Haaretz foreign editor Adar Primor brings to light a fascinating controversy in Germany over statements President Joachim Gauck made on a recent trip to Israel. Various milquetoast-seeming statements of support for Israel, and of the importance for Germany of all countries to support Israel, were received warmly, if at all, by Israelis, but back home were roundly condemned—for not being supportive enough! Comparing his remarks to earlier ones by the German chancellor, Primor reports, “On that occasion, [Angela] Merkel said that Germany views its ‘historical responsibility for Israel’s security’ as a ‘raison d’etat,’ or supreme national interest. Gauck opted to express himself differently.”
The irony here (besides the German chancellor using a French phrase) is Germany just sold Israel submarines which Israel has deployed with nuclear weapons. Günter Grass aside, this is a pretty strong bilateral relationship.