Babylon & Beyond

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ISRAEL: Merkel vows to stand against Iran

March 19, 2008 |  1:59 pm

MerkelIn an emotional tribute to victims and survivors of the Holocaust, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that the Nazi genocide "fills us Germans with shame" and pledged to stand by Israel's side against any threat, particularly from Iran.

"This historic responsibility is part of my country's fundamental policy," Merkel declared in a speech delivered in German to a special session of the Israeli parliament. "It means that for me, as a German chancellor, Israel's security is nonnegotiable."

The address capped a three-day state visit during which the German leader, a staunch ally, marked the 60th anniversary of Israel's founding by formally upgrading an already warm relationship between the countries.

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— Richard Boudreaux in Jerusalem

Photo: Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the Knesset, Israel's parliament, during a special session in Jerusalem, Tuesday, March 18, 2008. Germany's chancellor has told Israel's parliament that Germans are filled with shame over the Nazi Holocaust and that she bows before the victims.  Merkel delivered the speech in German on the last day of an Israel visit that was marked by extraordinary warmth. Credit: AP Photo/Jim Hollander