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Ron Prosor, he ambassador of the State of Israel in Germany
Prosor gave a wide-ranging interview to DW speaking about antisemitism in Europe, the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the war in UkraineImage: DW
PoliticsEurope

Israeli ambassador warns of rising antisemitism in Europe

Louis Oelofse
December 8, 2022

Education is key to combat "right-wing extremism, and left-wing antisemitism," Ron Prosor has told DW. Israel's envoy to Germany also spoke about the prospect of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

https://p.dw.com/p/4KgSn

Israel's ambassador to Germany Ron Prosor in an interview with DW on Thursday urged Europeans to fight growing antisemitism and other forms of discrimination on the continent.

"I think there's a trend, and not just in Germany but in Europe, of rising antisemitism, antisemitism incidents, and by dealing with it, talking about it and basically fighting it, we are creating a better society and a better world."

"The fact [that] synagogues in the year 2022 have to be protected and Jewish schools guarded ... is really completely abnormal," he added.

Prosor was concerned about the way "antisemitism moves from the margins to the center and is being accepted as part of the debate."

"There's a lot of things that should be done and not just on right-wing extremism, but also on left-wing antisemitism," he said. The only answer is "education, education, education."

Israel's ambassador to Germany speaks to DW

The ambassador's father was born in Berlin, before he and his family fled Nazi Germany in 1933. Prosor himself took up his position in Berlin in August 2022, and commended the action plan against antisemitism unveiled by the German government at the start of December.

"I think it shows really the determination of the German government and all parts of German society to fight antisemitism, because fighting antisemitism in the sense shows something about how the German society looks and accepts people from different faiths," he said.

What the ambassador said about a two-state solution

Prosor said Israel still believes a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is viable, despite the fact that there have been no substantive peace talks since 2014.

"The issue here is what state do you want to establish? We cannot and would not establish a terror state," he said.

Proponents of a Palestinian state must make it clear they expect it to be democratic, and "allow elections every four or five years," he stressed. Prosor pointed out that Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has ruled for nearly 25 years since last being elected in 2005.

He said that while designated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government may include far-right allies who might be opponents of the two-state solution he didn't think the Israeli leader had "changed his view on this."

Pushed on whether Israeli settlement in occupied territories would make a two-state solution harder to achieve, Prosor said Israel has always wanted peace.

"When (Egyptian president Anwar) Sadat came over to Jerusalem, in less than three years, we had peace with Egypt. We have peace with Jordan. Israel made territorial concessions for this peace," he said.

The War in Ukraine

On Israel's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and providing support for Kyiv, the ambassador said his country's focus was on humanitarian aid.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has criticized Israel's lack of military support for his country several times in the past. 

"We have to navigate very sensibly. And we are doing a lot again on the humanitarian side. And I think we Israelis especially feel with the Ukrainians, because we know they're fighting for their homes,” Prosor said.

He dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin's argument that his war in Ukraine is to "de-Nazify" the country.

"We have to always remember that we have to be ready. We have to defend ourselves and create deterrence, because dialogue alone will not solve the problem with regimes like this."

Interview conducted by: Sarah Hofmann

Edited by: Rob Turner

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