Israeli President Reuven Rivlin meeting children from the Jewish community in Spain .
(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin held meetings with Jewish community leaders on Sunday as part of a state visit to Spain in a parley that was attended by David Hatchwell, president of Madrid's Jewish community, and Isaac Querub, president of Spain's Jewish federation.
Querub imparted to Rivlin in their meeting that as Spain's unity is threatened nowadays by the Catalonian demand for independence, the "economic stability, the shared life [among Jews and non-Jews in Spain] and social stability" are all rocked as well.
Querub emphasized that the Spanish Jewish community needs Israel, and that in turn the Jewish state could always count on their loyalty.
President Rivlin also spent time during his visit with children studying at a local Madrid Jewish school called Iben Gavirol School, where he unveiled a sign honoring the presidential visit as well as celebrating the return of Jewish life to Spain.
Spain's Jews were expelled from the country 1492. The expulsion from Spain was seen as one of the darkest moment in Jewish history until it was eclipsed by the Holocaust during WWII.
The president remarked that the restoration of Jewish life in Spain is a “great triumph of history and of the Jewish spirit.” He also noted that Jerusalem and Madrid ought to join forces as they face future challenges, saying: "Let us stand together."
He also made an especially affectionate remark, telling the Jewish community that "we love and respect every Jew wherever he might be. But you would always be welcomed if you chose to make Israel your home."
Rivlin then applauded the efforts undertaken by the Spanish government to combat antisemitism, as recent reports claim that antisemitic incidents have increased dramatically in Spain.
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