Rivlin thanks Italy for 'commitment to truth'

'We are experiencing a period of unprecedented friendship and brotherhood between Israel and Italy.'

Arutz Sheva Staff,

President Reuven Rivlin
President Reuven Rivlin
Flash 90

President Reuven Rivlin today held a working meeting at his residence with President of Italy Sergio Mattarella.

President Rivlin began by welcoming the President of Italy on his arrival to Israel and to its capital Jerusalem, and expressed his sympathies for those killed in the recent earthquakes to have hit Italy. "I want to open by again expressing my sympathies for the many killed in the earthquake in Italy two months ago, and for the suffering and the severe pain caused by the quakes that followed."

He continued, "We are experiencing a period of unprecedented friendship and brotherhood between Israel and Italy. There is barely a discipline in which we do not share unique cooperation between our countries. We are developing trade and advancing relations in the fields of science, culture, sport and security. The bonds between Israel and Italy, and to the European Union, are a foundation stone of our foreign policy. We do not however just share trade, we share values, challenges, and geography. Our countries are neighbors in the Mediterranean, and are highly sensitive to the recent turbulence that has swept the region in the form of waves of migrants, refugees, and in the threat of terror."

"Israel stands beside Italy and the whole free world in the unwavering struggle against terror. This is a struggle which must be harsh, strong, and unequivocal. At the same time, Israel like Italy believes that the fight against terror is also a moral battle for the belief in the sanctity of human life. Italy today is a state which is receiving migrants and refugees - this process is complex since those arriving come from a different culture, with different values. The whole free world must learn how to ensure this movement from one society to another will be one of hope and opportunity, and not despair and depression."

He noted: "On my visit to the Arch of Titus, I saw the engraving of the Menorah, the candelabra brought from the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. This is yet another testament to the ancient connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem. The decision of UNESCO to raise doubt about the connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and to the Holy Temple is a crime against history, and I want to thank Italy for its commitment to the truth."

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had previously condemned the UNESCO resolution ignoring the Jewish connection to Jerusalem as "incomprehensible and unacceptable."

Although Italy had originally abstained from voting on the resolution, Renzi had said that he had issued instructions to Italian diplomats to take a stance more supportive of Israel should similar issues arise again.

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