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President Rivlin meets with Israeli ambassadors

​President Rivlin: We have no war with Islam, but a war with terror organizations that are sometimes driven and affected by it.


President Reuven Rivlin met with 43 Israeli ambassadors to European countries, as well as recently appointed ambassadors due to begin their diplomatic service in the near future.

Foreign Ministry Director Nissim Ben Shitrit, began the meeting by saying, "We are in a unique situation in Europe, where our representations are trying to deal as best as possible with issues sensitive to the State of Israel and the Israeli psyche, and act against anti-Semitism as a whole. Sitting here are the best delegates of the State of Israel, stationed in difficult countries that are at times both frustrating and challenging, but we do not have the luxury to give up and throw in the towel. We are in the midst of a struggle for Israel's existence without going to war ".

The President thanked the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and said, "You, who have come home for an hour - welcome to Jerusalem. Dear Ambassadors, each and every one of you is a hero in every sense of the word. Heroes, who do not always get to stand among friends and who stand firm and tall for us all. We are well established mainly thanks to you.

“You are here during a tense time both at home and abroad. You, who stand at the frontline, are faced with many questions. When we fight against terrorist organizations it is not always easy to explain why at times innocent bystanders are killed. Europe is dealing with radical Islam and all it entails, and only you can really explain where it comes from and in which direction it is going in.

“We need to sharpen our identity - not in order to distinguish ourselves, but to feel stronger and more confident to lend a hand, rooted in our uncompromising right to defend our own existence. The themes of identity, religious persecution, rights of minorities and ethnic groups to self-determination, seem more relevant than ever across the world. We have no war with Islam, but a war with terror organizations that are sometimes driven and affected by it. We have needed to define the identity of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, which is in one and equal breath both Jewish and democratic, and you have done this with dignity. We need to continue to speak out and insist that the Jewish State is the state of the Jewish people who have no other country."

The President referred to the calls for international investigations following Operation Protective Edge, and said, "The State of Israel is currently carrying out thorough investigations relating to Operation Protective Edge. IDF soldiers and officers have done, and are doing everything to protect Israeli citizens while maintaining international law under unparalleled complex conditions, including when attacks on civilians and soldiers are carried out from within the civilian population of Gaza.

“The IDF is capable of investigating itself thoroughly, reliably, with integrity and impartiality; and in cases when there has been a violation of the law, to prosecute the culprits. On the other hand, both the interrogators and those being questioned are our soldiers. There is no outside body that is examining the IDF and we should not paint a picture as if our soldiers are investigated by a hostile entity whose goal is to harm our officers, soldiers or our fighting spirit.”

The President concluded by saying: "We must learn to live together. Peace will come when we build trusting relationships between ourselves and understand that we are not doomed to live together but destined to live together".
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Israeli ambassadors and heads of mission convene at MFA

President Peres: "The State of Israel cannot stand on security alone. Israel needs diplomacy as well and it is the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to push forward a peace agreement."
FM Liberman: "Even with all the doubts I have over the true intention of the other side, dialogue between us is important."


President Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman officially opened the conference for Israeli ambassadors and heads of mission at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

Before speaking to Israel's representatives across the world President Peres surveyed the MFA Situation Room which was opened during his tenure as Foreign Minister and laid a wreath at the memorial wall for MFA employees who fell in the service of their country.

Foreign Minister Liberman, in the name of the Foreign Ministry, awarded President Peres with a special gift in acknowledgement of his diplomatic service on behalf of the State of Israel, and said: "We are at opposite poles, but both want the same thing. Even with all the doubts I have over the true intention of the other side, dialogue between us is important,” Liberman said.

Foreign Minister Liberman, addressing the conference attendees, emphasized seven major issues on Israel's diplomatic agenda today:
• relations with the U.S.;
• new areas of focus for Israel's foreign relations, with an emphasis on Africa;
• the Iranian threat;
• the Palestinian issue;
• relations with our neighbors - from Turkey and Iraq, to Libya and Sudan;
• relations with the BRICS emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa; and
• relations with the European Union, particularly France and Germany.
President Peres addressed the negotiations with the Palestinians and said, "Since the creation of the State of Israel we have always faced more threats than opportunities, today for the first time the tables have turned and the opportunities are more tangible and promising than the dangers.

This is the first time Israel is getting offers to upgrade the relationship with the European Union and the Arab League, who for the first time is willing to recognize Israel and understands that Israel is not the enemy. Don't be confused, an economic boycott can be as damaging to Israel as the security threats.

I was here when the state was founded, Ben Gurion faced fateful decisions which had great dangers and only small chances for success. Today Israel has great opportunities. The State of Israel cannot stand on security alone, Israel needs diplomacy as well and it is the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to push forward a peace agreement."

President Peres also addressed the Iranian nuclear threat and said, "I am concerned by Iran's development of long range missiles. We must monitor the development of missiles in Iran and include that in an agreement – it requires cooperation between the US and Russia. It is hard to monitor uranium but much easier to monitor the means of delivery. Iran continues to supply arms to terrorist organizations and serves as a world center of terror."

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