Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has said that nations in Europe were wrong to take in many people who are now supporting Hamas' actions against Israel. Unless the militant group is punished for its hostage-taking, Europeans risk being targeted similarly, he warned.
In an interview published on Wednesday, Mathias Dopfner, the CEO of German media group Axel Springer, asked the veteran statesman about "Arabs celebrating" in the streets of Berlin after Hamas' incursion into southern Israel last week. Kissinger, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, said he found such gestures of support for criminal acts "painful."
"It was a grave mistake to let in so many people of totally different cultural and religious concepts because it creates a pressure group inside each country that does that," he noted.
Asked what Germany and the EU should do in the current situation, Kissinger said he expected "unconditional" political support for Israel – as well as military suppor if needed.
"There has to be some penalty; there has to be some serious limitation on their capability of taking this kind of action," he said of Hamas tactics.
"I would say that every European nation has the same interest because the same attitude might erupt in the direction of Europe," he warned.
Washington's former top diplomat recalled peace talks that resolved the Yom Kippur War five decades ago, saying that Western nations and Israel were lucky to have an Arab leader "with a vision of the future" in Anwar Sadat, the former president of Egypt.
"I don't think it is possible to find leaders among the Hamas group [with a similar vision]," he said, "I think Hamas should be excluded from a political role."