PM Netanyahu meets with Rwandan President Kagame and informs him that Israel will open an Embassy in Kigali

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Prime Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Tuesday, 28 November 2017), in Nairobi, met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and informed him that Israel will be opening an embassy in Kigali.

Prime Minister Netanyahu: "We are opening a new embassy in the Rwandan capital Kigali as part of Israel's expanding presence in Africa and the deepening of cooperation between Israel and the countries of Africa."

Also discussed at the meeting was the possibility of opening a direct air link between the two countries.

Photo credit: Haim Zach (GPO)

President Rivlin marks 40 years since visit of Sadat with Ambassador of Egypt

(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)

President Rivlin: “Egypt is an extremely important ally. Our connection is more important than words can say, and it can never be taken for granted. We have found a way to live together in peace and friendship. This is a message to the whole region, and the whole world.”

Ambassador of Egypt: “Egypt is adamant to seize the golden opportunity to reviving peace talks to achieve a credible and comprehensive peace agreement.”

Yesterday, (Wednesday morning) President Reuven Rivlin hosted at his residence in Jerusalem, a special reception marking 40 years since the historic visit to Israel by the then President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Anwar Sadat. The ceremony also included addresses by Ambassador of Egypt, Hazem Khairat; Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yuval Rotem; and former Deputy President of the Supreme Court, Justice (Ret.) Eliyakim Rubenstien, who had served at the time as an aide to Moshe Dayan, and was part of the Israeli negotiations team. The event was attended by senior Israeli figures, Ambassadors and diplomats representing countries from around the world.

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Knesset Media Advisory

History at the Knesset: For the first time ever, the Knesset will host eight African heads of parliament, for a special conference. The guests hail from Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, the Seychelles, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. This is the first-ever conference for heads of parliament at the Knesset. 

The conference will take place on Tuesday, 5 December 2017

President Rivlin opens State Visit to Spain with official welcome ceremony at the Royal Palace

(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)

President Reuven Rivlin and First Lady Nechama Rivlin officially began their State Visit to Spain this morning, welcomed by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain with an official welcoming ceremony at the Royal Palace in Madrid. Following a gun salute, the King and the President together reviewed a military guard of honor, and stood together with the Queen and First Lady for the national anthems of both countries.

President and First Lady Rivlin’s State Visit to Spain, at the invitation of the King, marked 30 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Spain, and celebrated 100 years since the reestablishment of the Jewish community in Spain after the Expulsion of 1492. This is the first State Visit of an Israeli President to Spain for a quarter of a century, when then President Chaim Herzog visited for the symbolic and historic signing of the cancellation of the expulsion order of Jews from Spain.

Monitoring Report July 2017

A bitter-sweet friendship - The German-Israeli relationship in times of strategic shift

The past week has been exemplary and intense in its example of how great the potential of the German-Israeli relationship is – but it also demonstrated the power of the conflicting forces that lie just below the surface. It has never been so clearly revealed simultaneously: The positive, the common bond, as well as that which separates, drives apart and conflicts. The bilateral relationship of the two countries is facing enormous challenges at a time in which major shifts are taking place in conditions in the Middle East – accompanied by upheavals of epic proportion. The quick turnover of events in Germany is closely connected to the fact that the past week was the last week the German Parliament was in session for this legislative period. A flood of bills where on the table that "still had to be passed" before Parliament recessed. A good example is the "marriage for all" bill that set politicians from every party and persuasion under pressure to get it passed before the short summer break and the subsequent elections. 

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Monitoring Report May 2017

Germany visits friends - About Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s visit to Israel

A turbulent time in German-Israeli relationships is currently playing out before our eyes. And it is once again the double-standard that is continuously imposed upon Israel that is the cause of the turbulence. The current tension between the two allies is a result of the cancellation of a meeting planned between Benjamin Netanyahu, the head of Israel’s government and Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Foreign Minister. The meeting was cancelled by Benjamin Netanyahu himself, which caused great consternation in the German political scene and in the media. In order to understand why he made the decision to put the highest diplomat of one of his closest allies in his place so publically, one has to view the situation in a broader context.

Tensions in the relationship

On December 23, 2016, the UN-Security Council passed Resolution 2334, which declared settlements in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to be illegal according to international law.  By abstaining from the vote, the USA allowed the Counsel to pass this strongly Israel-critical resolution – in essence approving it. Thus, in its last days in power, the Obama Administration again released a diplomatic inferno over Israel. In Israel, the resolution was thoroughly rejected by all parties of all colors. Benjamin Netanyahu described it as an “historic mistake”. 

A month later, at the Peace Conference in Paris, Germany, represented by Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Foreign Minister at the time, identified itself with the International Community and in essence gave full support to Resolution 2334 by signing the final protocol of the summit. Then, in February 2017, the German Government cancelled the annual Government Consultation Meetings planned for May because of “scheduling difficulties”. Behind the scenes, the stubborn rumor prevailed that the cancellation was really due to the German rejection of Israel’s settlement policy.

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PM Netanyahu's Remarks Upon Leaving for Nairobi

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Tuesday, 28 November 2017), made the following remarks upon leaving for Nairobi:

"I am now leaving for my third visit to Africa within a year-and-a-half. I will meet there with newly re-elected Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and with 10 African leaders as well. Our intention is to deepen ties with Africa also by forging links with countries that we do not have diplomatic relations with. Legations from four African countries have opened in Israel in the past two years and I hope that by the end of the day I will be able to announce the opening of a new Israeli embassy in an African country, and the hand is still extended."

Prime Minister Netanyahu will attend, and address, an official lunch hosted by Kenyan President Kenyatta on the occasion of his inauguration. Also attending the lunch will be the presidents of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, Togo, Botswana and Namibia, as well as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and other leaders.

28/29. November 2017 – New York: 70 Years UN-vote – a kairos-moment, to come before the Lord to pray for the nations and Israel!

From Harald Eckert

70 years ago, on November 29, 1947, in a moment of rare soberness and unity, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted with a two-third vote for the re-establishment of the modern state of Israel. However, despite the hopeful beginning, the UN became a place of loneliness, manipulation and even blank hatred for Israel in the following decades, under the growing influence of the largest block of the UN, the Moslem block. The words of Psalm 2 came to life: “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain…”  (Verse 1).

But the Lord has kept his hand over Israel and although being surrounded by enemies, both in the Middle East and in the UN, Israel has blossomed and grown under the favor and blessing of God Almighty.

Soon the historic vote of 1947 will be commemorated for the 70th time within the UN and around the world. This is a prophetic kairos-moment, a unique moment for intercessors who love Israel and who carry a loving concern for their own nation, to come together in New York and pray for Israel as well as for the nation they are a part of.

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President Rivlin to make State Visit to Spain

(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)

President Reuven and First Lady Nechama Rivlin will make a State Visit to Spain next week from November 5th to  November 8th. The President will be accompanied by a business delegation of leading Israeli companies and trade figures, and an academic delegation including leading figures and Nobel Prize laureates.

The following is a schedule of their visit:

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Monitoring Report June 2017

2 Presidents visit Israel – The world reveals its two faces

Visit by the Germany President

Thanks to the previous visit of his political party colleague and successor to the office of Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel - which went badly out of control - Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier faced a delicate situation during his first state visit to Israel since taking office. Mr. Steinmeier landed at Ben Gurion Airport in the beginning of May. On the one hand, the German side wanted to calm the waves while at the same time holding their line and making it clear to the Israelis that they would not march to Netanyahu’s drum. That’s how they see it in Berlin.

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Monitoring Report April 2017

The Israelization of anti-Semitism
Growing anti-Semitism in Europe and Germany’s special responsibility

Anti-Semitism in Europe is growing. In a working meeting in the German Parliament organized by the “Initiative 27 Januar” i, the EU Anti-Semitism Commissioner, Katharina von Schnurbein, pointed out that, in some countries, such as France and Great Britain, for example, incidents carried out against Jews increased by as much as 36% last year. And yet, parallel to this shocking phenomenon, efforts on the part of state and civil organizations to better study  and understand modern anti-Semitism with the goal of limiting and even reversing it are on the increase. A clear definition of anti-Semitism is indispensable to achieving this goal.

What exactly do we understand when we hear the term Anti-Semitism?

The article by Andrew Baker ii of the American Jewish Committee, a globally active Jewish organization, gives a good historical overview of the efforts to establish a working definition of modern anti-Semitism that is recognized on government levels and practically implemented. The Committee’s efforts in this regard have been commendable. After working out and partially implementing a definition at the EU-level – and the subsequent revocation of the same – 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) agreed on a working definition of anti-Semitism at their conference in May 2016 in Bucharest. The definition includes illustrations of how modern anti-Semitism is, or might be, manifested. It is worthy of note iii  that 7 of the 11 illustrations relate directly to the Jewish state of Israel - experts speak of the anti-Zionist form of anti-Semitism or of the Israelization of anti-Semitism iv.

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