Israeli President Reuven Rivlin with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
Israel has no war with Islam or Christianity, although there are fundamentalist Muslim elements creating provocations that would indicate otherwise, President Reuven Rivlin told visiting Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili on Tuesday.
“The only war we have is among Jews,” said Rivlin in reference to the different ways of worship by the various streams of Judaism.
“We are not talking about different gods,” he said. “There is only one God and we all worship Him in our own way.”
Alluding to problems arising from disputes over the Temple Mount, Rivlin said that it was important to prove to the entire world that Israel has no war with Islam.
Having said that, Rivlin turned his attention to ISIS, an insidious phenomenon which he said influences children and adults via the Internet and incites them to go out and kill infidels – non-believers in the Islamic faith.
Yet at the same time, Rivlin pointed out, “Shi’ites and Sunnis are butchering each other.”
Georgia has regions dominated by Muslim populations that are influenced by ISIS, said Kvirikashvili. “We understand your challenges and we hope you will be able to resolve the issue.”
Israel’s focus continues to be on Iran which in addition to funding terrorist organizations is building a tunnel from its border to the Mediterranean, said Rivlin.
Kvirikashvili conveyed condolences to the family of the victims of the terrorist attack in Halamish last Friday night, and said: “It is outrageous to stab an innocent family. When we see violence like this, we are always supportive of Israel.”
The Georgian prime minister also stressed the need for Israel to be strong in the face of such adversity, and said that Georgia faces similar challenges. It was very difficult to keep the international community aware of Georgia’s problems and at the same time to assure the investor community that it is worthwhile investing in Georgia, said Kvirikashvili, adding that Georgia had succeeded in striking a good balance between the two.
With tourism from Israel now at 150,000 visitors a year and constantly increasing, the Georgian premier was hopeful that because Israelis and Jews in general are well treated in Georgia that investments from Israel will follow.
He was appreciative of the fact that Israel had supported Georgia’s territorial integrity.