Reuven Rivlin
Reuven RivlinMark Neiman/GPO

President Reuven Rivlin spoke on the telephone on Wednesday with Pope Francis in light of the global coronavirus pandemic, continuing the president’s conversations with global leaders regarding the need for international cooperation to deal with the disease.

In his conversation with Pope Francis, the president expressed his thanks and appreciation for the Pope’s support of the fight against anti-Semitism and asked him to continue with the important message given rising numbers of antisemitic incidents as the coronavirus spreads.

“The disease shows us that it respects no borders and that no-one is immune. We are fighting a stubborn and cruel enemy together, and that is how we will overcome it, working together across the world,” said Rivlin.

The president also sent the blessings of the Jewish people to Christians celebrating Easter later this week.

The Pope thanked the president for his word and told him of the preparations for Easter at the Vatican under the shadow of the virus. “When you light your holiday candles tonight in Israel, we will all be with you. I will be with you in my heart and in my prayers,” said the Pope.

Earlier in the week Rivlin also spoke with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia and President Qasym Jomart Toqaev of Kazakhstan.

In his conversations with world leaders about the pandemic, President Rivlin has also spoken with the Kings of Spain and Holland and with the presidents of Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Moldova, Czechia, Croatia, Armenia, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Romania, Colombia, Peru, Honduras, Kazakhstan and Serbia.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Passover in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)