Embassy number two

May 17, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Rivlin have welcomes Guatemala president Jimmy Morales whose embassy was opened in Jerusalem this week.

President Morales and Benjamin Netanyahu Photo: Kobi Gideon (GPO)

Benjamin Netanyahu said: “This is the beginning of something extraordinary, or I would say, the re-beginning of something extraordinary, which is the relationship between Guatemala and Israel.

Yesterday we opened the American Embassy in Jerusalem, two days ago, and it’s not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem right among the first. You are always among the first, always among the first.

You are the second country to recognise Israel but you had a very important role in this because your Ambassador to the United Nations Jorge Granados was very active in lobbying the countries at the UN at the time to support the Partition Resolution, which was effectively the recognition of the Jewish state by the United Nations.

In his honor and the honor of Guatemala’s efforts in those days there’s a Guatemala street right here, right here, it’s about a kilometer from here in Jerusalem. There’s a Guatemala street in many cities and many communities in Israel because we remember our friends, and Guatemala is our friend then and now.

We share so many goals and so many values even though we are seemingly far away, we’re not really far away because you established your freedom in 1821, Libertad, but the idea of freedom, the idea of human freedom started here in this city where the prophets, the great prophets said: All men and women are created equal in the image of God, in the eyes of G-d.


Guatemalan President Morales responded: “It is also a great honor for us to be here, as representatives of Guatemala, in this beautiful city. We spoke on the steps and mentioned how much we want to strengthen relations between us and today we have returned our embassy to Jerusalem. This is indeed a new era in relations between us. We need to support each other vis-à-vis our needs and where we can help each other.”

President Reuven Rivlin met with the President  Jimmy Ernesto Morales Cabrera.

Presidents Morales and Rivlin Photo: Mark Neiman (GPO)

In his opening remarks, President Rivlin spoke on the situation on the border with Gaza and said, “Hamas sends terrorists to sabotage the border and provoke Israel, it uses children, women and civilians to serve as a live shield against the IDF”. The President continued, “The Israel Defense Forces is our people’s army – our children and our grandchildren are IDF soldiers who defend their homes, their parents’ homes, and their younger brothers and sisters. Any country would have dealt uncompromisingly against such attempts of invasion. The countries of the world would not dare say to a country whose neighbor wants to invade that it should not defend itself from such an invasion. The events that lead to the death of people on the other side are the fault of Hamas, which uses innocent people to cause harm to Israel. It is our duty to protect our citizens. We know that Hamas knows how to kidnap Israeli citizens and soldiers – and it is not only our right, but our duty to do everything we can to protect our homeland and its borders.”

The President once again thanked the President of Guatemala and said, “I am pleased to welcome you – you are a true friend of Israel. I would like to thank the Foreign Minister of your country, who does a great deal to strengthen ties and relations between the two countries, and we thank her for her work.”

The President of Guatemala thanked the President for his words and warm welcome, and noted that he was accompanied on his visit to Israel by the heads of the authorities representing democracy in his country – the President of the Congress and President of the Supreme Court. He said, “The presence of our three authorities here attests to the importance of the event that took place today, the inauguration of the embassy in Jerusalem, and we are convinced that others will follow this new path of peace and prosperity.”

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