Karel Schwarzenberg

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Karel Schwarzenberg is Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic [1]. In 2008 Schwarzenberg and the then United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed an agreement on the United States's National missile defence shield.[2]

Background

According to JTA.org, Schwarzenberg's family have had links with Israel since its foundation:

Schwarzenberg’s attitude toward Israel reflects his personal experience as well as Czech support for Israel. Schwarzenberg's father had close ties to Jewish businessmen and frequently was a guest at B'nai B'rith events in Prague. Israel’s first embassy office in Czechoslovakia -- one of the first Israeli embassies in the world -- was opened in the home of Schwarzenberg's parents on Prague's Vorsilska Street in May 1948.[3]

Controversy

In December 2008 Schwarzenberg indirectly blamed the terrorist group Hamas for the growing civilian death toll in Palestine, arguing that this was “an effect of placing its military bases and gun warehouses in densely populated areas”. "Let us realize one thing,” Schwarzenberg said. “Hamas steeply increased the number of rockets fired at Israel since the ceasefire ended on December 19. That is not acceptable any more.” He further said, "Why am I one of the few that have expressed understanding for Israel? … I enjoy the luxury of telling the truth.[4]

In 2005, Schwarzenberg was thrown out of Cuba for taking part in an opposition meeting[5]

Affiliations

External Resources

  • Jennifer Rankin, The Prince, European Voice, 19 July 2007.

Notes

  1. Guardian, Profile, Karel Scwarzenberg, Accessed 28-February-2009
  2. Dan Bilefsky, 08-July-2009, International Herald Tribune, U.S. and Czech Republic sign agreement on missile shield, Accessed 28-February-2009
  3. Dinah Spritzer, Key European leader offers his take on Gaza, JTA.org, 12 January 2009.
  4. Hillel Fendel, 30-December-2008, Israel National News, Incoming European Union President: Israel is Right, Accessed 28-February-2009
  5. Jennifer Rankin, 19-July-2007, European Voice, The Prince, Accessed 28-February-2009
  6. Democracy and Security Conference, List of Participants, Accessed 25-February-2009