Rivlin to visit Cyprus to honor the legacy of Jewish arrival to Israel

President Reuven Rivlin will pay a one day state visit to Cyprus on Tuesday as the guest of President Nicos Anastasiades.

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February 10, 2019 21:12
1 minute read.
President Reuven Rivlin

President Reuven Rivlin. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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President Reuven Rivlin will make a one-day state visit to Cyprus on Tuesday as the guest of Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

Rivlin will board an early morning flight for the short trip and return the same evening. He will be welcomed at a state reception at the Presidential Palace, after which he will have a working meeting with Anastasiades, who will later host a state luncheon in Rivlin’s honor.

In the afternoon, Rivlin will visit the British Military Hospital to mark the 70th anniversary of the closing of the prison camps that housed illegal immigrants, most of whom were Holocaust survivors and were turned away by British Mandate authorities as they approached the shores of pre-state Israel.

The British established internment camps in Cyprus, where from 1946 through 1949, would-be immigrants to the Jewish homeland were housed in tents. At the height of illegal immigration, known in Hebrew as Aliya Bet, there were nine such camps in Cyprus, in which some 2,000 Jewish babies were born.

There were several escape attempts made by inmates, some of whom were aided by members of the local community. Like the refugees and the Jews living in Palestine under British rule, the Cypriots had no great love for the British, and were only too happy to help the people who left displaced persons camps in Europe, only to be denied entry to the Promised Land.

Some of the babies born in Cyprus, who are now Israeli citizens in their early 70s, have been invited to visit the country of their birth on Tuesday to close the circle of shared history.

Today, there is a very active organization of “Cyprus babies” in Israel.

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