“We must stand together in fighting all forms of antisemitism. We must stand together in fighting all forms of racism,’’ said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin as he addressed this week leaders from Jewish communities across the United States by videoconference, talking about the challenges they face in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Antisemitism and racism are two sides of the same coin, and we must fight them wherever they appear,” he said, in an apparent reference to the unrest in the United States surrounding the killing of African-American George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
“We must strive to build a new dialogue between us,” said the president. “In 1958, Ben Gurion faced the difficult question: ‘Who is a Jew?’. In order to answer that question, he turned to fifty leading Jewish thinkers, from all different backgrounds: in the United States, in Europe and in Israel, and asked for their opinions. Well, we still have not solved all of the difficult questions of the Jewish People. But this is the spirit of true dialogue, between Israel and the Diaspora that we need today.”
The conversation was held in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the participation of Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi who underlined that ‘’the sense of mutual obligation between the State of Israel and the global Jewish community is a cornerstone of Israeli diplomacy around the world and for me personally as Foreign Minister.’’