Suddeutsche Zeitung, Top German Daily, Interviews AJC Executive Director David Harris

Aug 25, 2014, 17:39 ET from American Jewish Committee

BERLIN, Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a major interview with the influential German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, AJC Executive Director David Harris presents his perspectives on Germany's international role.

"Germany today is the undisputed leader of Europe, and also one of the leading powers on a global scale," says Harris. The interview appeared in Monday's edition of the paper.

In the interview, Harris also discusses the Middle East. "For Germany, there is a danger coming from hundreds of jihadists when they return to Germany from their battlefield experience in Syria and Iraq," says Harris. ISIS and other jihadists groups cannot be considered "just American issues."

Moreover, Harris encourages Germany's continued leadership among European nations in supporting Israel. "For Germany, and for Europe in general, what's most important for a successful peace process is to focus on the day after a peace deal, in terms of how to assure Israel's security."

"I don't want people in Europe superimposing their idealized and romanticized visions of Europe onto the Middle East," says Harris. Given Germany's history and sensitivity to Israel's reality, it "must be the one helping others to understand that no nation wishes for peace more than Israel," but that Israel's security situation is vastly different than that of European countries.

Harris, the son of Holocaust survivors, acknowledges that many in Germany, as well as in the U.S. Jewish community, may find his call for German leadership somewhat surprising.

"Seventy years after the war, Germany has evolved and matured in ways that I'm not sure all Germans fully appreciate," says Harris. "Today, Germany is regarded as a moral authority, as a nation of moral leadership. With leadership comes responsibility."

The full interview, in both English and German, is available at


SOURCE American Jewish Committee