Hamas’ attack against Israel being celebrated on the streets of Berlin indicates that Germany has let too many foreigners into the country, according to former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
“It was a grave mistake to let in so many people of totally different culture and religion and concepts, because it creates a pressure group inside each country that does that,” the 100-year-old ex-top American diplomat said in an interview with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner for Germany’s Welt TV. Axel Springer is POLITICO’s parent company.
German-born Kissinger — who fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938, and went on to become the architect of American foreign policy during the Vietnam War — said that it was “painful,” in response to a question about seeing Arabs in Berlin celebrating last weekend’s assault on Israel.
In a surprise attack that started on Saturday morning, Hamas militants stormed out of the Gaza Strip, killing more than 1,200 Israelis and abducting dozens more, while firing rockets at cities including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Israel has since hit back by commencing a siege of Gaza and firing its own barrage of retaliatory missiles, killing hundreds of Palestinians.
Hamas’ “open act of aggression” must be met with “some penalty,” Kissinger said — while warning about the potential for dangerous escalation in the region.
“The Middle East conflict has the danger of escalating and bringing in other Arab countries under the pressure of their public opinion,” Kissinger warned, while pointing to the lessons learned from the 1973 Yom Kippur War, during which an Arab coalition led by Egypt and Syria attacked Israel.
The real goal of Hamas and its supporters “can only be to mobilize the Arab world against Israel and to get off the track of peaceful negotiations,” Kissinger said.
It is also “possible” that Israel could take action against Iran, if it considers Tehran to have had a hand in perpetrating the attack, the former top diplomat added.
More broadly, Kissinger said, Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine coupled with Hamas’ attack on Israel represent a “fundamental attack on the international system.”