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Palestinian and Israeli flags
Barack Obama supports a two-state solution to the conflictImage: AP Graphics

Middle East conflict

June 16, 2009

A leading member of Germany's Jewish community has condemned Barack Obama's approach to the Middle East conflict, saying the US President has a "skewed emotional take" on the situation.


Stephan Kramer, the general secretary of Germany's Central Council of Jews, says Obama risks exacerbating tensions in the Middle East with his policies on the region.

Barack Obama recently held a keynote speech in Cairo, in which he attempted to reach out to the Muslim world. In that speech, Obama said the Israelis and the Palestinians were "two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history."

But in a column in Tuesday's edition of Berlin's Tagesspiegel daily, Kramer says that Obama had equated the Jewish people's fate, including the Holocaust, with the situation of the Palestinians, showing the president has a "skewed emotional take" on the conflict.

Kramer also accused Washington of consciously trying to push Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's back against the wall "to score points with the Muslim world."

During a televised address on Sunday night, Netanyahu endorsed the establishment of a Palestinian state for the first time, but with certain conditions: the demilitarization of any future Palestinian state and Israeli sovereignty over a united Jerusalem. Barack Obama has repeatedly said he supports a two-state solution.

Editor: Jennifer Abramsohn

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