ראובן ריבלין בבודנסטאג הגרמני לציון יום השואה הבינלאומי ו-75 שנה לשחרור אושוויץ
President Reuven Rivlin speaking at the German Parliament marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp
צילום: עמוס בן גרשום, לע"מ
President Reuven Rivlin speaking at the German Parliament marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp

Rivlin: Germany must win fight against anti-Semitism

Rivlin who spoke in Hebrew to the German Parliament said Europe is being haunted by the ghosts of the past — racial purity, nationalism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism

Associated Press |
Updated: 01.29.20 , 17:38

Lamenting the rising anti-Semitism in Europe, President Reuven Rivlin said Germany “must not fail” in fighting it.
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  • As he addressed German lawmakers in Hebrew Wednesday, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz death camp’s liberation.
    ראובן ריבלין בבודנסטאג הגרמני לציון יום השואה הבינלאומי ו-75 שנה לשחרור אושוויץראובן ריבלין בבודנסטאג הגרמני לציון יום השואה הבינלאומי ו-75 שנה לשחרור אושוויץ
    President Reuven Rivlin speaking at the German Parliament marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp
    (Photo: GPO)
    Rivlin’s address to parliament capped a three-day visit to Germany that started when he flew to Berlin from anniversary events at the Auschwitz death camp on Monday with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
    Rivlin, who recalled protesting when West Germany sent its first ambassador to Israel in 1959, praised today’s Germany as “a beacon for democracy, for liberalism, for responsibility and moderate forces.”
    ראובן ריבלין ופרנק-ואלטר שטיינמאיירראובן ריבלין ופרנק-ואלטר שטיינמאייר
    President Rivlin with German President Steinmeier
    (Photo: GPO)
    He said that gives Germany “enormous” responsibility at a time when there are “other trends” in Europe and elsewhere.
    “Today, Europe is being haunted by the ghosts of the past — racial purity, nationalism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism,” said Rivlin, who spoke through an interpreter. “Ugly and extreme anti-Semitism is wafting over all of Europe, from the far-right to extreme left-wingers.”
    “It is important to me to bear in mind that we are certainly not in the 1930s — we are not on the threshold of a new Shoah, and we are not even close to that,” he said. But the stirring of anti-Semitism and xenophobia must not be ignored.
    Rising concern in Germany about anti-Semitism was intensified by an incident in October in which a man tried to force his way into a synagogue in Halle on Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day of the year, then killed two passers-by before being arrested. The suspect posted an anti-Jewish screed before the attack.
    On Sunday, Germany’s foreign minister called for stepped-up efforts to ward off the possibility that many Jews may decide to leave the country.
    Rivlin said the fight against anti-Semitism must be fought “persistently, generation after generation.”
    “We must not give up,” he said. “We must not ease off. Germany must not fail here.”
    Germany “has taken responsibility for the protection of international liberal values,” Rivlin added. “If this attempt fails in Germany ... it will be condemned to fail everywhere.”
    In his speech, Rivlin also acknowledged differences over Iran. Germany is one of the countries trying to keep alive Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers that the U.S. abandoned in 2018.
    “Such a regime is a risk to world peace,” he said. “There is only one possibility: we must isolate this regime.”
    Rivlin also addressed the newly released U.S. plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has already been rejected by the Palestinians. He said both sides must examine the plan carefully and he hopes it will be implemented.
    “We must not give up,” he said.


    First published: 16:10 , 01.29.20
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