Israel-German relationship “a miracle”

May 13, 2015 Agencies
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the relationship between Israel and Germany “a miracle”.

Getting to know you   Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

Getting to know you Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

She joined Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin in a working meeting, during the President’s state visit to Germany to mark fifty years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

During the meeting, the two spoke of the importance of strengthening and deepening the friendship between Israel and Germany, crucially between the young citizens in both countries, in order to maintain and preserve the excellent relations in the future.

At the conclusion of their meeting, President Rivlin told the Chancellor that he saw her as a true friend of the State of Israel, and thanked her for her support over the years.  He added, “I am pleased to be here as your guest in order to celebrate fifty years of diplomatic relations between our countries.  In the last fifty years, we have built a relationship rooted in friendship, mutual understanding, and the ability to look to the future while learning from the lessons of the past.  It is a great honor for me to be the President of Israel with the opportunity to mark alongside you this remarkable jubilee.”

Following their meeting, the President and the Chancellor met with twenty young Germans and Israelis, with whom they held a wide-ranging discussion on the young participants’ visions for the future of relations between the countries.

During the discussion the President said, “You, the youth, are the future of the world, you who are learning about what happened in the past, while looking at the future, out of a concern that fractures be healed, and lessons be learned.  The world’s youth are the leaders of the future, and it is they who provide both peoples with the ability to look to the future, not by ignoring the past, by learning from it.  Our discussion here is not just about the relationship between Israel and Germany, but is a way for us to envisage a better world, and a better future for all of us.”

Chancellor Merkel added, “This meeting with you is a golden opportunity for us not to speak about politics.  Yet your vision, is crucial to our ability to continue in our political action.  After the Holocaust, it is a miracle that you are here together, and indeed the relationship between Germany and Israel is itself a miracle.  I am amazed by the courage of Israel’s politicians who continue to look straight into the future, without forgetting the past.  For many Germans living in East Germany, today marks only twenty-five years of relations with Israel, (since the unification of Germany).  I grew up in the east, in a state without relations with Israel, and I am delighted to meet you here today, to mark together fifty years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany.”

The twenty youths who participated in the meeting – ten Israelis and ten Germans – were participants in a special congress which took place in Berlin with the aim of creating a joint discussion analyzing the relations between the two countries and peoples, on a range of issues, while experiencing joint working sessions and partnership in the fields of culture and the arts.

 

Earlier in the day, President Reuven Rivlin held a working meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.  The President spoke with the Foreign Minister about the obligation to build trust between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples in order to return to direct negotiations, and about the obligation to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip, and the need to restore normal civilian life to the residents there.

The Foreign Minister thanked the President for his visit and said, “We are grateful for the privilege to host you and I am personally pleased for the opportunity to meet with you.  I greatly identify with your words that the rise in fundamentalism is not solely a threat to Israel, but a danger to the whole world – and to Europe in particular.”

Comments

One Response to “Israel-German relationship “a miracle””
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    A miracle due to her unyielding condemnation of anti-semitism.

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