Knesset remembers Czech president Havel

“He was committed to the values of humanism, moderate in his personality, but did not compromise when it came to freedom, and for that he paid a price,” Netanyahu says.

By
February 2, 2012 04:42
Vaclav Havel

Vaclav Havel . (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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The Knesset marked the death of former Czech president Vaclav Havel in a special plenum ceremony Wednesday.

Havel died at age 75 in December.

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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel does not have a greater friend in Europe than the Czech Republic, and he admired Havel as a hero who stood up to communist totalitarianism.

“He was committed to the values of humanism, moderate in his personality, but did not compromise when it came to freedom, and for that he paid a price,” Netanyahu said.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said “the clarity and power” of Havel’s voice threatened the communist regime, which is why he was imprisoned.

He said Havel was an outspoken friend of Israel, who reinstated relations between the two countries.

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, as well as Czech Ambassador to Israel Tomas Pojar, were in attendance, as were Slovakian Ambassador Michael Zantovsky, former Czech ambassador to Israel Yaakov Levi, and Jewish Agency Director Natan Sharansky.

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