President Reuven Rivlin (right) receives Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu at the President’s Residence yesterday..
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
If more people visited Yad Vashem, negative attitudes toward Jews and Israel might change. This was the view expressed on Monday by Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu when he and his delegation called President Reuven Rivlin immediately after visiting Yad Vashem.
Melescanu cited Auschwitz survivor, author and Nobel Prize laureate Eli Wiesel who said negating the Holocaust is not only dangerous but offensive to the survivors.
There is a tendency in the world towards xenophobia, racism and antisemitism said Melescan, who warned that such bias could evolve into a tragedy similar to that of World War II unless quickly curtailed.
This why Romania promotes the combating of antisemitism, he said.
Due to the dwindling Jewish community in Romania, he continued, the task of trying to preserve Jewish heritage is huge. He said that a new synagogue was built recently, adding that the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania is in the process of publishing a book on the history of Romanian Jews ,which will include a section on diplomats of Jewish origin in the Romanian Foreign Service. He told Rivlin that is personally involved with researching this information.
VIRTUAL TOUR OF YAD VASHEM'S NEW HOLOCAUST MUSEUM (CREDIT: YAD VASHEM)
The president praised Romania for having been the only Communist Bloc country that did not sever its ties with Israel.
He also mentioned that the state will be celebrating its 70th anniversary of independence next year, to which his visitor responded that Romania will likewise be celebrating 70 years of uninterrupted diplomatic relations with Israel.
He invited Rivlin to visit Romania next year, and Rivlin, who had previously been invited by the President of Romania, replied that he would do so.
Other topics that came up for discussion were the threat that Iran poses not only for the Middle East, but also for the free world, the fight against terror and the resolving of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.