The Israel Air Force's Chief Refuses To Drive A German CarS

For Amir Eshel, the new head of Israel's Air Force, the Holocaust is too close for him to accept a Volkswagen staff car. His mother lost a lot of relatives, so despite excellent Israeli-German military relations, Eshel refuses to use a German car. He opted instead for a Chevrolet Malibu.

Israel and Germany have enjoyed normal trade relations since 1959. Germany agreed to pay 45 million Marks in reparations and Israelis generally got over their understandable dislike of anything that came from the country that had caused the death of six million Jews. At the time, it was difficult for anyone to say no to the well-built and inexpensive Volkswagen beetle, among other quality products from the rebuilt German democracy.

Since then, many goods have flowed back and forth between the Teutonic and Jewish States. The holocaust left a mark on many peoples' lives, but as far as trade went, no hard feelings. It is believed that Israel will buy up to six more Dolphin-class submarines — nuclear warhead-carrying ones — from Germany by 2017.

But Eshel — who is famous for leading a group of three F-15 Eagles in a flyover of Auschwitz in 2003 — is sticking to his guns. We're sure the Germans will understand. (Hat tip to @JesusDiaz!)

Photo credit: Associated Press