A Palestinian woman holds her national flag (C) and French flags at the al-Aqsa university in Gaza City on November 17, 2015 to show solidarity with the victims of coordinated attacks in Paris. Islamic State jihadists claimed a series of coordinated attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris that killed at least 129 people in scenes of carnage at a concert hall, restaurants and the national stadium. (AFP Photo/Mahmud Hams)

Talk of War Against Islamic State Only Helps Them, Says Germany's Gabriel


NOVEMBER 17, 2015

Berlin. Speaking about a war against Islamic State only helps the group behind last Friday's bloody attacks in Paris, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday, putting himself at odds with French President Francois Hollande.

Hollande told French parliamentarians on Monday that "France is at war", after the militant attacks that killed at least 129 people in and around Paris.

However, Gabriel, a Social Democrat (SPD) whose party is a natural ally of Hollande's Socialists, said talking about war would only fuel angst in Germany.

"We see that IS is waging war against the free world," Gabriel said in a podcast, referring to Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for Friday's suicide bombings and shootings.

But speaking about a war against Islamic State was a first step to helping the group succeed, "as the greater the anxiety in our society, including anxiety about war, the more terror can point to success," he said.

Gabriel rejected comments from Bavaria's conservative finance minister, Markus Soeder, who has said the Paris attacks change everything.

"The attacks do not change everything, just the opposite: now we must stand together and show that peace, democracy and the right of every human being to life stands and that we will defend this freedom," he said.