Israeli President Rivlin says anti-Semitism 'hovering' again over Europe

Visiting Poland and Germany, Pres. Rivlin warns of rising anti-Semitism in Europe, says US peace plan 'could bring great hope.'

AFP & Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rivlin at the Bundestag
Rivlin at the Bundestag
צילום: משידורי הפרלמנט

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin warned Wednesday that anti-Semitism was re-emerging across Europe in a rare address to German lawmakers marking 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz
death camp.

"Ugly and extreme anti-Semitism is hovering over the whole of Europe," he said, adding that the continent was being "visited by ghosts from the past."

The remarks were made during a special speech before the Bundestag in Germany, in which Rivlin responded to the peace plan presented Monday by US President Donald Trump.

"The conflicts in the Middle East sometimes appear particularly complex," Rivlin said. "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long become a tragedy, years-long in its duration. But as other global conflicts have been resolved I am convinced that this too can be ended."

"Yesterday in Washington we saw moments that could bring great hope. After long years of diplomatic stalemate, President Trump - a courageous friend of the State of Israel presented a plan that could allow the two peoples to renew the channels of dialog and make progress towards a shared future.

"It is no simple matter and both sides need to study the plan in depth. It is a plan that demands deep, difficult and complex concessions from both sides, but we must not give up. For those who surrender, surrender the chance. And I refuse to surrender.

"The basis for any solution must be a profound appreciation for human life and the belief that 'on the other side' live people who want to live, as we do. Each side has its truth, its anxieties, and its truths. Despite this, despite the difficulty, we must think of creative solutions that strengthen security and stability to allow prosperity and growth for both sides. And I hope that this plan will be implemented bearing these principles in mind and will lead to a better reality for us all.

"The strength of the State of Israel makes us, in the view of many around the world, into Goliath and the Palestinians into David. We are not David and they are not Goliath. We are not Goliath and they are not David. Israel’s strength and might over the years was and is the key to peace, not an obstacle to peace. This is how it was with Egypt, this is how it was with Jordan.

"It is true that the relations between Israel and the Palestinians are not symmetrical, but our capacity to find a political and diplomatic solution is dependent on the ability of both sides to trust one another. We must build confidence between us. The future of the Middle East and the integration of Israel in the region hinges on building this trust."