Many may not be aware of it, but the German government just made a very large state visit to Israel for widespread consultations with the Israeli government. The first two links [1, 2] detail the scope of the visit and some of the topics considered. The scope of this nation-to-nation visit was so large that Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, brought 16 of her cabinet ministers with her for joint consultations with their Israeli cabinet counterparts. By any standard, this was a very large meeting between the leaders of the two nations, and the links note that such meetings have occurred before as well.

The trip was designed “to show Germany’s friendship with the Jewish state,” and the first link adds that “Germany is Israel’s closest European ally.” [Who would have guessed 70 years ago that such a line could be written in the media and that it would be true?]

The links add that while relations are strong, they have been strained by a German-speaking EU Parliament leader coming to Israel and making offensive statements, as well as the continuing lack of a “two state” solution to the Palestinian issue. However, these are mere speed bumps in the overall strong relationship, which has seen Germany become one of Israel’s most strategic allies by its building strategic Dolphin submarines for the Israeli nation. The third link offers a current update on the status of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. It shows that the Palestinians are unwilling to accept Israel as a Jewish nation. If that is the case, there will never be an agreement. The Palestinians have always had a very weak negotiating position as they have relied on other nations pressuring Israel to get what the Palestinians could never obtain on their own. However, as the Saudis and Israelis jointly share a growing fear of Iran and as the Egyptians, Saudis, Israelis, Germans and many other nations see the Obama administration as a rogue among the nations due to its mass-spying on everyone else via the NSA (as revealed by Edward Snowden), the Palestinians’ priorities are becoming steadily less important in the grand scheme of things.

No doubt, other topics were discussed in the major German-Israeli state visit. I’ll bet one of them is how much of the recently-discovered Israeli natural gas deposits will be exported in the future to Europe in general and to Germany in particular. Given Russia’s ability to politically leverage or control European nations via its Gazprom natural gas exports, European nations would love to have a natural gas exporter that is a more reliable supplier than Gazprom. For example, Europe might have more negotiating leverage with Russia in the current Ukrainian crisis if Europe wasn’t so dependent on Russian natural gas exports.

Since Germany is the major European powerhouse now, it seems evident that if Germany grows steadily closer to the Israelis, so will other European nations. As that happens, the Israelis will need the USA less and less.