Speech by Reuven Rivlin

Welcome address – Opening ceremony of “1700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany” – Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel

Dear friends,

The history and the destiny of Germany and the Jewish people have been tied together for hundreds of years.

We had times that our joined history was a history of cooperation and tolerance in Germany, Ashkenazim Judaism flourished and spread.

But at times this was a history of terrible anti-Semitic persecutions which reached its lowest point when the Nazis tried to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the earth.

In the last decades, we have seen a great revival of Jewish life in Germany with the strong support of German leadership.

While we never forget the tragedies of the past, we mark together our shared heritage and the contribution of German Jews to the German society, and the deep friendship between Germany and the State of Israel.

Despite the revival of the Jewish life, we are witnessing once again a dangerous rise of old and new forms of antisemitism.

We must show zero tolerance for all forms of antisemitism.

Whether on the streets, online, or in the halls of power.

I thank the German Government for its dedication to the fight against antisemitism and its support for the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

We will continue to mark and to work together, to ensure that we learn the lessons of the past so that the German Jewish community can continue to thrive in the future. 

Friends on this historic occasion, I would like to say congratulation and Mazel Tov to the Jewish community of Germany, to the government of Germany, to the President of Germany and the entire German people. 

Thank you very much and God bless all of you.