Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) welcomed Bundestag President Norbert Lammert to the Knesset on Wednesday in a special session marking 50 years of Israeli-Germany diplomatic relations.
"Germany is a true friend of Israel," Edelstein said to Lammert. "Your standing at our side and at the side of the Jewish people is more important than ever, certainly now when there is a harsh struggle around the world against anti-Semitism and its new form: anti-Israeliness."
The session was attended by President Reuven Rivlin and many visitors from both Israel and Germany, and after Edelstein's address Lammert gave a speech in German – during which he said in Hebrew he is "proud of our cooperation."
Edelstein noted to Lammert that "every visit by a senior representative of the German government in Israel is sensitive for some of our citizens. More than a few Holocaust survivors still live among us, some of them are even honoring us here with there presence in the visitors' section, and I welcome them."
"Many of us are second, third and fourth generations of European Judaism that went up in flames under the boots of the Nazi regime in occupied Europe. We of course have no right to forgive in the name of any of the six million who were murdered in varied and horrible deaths, or in the name of the survivors."
Edelstein said that "precisely on this background…we must continue to contribute to the effort to build relations of trust between our states in this period, based on deep cooperation."
"It is even an obligation on us: to prove that completely different relations can be built. Not to deny, not to ignore, not to forget and not to whitewash anything! Rather to remember well this past so as to deal with it, to ensure that never will something like it happen again, not to the Jewish people and not to any people."
"Iran will destroy Western civilization"
Edelstein pointed out that youth in Germany have called to pull support for the Jewish state, making Lammert's presence in the Knesset all the more important.
Speaking about the European calls to boycott Israel, Edelstein decried the movement for its hypocrisy in warping the reality in which Israel makes supreme efforts to protect life while being faced with unprecedented threats and is denounced for doing so.
"These actions are motivated by hatred, from prejudice and no less than anti-Semitism and blind anti-Israeliness," he said. "It is blind to what is happening in many countries in our region."
"The boycotters and slanderers are also blind to the fact that the true conflict for a long time has not been local between Israel and the Palestinians, and its cause is not alleged occupation or expulsion," Edelstein added, noting that instead the conflict is a clash of civilizations as radical Islam confronts the free world.
He called on "precisely Germany to take part in the struggle against BDS and other groups seeking to act in the ugly and invalid manner of boycott, and also against those seeking to destroy Israel."
Turning his attention to Iran, the Knesset Speaker went on to warn that if the Islamic regime is allowed to achieve nuclear weapons, it will be a weapon "to destroy the entire Western civilization, and therefore it is a matter of 'to be or not to be' not only for us."
He urged that a bad deal with Iran, which stands ahead of a June 30 deadline, be stopped before it's too late.