From president to president

February 21, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has written to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron following antisemitic events in France.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Macron

The urgent letter to President Emmanuel Macron expressed President Rivlin’s concern about the situation and his appreciation for the president’s response to it.

President Rivlin’s letter: “I am writing, both personally and on behalf of the State of Israel, to express my appreciation to you for visiting the Jewish cemetery at Quatzenheim and the Holocaust memorial in Paris yesterday. The mass desecration of Jewish graves with symbols of neo-Nazism is a shocking reminder that anti-Semitism is still amongst us. Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. Just this week, we have seen several other serious and disturbing acts of anti-Semitism. They are an affront to the Jewish people, to the French Republic, and to all humanity.

As many as 80 gravestones were vandalized at a French Jewish cemetery in the village of Quatzenheim, discovered on Feb. 19, 2019. Credit: Screenshot.

Mr President, times like these demand clear and strong leadership. As I saw when we met on my recent visit to France, your actions, as well as your words, show how seriously you take the issue of anti-Semitism. This is an important message for the people of France and its Jewish community. It gives us all the belief that we can and we must fight this scourge and that, together, we will overcome hatred of all kinds,” emphasized the president.

Within the last hour, the Israeli president spoke with the philosopher Professor Alain Finkielkraut, one of the leading intellectuals in France, who was the victim of an anti-Semitic attack during the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ demonstrations in Paris this week. The president expressed his support on behalf of all Israelis.

“I want to send you my full support after the wicked and hurtful attack you suffered,” said President Rivlin to Professor Finkielkraut, adding “this is a shocking reminder that anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity are irretrievably linked. The world must fight this relentlessly and without compromise.”

The president added, “I heard that the demonstrators told you to go back to Tel Aviv. I am sure you know that Tel Aviv is a wonderful place but be in no doubt that every Jew, and every person, has the right to choose wherever they live.”

The president invited Professor Finkielkraut, who thanked him sincerely for the call, to meet him in Jerusalem on his next visit to Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to President Macron.  The French President Macron told Prime Minister Netanyahu that he would adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition which determines that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism. The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation.


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