Rivlin to Jewish journalists:
'Be the eyes and ears of the community'

President Reuven Rivlin address summit of Jewish publishers and writers, calls for joint effort to fight anti-Semitism around the world.

Reut Hadar,

Rivlin addresses Jewish Media Summit
Rivlin addresses Jewish Media Summit
Mark Neiman/GPO

President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday evening addressed a summit of publishers and writers of Jewish media outlets from around the world, calling for a joint effort to fight anti-Semitism around the world.

Rivlin welcomed the participants to Israel and noted that the media, and Jewish communities were faced by many challenges, and thanked them for their dedication to the community and to the press.

“You are like a window. Many outside the community look at you to learn about the Jewish community. And the Jewish community want you to make their voice heard,” Rivlin told the journalists. “Many Jewish newspapers, have the motto: ‘the voice of the Jewish community.’ However, today perhaps more than ever, you have another job to do. You must also be the eyes and ears of the community. Together, we must stand up and fight anti-Semitism, whenever and wherever we find it. And we must do it together.”

The President stressed that as an Israeli and a Zionist, “I do believe that Aliyah is still the best way to express your Zionism. But I also believe that wherever you choose to live - in Europe, in America in Australia, Asia or Africa - you have the right to live as a proud Jew.”

“If you face anti-Semitism - it is the duty of the State of Israel to stand by you. And when we face anti-Zionism - which is also anti-Semitism - you have a duty to stand with us,” continued Rivlin.

The President continued by noting he was “proud of the great achievements of the State of Israel,” and said that “Israeli society is facing many changes, and no longer has a secular majority and small religious minorities. It is a society which has four tribes; Haredi, Secular, National Religious, and Arab: all nearly the same size, with different identities. Living in different cities, in different schools, and reading different newspapers.”

He then told the participants about the work the President’s Office was doing to address this challenge, saying, “The President’s Office is now organizing projects in education, academia, in employment, in sport, and in local government, across the country. In these projects we work to bridge the gaps, between religious and secular, between Arabs and Jews, and teach them; to build a shared hope.”

“As President,” continued Rivlin, “I am working to ‘shine a light’ on all forms of hatred and extremism, which want to tear apart our shared lives here in this land. And I see the Jewish community around the world as important partners in building this shared hope.”

He concluded his remarks by calling on the journalists to report not just the bad that happens in Israel, but the good as well.

“I have not been shy to speak out, when I see a challenge to Israel: as a Jewish or as a democratic state. And when I have, the media in Israel and around the world was quick to report it. There are many who are quick to write headlines and articles about the problems we face. But they are much slower to report the good news: the solutions to the problems. They are much slower to write about all we are doing to build a shared hope, for all Israelis. I understand the golden rule ‘if it bleeds, it leads’, but friends, as the voice, eyes, and ears of the Jewish community, I urge you all: be sure you give a voice to those working for a better future. Because the world and the community looks to you,” said Rivlin.