President Reuven Rivlin.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
It is “unacceptable” that Iran is gaining legitimacy while promoting the destruction of Israel, President Reuven Rivlin said on Monday.
He was speaking at the annual Rosh Hashana toast hosted at the President’s Residence for members of the diplomatic community.
Addressing ambassadors and honorary consuls of countries that do not have diplomatic missions in Israel, Rivlin emphasized the importance of global cooperation, and urged his guests to join in the efforts to stop attacks on Israel’s legitimacy or the denial of its rights.
Strong international relations, good cooperation, and free trade agreements will allow the whole world to prosper, he said.
Rivlin also stressed the need for strong nation-states, saying “international cooperation and national patriotism do not contradict one another.”
Israel remains strongly committed to international cooperation, and wants to strengthen diplomatic and commercial ties with all the countries whose representatives were in attendance, he said.
Dean of the diplomatic corps Alexander de la Rosa Garabito, ambassador of the Dominican Republic, sounded more like a representative of Israel than of a foreign country. De la Rosa who has been his country’s ambassador in Israel for more than seven years and speaks fluent Hebrew, with barely a trace of an accent, said he felt very attached to Israel, and was feeling too much as home for a professional diplomat. He regarded it as a privilege to serve in Israel, he said.
Speaking about Rosh Hashana, almost as if he were Jewish, he said: “We promise to learn from the past and try to build a better world for the future.”
Noting that Israel is on the verge of celebrating its 70th anniversary of independence, de la Rosa characterized the country’s development as “a miracle.” Without specifically mentioning the Holocaust, he said the Jews who came to Israel in “a pitiful condition in the wake of a catastrophe” came to a Yishuv which was not what it is today.
He spoke highly of Israel’s global economy and the fact that it’s “a scientific powerhouse, declaring that “Israel is not a nation that dwells alone but is a light unto the nations.”
De la Rosa who spoke before the president, was on the same track. “International cooperation is paramount and Israel is a major player in this field,” he said.
He was disturbed by the rising antisemitism, terrorism, racism and violence, which he said affects everyone “and Israel is in the forefront.”
De la Rosa’s hope for the country in the year ahead was that it would enter into meaningful and direct negotiations with the Palestinians “that will enable both to enjoy the peace they deserve.”
After the formalities the guests went outside to toast the New Year and to partake of pomegranate seeds and apples dipped in honey.