President Reuven Rivlin spoke by telephone on Thursday evening with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey at Erdogan’s request, to discuss current events relating to recent developments in the region.
During their conversation, President Rivlin clarified to his Turkish counterpart that the terror attack perpetrated on Friday on the Temple Mount – a site holy for all – was intolerable, and crossed a red line which endangered the ability of all of us to live together.
President Rivlin reminded President Erdogan that after the terror attack in Turkey, the State of Israel was quick to condemn those criminal acts. He said Israel expected to hear similar condemnation from Turkey, with the understanding that terror was terror wherever it took place; in Jerusalem, in Istanbul, or in Paris.
President Rivlin stressed that Israel was maintaining and would continue to maintain the status quo at the holy sites. He added that the steps taken on the Temple Mount were intended to ensure that such acts of terror could not be repeated, and that Israel was committed to safeguarding the lives of all the citizens who visited the holy places.
Interestingly, the Israeli president could have, but didn’t remind his Turkish counterpart that Turkish authorities have long deployed a metal detector, full Turkish security checks and demand the surrender of passport or identification card from anyone who wishes to visit the Neve Shalom Grand Synagogue of Istanbul, including Jewish visitors, which was previously attacked by radical Islamist terrorists.