What transpired between Angie Merkel and Benny Netanyahu may shed some useful light on how Israel interacts with allies, like Canada, expecting them to do its bidding.
It was one of the most unpleasant conversations that Christoph Heusgen had ever been required to have with Jaakov Amidror. On Wednesday evening, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's foreign policy adviser told his Israeli counterpart that Germany would abstain in the following day's vote at the United Nations General Assembly on whether to grant the Palestinians the status of a "non-member observer state." Merkel's government had just decided, he said.
Germany's stance on this issue shows just how deeply frustrated its government is with the Netanyahu government's policies. The UN vote was a defeat for Israel. In the end, 138 of the 193 UN member states supported the Palestinians' petition, including France and 13 other European Union member states. Germany's abstention weighed particularly heavy because it meant that Canada and the United States were the only major Western nations to vote on Israeli's side.
...In mid-November, Merkel was still of the opinion in internal deliberations that the Palestinians should be prevented from taking unilateral steps. Indeed, this was the reason her government cited when justifying its vote against the Palestinians' bid to become a full member of UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural organization, in late October 2011.
But in the end, the Israeli government's tactical maneuvering prompted Merkel to back away from this hard line. When it became apparent that a series of EU member states would support the Palestinians' bid for observer-state status, the Israelis asked Germany to push all of its fellow EU states to abstain. Up until that point, Netanyahu had pressured Merkel's government to gather as many "no" votes as possible within the EU.
[As the vote neared] the question was how the Germans should act. From the Israeli perspective, the answer was clear: Berlin would simply vote "no." But German officials had a different take on things. Merkel was upset that the Israelis were treating Germany's vote like a bargaining chip.
The chancellor was particularly annoyed because Netanyahu had shown himself completely unwilling to make concessions. On several occasions, Merkel had urged him to at least make a gesture on the issue of settlement construction in order to send out a signal to the Palestinians. Doing so would have made it easier for Merkel to campaign for the Israeli position. But Netanyahu stubbornly ignored her wish.
So Angie Merkel, unlike Stevie Harper, wasn't willing to be Benny Netanyahu's bitch.