Israeli Leaders Speak With German Counterparts in Wake of Anti-Semitic Attack

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing next to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in October, 2019. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

In the wake of a deadly attack outside a synagogue in Germany on Yom Kippur, Israeli leaders spoke with their German counterparts to thank them for their stand against anti-Semitism, but to urge them to do more.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that he appreciated her strong stance against anti-Semitism, and that the fight had to be stepped up.

Merkel declared on Thursday that “the representatives of the constitutional state must use all means available against hate, violence and misanthropy. There is zero tolerance.”

President Reuven Rivlin spoke on the telephone Thursday with his German counterpart, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, after the latter paid a personal visit to the synagogue in Halle which had been targeted for a terror attack.

“We appreciate the efforts taken by the German authorities to protect and to secure German Jews, and still there is more to be done, and the fight has to be without hesitation or compromise. I appreciate your willingness and the willingness of the Chancellor to express your personal support for the Jewish community and your visit to the synagogue earlier today,” Rivlin reportedly said.

“We are partners in the fight against anti-Semitism and neo-Facism. We must learn from this incident to make sure that nothing similar ever happens again. Facism, neo-Facism and anti-Semitism are a source of concern for the whole world,” he added.

President Steinmeier responded: “Mr. President, I feel your pain, concern and fear and I share it. I said in my statement today that it is not enough to deplore and denounce. The German state has to live up to its responsibility to protect Jewish life. The vast majority of Germans who want that must be more active and more vocal.”