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President Rivlin addresses Italian National Day celebrations in Tel Aviv Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)
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President Rivlin addresses Italian National Day celebrations in Tel Aviv

04 June 2017

President Rivlin addresses Italian National Day celebrations in Tel Aviv

(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)

 

President Rivlin on the terror attack in London: “The wave of terror that has struck is all too familiar to us, and we stand together for our values, and for our freedom; across Europe, and around the world”

 

President Reuven Rivlin this evening (Sunday) addressed a reception hosted by Italy’s Ambassador to Israel, H.E. Francesco Maria Talo, at his residence in Ramat Gan in honor of Italy’s ‘Festival of the Republic’ national day. Ambassador Talo also spoke.

 

President Rivlin began his address by expressing his condolences to the British people following the terror attacks which had taken place the night before. “Seventy-one years have passed, since Italians realized the dream to live in a democratic republic. And to this day, it is a dream worth celebrating,” the President said. “Democracy is not always easy; sometimes it is extremely difficult. I know you all join me, in sending my condolences, to the people of London, and all the UK. The wave of terror that has struck your streets is all too familiar to us, and we stand together, for our values, and for our freedom; across Europe, and around the world.”

 

Speaking of the historic ties between Israel and Italy, the President said, “The lines between Rome and Jerusalem go back many centuries. This connection has shaped both sides, and both cultures, in many ways. Back then, the connection was one of tragedy and violence. In recent years, however, the relationship between Israel and Italy has become very close.” He noted, “Only recently, we were proud and honored that the Chamber of Deputies acknowledged the role of the Jewish Brigade in the liberation of Italy,” and added, “In addition, exactly one month ago, on 2 May, Italy showed that its friendship is not only expressed in words, but also in action. We deeply appreciate your vote against the shameful decision by UNESCO, which treats Israel as foreigners in its own capital.”

 

He stressed, “It is time for our friends, including Italy, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. We might have some disagreement over the borders of Israel's capital. But we all agree that Jerusalem is and will remain, Israel's capital. It is time to translate this truth into a fact.”

 

The President ended by praising the work of Italy’s Ambassador to Israel, for his strong stand against boycotts and for his dedication to strengthening relations between the two countries. He concluded, “Viva Israel, Viva Italia!

 

Ambassador Talo thanked the President for attending the reception and said, “Mr. President, your presence is a great honor. It's the proof of a profound friendship between our two countries.” He stressed, “Culture can repair our world. We can all be protagonists of this action of Tikkun Olam combining politics and culture. We can do this in Israel and Italy, lands with ancient, strong common roots and therefore a great common future.”

 

He added, “Italy acts in order to keep culture free from political fights. In Israel we worked hard to use the strength of our cultures to build a better future in our common region.”

 

The Ambassador said in relation to the attacks in London, “The barbarians attack Britain as well as Israel, other European countries and the US because they hate our common way of living as free persons, but they will not prevail. Together we stand.”