Rivlin tells German MPs: Criticise, don’t delegitimize

May 24, 2016  

President Reuven Rivlin met at his residence with a delegation of the German parliamentary faction Die Linke (The Left Party) on Tuesday, accompanied by German Ambassador to Israel, Dr. Clemens von Goetze.

Rivlin welcomed the group on their visit to Israel.

“This is a very complicated place, and in Israel we have no problem with criticism,” Rivlin began. “Criticism is fine, delegitimization is not.”

“Many Israelis have thick skin, but we must recognize where criticism is really anti-Semitism,” he continued. “We all have a responsibility to stand up to racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred.”

The delegation was led by Mrs. Sahra Wagenknecht Mr.  Dietmar Bartsch.

Bartsch thanked the President for his warm welcome.

“We are now seven months in office as co-chairs of the party, and this is our first trip abroad,” he said. “We are aware of the important responsibility of Germany, we have just visited Yad Vashem where we laid a wreath, a reminder of this eternal responsibility.”

“The situation in the region is complicated; the war in Syria, the many refugees, the threat of IS – and Israel has an important role to play in the region.” He added, “It is important for us to get your view on the conflict with the Palestinians.”

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