- Written by Yad Vashem
"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
- Written by Office of the President
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 () 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)
- Written by President’s Spokesperson
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
- Written by Prime Minister's Media Adviser
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
- Written by President’s Spokesperson
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