President Rivlin laid a wreath at the Holocaust memorial in Ottawa, accompanied by Prime Minister Trudeau.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin told the world that Gaza is not Israel’s enemy, after he laid a wreath at the Holocaust memorial in Ottawa on Tuesday during his diplomatic visit to Canada.
“The people of Gaza are not our enemy,” Rivlin said. “We have no war with Islam.” Nonetheless, the president stressed that “Israel will do whatever needed to protect the security of its citizens.”
“For years, our citizens in the South have lived with missiles from Gaza. Sleeping in bomb shelters, night after night for years, is a reality that is hard to grasp,” he continued. “Just last week, a rocket fired from Gaza hit a house in the center of Israel and wounded seven people, including a six-month old baby. These rockets are fired by Hamas, a ruthless and cruel terrorist organization.”
The president also thanked Canada for its support for Israel and strong stance against BDS as well as antisemitism.
“I want to thank you not only for your friendship, but for your moral leadership. The mark of a true leader is his willingness to take a clear moral stand. Your moral stance against antisemitism in all its forms, the strong support for Israel in the UN, the annual UNGA resolution on the human rights situation in Iran are just some examples of your moral leadership,” Rivlin said. “Unfortunately, we live in a time where moral leadership is not always valued. The UN Human Rights Council has been taken over by human rights violators, and many countries prioritize their economic ties with radical regimes like Iran, instead of speaking up against tyranny and terror. In the face of these challenges, we must not surrender. We must join forces, and change the world for the better. I deeply believe that Israel and Canada can work together with other like-minded countries, to build a new global alliance based on moral leadership and responsibility.”
Trudeau affirmed Rivlin’s words and Canada’s fight against antisemitism.
“We work together to combat hatred and antisemitism around the world, including through the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and the international campaign against antisemitism,” Trudeau said. “Our government will continue to speak out in the strongest possible terms against BDS and Israeli Apartheid Week, which hold Israel to completely different standards to any other country in the world. Now, it is up to us, Mr. President. We must continue the proud tradition of our predecessors as we write the next chapter of our friendship and cooperation. I have no doubt that our relations will only strengthen, and our peoples will become even closer.”
Rivlin also expressed his expectation that Canada would oppose any unilateral Palestinian moves against Israel. In addition, Rivlin discussed Iran with Trudeau. Rivlin noted his appreciation that Canada froze relations with Iran and it declared the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.
“The only way to halt Iran’s plans is by concerted international pressure and targeted military action whenever needed,” Rivlin said.
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