President Rivlin held a working meeting with the Prime Minister of Romania
President Rivlin on combatting antisemitism:
“We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the safety of the Jewish community and will work decisively in the field of education to stamp out racism and antisemitism, and to ensure the law is enforced.”
President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Tuesday 8 June / 28 Sivan, held a working meeting with Prime Minister Florin Cîțu of Romania.
At the beginning of the meeting, the president noted the strong relations and fruitful cooperation between the two countries, saying “Israel deeply appreciates the understanding and support of your government and of Romania for our right to defend ourselves. It is not just the right but also the duty of every government on behalf of its citizens.”
The president expressed his concern about the rise in antisemitic incidents around the world and in Europe, stressed that criticism of Israel cannot be the basis for antisemitism, and thanked Romania for working to combat antisemitism.
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The Romanian prime minister thanked the president for accepting the invitation to visit after it had been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, saying “Israel is an important partner in the region and Romania appreciates the good relations between the countries.”
Earlier in the day, the president met leaders of the Romanian Jewish community, including the president of the Jewish federation and member of parliament Silviu Vexler, vice president of the federation Ovidiu Bănescu, Chief Rabbi Rafael Shaffer, head of the old age home Dr. Mona Bejan and Rabbi of Chabad House Naftali Deutsch.
The president expressed his appreciation for the contribution of the Romanian Jewish community in Israel to the strong relations between the countries, saying “We must always remember that we are one family. I know that the community is under attack at times, and that antisemitism has been on the rise recently. We are deeply concerned about it. Although every government bears the responsibility for the safety of its Jewish community, we are committed to doing everything we can to assist in ensuring the community’s security and call for the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism and to take decisive steps in the field of of education to stamp out racism and antisemitism, and to ensure the law is enforced.”
During the meeting, the president heard about the challenges facing the community, the antisemitic threats aimed at the president of the Jewish theater, and the desecration of gravestones at the Jewish cemetery in Ploesti, expressing his concern and support.
Later in the evening, the president participated in a state dinner held in honor of his visit by the President of Romania at the presidential palace.