Netanyahu and Pompeo, Rivlin and Pope discuss Coronavirus

April 12, 2020 by TPS
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin continued their rounds of discussion with leaders from around the world on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and ways to combat it.

Border guard policeman enforcing the mobility restrictions in the city of Bnei Brak as part of the military’s operation, following the spike of Coronavirus numbers in the city. Bnei Brak, Apr 3, 2020. Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS

Netanyahu spoke on Wednesday evening, before the start of Passover, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who called to wish him a happy holiday.

The two also discussed “regional issues and the continued struggle against the coronavirus,” Netanyahu’s office said.

Pompeo wished Netanyahu and the people of Israel a happy Passover and Netanyahu wished him a happy Easter.

Pompeo stated that he spoke with Netanyahu about the US and Israeli efforts to contain and mitigate COVID-19.

They also discussed “Iran’s destabilizing behaviour in the region.”

“The United States’ commitment to Israel’s security is unwavering. We will always stand with Israel,” he added.

President Reuven Rivlin spoke on Wednesday with Pope Francis I, and earlier in the week with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia and President Qasym Jomart Toqaev of Kazakhstan, continuing his conversations with global leaders regarding the need for international cooperation to deal with the disease.

In his conversation with Pope Francis, Rivlin expressed his thanks and appreciation for the Pope’s “support of the fight against anti-Semitism and asked him to continue with the important message given rising numbers of anti-Semitic incidents as the Coronavirus spreads.”

Last month, an internal report by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) revealed that anti-Semitism is rising around the world as a direct result of the spread of COVID-19.

A sharp rise was detected globally, with the US, Germany, and France seeing the largest increase. The MFA stated that it was working closely with foreign governments to address the problem. A range of conspiracy theories is blaming Jews or Israel for the outbreak of the virus, sparking hatred against local Jewish communities.

“The disease shows us that it respects no borders and that no-one is immune. We are fighting a stubborn and cruel enemy together, and that is how we will overcome it, working together across the world,” Rivlin told the Pope.

The president also sent the blessings of the Jewish people to Christians celebrating Easter.

“When you light your holiday candles tonight in Israel, we will all be with you. I will be with you in my heart and in my prayers,” said the Pope.

In his conversations with world leaders about the pandemic, Rivlin has spoken with the Kings of Spain and Holland and with the presidents of Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Moldova, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Armenia, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Romania, Colombia, Peru, Honduras, Kazakhstan and Serbia.


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