Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said, Thursday, that due to the furor in the Muslim world over caricatures in a French satire magazine, "Europe understands the Israeli reality, more than ever. The conflict between democratic values and religious beliefs is erupting now in Europe. But in Israel, as a Jewish democratic state, we have been dealing with this reality since its establishment."
During remarks on challenges to democracy to a gathering of parliament speakers in France, he called a caricature of a hareidi Jew pushing the prophet Muhammad around in a wheelchair, published Wednesday, "A foolish attempt to pit the Muslims against the Jews and the results were expressed in an attack on a Jewish shop in France." Speaking of the need to balance freedom of expression, including non-violent protest, against religious sensitivity, he concluded, "Religious conflagration in Europe is the acid test of parliaments and parliamentarians. They are the responsible adult. The role of the parliament, in Europe and in Israel, is to show responsibility and to brake the politicians who are trying to use conflict for political purposes."