Rivlin: Israel Doesn't Want a War With Islam

President Reuven Rivlin talks peace with German Foreign Minister, says unilateral measures without talks 'have failed in the past.'

Shlomo Pitrikovsky,

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Reuven Rivlin
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Reuven Rivlin
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met in Jerusalem Sunday, where he clarified Israel's positions on its security and peace talks. 

The President began by congratulating the German foreign minister, "I am pleased to welcome you in Jerusalem, capital of Israel," Rivlin said.

He then addressed the security situation.

"We have experienced difficult events in recent weeks," he stated, referring to a slew of terror attacks which have included several 'car attacks' on Israeli citizens and soldiers, the attempted assassination of Temple Mount rights activist Yehuda Glick, and the stabbing of a soldier in Tel Aviv.

"Israel is not at war with Islam, and we have no intention to do so. Unfortunately, we are fighting fundamentalists and that is the real problem." 

Rivlin also referred to peace talks, saying that there "is no substitute for dialogue." 

"Negotiations and dialogue are the only way to progress," Rivlin stated. "Unilateral measures and decisions have failed in the past and only worsen the situation. There is no real substitute for dialogue, as you highlighted to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) - [he] must support the negotiation [process] and refrain from [taking] unilateral steps."

Steinmeier agreed, noting that he pushed talks in his remarks to Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman Sunday morning.

"I pointed out this morning at a meeting with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Israel's contribution to calm tensions," the German Foreign Minister stated. "We hope to soon see [Israel and the PA's] re-entry into talks and negotiations. To me, it's the only destination and the only way [to get there]."

Steinmeier agreed that the PA's "unilateral decisions constitute an obstacle to the success of the negotiations." 




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