The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Israel mark a quarter century since the fall of the Iron Curtain restored their relations, which evolved from there to the current high level that properly reflects their deep historic roots.
The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Israel are commemorating on February 9 a quarter of century since the moment when the fall of the infamous Iron Curtain finally allowed them to bring their relations back to standard and from there to the current high level that properly reflects the deep historic roots of the Czech-Jewish as well as the Slovak-Jewish interactions.
The first president of the Czechoslovakia T. G. Masaryk was the only head of state that ever visited pre-state Zionist institutions and projects in the British Mandate for Palestine and he supported the Jewish state idea in his theoretical work.
Czechoslovakia was also one of the first countries that recognized the new State of Israel almost immediately after it had been proclaimed as well as one of the first that assisted it in early struggle for existence. Unfortunately the firm grip of the Stalinist system soon lead to virtual freeze of relations which were eventually cut off completely in 1967.
Thus we can say that our nations had to wait for more than four decades for the opportunity to establish "normality". Even though we cannot get back the time wasted, the virtual outburst of positive relations that filled the last twenty five years in almost every field helps us to make up for the loss. These good relations manifest themselves in many various forms.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia have with Israel intensive people-to-people contacts and tourism, rich cultural exchange, business and cooperation in the progressive fields of science, innovations, start-ups and R&D, or frequent intergovernmental consultations. We also share values, concerns and interests in the field of international politics. We also share our strong stand against anti-Semitism in all its forms.
To sum up the past quarter of century into one short impression, we can say that when left to its natural flow and without any outside hindrance the relations between our three countries are undeniably friendly and rich in many aspects. With that, indeed, we can see as a good promise for the future years.