Israel’s Tourism Minister, Yariv Levin of the ruling Likud party, said that he will not make an official visit to Germany in light of its Nazi past.
Israel Hayom reported on March 13 that during the night of March 12, Levin said that the idea of a visit to Germany makes him “uneasy.”
Levin missed a major international tourism fair that was held last week in Berlin and where members of the Palestinian Authority were in attendance and active.
“I see great importance in the relationship between Israel and Germany,” he said. “Within that context, I have met with German officials more than once here in Israel. However, I do feel uneasy visiting Germany.”
Back in February, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, also of the Likud party, stayed behind in Israel while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior government ministers made an official visit to Germany, where they held an annual joint government session, the sixth such session for the two countries that were celebrating their cooperation.
“As a son of survivors, I do not travel to Germany,” Katz told Israel Hayom in an February interview “My father escaped on a train from Budapest, and my mother was imprisoned in seven concentration camps in Germany and Poland by the time she was 15.
“I maintain the necessary contacts demanded by the responsibilities of my job, but I do not take part in ceremonies and I do not visit.”