Czech President Milos Zeman on Mt. Herzl
Czech President Milos Zeman on Mt. HerzlAvi Dudi, Foreign Ministry

Czech Republic President Milos Zeman, who is visiting Israel, took part in a special Knesset session Monday afternoon.

The session was opened by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein: "About a year ago, in a debate in the European Parliament, a question arose: 'What can you do to bring peace to the Middle East?' In truth it is not a bad question. You are not the first leader to be asked this question; For a reason that is not always clear, it employs almost all the world's leaders, and if we combine all the answers they tried to give it, we can create a document that will come from here to Prague."

"But you opened your answer in a very different way than usual, and you said, 'I am a friend of Israel, a close friend of Israel.'" In the silence that followed in the parliament hall, one could hear the pleasant voice of shattered conceptions - not only of the concept of where It is right to begin the resolution of the conflict here in the Middle East, including the concept of what can be expected of relations between nations, because in our common dictionary there is no place for the concept of "friendship." There are strategic alliances in the common lexicon," added Edelstein.

He referred to the warm relations between Israel and the Czech Republic. "We are used to calling 'realist' those who see the international arena as a battlefield of everyone against everyone, who always look at everyone suspiciously, as if only he really knows how to analyze reality, and the rest are naive or inexperienced. The relations between Israel and the Czech Republic prove otherwise, and they prove that the Czech Republic is a friend of Israel, and Israel is a friend of the Czech Republic."

"This connection is not only between Israel and the Czech Republic, but between Israelis and Czechs. It is a connection between two peoples in whose blood flows the desire for freedom, nations that made enormous sacrifices in order to free themselves from the sbjugation of foreign authorities and to gain independence. In the line of liberation from slavery to liberty, we naturally identify with the Czech people - who have proved that this generation still has tremendous power, even at this time," added Edelstein.

"Mr. President, we were all happy, but no one was surprised by your firm declaration on the last Jerusalem Day - to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to transfer the Czech embassy here. Tomorrow, we will inaugurate the Czech House here in Jerusalem. This building is a diplomatic. communal, and cultural center,which will symbolize the past heritage that has been forged between us and the hope of the future. The Czech House is the first step on the way to the full relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem, and I very much hope that we will soon be able to host you again in our capital, outside the gates of the finished Czech embassy," concluded Edelstein.

President Zeman said during his address to the Knesset that he would work to change the European Union's policy on Jerusalem. "Well friends, I am no dictator unfortunately, but I promise I'll do my

He accused European nations of acting like "cowards" in their failure to support Israel or support for Israel's enemies.

Arab Knesset members boycotted the session over Zeman's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.