President Rivlin in Spain: ‘We must not surrender to anti-Semitism’

“We must not surrender to anti-Semitism, we must fight it,” Rivlin told the Spanish Jewish community, which is experiencing a rise in anti-Jewish sentiment. 

By: World Israel News Staff

President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday evening unveiled a plaque to be affixed to the entrance of Madrid’s Ibn Gavriol school, commemorating his state visit to Spain and marking 100 years since the reestablishment of the Jewish community in that country since the expulsion of 1492.

“The community here today is a magnificent community, with tens of thousands of members of all ages. Jewish life on the Iberian Peninsula, which was cut off more than 500 years ago, is now full of life, and this is a great joy. This is a great victory for history and the spirit of the Jewish people.”

Rivlin noted, however, a significant rise in anti-Semitism in Spain in recent years. “We must not surrender to anti-Semitism, we must fight it,” he said, adding that he was “pleased that the Spanish government is taking steps in legislation and enforcement against this ugly phenomenon.”

“We must not be ashamed of or hide our identity,” the Israeli head of state declared. “We must not be ashamed of the connection between the State of Israel and the Jewish people. I know that there are concerns, and fears of terrorism against Jews, and of anti-Semitism which poses as criticism against Israel. We will fight these challenges together.”

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‘We Are Brothers, Let Us Stand Together’

“The State of Israel today operates an extensive network to combat anti-Semitism disguised as the delegitimization of Israel, to fight hatred of Jews disguised as a criticism of Israeli government policy: these bodies are at your disposal, they are also here for you,” Rivlin stated.

Furthermore, “We love and respect every Jew, wherever they are, but you will be welcome always should you choose to come to your home in the State of Israel.”

He concluded by thanking the community for their warm welcome and said, “We are brothers, let us stand together.”

Isaac Querub, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain, conceded that the situation has become difficult, noting the social and economic instability in the country. “We need Israel, and Israel can always rely on our support,” he said.