Sunday, June 24, 2018

Grapevine: Explaining the situation to the EU

Alfredo Boyd,, June 24, 2018

Image (not from entry) from Jerusalem Post (July 22, 2017), with caption: PRESIDENT REUVEN RIVLIN, former president Shimon Peres, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu don virtual reality goggles at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Jaffa.

Relations between Israel and the EU have known their ups and downs, and are currently in a state of decline primarily due to events at the Gaza border.

Worried by the deterioration of goodwill, President Reuven Rivlin, aware of the effectiveness of the Gazan propaganda machine and the general success of Palestinian public diplomacy [JB emphasis], last week invited ambassadors of member states of the European Union to meet with him at his official residence to hear the Israeli side of the story and to perhaps develop a better understanding of the broader picture of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Rivlin was particularly appreciative of the fact that Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret, head of the EU delegation, had acceded to the invitation and that all the member states were represented.

Rivlin explained the complexities of simultaneously protecting Israel’s borders through the army, fighting political battles and trying to combat the public diplomacy assault coming from all sides. He told his guests that he wanted them to absorb the reality of Israel’s daily struggle against Iran and its sponsorship of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism.

Giaufret indicated that Rivlin’s message was understood and that the EU is no less interested in Israel’s safety and security than is Israel itself.

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