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

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday morning received a phone call from President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, during which President Steinmeier conveyed his sincere condemnation of what he noted were deeply distressing expressions of anti-Semitism witnessed during a wave of anti-Israel activities in Berlin over the last week.

Of note, during demonstrations against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Israeli flags were burned and witnesses reported hearing anti-Semitic chants and calls in both Arabic and German, including shouts of “Death to the Jews.”

Steinmeier told Rivlin that such acts of hatred and racism had no place in Germany, and condemned them outright. He explained to Rivlin the ongoing activity by the German authorities and security forces to combat racism, and prosecute the perpetrators.

Rivlin thanked Steinmeier for his call, expressing his deep appreciation for his personal friendship to Israel and the Jewish community. He thanked him for Germany’s steadfast support for Israel, and its continued stand against the rise in anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred.

Rivlin also noted this was a threat to all society, and assured him Israel stands with Germany in the fight against hatred and racism.

The two presidents concluded by exchanging their best wishes for the holiday season and their hopes the coming year would bring peace and understanding between all peoples. Rivlin thanked Steinmeier in particular for his planned participation in events to celebrate Hanukkah with representatives of the German Jewish community.