“Special Relationship” is a term used to describe the relations between Great Britain and the US, but if ever there were two countries linked by historical events of unparalleled magnitude, it is Germany and Israel. The Holocaust has defined the relationship between the country of the perpetrators and the country of the victims, so much so that German Chancellor Angela Merkel frequently calls the security of the Jewish state Germany’s responsibility, its “raison d’etre” even.
But not all Germans agree, and the decisions Mrs. Merkel makes based on that “special relationship” stir growing unease among many Germans.
This week Der Spiegel magazine ran a cover story about German submarines being sold to Israel. The article quotes several former members of the German defense ministry alleging that Israel is arming these submarines, delivered at very generous terms, with nuclear cruise missiles and that the German government has been aware of this modification for quite some time.
Neither German nor Israeli officials have commented on the story, but experts see it as an open secret. The fact that Berlin is not even denying it has led the political opposition and commentators to re-open the debate on the character of German-Israeli relations
Polls in Germany show a sizable shift, during the past few years, in attitudes towards Israel. But does German criticism of Israel = anti-Semitism?
Here is a link to the *Der Spiegel *cover story
Operation Samson: Israel’s Deployment of Nuclear Missiles on Subs from Germany
Deep in their interiors, on decks 2 and 3, the submarines contain a secret that even in Israel is only known to a few insiders: nuclear warheads, small enough to be mounted on a cruise missile, but explosive enough to execute a nuclear strike that would cause devastating results. This secret is considered one of the best kept in modern military history. Anyone who speaks openly about it in Israel runs the risk of being sentenced to a lengthy prison term.
Research SPIEGEL has conducted in Germany, Israel and the United States, among current and past government ministers, military officials, defense engineers and intelligence agents, no longer leaves any room for doubt: With the help of German maritime technology, Israel has managed to create for itself a floating nuclear weapon arsenal: submarines equipped with nuclear capability.
Foreign journalists have never boarded one of the combat vessels before. In an unaccustomed display of openness, senior politicians and military officials with the Jewish state were, however, now willing to talk about the importance of German-Israeli military cooperation and Germany’s role, albeit usually under the condition of anonymity. “In the end, it’s very simple,” says Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. “Germany is helping to defend Israel’s security. The Germans can be proud of the fact that they have secured the existence of the State of Israel for many years to come.”
I dunno… I think the nuclear capability of these subs rumored for some time.