- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2005

Forgive, not forget

Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon says Jews have forgiven Germans for the Holocaust but will never forget the horrors of World War II.

Mr. Ayalon joined German Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a German-born Jew, this week to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and the postwar German nation.

“We do celebrate today, forgiving without forgetting,” Mr. Ayalon said at a reception at the German ambassador’s residence. “We do celebrate the future without neglecting the past. We do celebrate today hope, despite the past, and we do celebrate today a very strong and close relationship between the people of Israel and the people of Germany.”

He added, “We can say without hesitation that Germany is among the best friends Israel has.”

Mr. Ischinger said Germany has been a friend of Israel through “good times and bad” since the modern Jewish state was created in 1948.

“I am proud of what has been achieved by Israelis and Germans together over the past four decades,” he said. “And, I would like to add, that without the help and support, both moral and political, of so many Americans, this relationship would not and could not have flourished.”

Mr. Kissinger spoke as a “Jew born in Germany and having been connected to the fate of both countries for so much of my life.” He has known every Israeli leader since David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister.

Mr. Kissinger said every German leader he has known “has supported the relationship, not simply as a matter of prudence, but as a matter of inner necessity, as a responsibility that Germany has, not only to the Jewish people, but also to itself.”

U.N. in Haiti

The U.S. ambassador to Haiti is calling on the United Nations to order its peacekeepers to quell the violence created by gangs loyal to Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the former Haitian president who is in exile.

Ambassador James B. Foley told the Associated Press that the 7,400-member U.N. force must do more to assist Haitian police, armed mostly with pistols and shotguns, against the Aristide loyalists, who have heavy machine guns.

“They have the force to counter the gangs and have to figure out a way to do it,” he said. “[They] accepted a mission that is vital to protect a people in dire straits. They’ve got to do more.”

The armed gangs have paralyzed the interim government that took over the country after an uprising forced Mr. Aristide to flee to South Africa in February 2004.

The United States supplied Haitian police with 2,600 firearms last year but is wary of human rights complaints against the police.

“I don’t think it’s tenable to say the police can’t be armed,” Mr. Foley said. “But it’s also not tenable to give the police arms without strict controls.”

‘Destroy the tapes’

A British ambassador who served in Washington during the Watergate scandal thought President Nixon could have avoided resignation if he had destroyed the secret White House tapes that helped bring about his downfall.

Peter Ramsbotham wrote a dispatch to the British Foreign Ministry in 1974 after Mr. Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment and speculated that he probably saved the tapes “to preserve all the materials that would help him in retirement to write for himself his place in history.”

“The fact remains that had he decided to destroy the tapes as soon as [or before] knowledge of their existence became known, he would almost certainly have escaped his fate,” the ambassador added.

The British government released his confidential dispatch this week in London, as Washington was abuzz with the revelation that W. Mark Felt, the No. 2 man in the FBI at the time, was the anonymous “Deep Throat” source who helped expose the Watergate coverup.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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