Germany's decision to issue its highest honor to Israeli attorney Felicia Langer, a fierce critic of the Jewish state, has prompted the government in Jerusalem to rebuke the Federal Republic's president, Horst Köhler, in uncharacteristically strong language.

Langer has "over the years consistently supported the forces that promote violence, death and extremism," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. "Anyone who wishes to award her a prize must bear in mind the consequences of legitimizing such positions of intolerance and bad faith."

Langer has called Israel the "apartheid of the present."

Steffen Schulze, a spokesman for Horst Köhler, declined to comment on Israel's criticism of the German government. He told the Post the award process was confidential and that he would not discuss a "third person."

When asked if he was referring to Langer, he responded, "No comment."

Köhler awarded Langer the Federal Cross of Merit, first class last Thursday, and a state ceremony involved accolades for Langer from dignitaries and politicians such as Baden-Württemberg State Undersecretary Hubert Wicker.




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