Rivlin Says He Won’t Meet Far-Right Leaders With Anti-Semitic Past

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that he would refuse to meet with far-right European leaders with anti-Semitic backgrounds, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“Fascism is against our values. We cannot tolerate or ignore anti-Semitism. I would reject any such invitation and would say please stay away,” Rivlin said at a meeting with leaders of the World Jewish Congress on Monday. In the light of the current rise of right-wing parties in Europe, was asked if he would be willing to meet with an elected official with an anti-Semitic past who now claims to be a friend of Israel.

Rivlin dismissed the suggestion that such a change could be accepted at face value. “I say it isn’t necessarily so. We can’t give away our values.”

If so, it would not be the first time Rivlin has refused to meet a foreign dignitary whom he deemed to be not a friend of Israel.

In April 2015, he and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu both turned down invitations to meet with former U.S. president Jimmy Carter during a visit to Israel. The decision was taken in consultation with the Foreign Ministry.

A senior diplomatic official said at the time that Carter has been “a disaster for Israel,” and that all Israeli leaders should refrain from meeting him due to his “anti-Israel positions.”