"The memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust - an example of the indifference and the terrible crimes of the twentieth century - should be forever etched in the history of mankind.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev


(11 November 2016 – Jerusalem) The Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, H.E. Dr. Dmity Medvedev, visited Yad Vashem today as part of his official state visit to Israel. The Prime Minister was greeted by Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. The Prime Minister was accompanied by several members of his government. 


Over the past several years, Yad Vashem has worked on several joint initiatives in Russia, including a new interactive Learning Center, called "The War and the Holocaust: Thoughts on the Past and Future," which opened in January 2016 at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow. In addition, this past VE Day, Yad Vashem's International Institute for Holocaust Research inaugurated the Moshe Mirilashvili Center for Research on the Holocaust in the Soviet Union. The Mirilashvili Center is set to consolidate and augment previous research and educational endeavors of Yad Vashem in the field of the history of the Holocaust in the USSR.





While at Yad Vashem, Prime Minister Medvedev toured the Holocaust History Museum, rekindled the eternal flame and laid a wreath during a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visited the Children's Memorial and signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book.   


Prime Minister Medvedev remarked during his visit to Yad Vashem that "it is very important for us to understand the nature of the devastation of the Holocaust. It is chilling to see sheer magnitude of horrors suffered by the victims of an entire nation, the Jewish people."


Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, was established in 1953. Located in Jerusalem, it is dedicated to Holocaust commemoration, documentation, research and   education.  




Photo Credits: Yad Vashem – Isaac Harari

 Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev laying a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem

 Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev



















President Rivlin meets world leaders, and receives condolences from around the world on the passing of Israel’s Ninth President, Shimon Peres


President Reuven Rivlin met today (Friday) with a number of world leaders visiting Israel to attend the funeral of Israel’s Ninth President Shimon Peres. In meetings held at the President’s Residence, the President welcomed the King of Spain, the Prince of Wales, the President of France, the Governor General of Australia, and the Prime Minister of Canada.


In the morning, President Rivlin welcomed His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain, and expressed his appreciation for the King’s attendance at the funeral of “one of the founders, one of the builders of the State of Israel, an important personality in the history of our people.”


The King expressed his condolences and those of all the Spanish people on the passing of former President Peres, he noted he was “a great man and a great statesman, as well as being great friend of Spain”. He commented that President Peres had done much to build relations between the two peoples, and paid tribute to “his efforts for peace worldwide”.


The King extended an invitation to President Rivlin to visit Spain, and the two went on to speak about the long history between the Jewish people and Spain, including the great tradition of the Jewish scholars and culture which prospered there before the Expulsion. The President similarly stressed the importance of recognition for the Jewish people’s historic roots in the land of Israel.


Among the leaders that President Rivlin met with before the funeral were Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. President Rivlin stressed to him the importance he placed in building confidence between the two sides. President Abbas expressed his desire that they would meet under different circumstances. 


After the funeral, President Rivlin welcomed to his residence His Royal Highness, Charles Prince of Wales and expressed his appreciation for his arrival in order to attend the funeral of the late President Peres.


Prince Charles thanked the President for his warm welcome, and said “It is a very sad moment, and I want to convey the deep condolences of the Queen to you on this sad occasion. President Peres, of whom I have very fond memories of meeting, tried so hard to achieve the peace that is badly needed.” The two went on to discuss issues including the necessity and challenges of building bridges between different faith communities.  


Later in the afternoon President Rivlin welcomed President Hollande of France, Australian Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada.


In addition to his meetings, President Rivlin had received in the past few days many messages of condolence sent to him and all the people of Israel on the passing of Israel’s Ninth President Shimon Peres. Messages were received from both serving and former world leaders from across the globe.


Pope Francis sent a telegram marking his warm appreciation for former President Peres and said, “I hope that his memory and many years of service will inspire us all to work with ever greater urgency for peace and reconciliation between peoples.”


King Abdullah II of Jordan wrote to President Rivlin and said of President Peres that, “his contribution towards achieving peace and security in the region are more relevant than ever before, as the situation becomes more complex and the security of this entire region comes under threat.”


In a joint letter, European Council President Tusk and European Commission President Junker described President Peres as “an icon on the world stage who will be dearly missed for his unwavering dedication to coexistence in the Middle East between all peoples.”


Similarly, in a message from India’s President Pranab Mukherjee, he noted that, “The worldwide admiration and accolades that he received for his work – including the Noble Peace Prize, are a testimony to the values that he stood for.” Meanwhile China’s President Xi expressed his condolences and noted, that President Peres “had made important contributions to China-Israel ties”.


In a telegram, Queen Elizabeth II expressed her “heartfelt condolences,” and recalled warmly meeting President Peres in 2008, while British Prime Minister Theresa May said that “President Peres had many friends in the UK, and there is a profound sense of loss here today.” She noted he was a “towering figure in Israel’s history,” and added, “his determination to look to the future was always an inspiration.”


Also sending their condolences to President Rivlin were heads of state from Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Georgia, Belgium, Sweden, Azerbaijan and many others.


Attached photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)






 PM Netanyahu Meets with East Asian and Israeli Religious Leaders


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 12 September 2016), met with East Asian religious leaders who are in Israel for the first conference of its kind (organized by the Foreign Ministry, the American Jewish Committee and the World Council of Religious Leaders) – a meeting between religious leaders from East Asia and spiritual leaders from Israel. Among the participants were representatives of the Buddhist, Hindu, Shinto, Jain, Sikh, Taoist and Zoroastrian faiths



Photo credit: Haim Zach (GPO)









PM Netanyahu meets with Cyprus President Anastasiades in Jerusalem


The discussions reflected the close and very important relations both countries enjoy. The two leaders emphasized their shared interests in regional stability and agreed to continue countering sources of extremism and terrorism.


Israel-Cyprus joint statement 


The following was issued this evening (Sunday, 24 July 2016):

"The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, held wide ranging discussions that reflected the close and very important relations both countries enjoy.

In the course of the discussions, both leaders emphasized their shared interests in regional stability and expressed their agreement to continue countering sources of extremism and terrorism. 

The two sides continued their talks about emergency response cooperation.  Both leaders encouraged their teams to conclude these talks as soon as possible.

The two sides discussed the unitization issue regarding the Aphrodite and Yishai gas fields, and concluded that by September 2016 the two Energy Ministers will seek to finalize these discussions.

In the context of the exploration and development of energy resource in the eastern Mediterranean, both leaders concluded that there is no question that resolving the outstanding issues between Cyprus and Turkey would greatly facilitate the pace of the development of future projects, which will proceed according to international law, as well as greatly enhance stability in the region.  Therefore, Israel has a strong interest in the resolution of this issue.

Both leaders stressed the importance of the trilateral framework between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece and reconvening together by the end of the year, as was agreed between the parties at the Nicosia Summit, on January 28, 2016."

Statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of his meeting in Jerusalem with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Sunday, 24 July 2016), at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, made the following statement at the start of his meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades:

"Cyprus and Israel are two small democracies in the eastern Mediterranean. We also share common challenges, and also common opportunities: in security cooperation, in gas, in emergency cooperation, commerce, tourism, many, many fields.

I will never forget that in 2010, when we faced a ferocious forest fire in the Carmel Forest, the first country I called was Cyprus. If offered to send a plane. It did send it, and I was privileged to reciprocate last month when you faced a ferocious forest fire, and we sent our planes to extinguish your flames. Back in April, our two nations, along with Greece, conducted a joint fire-fighting exercise to enhance our regional cooperation in emergency situations.

And that's exactly the kind of thing that friends do. They come to each other's help in times of need, but also cooperate in good times or cooperate to make times better. And that's why I'm particularly proud to have this opportunity to continue the dialogue we began on a tripartite basis in the Nicosia summit. We're continuing those discussions, both bilaterally but also multilaterally, and we continue to send our people.

But of course we know, as leaders, that there's no substitute for the meeting of the people at the top, so in this spirit, I welcome you once again."

Statement by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades at the start of his meeting in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, today (Sunday, 24 July 2016), at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, made the following statement at the start of his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

"Thank you very much, my dear friend, Prime Minister. It is a pleasure to be back in Jerusalem and to have an opportunity to discuss with you many of the important developments that have taken place in the past few months. 

But before I say anything else, I want to express to you and to the people and Government of the State of Israel personally my gratitude and the gratitude of all Cypriots for the indispensable assistance which you offered recently during the terrible forest fires in Cyprus. I also want to especially thank the professional men and women who came to our aid – the pilots, the ground crew, the support staff and their officers, who so quickly went on alert, flew to Cyprus and helped us in our time of need.

In the sadness of natural disasters, I have to point out something that gave me hope for the future: The fact that the level of mutual cooperation between Cyprus and Israel has reached the point where reaction is so swift and smooth. We know that we can rely on each other, and this is the result of a lot of work that we have been doing together during the past few years in bringing our countries closer.

We are reliable partners that see eye to eye on a wide agenda of issues, reaching from energy to security to a very sincere, open and frank political dialogue. We have been tightening our areas of cooperation, from tourism to education and business, sharpening our joint training, and through continuous coordination have been forming a common language. This common language enables us to stand by each other in these very challenging times, as we are faced with so many attacks against our common rights. This is true in our immediate region, but also in many parts of the world. 

These frequent meetings – this is actually our fifth meeting in a year – our regular talks on the telephone (it's another way of communication) and our transparency are essential for our partnership of strategic choice and important in understanding each other's needs as peoples and states.

I cannot but highlight that last week almost 80 flights took place between Israel and Cyprus. In one week, 80 flights, and today's it was the 81st flying to Israel. 

In this spirit, I look forward to our meeting today to discuss how to enhance more our bilateral relations in the fields of energy, security, economy and trade, to exchange views on the regional developments, to brief you on the negotiations about the Cyprus problem, and of course to prepare for the next trilateral meeting later this year with our Greek colleague here in Jerusalem, in order to continue the work which we started in Nicosia last January.

Once again, thank you my dearest friend for hosting us in Jerusalem and I look forward to our conversation on the many important subjects that are of mutual concern."



 Photo GPO / Kobi Gideon










President Rivlin’s official visit to Russia

President Rivlin visits Moscow, meets with President Putin in the Kremlin


President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday), on the first day of his official visit to Russia, met with President Putin at the Kremlin, lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and visited the Russian National Library.


Before their meeting, Presidents Rivlin and Putin delivered brief media statements. President Putin welcomed President Rivlin and said, “Mr. President, I welcome you with all of my heart on your arrival to Russia, and I am pleased to receive the President of the State of Israel here. The relationship between Israel and Russia has a long history. In Israel live around a million and a half people from the former Soviet Union, who speak Russian, know Russian culture, and have a Russian mentality. They maintain ties with friends and family who remained in Russia, and this adds something very special to our relations. In addition, the number of Russian pilgrims who visit Israel is increasing each year. We thank Israel for returning to us, holy sites which were once under our control. There are a range of other issues which we will speak about in our meeting, such as trade and economic cooperation, as well as security in the region. We have also spoken by phone with the Prime Minister of Israel, and we have agreed to speak further on these issues.”


In response, President Rivlin said, “Mr. President, thank you for your warm welcome. It is an honor for me to be here with you in your beautiful country. Israel and Russia have a long history. We enjoy cooperation in a range of fields, and we also both know what it means to have to deal with terror and fundamentalism. As a Jew, I want to say that we will never forget the Russian people and the Red Army for their victory over the Nazis. Around the world, many survivors of the Holocaust remember that the first soldiers they met on their liberation were the soldiers of the Red Army. I thank you again for the invitation and I look forward to our meeting, we have many important issues to discuss.”


Earlier in the day, President Rivlin was welcomed with a guard of honor at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow, where President Rivlin laid a wreath and the military band played the Israeli national anthem (Hatikva).


From there, the President went on together with his wife, Mrs. Nechama Rivlin, to visit the Russian National Library where he was shown some of their extensive collection of Jewish texts and documents from the 15th and 16th Centuries, which included many Jewish prayer books and holy texts. The President was also shown around the library’s archives where he was shown how the texts are preserved. The President commented that Israel was ready to assist in any way with the preservation of the collection.


Tomorrow, President Rivlin is due (09:30 Israel) to visit the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, dedicated to the memory of the Russian Jewish community throughout history up until the fall of the Berlin Wall. He is then due to meet with members of the Jewish community (10:30 Israel).


Later, (12:00 Israel) President Rivlin is scheduled to meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia. President Rivlin will then to go on to hold a working meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (14:00).


Photo : Mark Neiman (GPO)





Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on state visit to Israel


President Rivlin: "Israel stands together with Kenya against those who pretend to speak in the name of Islam, as they murder innocent men, women, and children from all religions and nations."

President Kenyatta: "We in Kenya hold Israel as a dear and very special friend. The war on terrorism is international and we must all join hands together to defeat it."

President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday morning (23 February 2016) hosted at his residence an official welcome ceremony for President of Kenya, H.E. Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, who was on a state visit to Israel. The President welcomed his guest on the red carpet before they both stood for the national anthems, and reviewed a guard of honor. The President's then went on to deliver statements, before holding a working meeting during which they discussed the strengthening of bilateral ties between the two countries.

In his remarks to the media, President Rivlin welcomed President Kenyatta to Israel and spoke of the shared pain both nations had felt as a result of terrorism. He said, "When I heard of the terror attack in Somalia where many of your soldiers were killed, I was reminded of the terror attack in 2002 at the hotel in Mombasa, where 3 Israeli citizens were killed. In Israel today we face the ongoing threat of terror and hatred. We feel the pain together with you. Israel stands together with Kenya against those who pretend to speak in the name of Islam, as they murder innocent men, women, and children from all religions and nations."



President Rivlin spoke of the importance of the cooperation between the two nations, especially in the field of development. He noted, "Israel is proud of the cooperation between our peoples. Thanks to MASHAV we are working to educate people, develop agriculture, and protect the environment. It is my hope this cooperation will continue to grow and that the close ties between our people will become stronger. Your visit is an important step in building this friendship."

President Kenyatta thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, "It is my sincere hope that this visit will cement the bonds that are already strong, and link our two countries. Let me assure you Mr. President that we in Kenya hold Israel as a dear and very special friend. This is a friendship not only born out of a long history of fraternal relations, but is also manifested in very real and concrete corporation in a number of important areas," which he noted included, "defense, water resource management, fisheries, education, technology and scientific corporation." President Kenyatta added, "The war on terrorism is international and we must all join hands together to defeat it."

The two Presidents then went on to hold an extended meeting in which they discussed in greater depth the regional situation in Africa and the Middle East, as well as efforts to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries. Later this evening, the President and First Lady Rivlin will host a state dinner at their residence in honor of the President of Kenya's visit.


Photo 1 President Rivlin hosts official welcome ceremony for Kenyan President Kenyatta

Copyright: GPO/Mark Neiman


Photo 2 Kenyan President Kenyatta is welcomed on arrival in Israel by Minister of Religious Services David Azoulay
Copyright: Miri Shimonovich











President of India Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Yad Vashem is the first visit of its kind by a president of India.


President Reuven Rivlin today (Tuesday, 13 October 2015), accompanied President of India Pranab Mukherjee, on his visit to the Holocaust memorial 'Yad Vashem', as he began his historic state visit to Israel – the first of its kind by an Indian president.
As the two presidents met, President Rivlin noted to his Indian counterpart that he was greatly moved to host him on his first visit to Israel. President Mukherjee thanked President Rivlin for his warm welcome and said he was excited to have the opportunity to visit Israel.

The two presidents together visited the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem, in which are stored millions of gathered testimonies to those who perished in the Holocaust. They looked at the many pictures and 'witness testimonies' on display, as President Rivlin explained to his guest about the museum, and the importance of the work done there to preserve the memory of the victims.

The two presidents went on to a memorial ceremony held at the Hall of Remembrance, in which the President of India laid a wreath and rekindled the 'eternal flame' in the hall. The hall has been kept as a place of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust and includes the names of the death and concentration camps displayed geographically on the floor, along with a memorial stone, under which were interred ashes of the victims gathered from the Nazi camps.

Following the recitation of the memorial prayer, President Rivlin walked together with President Mukherjee around the circumference of the hall and explained to him the significance of the room, and the ceremony held there.


President Reuven Rivlin and President of India Pranab Mukherjee on visit to Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem

Copyright: GPO/Mark Neiman




President of India Pranab Mukherjee to make state visit to Israel next week


President of India Pranab Mukherjee to make state visit to Israel next week (13-15 October 2015)


The President of India, H.E. Pranab Mukherjee, will (13-15 October 2015) make a state visit to Israel, at the invitation of President of Israel, H.E. Reuven Rivlin. The visit marks an historic political milestone as the first such visit by an Indian president to the State of Israel, and this reflects the continued strengthening of relations between the two countries.


The President of India will receive an official reception at the Israeli President's Residence, after which the two heads of state will hold a working meeting. Later, President Rivlin will host a state dinner in honor of President Mukherjee's visit.


Speaking of the visit, President Rivlin said, "The upcoming visit of the President of India, more than being an important milestone in the relationship of the two countries, will serve to deepen the friendship between our states, in the fields of economy, science, medicine, and agriculture. I am looking forward to the meeting, which will represent one of the highlights of the relationship between the Israeli and Indian peoples."


President Mukherjee's itinerary will also include a luncheon with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as meetings with Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, and with Chairman of the Opposition Isaac Herzog. Similarly, President Mukherjee is due to deliver an address at a special plenary meeting of the Israeli Knesset.


The visit will conclude with a ceremony at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, where President Mukherjee will receive an honorary doctorate – marking the ongoing academic cooperation between the two countries.


Israel views with high importance the developing relations with India, and is delighted by the occasion of the first visit of an Indian president to Israel.


 Photo  :Copyright: By US Treasury Department [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons







PM Netanyahu meets with UK Foreign Secretary Hammond


The alternative to the deal in Vienna that paves Iran’s path to the bomb is one that would roll back Iran's military nuclear program and tie the easing of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to changes in Iran's behavior


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this afternoon (Thursday, 16 July 2015), met with UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and said at the start of their meeting:


"Secretary Hammond, I’d like to welcome you back to Jerusalem.


I want to once again express Israel’s solidarity with the people of Britain following last month's deadly terrorist attacks against British tourists in Tunisia. This was so close to the tenth anniversary of the 7/7 murderous attacks in London.


Both our countries continue to face the terrorism of militant Islam, led by Iran and ISIS.


Iran remains the world's preeminent sponsor of terrorism.


Iran's terrorist activities encompass over thirty countries, across five continents.


The deal agreed to in Vienna, I regret to say, paves this terrorist regime's path to the bomb.


The alternative to this bad deal is not war. The alternative is a better deal that would roll back Iran's military nuclear program and tie the easing of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to changes in Iran's behavior.


That's the kind of deal that would be welcomed in Tel Aviv and here in Israel's capital, Jerusalem.


Israel would embrace a good deal that would compel Iran to choose between a path to the bomb and sanctions relief.


Unfortunately, the current deal allows Iran to avoid making that choice.


It lifts the sanctions today and paves a path to the bomb tomorrow.


That's not a triumph for diplomacy, but a failure of diplomacy.


And this failure threatens the survival of Israel, the security of our Arab neighbors and the peace of the world.


See, the Iran deal in Vienna grants Iran not one, but two paths to the bomb.


Iran can get to the bomb by cheating and overcoming a porous inspections mechanism, as did North Korea.


Or it can get the bomb by keeping the deal, because the deal allows Iran in about a decade to have a much greater number of even faster, more effective centrifuges than they have today. This will enable Iran to have the capacity to produce the enriched uranium for an entire nuclear arsenal with zero breakout time. And 10 years go by in the blink of an eye.


In the meantime, the sanctions relief offered by the deal will inject hundreds of billions of dollars into Iran's coffers. This money will bankroll Iran’s aggression in the region and its terrorism worldwide.


Mr. Secretary,


Israel has no territorial dispute with Iran. In fact, we have no dispute with Iran. Yet, since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has funded, trained, armed and dispatched terrorists responsible for murdering hundreds of Israelis and Jews throughout the world.


And Iran further says that Israel must be annihilated, must be wiped off the face of the earth.


So, Mr. Secretary,


Israelis know better than anyone else the cost of permanent conflict with Iran. And it is wrong to suggest that Israel wants such an outcome.


We seek a genuine and effective diplomatic solution.


But Israelis also know exactly what would happen if we ever let our guard down.


The result of that would be truly permanent.


So it’s evident, Mr. Secretary, that we may not agree on everything. But as friends and allies, we can respectfully disagree.


I look forward to our discussions on this issue, on the issue of advancing peace and security with our Palestinian neighbors and on forging better bilateral ties between Israel and Britain."


PM Netanyahu with UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Jerusalem. Photo: GPO/Haim Zach












President Rivlin: The Palestinian leadership should condemn these attacks and act against them, but their silence is louder than ever. These attacks will not succeed - the Jewish people will continue to live in the land of Israel without being forced to fear for their lives.


President Reuven Rivlin this afternoon (Tuesday 30 June 2015), held a working meeting with the Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni who is visiting Israel.

At the beginning of the meeting, President Rivlin spoke about the recent terrorist attacks against Israelis, and said, “This month of Ramadan is turning into a month of terror before our very eyes.Terror is terror, wherever it strikes in the land of Israel, and across the world.”

The President stressed, “Especially during Ramadan, the Palestinian leadership must condemn these attacks and act against them. Their silence is louder than ever. These terrorist attacks will not succeed. The Jewish people will continue to live in the land of Israel without being forced to fear for their lives. I pray for the recovery of the injured and trust the security services will bring those responsible to justice.”

Turning to the Italian Foreign Minister, President Rivlin said, “I am delighted to welcome you to Jerusalem. Italy is an important and very good friend of Israel.” The President went on to stress that the only way to find a solution to the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians was through returning to direct negotiations, and urged the Italian Foreign Minister to ensure Italy acted to bring the sides to the negotiating table. He said, “Only by talking will be able to make living together possible.”

The Italian Foreign Minister thanked the President for his warm welcome and joined in his condemnation of the recent terrorist attacks. He said, “We strongly condemn the terrorist acts, and express solidarity with the families and people of Israel. We always condemn such acts, but especially now in the month of Ramadan which should be a time of respect and understanding.”

The Foreign Minister added, “We have strong relations with Israel, and we look forward to strengthening them further with your visit to Italy later in the year.”

On the issue of the need for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the Foreign Minister said, “I share your opinion that we need, as soon as possible, in the next weeks or months, to try and restart the negotiations, because in the very dangerous situation in the region, there is the opportunity to restart the talks without preconditions. European and other countries can have an important role, not in replacing the negotiations but in supporting the process and the negotiations.”



Copyright: GPO/Mark Neiman






The attacks on the Jews were always preceded by the slander of the Jews. What was done to the Jewish people then is being done to the Jewish state now. We won’t accommodate that.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 15 June 2015), met with Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna and told him at the start of their meeting:


"Mr. Minister, yesterday I received our official government report about last year’s conflict in Gaza. The report demonstrates unequivocally that our military actions during that conflict were in full accordance with international law, that Israel was exercising its legitimate right of self-defense.


We fulfill our responsibility to protect our people against terrorist who perpetuate and perpetrate a double war crime. Hamas terrorist deliberately target our civilians while deliberately hiding behind their civilians. That’s a double war crime. And I think that it under-points the fact that there is a travesty here. Because even though we’re fighting, Hamas terrorists who are committing the double war crime of targeting our civilians while hiding behind their civilians, Israel operates in accordance with the highest standards of international law. We take every step to avoid civilian casualties, including on the enemy’s sides.


We don’t do this because of some UN committee. We do it because this is deeply ingrained in our values. We don’t shrink from investigating ourselves when necessary and Israel’s mechanisms to investigate our own military are second to none. I say that without any hesitation. There is no country that investigates its military for possible wrongdoings more that Israel. There is no such country in the world. We examine all such allegations professionally, thoroughly, where they’re subjected to an independent judicial review by military and civilian courts.


Now I compare this to this committee that we have. The UN Human Rights Committee that has put a so called investigation against Israel. Israel was pronounced guilty before the investigation even began. They appointed a person to head this committee who was being paid by the Palestinian. This committee has more resolutions against Israel than against North Korea, Syria, and Iran combined. This tells you of what we’re dealing with. So this campaign, these attacks against Israel, these investigations against Israel have nothing to do with human rights. They have everything to do with politically inspired attacks in a cynical effort to de-legitimize Israel using UN bodies.


Yesterday Palestinian President Abbas called for the labeling and boycotting of Israeli products. This is definitely not the language of peace. We will continue to resist boycotts, defamations, de-legitimization. We’ll do that internationally, we’ll do that locally if we need to, and our hand will remain stretched out for peace for any partner that wants to have peace with us. And I hope, Mr. Minister, we can discuss how to advance a genuine peace and stop the slandering of Israel.


I say that to the foreign minister of a free proud and independent Poland, on whose soil the defamation of the Jewish people happened when the Nazis controlled Europe. The attacks on the Jews were always preceded by the slander of the Jews. What was done to the Jewish people then is being done to the Jewish state now. We won’t accommodate that. In those days we could do nothing. Today we can speak our mind, hold our ground. We’re going to do both."


Photo PM Netanyahu meets Polish FM Grzegorz Schetyna

Copyright: GPO webcast









Joint press release (in the order of H.E. Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe)


● Firstly, I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the fact that Jewish people were the victims of the incident at a kosher grocery store in Paris. The international community will have to continue their commitment to working against terrorism.


● The visit to Japan by Prime Minister Netanyahu in May last year became an opportunity to comprehensively upgrade the bilateral relationship between the two countries. I have a genuine feeling that the relationship has been deepening in every field.


● Yesterday, I had a first meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and held a meeting with the economic mission that accompanied me this time. I expect further advancement of the bilateral economic relationship such as more active interaction between the business worlds of both countries to be developed as a result of this visit.


● We value Israel's three-year plan towards the strengthening of the economic relationship as it contributes to the development of the overall bilateral relationship.


● I visited Yad Vashem earlier. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and I express my determination that we will never repeat such a tragedy.


● I have realized the significance of the achievement by Chiune Sugihara, who rescued thousands of Jews through the "Visa for Life." I have reaffirmed the long-standing bond between the Japanese and Jewish people.


● Based on this old bond and a new friendly relationship, Japan, as a friend of Israel, will continue to work on strengthening the relationship between the two countries.


● Whilst Japan understands the severe environment in Israel, it will continue to be actively involved in activities towards the stability of the region such as peace in the Middle East. Tomorrow, I will also visit Palestine, and I intend to continue providing my candid advice to both sides as their true friend.


Photo by Amos Ben Gershon GPO






President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday) held a working meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo y Marfil. During the meeting, the Foreign Minister extended an invitation to President Rivlin on behalf of King Felipe VI to make a state visit to Spain.


President Rivlin began by speaking about the good relations between the two states. He said, "We greatly appreciate the efforts of Spain to restart the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Spain is an important friend, and just as between friends, even when there are differences of opinion, our friendship remains."


The President spoke of the importance of rebuilding in Gaza, "The rehabilitation of Gaza is as much an Israeli interest as it is an international interest. Although, we must ensure that the resources are not used by Hamas to rebuild the tunnels and their terrorist infrastructure."


Foreign Minister José Garcia-Mallargo y Marfil spoke of the new role of Spain as members of the UN Security Council. He said, "There is no doubt that the issue of the recognition a Palestinian state will return in the future. We believe that unilateral steps will not lead to an end of the conflict, but that negotiations, with the support of the international community, are the only way forward. We have asked both sides to avoid unilateral steps."


The Foreign Minister also noted the President is known to be a fan of soccer, and said he would be keen to know whether he preferred Real Madrid or Barcelona. The President responded, "My grandchildren are very divided on this. As a soccer fan, I appreciate the way Barcelona play, but I must say, I have been a fan of Real Madrid for many years." Foreign Minister Garcia-Mallargo y Marfil was pleased to hear this and said he was a fan of the club himself.


 Photo Mark Neymann GPO





President Peres:"The leaders of all religions should stand against the killing of innocents, against terrorism."

The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, met with a delegation of faith leaders from Argentina who are here as part of an interfaith trip to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. The delegation includes Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders who are engaged in interfaith dialogue and they will conclude their visit with a meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

President Peres welcomed the delegation to Israel and said, "I'm very glad to see the faiths working together. These three faiths working together shows religious brotherhood in your country. There are many countries where we have Muslims, Jews and Christians living together and they should work together to support peace as one group. Peace is the uniting message of religions and it has a great influence because nowadays peace is built on trust not force. We have to have peace among people not only governments. I don't see any contradiction between science and religion, they are complimentary. You have a very important role to play because science which is the major economic factor, like religion doesn't have borders and is dependent on the spirit and quality of people. The new pope has shown that spirit and values are more important than possessions; he returned religion into a spirit rather than an organization, a faith more than a church. I hope that your togetherness will spread all over the world."

President Peres addressed the situation in the Middle East and said, "Terror is destroying countries and mainly the Arab countries in this region, there is terrible bloodshed. Some of them are using the name of religion to justify their actions. The leaders of all religions should stand against the killing of innocents, against terrorism. Terrorists kill everybody indiscriminately. We should make a loud and clear call from all religions against killing innocent people. It's against the Koran, the Torah and against the New Testament."

The representatives of the three faiths thanked President Peres for his welcome and said, "This group was created under the auspices of Pope Francis when he served as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The idea was to create an interfaith dialogue group intended to be a place of discussion and action. Interfaith dialogue is crucial in a global world. This visit has an importance in world politics. Our statement from Jerusalem - the 'Jerusalem Commitment' - contains principles which we believe can be universally accepted by all as a path to peace. We are from civil society with different political ideals but we feel that our religious leadership can contribute to international relations and statesmanship."

Luis Grynwald of the Jewish community in Buenos Aires presented President Peres with a Mate (a symbolic Argentinian cup) on behalf of the delegation and said, "This is an Argentinian symbol. Everyone drinks from the same cup - Jews, Muslims, Christians and all citizens of the country. It's a symbol that we can live in peace, in Argentina, in Israel and all over the world."

Photo Credit: Mark Neiman/GPO






Romanian Foreign Minister, Titus Corlățean, is paying an official visit in Israel between 23rd and 26th of December. The schedule of the visit includes in-depth talks on the stage and prospects of the Romanian-Israeli bilateral relations with Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The head of Romanian diplomacy will be received by President Shimon Peres and will meet with the leadership and members of the Israeli Government: Uri Orbach, Minister for Senior Citizens, Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Strategic Affairs, Information and International Relations, and Tzipi Livni, Minister of Justice and Chief Negotiator in the dialogue with the Palestinian party.
On Monday, 23 December 2013, Foreign Minister Corlăţean met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman. The heads of the two diplomacies mentioned the excellent progress of the bilateral political-diplomatic dialogue, reiterating the special relationship created in the 65 years of uninterrupted bilateral relations.
The two Ministers assessed the measures discussed during previous rounds of political consultations and agreed to accelerate the demarches aimed at deepening the cooperation between the two ministries of Foreign Affairs. Both officials underscored the interest in organizing the next joint meeting of the Romanian and the Israel Cabinet, in Bucharest, in 2014.
At the same time, they reviewed the progress of sectorial cooperation in the economic field, in the areas of investment, research and development, energy and education. As far as the economic sector is concerned, they discussed about measures to support an increased presence of Romanian firms in Israel in the field of construction, energy infrastructure, oil and gas. Minister Avigdor Lieberman shared the assessment of his Romanian counterpart as to the benefits likely to be generated by the presence of Romanian experts in various fields, in the high-tech area in particular.
During the meeting the Romanian Foreign Minister asked the Israeli party to accelerate and increase the flexibility of the procedure of granting long-term visas to Romanian students and businesspeople interested in operating in Israel, a topic the Israeli party will approach in an open manner.
The agenda of the talks also included themes related to international dossiers, the two Foreign Ministers having an in-depth exchange of views, notably on the stage of negotiations in the framework of the Middle East Peace Process. The head of Romanian diplomacy underscored the importance of continuing the direct talks with a view to obtaining a solution accepted by both parties – the Israeli and the Palestinian parties.


Photo provided by the Romanian embassy 



President Peres: "France stands at the forefront in its steadfast opposition to Iran's attempt to acquire nuclear weapons and its development of long range missiles. We appreciate France's strong stance, under your leadership. 
Vive l'amitié entre la France et Israël."
French President Hollande welcomed by children at President's Residence in Jerusalem
French President Hollande welcomed by children at President's Residence in Jerusalem
Copyright: GPO/Mark Neiman
French President Francois Hollande arrived in Israel together with his partner Valerie Trierweiler, for a state visit along with a delegation of senior French government ministers (17-19 November 2013). 

PM Netanyahu to Cabinet:"Today we will welcome French President Francois Hollande and ministers of his government, including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. They come as friends and will be welcomed as friends. This visit would be important at any time both for bilateral relations but also, of course, in light of the talks being held in Geneva on the Iranian nuclear issue."

President Hollande was welcomed at Ben-Gurion International Airport in an official state welcome ceremony by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior public officials during which President Peres thanked President Hollande for France's historic support and friendship of Israel.

President Shimon Peres then hosted a welcome ceremony at the President's Residence for French President Hollande on the red carpet along with schoolchildren from the Marc Chagall School who will welcome him with songs and deliver welcome greetings in Hebrew, Arabic and French. After the welcome ceremony the two presidents proceeded to the garden of the President's Residence where they planted a tree as a sign of the strength of the cooperation between the two countries.

President Peres and President Hollande were then joined by senior government ministers for a diplomatic working meeting. During the meeting the two presidents and the delegations discussed the latest developments in the efforts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons including the talks in Geneva as well as the progress in the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. At the conclusion of the meeting the two presidents delivered joint statements to the press.

In the evening, President Hollande met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two men held a joint press conference and signed bilateral cooperation agreements.

On Monday morning, President Hollande will visit the Church of St. Anne in the Old City of Jerusalem, from which he will proceed to the Palestinian Authority. In the afternoon, he will address a special session of the Knesset plenum, to be followed by a state dinner at President Peres' Jerusalem residence attended by senior members of the French and Israeli governments, Prime Minister Netanyahu and 140 honored guests representing the strength and depth of French-Israeli relations.  

On Tuesday morning, President Hollande will lay a stone on the graves of the victims of the March 2012 terrorist attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse. From there, he will tour an exhibition on Israeli technological innovation.

During the visit, Prime Minister Netanyahu and French President Hollande will sign a joint statement that expresses the continued growth of bilateral relations, the determination to continue and deepen cooperation in many areas of strategic importance, and the strengthening of economic, scientific, educational and cultural ties between the two countries.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "The French President is a close friend of the State of Israel and I look forward to hosting him and his partner in Israel, especially at this time when the major powers, including France, are discussing ways to halt the Iranian military nuclear program. I am also pleased to host his team and French government ministers, including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is taking an active and important part in the current talks by the major powers. Together we will work to advance and deepen bilateral strategic and economic relations."

Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, leads 'Mission for Growth' to Israel


"Mission for Growth" includes 65 EU companies and organizations for B2B meetings at WATEC. VP Tajani to hold talks and sign letters of intent with key Israeli ministers setting the basis for future bilateral cooperation


Strengthening already flourishing business relations and exploring further opportunities for cooperation between European and Israeli SMEs will be the main focus of a visit to Israel by Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship. During the visit, which will take place on October 21-22, VP Tajani will be accompanied by some 65 industry associations and companies from 17 EU member states which will hold B2B meetings at WATEC - Water Technology and Environmental Control Conference


In meetings with President Peres and key Israeli ministers, the European Commission Vice-President will also discuss and sign letters of intent on strengthening cooperation on industrial policy, in the field of satellite navigation research and on SME cooperation.


Following similar visits to Russian and China, this "Mission for Growth" to Israel reflects the EU's belief that there remains untapped potential in bilateral relations and this visit aims at finding new synergies. It also recognizes Israel's world class capacity for innovation which rests on its highly innovative businesses that benefit from the presence of excellent research institutions geared towards the needs of the business sector.


On the evening of Monday, October 21, VP Tajani will meetMinister of Science, Technology and Space Yaakov Perryandsign an administrative arrangement on cooperation in the field of satellite Navigation with the ministry and the Israel Space Agency.


On the morning of Tuesday, October 22, he will discuss expanding tourism cooperation with Minister of Tourism Uzi Landau. Following this, at the WATEC conference, he will meet with Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett, with whom he will open an EU-Israel Business Round Table and sign a "letter of intent" on industrial cooperation and on Small and Medium Enterprises. This will be followed by a meeting with Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom and the delivery of a keynote speech at the WATEC conference

On Tuesday, 22.10.13 at 12.30 Vice President Tajani will hold a press conference at WATEC, Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds, Building 10, Room A1


In the afternoon Vice President Tajani will meet with President Shimon Peres at the President's Residence in Jerusalem


Silva Mediterranea officials with KKL-JNF professionals at Sataf. Photo: Tania Susskind

"Although Israel is a small country, KKL-JNF has unprecedented experience in the field of afforestation in semi-arid and desert regions."
Key officials of the Silva Mediterranea Forum on Mediterranean Forestry (which is supported by FAO) arrive in Israel for a five day visit, to learn about KKL-JNF's method of afforestation in arid and semi-arid regions. The delegation is visiting KKL-JNF forests all over the country, including the Carmel Forest in the north, Ambassador's Forest in the south, and the Sataf Springs site near Jerusalem.
On Monday, September 30, a delegation of three key officials of the Silva Mediterranea Forum on Mediterranean Forestry and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) arrived in Israel as guests of KKL-JNF for an intensive five-day visit. The delegation included the president of FAO-Silva Mediterranea, Mr. Ismail Belen, who is also the Deputy Director General of the General Directorate of Combating Desertification and Erosion in the Turkish Ministry of Forest and Water Issues; Christophe Besacier, Forestry Officer of the Forest Resources Management Team of the FAO Forestry Department; andTakayuki Hagiwara, FAO Senior Natural Resources Management Officer. During their stay, the guests will be visiting KKL-JNF forests in northern, southern and central Israel, including the Carmel Forest in the north and Ambassadors Forest in the south, accompanied by KKL-JNF professionals. The visit was organized by Karine Bolton of KKL-JNF's International Relations Department. 
According to KKL-JNF Chief ForesterDavid Brand, the visit signifies the beginning of a close and fruitful collaboration between KKL-JNF and Silva Mediterranea, for the benefit of both sides. "Although Israel is a small country," Mr. Brand said, "KKL-JNF has unprecedented experience in the field ofafforestation in semi-arid and desert regions. It is KKL-JNF policy to share our knowledge and expertise with other countries that have similar climates, and of course we have a lot to learn from them. I would add that initiatives like this are not just for KKL-JNF's benefit. We also serve as goodwill ambassadors and a bridge for the State of Israel, since cooperating on a scientific level exposes our colleagues to a positive side of Israel that is often overlooked amidst all the political turmoil."
The delegation's visit began with a dinner meeting on Monday evening in Jerusalem with KKL-JNF World Chairman, Mr. Efi Stenzler. The next morning, Tuesday, the guests were at the KKL-JNF World Headquarters in Jerusalem, where KKL-JNF Chief Forester Brand presented a comprehensive and enlightening description of KKL-JNF's afforestation work in Israel. He was followed by Christophe Besacier, who detailed the goals and mission of Silva Mediterranea. 
Mr Besacier noted that Silva Mediterraneawas created since Mediterranean forests share many common and unique features. As far back as 1911, countries in the region recognized the need to work together on shared forestry problems and to create Silva Mediterranea, which became an FAO statutory body in 1948. It remains the only international forum dedicated to Mediterranean forest issues in which the Mediterranean countries from the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, the European Forestry Commission and the Near East Forestry Commission can meet, share experiences and establish cooperative programs. Twenty-six countries and the European Community are members of the committee, but non-member countries are frequently invited to the sessions as observers. 

Silva Mediterranea hosts working groups on diverse topics such as forest fires, forest products, Mediterranean forests and sustainable development, genetic diversity, climate change, desertification, arid zone forestry, and urban and peri-urban forestry. Mr. Besacier noted that KKL-JNF can contribute to many of these subjects, particularly in the fields ofdesertification, arid zone forestry and urban forestry. "I am certain that in spite of the political difficulties that might exist between Israel and some of the Mediterranean countries, Silva Mediterranea can provide a forum for shared research and exchange of knowledge between KKL-JNF and many of our members. I very much look forward to seeing what KKL-JNF has accomplished in Israel over such a short period of time," Mr. Bescacier concluded. 
Later the same day, the delegation traveled to KKL-JNF's Sataf Springs site in the Jerusalem Mountains to see how the theories they had heard about were implemented in the field. They were greeted by KKL-JNF forester Hanoch Tzoref, who said that Sataf is a good example of KKL-JNF's new approach to forest management policy, which is to define the purpose of each area of the forest. "It's not about managing individual trees, but about relating to an ecosystem. Here in Sataf, our main goal is actually recreation and conservation of heritage. People come here to learn about what agriculture and nature was like two thousand years ago and even during the time of King David." 

Mr. Besacier asked what the entrance fee to Sataf is. "KKL-JNF policy is that all its sites are open to the public free of charge," Hanoch surprised his guests. "We believe that nature should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial status. For me personally, this is a very important principle, and I very much hope that our financial circumstances will allow us to continue with this policy," Hanoch said. 
For Takayuki Hagiwara, this is his first visit to Israel. "I am based in Rome, and I travel at least six months every year to many different regions, including Latin America, the Caribbean and East Asia. I work for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which supports Silva Mediterranea. When I heard that a delegation to Israel was being organized, I asked to join. I am very interested to see what Israel is doing in terms of water conversation policies, natural resource management and of course your country's forestry methods. Looking at our schedule, it seems we'll be quite busy." 

"It's true that Israel is a very small country," said Ismail Belen, "but I know that we have a lot to learn from you, because I visited here in 2008. Of course the scale is different, for example, in Turkey, we plant 500,000,000 seedlings a year. However, KKL-JNF has a worldwide reputation as a pioneer in desert forestry, and that is one of the main reasons I organized the delegation. Many Mediterranean countries have similar climatic conditions, and your achievements here are important both in terms of combating desertification and also carbon sequestration at a time of climate change. I look forward to cooperating with you in the future," Mr. Belen concluded.

President Peres called upon European leaders to continue to apply pressure against Iran's nuclear program

President Shimon Peres, today (Tuesday, 1 October 2013), began the third day of his visit to the Netherlands with a visit to the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague where he was received by King Willem-Alexander. The two inspected an honor guard, saluted the national anthems and then held a private meeting. At the start of the meeting, King Willem-Alexander welcomed President Peres to the Netherlands and said that it was a great honor to host the President of the State of Israel as his first official guest at the Palace and added that he had visited Israel on a number of occasions and was always impressed by the country and its people and that he looked forward to strengthening the relations between the two countries.

President Peres also held a diplomatic working meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, during which the two discussed the Iranian nuclear threat, the situation in Syria and bilateral relations between the two countries in light of recent steps taken by the Dutch government to isolate products from settlements from Israel's trade agreement with the European Union. At the end of the meeting the two leaders held a joint press conference which Prime Minister Rutte opened by welcoming President Peres to the Netherlands and thanking him for his efforts to bring peace to the Middle East. Prime Minister Rutte detailed the close and historic relationship between Israel and the Netherlands and said he welcomed the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. He added that the Netherlands hoped to continue to play a positive and central role in the process to bring peace to Israel and the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Rutte addressed the issue of boycotting goods from settlements and stressed that the Netherlands is opposed to boycotting goods from Israel and that the issue had not even been considered within in the country. With respect to the recent decision by the European Union the Prime Minister said that the Netherlands was working within the European Union, as an inseparable part of it, to reach a consensus and find a solution which does not harm the peace process.

President Peres thanked the Prime Minister and said, "Europe, like Israel, understands that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be solved through negotiations and dialogue, not through sanctions. A day after the European announcement, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the resumption of talks for nine months – if a deal is reached between the sides there will be no need for the European sanctions, they will be irrelevant. I am sure Europe did not plan to make the negotiations more difficult but if the sanctions are implemented that will be the effect."

President Peres continued and called upon the Netherlands, as a central member of the European Union, and to other European countries to oppose the Iranian nuclear threat and not to allow Iran to complete its race to [achieve] long range missiles with nuclear warheads, "Europe's support is important to preventing the Iranian threat. I hope that the new voices will bring a new reality in Iran – but nuclear weapons for mass destruction are a threat to the entire world and we must work to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons."

President Peres is scheduled to deliver a speech before the Dutch parliament later this afternoon (18:00 Jerusalem time); an embargoed copy will be made available before the speech. The speech will be shown live on the website of the Dutch parliament. At 21:00 President Peres will be the guest of honor at a state dinner hosted by King Willem-Alexander.




President Peres:

"Anne Frank's message should especially resonate today. It serves as a warning to us all against a tyrant who uses chemical weapons to murder children and against attempts to develop nuclear weapons for mass destruction"


"I doubt whether Assad read Anne Frank's diary"


Especially for the visit a previously unseen letter written by the sole survivor of the Frank family immediately upon his liberation from Auschwitz was shown to President Peres and made available to the public


The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, began his visit in the Netherlands with an historic visit to Anne Frank's house, a symbol of Holocaust remembrance in the Netherlands and across the world. During the visit President Peres examined unique original pages from Anne Frank's diary and was presented with an original photo album Anne Frank compiled during her time hiding in the annex.

In a rare moment President Peres was shown original pages from Anne Frank's diary, the photo album and the first letter written by her father upon his release from Auschwitz – items usually kept under strict control in the archives. President Peres, who wore special protective gloves, held the photo album in his hands, looked through the photographs and said, "Anne Frank's message should especially resonate today. Her legacy is not just remembrance of the Holocaust but a living testimony that no-one in the world can ignore  - a ray of light and an honest voice in a darkened world."

President Peres continued and said, "As I begin my visit to the Netherlands today I cannot ignore what is happening around us and say in a clear voice that Anne Frank's warning stands before us today. I doubt whether Assad read Anne Frank's diary, when he didn't hesitate to use chemical weapons to murder innocent women and children. It serves as a warning to us all against a tyrant who uses chemical weapons to murder children and against attempts to develop nuclear weapons for mass destruction." President Peres concluded and said, "Anne, your voice which rings in our ears today, will forever remind the Jewish people and the world of the victory of light over darkness."

During the visit by President Peres, Anne Frank's house unveiled, for the first time to the public, original copies of two letters in German sent by the sole survivor of the Frank family, Otto Frank, who was rescued from Auschwitz. The letters, written in February 1945, are to his mother and were sent only a month after his liberation from the death camp by the Russians. The letter shows that even in the final days of the war Mr. Frank continued to do everything he could to protect his family and to believe that they will survive despite the tragic situation. The letters are part of a collection given to Anne Frank's house by the American actor, Joseph Schildkraut.



Among the issues to be discussed: Cooperation in the field of natural gas and additional steps to increase competition and energy security in both countries


At his meeting with Minister Niebel, Ayalon proposed broadening MASHAV cooperation and examining the possibility of setting up a joint center for sustainable development and responses to climate change.

Photo: MFA

Foreign Minister Liberman appeared as a keynote speaker at Austria's largest business and convention forum - com.sult 2012.

FM Libermann attends news conference during Vienna Congress (Photo: Reuters)

On Monday, 23 January 2012, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman met in Vienna with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier to discuss Israel's role as an OSCE partner state and concrete areas for cooperation. Zannier said that Israel could contribute expertise in the fight against terrorism and smuggling to effectively combat these transnational threats, of which the OSCE is very aware.

On Tuesday, 24 January, Foreign Minister Liberman appeared as a keynote speaker at Austria's largest business and convention forum - com.sult 2012 - which focused on "Challenges of Leadership in Europe," presenting the case of Israel as one of the countries bordering on Europe which has adopted an economically successful and independent path.
"Sharp sanctions must be enacted against the Iranian central bank and against oil exports."

PM Netanyahu with Dutch Deputy PM Maxime Verhagen (Photo: GPO)

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