The Knesset marked the death of former Czech president Vaclav Havel in a special plenum ceremony on Wednesday.
Havel died at age 75 in December.Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel does not have a greater friend in Europe than the Czech Republic, and that he admired Havel as a hero who stood up to communist totalitarianism.
“He was committed to the values of humanism, moderate in his personality, but did not compromise when it came to freedom, and for that he paid a price,” Netanyahu stated.
According to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said that “the clarity and power” of Havel’s voice threatened the communist regime, which is why he was imprisoned.
He added that Havel was an outspoken friend of Israel, who reinstated relations between the two countries.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, as well as the Czech ambassador to Israel, Tomas Pojar, were in attendance, as were former Czech ambassador to Israel Michael Zantovsky, Israel’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, Yaakov Levi, and Jewish Agency Director Natan Sharansky.An earlier version of this article state that Michael Zantovsky was the Slovakian Ambassador to Israel. This mistake has been corrected.