President Rivlin hosts Rosh Hashanah reception for foreign ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps serving in Israel

September 19, 2017 Agencies
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President Reuven & First Lady Nechama Rivlin has held a festive reception at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem for foreign ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps serving in Israel, to honor the upcoming festival of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Mark Neiman (GPO)

President Rivlin welcomed his guests and said, “On this special occasion, it is important for all of us to remember that a true universal order cannot survive without strong nation states”. He stressed, “History has shown us time and time again, that there is no better way for a nation to develop, to defend itself, or to cooperate with other nations than as a sovereign nation state. As I told UN Secretary General Guterres a few weeks ago, international cooperation and national patriotism do not contradict one another. No one understands this better than us Israelis. The State of Israel –where the Jewish nation fulfills its right to self-determination – was established with the strength, of wide international recognition at the UN.”

He added, “As we approach 70 years of independence, Israel remains strongly committed to international cooperation. More than that, while being a young state and a small country, Israel has already proven itself to be an important exporter; in agriculture, education, security, and innovation. When we learn from one another, when we work together, we can build a better future for our children and our grandchildren.”

Australia’s ambassador to Israel meet President Rivlin at the event                 Photo: Twitter

The President said that Israel desired to strengthen its diplomatic and trade ties with countries around the world. He said, “In the last year, we worked hard to strengthen our relations on all five continents of the world. Asia, Africa, South America, North America, Europe, and Australia. We truly believe that strong international relationships, good cooperation, and international free trade agreements will foster prosperity around the world.”

The President concluded by speaking of the danger of the collapse of nation states, as seen around the region. He said, “Because the idea of the nation state is so important to international cooperation, we must all work together to stop the attacks on its legitimacy. Such actions and statements that we hear against Israel – denying our rights and threatening our existence – are unacceptable. They do not promote understanding or cooperation among nations. The fact that Iran continue to regain more and more legitimacy, while Iranian leadership continue to call for Israel’s destruction is unacceptable. This does not promote humanistic values. Values that are at the heart of our peoples, of our countries, and of our friendships.”

Dean of the Diplomatic Corps Ambassador of the Dominican Republic, Alex De La Rosa Garabito, thanked the President and First Lady and said, “This year is the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel,“ and added “What you have managed to do here against all odds is nothing short of a miracle.“

He noted that, “Israel is a global economic and scientific powerhouse. To take just one example, how many dry countries managed to master the problem water, one of the worst afflictions of the world? Needless to say, Israel is not ‘a nation that dwells alone and among the nations they do not reckon’. It aspires rather to be a ‘light unto nations‘. Many of the countries represented here can testify to the cooperation with it in all fields that I mentioned above, from scientific research to high tech to water resources.” He stressed, “International cooperation is paramount and Israel is a respected player in this field.”

Speaking of the challenges the world faced today, the Ambassador said, “Anti-Semitism shows is it ugly head again. Terrorism strikes everywhere. Radical intolerance, violence, civil strife, plague our world and affect everybody. As always Israel finds itself on the forefront.” He concluded by expressing his hope that the New Year would bring renewed peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians.

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