guardian.

“I have goals like anyone else. I want to study like them … it’s very unpleasant to see how others can enjoy life, and I can’t myself,” Reem told the chancellor. In response an unmoved Merkel said, “I understand what you are saying, nonetheless politics is hard sometimes. There are thousands and thousands more in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. And if we say ‘you can all come here,’ ‘you can all come over from Africa,’ we can’t cope with that.”

To this, the young Reem burst into tears. A classmates consoled her. Merkel carried on with her talk. Then noticing the crying girl she approached, “Oh come here.You did so well,” she said gesturing for Reem.

“I don’t think it’s about doing it well, Mrs. Chancellor, but about this being a very wearing situation for her,” added a moderator.

Merkel snapped back. “I know this is a very wearing situation, but I just want to give her a hug now,” the chancellor said, turning again to Reem—now patting her arm, “because we don’t want to put you into such a situation, because this is hard for you.”

The clip ends with a tearful Reem, being caressed by Merkel who had just vowed that “some” of the refugees in Germany, “will have to go back,” according to an extended version of the clip aired on the German network NDR.

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Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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72 Responses

  1. eGuard
    eGuard
    July 16, 2015, 9:49 pm

    Merkel could have added: and when you’re back in Lebanon, we’ll give Israel the weapons and support to bomb your new place. Was it Shaba or Shatila?

  2. Scott
    Scott
    July 16, 2015, 11:12 pm

    I don’t think Germany is obligated to receive every would be “asylum” seeker from Africa, but for Crissake, the Palestinians. Displaced to compensate for Germany’s crimes.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      July 16, 2015, 11:58 pm

      Gold standard comment.

      • annie
        annie
        July 17, 2015, 12:38 am

        agreed, gold standard.

      • montereypinegreen
        montereypinegreen
        July 18, 2015, 12:51 pm

        Germany indeed has a special responsibility. They have done a lot to support Israel. If they can’t take in Palestinians, then maybe they should take back ALL of Israel so that the country can be given BACK to the Palestinians. After all, Nazi Germany supposedly was the reason for the Jews taking Palestine to begin with (although the Zionists probably had an imperialist agenda to begin with). Zionism arose because of all the pogroms against Jews in Russia and Europe, INCLUDING GERMANY.

        Merkel can no more disclaim responsibility for some of the problem in Palestine/Israel than she can disclaim any responsibility by the West for what is happening in Greece. Greece would not be in the situation it is in if it were not for Western companies like Goldman Sachs, but more to the point, Germany would not be as well-off today as it is if it were not for the Marshall Plan. For Germans to lack any heart towards peoples who are suffering because of war is truly ugly, and ungrateful.

    • ziusudra
      ziusudra
      July 17, 2015, 3:09 am

      Greetings Scott,
      Living in Germany for ca. 50 yrs now, as an American, i’m unable to vote. All migrants coming into Europe now, desire Sweden & Germany.
      The EU sees to it that war displaced migrants, such as Syria, Palestine, Irak have priority, but no guarantee. Germany says constantly nay, but there’s a backup that takes yrs to get even those out of the Country who have been rejected. This Family will not be deported.
      ziusudra
      PS Chan. Merkel has the duty to her countrymen first & is not responsible for unemployed migrants of the world.

    • just
      just
      July 17, 2015, 7:24 am

      Thanks, Scott.

      +1 !!!

      • just
        just
        July 17, 2015, 8:20 am

        With regard to immigrants in Germany, from 2013:

        “Daniel Barenboim, celebrated musical genius and Israeli citizen, has admitted that he feels more at ease in Germany than in Israel. He has been running the Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra since 1992, and lives in a villa near the Berlin suburb of Wannsee, where the Nazis devised their Final Solution.

        What, you might ask, is this Jewish treasure playing at?

        But Barenboim is merely the most high-profile among a large number of Israelis (an estimated 15,000-20,000) who have been gradually moving to Berlin.

        This ex-pat community, which boasts its own Hebrew radio station, is top-heavy with creative types — painters, writers, musicians, film-makers — who have taken advantage of the German state’s welcoming arms.

        They receive special “artist visas”, generous grants and subsidies; there is a lighter bureaucratic touch than in Israel; and the cost of living is far lower.

        The ex-pats also cite Berlin’s prevailing atmosphere of respect for art and culture and creative activities generally. That’s not always the case in Israel, it seems.

        Add to this, Germany’s now-ingrained sensitivity towards racial minorities, and you begin to see why it has become a mecca (perhaps not le mot juste) for so many Jews.

        They explain that they abandoned Israel because of bitter disappointment in the direction it has taken – socially, politically, culturally. In short, Zionism ain’t what it used to be.

        Besides the seemingly insoluble Palestinian problem and continuing hostility from Muslim countries — a constant source of stress — it’s become tougher to have a decent standard of living in Israel, with high prices and shrinking job opportunities.

        And there’s the corruption, the strictly Orthodox Jews who “bleed them dry”, and the “demographic time-bomb” of the burgeoning Israeli-Arab population.

        Israelis who hold these views say they feel safer and more valued in Germany.

        Berlin’s Israeli influx even includes relatives of Holocaust victims. For example, the actor/writer Nati Ornan, who has been a Berlin resident since 2010. He thoughtfully waited until after the death of his grandfather before moving there, as his grandfather’s brother Natan (after whom he is named) was killed at Treblinka.

        “Now there are more Israeli artists in Berlin than in Israel,” he said. ‘This is like the proverbial destruction of the Third Temple — the destruction of the Jewish spirit.”

        Rabbi Walter Homolka, rector of Potsdam’s Abraham Geiger College, the first rabbinical seminary to open in Germany since the Holocaust, has publicly expressed his concern about the “brain drain” from Israel, which has seen ever more of its citizens moving abroad, particularly to Germany. He said it was one of Israel’s biggest problems. …”

        http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/comment/110179/thousands-israelis-flock-germany-reverse-exodus

        I hearken back to this great interview with Max and Anna-Esther Younes:

        “Max Blumenthal: The completely mono-cultural narrative on what it means to be a German holds that the Holocaust towers above all other crimes, that those who perished in it were the ultimate victims of history, and that the Jewish nation that rose up in its wake must therefore float above the weight of history. Inadvertently or not, Germany is instrumentalizing the Holocaust and Zionism to compromise the citizenship rights of Muslim and Arab immigrants, to silence their narratives, and to complicate their naturalization process. The hegemonic narrative makes whiteness the ultimate qualification for full German nationality, since only native German whites can sincerely express guilt for the crimes their own ancestors perpetrated, and only German whites can genuinely transmute their guilt into unwavering, unthinking support for the Jewish state. And, as you explain in your article, it also allows for a new discourse of security to be directly connected to an unwanted, unassimilable and ostensibly “anti-Semitic” Muslim figure, inside Germany and beyond, which is then also connected to the right to be a citizen – or not. [1] In fact, under the Hessen citizenship test, which asks immigrants several questions about the Holocaust and basically demands they recognize the state of Israel’s “right to exist,” they can literally be denied citizenship.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/others-interview-blumenthal#sthash.SuyLqhLT.dpuf

    • amigo
      amigo
      July 17, 2015, 8:29 am

      Scott, Never was a truer statement made.

      +10.

      Same to eGaurd.

    • Chu
      Chu
      July 17, 2015, 8:41 am

      Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you, but are you implying that because of Germany’s role war in WWII 70+ years later, Germany should absorb the Palestinian refugees because of Israel’s continued displacement of them?

      What about the right of return?
      It’s been said “The palestinians are the last victims of Hitler”, which is such bogus deflection.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 17, 2015, 9:20 am

        No, it is not deflection. It is cause and effect. Go drop a stone in a pond.

      • Chu
        Chu
        July 17, 2015, 11:44 am

        stogie god? ~ is that like king of beer

        If you believe Germany needs to continue to pay for Israel’s crimes, no doubt you think that the USA should endlessly fund Israel’s defense. By this logic, if Israel manages to survive, the Jewish state will be paying for their crimes well into the 22nd century. Hasn’t Germany paid enough for holocaust reparations? Accept responsibility for your Jewish homeland, instead of expecting an entitlement from western nations. Furthermore, Zionist Jews in Europe had their eyes on Palestine before Hitler ever rose to power. You should check your privilege. (I was interested in a response from Scott, not your jerk-off insults.)

        October1937 – David Ben Gurion writes to his son —“What we really want is not that the land remain whole and unified. What we want is that the whole and unified land be Jewish. A unified Eretz Israel would be no source of satisfaction for me– if it were Arab.”

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 17, 2015, 12:00 pm

        Hi Chu,
        Sure, Stogie, Beer, BBQ and Ice cream…just a few of my favorite things.

        Not sure if you were addressing me on the Merckle thing, but…no, of course Germany isn’t responsible for all the wrongs. But, her attitude…and the fawning behavior of her state toward Israel need correcting. If it takes piling a lot of stuff on Germany unfairly (getting whacked with a 2 x 4) for her to get the point…then I guess the doctor got the dosage correct.

    • FrankinHonduras
      FrankinHonduras
      July 17, 2015, 9:25 am

      Exactly, let us induce such human tragedy and then refuse to help the refugees we make.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      July 17, 2015, 12:10 pm

      But Scott, instead of trying to regulate past crimes through asylym policy, why not go at it from the root and change the foreign policy?

      Deporting Reem is easy, there’s no ethnic Arab lobby to speak of in Germany with any influence whatsoever.

      Steering Germany in a more independent direction visavi Israel/Palestine requires a lot more courage.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      July 17, 2015, 12:31 pm

      +1000! (or more if I had ’em).

  3. Rooster
    Rooster
    July 16, 2015, 11:55 pm

    Gee, Angela, if you’re not going to let her stay in Deutschland, how about sending her back to from where she came.

    No, Angela, not Lebanon. Before that.

    • Elisabeth
      Elisabeth
      July 17, 2015, 3:38 am

      Rooster and Scott: What great comments.

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      Lillian Rosengarten
      July 17, 2015, 10:15 am

      Have you lost your humanity? Germany must let go of its Nazi guilt . and speak out forPalestinian human rights and the end of this brutal occupation. Zionism is an abomination and if there is no resistance, Germany remains complicit and creates a dishonest allegiance to another racist regime. Germany must sort out it’s neurotic relationship to Palestinian rights and a just peace.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 17, 2015, 10:17 am

        I’m sure Rooster was being sarcastic.

  4. zaid
    zaid
    July 17, 2015, 12:09 am

    We were living on our land, thinking about nothing but how to grow our fields and wishing for better fishing catch tomorrow……. then………. they came to us….. uninvited…arrogant….greedy …..racist….and full of hate.

    they showed us hell and turned us into refugees begging for shelters in the different corners of the world ….we were not like that before……we were happy.

    I curse them all and i curse the day we saw them.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      July 17, 2015, 9:24 am

      Understood, but I hope you can define between those who work for humanity and those who work against. These people cross the lines of all cultures.

      • zaid
        zaid
        July 17, 2015, 9:47 am

        of course

  5. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    July 17, 2015, 12:41 am

    Yes ,deport her in the same Dolphin submarine . At least the girl would be comforted into thinking what a nice creature she could play with on her way back to the open concentration camp.

    • gamal
      gamal
      July 17, 2015, 5:41 am

      funny you say that I was struck that in the New Europe refugees are welcome only to the bottom the Med, in this center of civilization and humanism.

  6. Kay24
    Kay24
    July 17, 2015, 1:02 am

    The consequences of enabling the criminals responsible for causing this situation. Nations like Germany and even the US aids it, arms it, and protects it, and then whine about the consequences as if they did not play any part in this tragic situation. It is not too late to stand up to Israel, refuse to go along with it’s crimes, and for Germany, time to stop being used by Israel every time they remind you of the holocaust.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      July 17, 2015, 1:06 am

      @Kay24

      Well said. Whether the compliance of western nations is due to the influence of money in our political system or if it’s due to misplaced guilt over the holocaust (no one has a reason to feel guilt over nazis except nazis and those who supported them)is not relevant.

      What is relevant is that western nations have been perverted into supporting racism and crimes being perpetrated under false pretenses,

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      July 17, 2015, 1:10 am

      @Kay24

      Frankly given the incitement and genocidal language used by right wing israelis there’s not much to choose between nazis and said right wing zionists. The latter is a little more couched in terms but their desire and aims are the same.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        July 17, 2015, 2:18 am

        I totally agree with you. There are glaring similarities in what the nazis did, and what the right wing zionists do today, obviously in a smaller scale, but you can find the same hatred and violence still there. This is a slow genocide of helpless people by those who think they are superior to them, and the blatant taking over of their lands and resources, to take over the entire region by overstepping their boundaries. It is a shame that powerful nations like the US and Germany are all used to commit these atrocities, and that they are compliant in these crimes. History one day will state that the world watched but did nothing while this tragedy happened, in fact many of these nations even handed them the weapons and the means to do it.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        July 17, 2015, 12:51 pm

        Kay24, yeah, after all this time without correction or remedy, let alone nary a harsh word about it, you could almost say (with limited argument) that the major, practical, post-WWII lesson learned about genocide is not “Don’t do it,” but rather “Do it slower.”

  7. Citizen
    Citizen
    July 17, 2015, 4:10 am

    I wonder what the average German thinks of the irony in this, and what ‘s the German media saying about this incident? Where’s our German Lefty lady?

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty
      July 17, 2015, 1:18 pm

      One-third of Germans: Israeli and Nazi policies similar
      http://www.jta.org/2015/01/26/news-opinion/world/auto-draft-24

      • eljay
        eljay
        July 17, 2015, 7:45 pm

        || German Lefty: One-third of Germans: Israeli and Nazi policies similar
        link to jta.org ||

        This is begging for a dose of snark (or maybe conversation) from y.f.

        hophmi will likely just breeze in with some accusations of anti-Semitism.

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      July 18, 2015, 10:53 am

      When Merkel said to the girl, “you’d did so so well,” the reporter on the background commented:

      ” I don’t think it is about doing well, but it is about the situation she finds herself in..” And then Angie snapped at him.

      His sympathetic comment after Angie’s attempt at diversion from the real issue captures how many younger Germans think about it.

  8. michelle
    michelle
    July 17, 2015, 5:12 am

    .
    this Nakba is so much worse than the Holocaust
    in this Nakba we are all the ‘nazis’
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      July 17, 2015, 7:46 am

      Are you saying the ideology and practice of it, is much more widespread? I recognize it in both the usa and Israel dialog…and direct practice in the Israel case.
      I guess I’m recalling that fascist ideolgy was quite a force in the usa, and had popular leaders like Lindberg and Henry Ford supporting it.

    • eljay
      eljay
      July 17, 2015, 8:38 am

      || michelle: this Nakba is so much worse than the Holocaust … ||

      I respectfully disagree.

      || … in this Nakba we are all the ‘nazis’ … ||

      I’m not.

    • michelle
      michelle
      July 17, 2015, 2:32 pm

      .
      i was thinking of the crying girl/child
      i wanted to comfort her
      then i realized all the things
      my country my government my leaders
      have done/are doing to this girl
      in my name with my taxes
      i am no better than the arm stroking woman
      i am no better than those who stood
      by and allowed the nazi rise to power
      67/48 years of forced occupation/death camps
      what do i say for myself
      what do i tell people
      what do i tell that child
      it wasn’t me
      i wasn’t the one driving
      i just bought the drinks
      on so many levels this is far worse than the Holocaust
      it shows we/the world learned nothing
      every second every day every action every choice
      more knowledge more awareness
      never again …. again and again and again
      in/during our whole life time just on the other side of the ‘wall’
      there was once a country of nazis now there is a world of nazis
      .
      G-d will sort us one by one but the world/the future/history will lump us together
      .
      G-d Bless
      .

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 17, 2015, 2:48 pm

        Beautiful, Michelle.

      • michelle
        michelle
        July 17, 2015, 3:48 pm

        .
        hello CigarGod and Eljay
        may your day be a double Blessing
        to you and to those you meet
        m
        ty both for all your kind reflective posts
        here there and everywhere
        you inspire
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        July 17, 2015, 3:52 pm

        We are a pretty focused family of Liberationists, aren’t we?

      • michelle
        michelle
        July 17, 2015, 4:01 pm

        .
        i think so
        equal footing for every & all on lifes path
        that’s us
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

      • eljay
        eljay
        July 17, 2015, 7:47 pm

        || michelle @ July 17, 2015, 3:48 pm ||

        Thank you and, respectfully, right back at you! :-)

  9. Citizen
    Citizen
    July 17, 2015, 5:22 am

    Why are Palestinians paying for Germany’s historic sins?
    https://electronicintifada.net/content/why-are-palestinians-paying-germanys-sins/11167

  10. eGuard
    eGuard
    July 17, 2015, 5:48 am

    And if we say ‘you can all come here,’ ‘you can all come over from Africa [sic],’ we can’t cope with that.

    Well, in 1948 and in 1967 Lebanon, Egypt, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan, Syria did.

  11. eGuard
    eGuard
    July 17, 2015, 7:14 am

    Best analysis so far (in German): Merkels Disconnect

    http://mspr0.de/?p=4338

  12. just
    just
    July 17, 2015, 7:51 am

    Good for the moderator for interpreting the situation for Ms. Merkel who unfortunately appears to be tone- deaf.

    As fear rises in Western Europe and beyond, this is reduced to ‘politics’. From The Guardian’s article on the same topic:

    “The incident, which was trending on Twitter as #MerkelStreichelt (Merkel strokes), coincided with the publication of new data showing that German towns and cities are straining to find appropriate accommodation for the large numbers of refugees entering the country, most of them via Bavaria in the south. Everything from soldiers’ barracks and empty school buildings to camping sites, shipping containers and sports halls are being used to accommodate them.

    Eva Lohse, the president of the German Association of Cities, said on Thursday: “We’re reaching the limits of our capacity.”

    As tensions mount in some communities over locals’ fears of being overrun, there have been several arson attacks on a number of refugee shelters in recent weeks, with reports at the weekend of a home near Leipzig being shot at on two consecutive nights. Police have described nearly all of the attacks as driven by xenophobia.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/16/angela-merkel-comforts-teenage-palestinian-asylum-seeker-germany

  13. amigo
    amigo
    July 17, 2015, 8:17 am

    What a heartless vile person Ms Merkel is.And quite the mensch, eh . She brings fodder to the “claim” that German is a stark language.Now we see the basis for her Government,s unquestioning of support for the Zionist regime.There is more than Holocaust guilt involved.A shared hatred with the White brothers and sisters in Israel , I would suggest.

    She could have said her government is doing all they can to help refugees .

    I recall that Turks were the “demographic ” problem in Germany in the late sixties when I lived there.People everywhere always need someone to look down at.Ireland is no different , I am sorry to say.

    • Bumblebye
      Bumblebye
      July 17, 2015, 8:53 am

      The German born children and grandchildren of Turkish “guest-workers” weren’t even entitled to German citizenship/nationality until fairly recently (somewhere around 20 yrs ago?).

  14. eljay
    eljay
    July 17, 2015, 8:42 am

    … Merkel said, “I understand what you are saying, nonetheless politics is hard sometimes. There are thousands and thousands more in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. And if we say ‘you can all come here,’ ‘you can all come over from Africa,’ we can’t cope with that.”

    To this, the young Reem bursted into tears. …

    The embedded video clip shows the girl listening to Ms. Merkel’s reply and nodding in understanding. There’s a cut in the video, and suddenly the girl is crying. I’d like to know what happened / what was said during the missing portion of the clip.

    • just
      just
      July 17, 2015, 9:45 am

      “The clip ends with a tearful Reem, being caressed by Merkel who had just vowed that “some” of the refugees in Germany, “will have to go back,” according to an extended version of the clip aired on the German network NDR. ”

      The link provided above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8L2J47dFbc

  15. just
    just
    July 17, 2015, 8:50 am

    The girl is a refugee. Is she not protected by the Refugee Convention and Protocol?

    Interesting, from wiki article on Statelessness:

    “Even though Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were issued a Palestinian passport according to the Oslo Accords, many countries (such as Germany) still do not recognize their citizenship.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statelessness#Palestine

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      July 17, 2015, 12:39 pm

      Non-recognition by explicit policy design, not by oversight or low priority (haven’t gotten around to it).

      It’s disgusting.

      Thanks again, just.

  16. sherban
    sherban
    July 17, 2015, 9:19 am

    Forr me the stranger thing is Merkel incapacity to hold a simple disscussion with a children without falling in a wood language of propaganda.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      July 17, 2015, 10:59 am

      Maybe she is too busy to do anything but memorize slogans. It seems common among the worlds political class.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      July 20, 2015, 2:51 pm

      Most important was that Merkel did not recognize the girl was Palestinian, that Germany supported her condition with German taxpayer dollars, and that the German government does not recognize Palestinians are paying daily for Germany’s old war crimes against the Jews.

  17. ritzl
    ritzl
    July 17, 2015, 12:34 pm

    Sorry I missed this one and went to the second article on this. Didn’t mean to be repetitive of all the great comments in this thread.

    Almost 1300 Tweets! Neat!

  18. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield
    July 17, 2015, 12:58 pm

    Merkel may be awkward but I think she means well. There is nothing to be gained by cursing her. Her understanding of the issue is limited and distorted, but that too is natural given the milieu in which she moves. This encounter may have taught her something.

    The fact that spontaneous encounters between a head of state and ordinary people are possible at all says something very positive about German politics. In most countries everything possible is done to make sure that such encounters cannot happen. (Of course encounters may be staged to look spontaneous.) Can you imagine a Palestinian teen ever getting close enough to Obama to argue with him — in public, before the TV cameras? Clinton at the start of his presidency tried to set up regular meetings between himself and audiences of randomly selected citizens, but he quickly gave up the idea under pressure from the media bosses.

    I fear that the “PR disaster” artificially blown up by the media out of this incident will impel Merkel too to isolate herself from ordinary people.

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty
      July 17, 2015, 4:48 pm

      Stephen, I totally agree with your statement and your conclusion.

      Of course, not every refugee can stay in Germany. Germany does not have endless capacities. Germany is expected to give a whole lot of money to Greece unconditionally. Germany is expected to take in all the refugees and to spend a whole lot of money on sheltering and feeding them. This means that Germany can spend much less money on its own citizens, who have to drive on broken streets and send their children to broken school buildings. And then the left-wing media wonder why Germans start developing resentment to foreigners.

      • Keith
        Keith
        July 17, 2015, 8:15 pm

        GERMAN LEFTY- “Germany is expected to give a whole lot of money to Greece unconditionally.”

        Germany hasn’t given ANY money to Greece. All of these “bailouts” go toward paying off the odious debt that the banksters saddled the Greek people with. Whatever German tax money is involved is going to German and foreign banks, not to Greece.

        Unconditionally? Are you this misinformed? The entire Greek economy has been effectively destroyed, all public spending slashed to the point of causing severe hardship, and now the entire country is to be privatized, everything of value sold to creditors at fire sale prices. You also need to be aware that Goldman Sachs helped cook Greece’s books to get into the EU, and that Mario Draghi, head of the EU central bank is a former Goldman Sachs executive.

        “The protected Greek islands, ports, water companies, airports, the entire panoply of national patrimony, is to be sold to the One Percent. At bargain prices, of course, but the subsequent water bills will not be bargains.” (Paul Craig Roberts) http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/15/greece-sound-and-fury-signifying-much/

        “The entire arrangement reeks of a seizure of sovereignty, the use of debt bondage and creditor supervision instead of the customary weapons associated with a military invasion. Further to the usual barbarities of savaging the local economy, be it increases in value added taxes, cutting pensions and the placing of automatic spending constraints, a jumble sale of 50 billion euros worth of public assets is being forced upon Greece. Greece, in other words, is effectively being told to sell itself into private hands.” (Binoy Kammark) http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/14/the-occupation-of-greece-a-financial-coup-detat/

        “On July 12, Greece surrendered abjectly and totally. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who had promised to combat the austerity measure that are driving the Greek people to ruin, poverty and suicide, betrayed all his promises, denied the will of the people expressed in the July 5 referendum, and led the Greek parliament to accept an agreement with the nation’s creditors even worse than all those that had already caused the economy to shrink and which further abandoned the last scraps of national sovereignty.” (Diana Johnstone) http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/17/greece-surrendered-but-to-whom-exactly/

      • kma
        kma
        July 18, 2015, 4:12 pm

        thanks, Keith.
        every single news outlet misuses the term “bailout” in the Greek story.
        it makes me sick. all of them.

    • kma
      kma
      July 17, 2015, 6:13 pm

      Merkel means well? even Sarah Palin never said politics were that “hard sometimes”! fundraising, weapons sales, avoiding the “ordinary people”…

      this was no gaffe. Merkel said exactly what she meant to say: sorry, Palestinians, you’re out of luck because Germany doesn’t want you. and by the way, Germans don’t really care enough about you to stop helping to create more refugees out of you each and every day. go back to your neglected refugee camps and act like oppressed people are supposed to! so what if we are all complicit in another genocide? we have our own ethnicity to protect.

      no, I don’t think she means well at all, and I do not feel like stroking her and comforting her unless it is out of pure sarcasm.

      • piotr
        piotr
        July 18, 2015, 8:18 am

        Yea, while not necessarily true, it would fit the general situation if it happened as follows: “After checking that the crying girl is not Greek, Madam Bundeskanzlerin decided to hug her, which made the terrified girl sob uncontrollably”.

        By most accounts, the resolution of Greek problem was greatly hindered by unnecessarily peevish attitude of German government. For years, European banks were obliged to keep mere 0.9% in reserves against the volume of loans to Greece, because such were idiotic rules of the central bank of the Euro zones, and German government clearly had influence to prevent that idiocy. Now it is easier to squeeze blood out of stone than money out of Greece, and German government basically vents, to the applause of the public.

        In the meantime, Ukraine economy has a similar downward trajectory and loans are extended for political reasons. It is not the question if the government will default, but when, clearly it is easier to get loans before the default than crumbs of aid afterwards so the government and the foreign backers try to delay it. At least, Ukrainians will have the option of going back to the bosom of mother Russia.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        July 18, 2015, 8:31 am

        piotr: Ukrainians will have the option of going back to the bosom of mother Russia.
        ————————

        Virulent Ukrainian ethno-nationalism has destroyed that option.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        July 18, 2015, 10:44 am

        Aye, piotr. This is known behavior. Argentina in the 80s. US cities in the 00s. Greece now. Probably a bunch more in there.

        Always the same: Lend → Squeeze → Privatize.

        The really sad part is that the borrowers know this is known behavior and still willingly enter the slaughterhouse cattle chute.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        July 20, 2015, 2:49 pm

        Merkel & the Palestinian Refugee Girl: Why Everyone Missed the Point: Germany makes her pay for Germany’s past sins http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/20/merkel-and-the-palestinian-refugee-girl-why-everyone-missed-the-point/

  19. Shingo
    Shingo
    July 17, 2015, 3:45 pm

    Merkel: now if you were Jewish, then we would be rolling out the red carpet, big you are not worthy.

  20. piotr
    piotr
    July 18, 2015, 11:43 pm

    It is documented that females sometimes have irresistible urge to cuddle the young ones. The story linked below has very lyrical narrative, but more sober summary is this: two lionesses attacked a tribe of baboons, and one lioness snapped the neck of one of them, a female with a baby on her back. Then lioness spend some time playing with that baby which was eventually rescued by a male baboon from the tribe. And the photos of lioness playing with the tiny monkey are indeed adorable. The narrative does not say who ate the mother.

    http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/03/baby-baboons-dramatic-encounter-with-lions-ends-with-a-heroic-twist/?&utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=foreignpolicy&utm_campaign=baby-baboon-lion-mother_d

  21. concernedhuman
    concernedhuman
    July 20, 2015, 4:23 pm

    There are thousands and thousands more in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. And if we say ‘you can all come here,’ ‘you can all come over from Africa,’ we can’t cope with that.”

    They are refugees because Merkel is allowing israel to occupy their land all the while arming israel with nuclear capable ships.

    What will Merkel tell to israeli jews who want to get in to Germany?

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