PM Netanyahu to boycott German FM Gabriel due to meeting with left-wing NGO’s

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel that he would not meet with him if he were to meet with representatives of left wing organizations in Israel. The German top diplomat, who arrived in Israel for an official two-day visit, was scheduled to meet with members of two Israeli NOG’s, including Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, organizations that criticize the IDF around the world for what they claim is Israel’s illegal conduct, under international law, against Palestinians in the West Bank. Minister Sigmar responded to Netanyahu’s threat as “regrettable”, but insisted that he will not change his scheduled meetings. Speaking to German national television ZDF from Jerusalem, Gabriel said it was usual for him during trips abroad to speak with civil society organizations, even if they were critical of the government’s policies, to provide a better understanding of the political reality. 
The German top diplomat, who arrived in the country to mark the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day and discuss peace efforts with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, declared that even though a boycott by Prime Minister Netanyahu would be “very regrettable”, it “wouldn’t be a catastrophe” as it would not change his relationship to the Jewish state. It is important to note that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received staunch support from his political partners who view the two Israeli organizations as conducting anti-Israel propaganda, after one of the NGO’s called for the United Nations to act against Jewish settlements in the West Bank, accusing Israel of creating facts on the ground in advance of any peace agreement with the Palestinians.