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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Reuven Rivlin’

Rivlin: UNESCO “Humiliating Itself” if it Approves Resolution Denying Jewish Ties to Jerusalem

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said Thursday that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will “humiliate itself” if the world body approves, as expected, a draft resolution denying Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and other holy sites in Jerusalem.

“No forum in the world can come and say there is no connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem,” Rivlin said. “A body that does so is simply humiliating itself. History cannot be changed.”

UNESCO is scheduled to vote Thursday on a Palestinian Authority initiative condemning Israel for its conduct in and around Jerusalem’s Old City and denying Jewish ties to the city’s holy sites. The group is also expected to approve another anti-Israel resolution filed by the PA during the UNESCO Executive Board convention in Paris on October 23-25.

The resolution focuses on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third holiest, and contains no reference to the compound’s holiness to Jews. The draft refers to it the Mount only by its Muslim name, al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary. Even the Western Wall, an iconic Jewish site, is mentioned in the resolution mainly by its Arabic name, al-Buraq Plaza.

The resolution also denies any Christian connection to the sites and to the Old City, describing them as holy to Muslims only.

Both UNESCO and the Israel Antiquities Authority refused on Thursday to comment on the expected resolution, citing political reasons, but a slew of Israeli politicians slammed the expected approval. MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) called it “a shameful resolution meant to pressure Israel and erase the proven historical ties between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount and Western Wall,” adding that “our political status has never been worse.”

In the United States, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fl) led a bipartisan effort criticizing UNESCO for trying to “delegitimize Israel.”

“Numerous archaeological excavations have uncovered a myriad of antiquities that scientifically prove the historical connection of all three religions to Jerusalem, such as the discovery of the Pool of Siloam or the restoration of floor tiles of the Second Temple in the City of David,” read the letter. “Yet, this resolution seems to prioritize the Muslim heritage of the Old City, while diminishing the ties of either of the other religions,” said the letter, signed by 39 Republicans and Democrats.

“The United Nations’ obsessive hostility towards Israel will be on display yet again this week,” added Cruz. “This resolution flies in the face of, among other things, science as recent archaeological excavations, notably in the City of David, have revealed incontrovertible, physical evidence that reaffirms Jewish and Christian ties to the holy city of Jerusalem. Members of the UNESCO Executive Board should vote against this intentional campaign to deny these historical truths, rewrite the history of Jerusalem, and delegitimize Israel.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Pilot’s Family Tells President Rivlin, Cohen Nov Was ‘A Joyful Boy’

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin paid a condolence visit to the family of IAF Maj. Ohad Cohen Nov who was killed in a deadly crash of his F-16 fighter jet at Ramon Air Base in the Negev last week upon his return from an air strike on Hamas terror targets in Gaza. The attack had been carried out in retaliation for rocket fire aimed at southern Israel by Gaza terrorists earlier in the day.

Ohad’s parents, Doron and Chaya, spoke with the president about their son, about his joy for life and respect for all, and about his love for flying.

“My son loved everyone, he was a joyful boy,” Chaya told the president.

Rivlin responded, “I read and heard so much about Ohad, and on these things alone it is clear what a great loss he is for his family, for his unit, and for all the Israeli people. Your pain is infinite, and no words can bring comfort at this terrible time. All that I can do is come and be with you, together with you in your pain.”

The President spoke with Ohad’s widow, Shachar, and heard from her about the plans they had had for the future as a young family setting out. He wished for her that she should have the strength to continue looking ahead for their daughter, and for all the family.

Hana Levi Julian

Facing Lawmakers in Ukraine: Rivlin Warns ‘We Must Recognize Anti-Semitism’

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Readers, following is the core portion of President Reuven Rivlin’s speech on Tuesday to the Ukraine Parliament in Kiev. In his address, Israel’s 10th president warned the Ukraine lawmakers that although the relationship between Jerusalem and Kiev is today focused on the future, it is nevertheless important never to forget history.

Rivlin said that anti-Semitism ‘must be recognized for what it was’ when the tens of thousands of Jews and non-Jews were slaughtered at Babi-Yar, and ‘for what it is today,’ and not rehabilitate or glorify anti-Semites. No interest can ever justify silence, apathy, or hesitation in the face of anti-Semites. * * *

“Ladies and gentlemen, every year we mark Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel and around the world by reading out the names of the victims, “Everyone has a name”. But there are names, there are many names, that we will never know, despite incessant efforts to locate them. My wife’s cousins – children, toddlers, infants and babies, are left unnamed. There is no one in the world who knows the name. They were once here but are no longer among us. Many thousands of Jews who were shot, butchered, slaughtered, burnt and buried alive in Babi Yar also have no name. They became extinct under the sky – without anyone bothering to register their names. They are anonymous. Then, as now – it was autumn. The valley was green. A hand squeezed the trigger, again and again. More than 33,000 Jews were killed over two days, in a cruel and brutal death. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am not describing this difficult image in order to shock you. I am telling you these stories because Babi Yar saw not only the murder of tens of thousands of people; Jews, Ukrainians, Romani, and other non-Jewish groups at the hands of the Nazis, with the help of their Ukrainian collaborators, but at Babi Yar the Nazis sought to forget, to deny, to erase, to conceal, and to obscure the horror and the evidence. The valley saw two horrific sins. The first sin, was the sin of murder and destruction. The second sin was the sin of concealment and destruction of the memory. The second sin was no less systematic nor relentless than the first – it was as comprehensive as the massacre itself. Beginning in July 1943, the SS received an order to conceal all the evidence of the murder from the mass graves. By then the number of the murdered had risen to more than 150,000 in Babi Yar. The order given to the 1005 Unit was clear: to hide the evidence. They first began by removing the bodies burnt at the stake. Then they crushed the bones and scattered the ashes to find any gold or silver. The despoilment was so efficient that the cruelly despicable massacre was almost erased from the pages of history.” He noted, “Many years after, when the Nazis had long disappeared from here, and the war had ended, there still was not a memorial at Babi Yar. The victims of Babi Yar were twice, twice to be erased from the face of the earth, in their lives and after their deaths. I have many times asked myself why the Nazis invested so much in defacing and obscuring the evidence. It seems they were afraid of justice, but today I am confident that the despoilment of the evidence was part of the destruction. Had the Nazis succeeded in destroying the memory, the Final Solution would have truly been final.” He went on to stress, “the sin of the destruction has already been carried out. We cannot bring the dead back to life. We will never know all their names, who they were, what were their dreams and thoughts as they were marched to their deaths. But we must not, we must not be partners in the second crime. We must not play a part in the sin of forgetting or denial. Around 1.5 million Jews were murdered in the territory of modern day Ukraine during the Second World War; in Babi Yar, and in many other places of murder. They shot them in the valleys, in the woods, into pits, into mass grave. Many of the collaborators were Ukrainian, among the most notorious the members of the OUN who carried out pogroms and massacres against the Jews and in many cases handed them over to the Germans. It is true, there were more than 2,500 Righteous Among The Nations, lone candles who shone in the darkness of humanity. Yet the majority remained silent.” The President went on to say, “The relationship between the Jewish and Ukrainian peoples are today focused on the future, yet the history – both good and bad – must never be forgotten. We must recognize anti-Semitism as it was and as it is found today, and not rehabilitate or glorify anti-Semites. No interest can ever justify silence, apathy, or hesitation in the face of anti-Semites. And national leaders who support anti-Semitic, racist, or neo-Nazi ideas will not be welcomed as friends among the family of nations.” He noted, “the Jewish people have a long history interwoven with Ukraine. In Kiev, in Lvov, in Odessa, and in many other cities spread across Ukraine. Here a large part of the Jewish people lived for more than 1000 years. Here, a bastion of world Jewish culture was created. Here they influenced and were influenced by the neighbors living around them, the people of Ukraine. Here on Ukrainian soil two of the most important modern Jewish movements grew and flourished; Hassidism and Zionism. Here some of the greatest of the Jewish figures grew and worked; the Ba’al Shem Tov, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, Ahad Ha’am, and my ideological teacher Ze’ev Jabotinsky. “I believe in complete faith that our future is up to us learning the lessons of the past, dealing with the past, teaching tolerance, love for one’s fellow man, and democracy. And to my pleasure, I don’t stand here in a minority. Ukraine today is sending the world a different message. Ukraine is proving by actions and words its deep desire for change and reforms. I am filled with appreciation for Ukraine, for the democratic rule which it proudly upholds, despite the challenges it faces – security and economic. I am filled with appreciation for this distinguished parliament which expresses the living spirit of Ukrainian democracy, and I am honored to stand and speak before you as a partner and a friend.” The President said, “Friends, this year we will complete 25 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Ukraine. Your Excellency President Poroshenko, during your visit to Israel a number of agreements in the fields of trade and economy were signed between Israel and Ukraine, and our policies are working to increase trade, and toward a free trade agreement. We are expanding our cooperation in science, in technology, in culture and tourism. Already today, the trade between our countries stands at more than a billion dollars, and it is important that we grow this, and to ease this growth remove bilateral barriers to trade. There is already no prior visa requirement to visit Israel, there are more and more flights, and the distance is quite short. We invite the Ukrainian people to come and see, to get to know firsthand the State of Israel and its citizens.” He concluded, “The State of Israel believes in the close connection between freedom, democracy, and prosperity. Freedom is a condition of prosperity, and prosperity is a condition of freedom. Over the years, the State of Israel has been forced to defend its freedom, and at the same time to prosper successfully. The challenges are not easy – just this year, we have faced the challenge of ongoing terrorism and have been exposed to the to threats whether from extremist Islamists such as IS, Hamas, or Hezbollah – who relentlessly test our readiness – or whether from hostile states key among them Iran. But we remain insistent not to surrender freedom, not to surrender life, not to surrender prosperity.

Hana Levi Julian

Rivlin Tells Ukraine Parliament ‘My Thoughts Are With My Friend, Shimon Peres’

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin addressed a special plenary session of the Ukraine Parliament on Tuesday, marking 75 years since the Babi Yar Massacre.

The address came during Rivlin’s state visit to the country and followed his visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Kiev, and the Klodomor Memorial.

Rivlin and President Petro Poroshenko met together for a working meeting following an official welcome ceremony.

In his address, Rivlin shared with the lawmakers the current deteriorating medical status of Israel’s ninth president, “my friend, Shimon Peres. My thoughts are with …. Shimon Peres, who is fighting for his life at these very moments.

“The president was a guest of honor in this house and a friend of the Ukrainian people,” he said, “and saw the great importance of strengthening the ties between the states.

“In the name of the Israeli people, and people around the world, we pray for his recovery.”

In the address, Rivlin also talked about the personal way in which Ukraine’s history has affected his life and that of his wife.

“Kayla Mintz was born in 1907 to Reyzl and Alexander Mintz in the town of Bilozir, Ukraine. In 1925 at the age of 20 she received an entry permit to Israel and achieved her dream of becoming a farmer and working the land that she felt so strongly about.

“In the years to come she married Menachem Shulman, who was born in the town of Marina Gorka, in Ukraine, and after wandering the land together the settled in Moshav Herut together with other friends from Ukraine. There they had two daughters, Varda and Nechama, my wife.

“Kayla left her entire family back in Ukraine – her sisters, her brother, and her father. Life in Israel was difficult, and she innocently thought that her family was spoiled and wouldn’t be able to stand the difficulties in living in Israel. That is why she never bothered to persuade them to emigrate to Israel.

“Following the beginning of Operation Barbarossa by German forces, Bilozir was captured in July 1941 by the Nazis. Already within the first week of occupying the town, several Jewish girls were publicly executed.

“In mid-August 1942 the city’s Jews were taken, along with the rest of the Jews from Laniwci Ghetto, to the killing pits on the way leading to Kremenets, and were murdered there.

“With your permission, I will mention the names of my wife’s aunts and uncles, and their children: Aunt Cilla (nee Mintz), her husband and children. Aunt Mania (nee Mintz), her husband and children. Uncle Dov Mintz, his wife and children. Uncle Daniel Mintz, His wife and children. In the town of Marina Gorka, in today’s Belarus, my wife’s uncles were murdered. Her father Menachem Shulman’s brothers Jacob, Moses, Samuel and Israel Shulman.

“May they rest in peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

Far East Meets Middle East in Summit for Religious Leaders

Monday, September 12th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Over 20 religious leaders from east Asia arrived in Israel Monday for a four-day summit in Jerusalem. Participants came from countries such as China, South Korea, India, and Japan, representing spiritual traditions of Taoism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Jainism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism. Throughout the upcoming week, they will come face to face with Arab and Israeli religious leaders of Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

“It is time to expand the Israel-Asia dialogue from only diplomatic and economic spheres to religion, spirituality and faith,” summit coordinator Simona Halperin told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “This is a first meeting in history between the religious leaders of Judaism and those of the eastern faiths.”

The summit was a joint project between the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the American Jewish Committee and the World Council of Religious Leaders (WCRL). Notable guests included the president of the Buddhist Association of China, Xuecheng, Swami Avdeshanand Giri, spiritual leader of millions of Indian Hindus, and Bawa Jain, Secretary-General of the WCRL.

President Reuven Rivlin greeted summit participants.

“Welcome to Jerusalem, the holy city to the religions of the sons of Abraham,” Rivlin told the guests. “Your arrival is a very special event, for many years the interaction between our religions hardly even existed.

“This is no longer the situation, as your visit today shows,” Rivlin said.

Xuecheng and Swami Giri also addressed the summit, saying religious leaders should take a leading role towards solving worldwide social and environmental challenges.

“I’m very happy to be here,” said the Swami. “We have a saying in our colloquial tongue: ‘When you have dialogues, then the wisdom dawns and knowledge comes.’ Dialogue imparts clarity.”

Xuecheng expressed his hope to make lasting friendships among religious leaders in Israel. “Only if we make true friends we can really set the goal of mutual respect and understanding. the Chinese religions are working very hard to call out other religions to help in the construction of a peaceful world,” he said.

According to Halperin, during the four days of the summit the religious leaders will meet with rabbis from all Jewish streams, as well as with Muslim, Druze and Christian leaders. The group will tour holy sites and discuss current events including global warming, the environment, the status of religion in contemporary society, the role of religion in peacemaking and more.

“Our spiritual worlds are very close to each other in that they are not missionary religions which makes them very open and tolerant,” Rabbi Daniel Sperber, a professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University and Orthodox rabbi. “I feel a unity and comradery between our peoples, more so than with the western world and Christianity.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Aussie FM: Bilateral Ties Based on Common Values

Monday, September 5th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop arrived in Jerusalem on Sunday for a three-day state visit to Israel. In her first round of meetings with Israel’s prime minister, president, and defense minister, Bishop stressed Australia’s continued commitment to the State of Israel.

“I want to take this opportunity to reaffirm our absolute enduring commitment to the State of Israel and our friendship,” Foreign Minister Bishop told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In addition, Bishop extended an official invitation to Netanyahu to visit Australia. “The Australian public would warmly embrace you, welcome you, and we would look forward to the first visit of an Israeli prime minister ever to Australia,” she told the Israeli prime minister.

The current Australian government under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was inaugurated in July, 2016 and is considered very friendly to Israel. Foreign Minister Bishop publicly stated two years ago that the international community has no place to decide which Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are legal and which ones are not.

“The Australian government is one of the most pro-Israel governments there has been and continues to be,” Isi Leibler, a former leader of the Australian Jewish community and a Jerusalem Post columnist told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “There will be no threat to Israeli-Australian relations as a whole as long as this government stays is power.”

In a joint press conference with President Reuven Rivlin, Bishop said the trip is an opportunity for her to ensure that the relationship between Australia and Israel is not taken for granted. “It will continue to be nurtured by both sides and it will continue to flourish based on common values,” she said.

Following Bishop’s meeting with Netanyahu and Rivlin, she continued to hold a private meeting with Defense Minister Liberman. According to an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson, the two ministers discussed further bilateral cooperation in various fields behind closed doors.

“Foreign Minister Liberman thanked Foreign Minister Bishop for the part Australian soldiers play in the United Nations’ observer forces in the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. The two ministers met several times in the past during Liberman’s tenure as foreign minister and they have a good existing relationship, which continues today,” said Tzachi Moshe, a spokesman for Liberman.

In the next two days, Bishop will visit Tel Aviv to inspect several high-tech innovation hubs including “Landing Pad,” which is helping Australian entrepreneurs tap into Israel’s science and research industry. She is also scheduled to visit Ramallah and meet with the leaders of the Palestinian Authority.

“I hope she will tell the Palestinians that Australia will remain behind Israel and also that they should endeavor to get their act together for any potential negotiating future,” Isi Leibler told TPS.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

President Rivlin Tours Gaza Border Communities, Praises IDF Operational Power

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Marking two years since Operation Protective Edge, President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday toured the region bordering the Gaza Strip, accompanied by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, and Gaza Division Commander Brig. Gen. Yehuda Fox.

The President received a situation update and heard about the IDF daily operations in the area, in particular following the recent terrorist rocket attack on Sderot. During his visit, President Rivlin was shown a terror tunnel discovered by the IDF, and discussed the initiatives the IDF was taking to tackle the tunnels problem.

The President later met with dozens of soldiers from the Bedouin Tracker Unit, combat engineers, and members of the Givati Brigade who are serving in the region. He told them, “Two years after Operation Protective Edge, the south has returned to its daily routine. The IDF guards the front in the very best way, and the front in return shows its appreciation. Just as we saw yesterday, we will not tolerate any disturbance of the quiet, and in the face of any such disturbance we will respond swiftly and firmly. On both sides of the border there are civilians who want to live in quiet and we will be sure that the citizens of Israel will continue to live in harmony. We do not seek war, yet, after having sat with our wonderful commanders I know that if war is forced upon us, we have an army as ready and professional as could be asked. The plan that was presented to me reflects operational strength.”

President Rivlin pointed that “two of our sons remained behind after the war which took place two years ago. The State of Israel has a moral responsibility to bring back Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.”

The President added, “On my own behalf, and on behalf of all the Israeli people, I want to say thank you to the commanders, and to the service men and women. The calm here is not taken for granted, the children and the families who are now enjoying the summer holiday do so thanks to you.”

The President told reporters who accompanied his visit, “We are not interested in an escalation. Just as the other side wants to live in peace and live comfortable lives, so do we. At the same time, we are ready to face any hostility toward us. I am impressed by the readiness of the IDF to face any challenge in order to safeguard Israel’s security. I can say to the citizens of Israel, the IDF is prepared and ready to face any threat above or below ground in order to prevent any trouble not just around Gaza, but across the country.”

The President later met with council heads from the Negev and the southern region.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/president-rivlin-tours-gaza-border-communities-praises-idf-operational-power/2016/08/24/

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