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Ambassadors talk about Israel and Germany

  • Sacred lodo
On Sunday May 29, SACRED (South African Centre for Religious Equality and Diversity) in collaboration with the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, Bet David Progressive Synagogue and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, was an organiser of “Ambassadors in Conversation: Dealing With a Complicated Past, Creating a Common Future”.
by RABBI JULIA MARGOLIS | Jun 08, 2016

CHAIRMAN OF SACRED

The ambassadors in question were Israel’s Ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk and German Ambassador Walter Linder.

“Today relations between the two peoples are astonishing given the recent past: the German government’s position is one of ‘unconditional support’ of Israel.

“Indeed, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that ‘Germany’s support for Israel’s security is part of our national ethos, our raison d’être’. These words have been backed up by action internationally.

“She has also been on an official tour of Israel and has addressed the Knesset. Jewish life in Germany is active and supported by the government. Israelis now flock to Berlin and Merkel enjoys high popularity in the Jewish state.

“With the Holocaust still within living memory, we were honoured to host survivors in the audience who could not possibly have imagined this state of affairs 70 years ago, at the end of the Second World War.

“This is attributable to determined efforts by both countries to keep the doors of communication open without ignoring the terrible events of the Holocaust. Both ambassadors agreed that although relations between the two states will never be ‘normal’, they had been able to make significant progress in the last 70 years and that this should serve as an example to other countries and peoples dealing with painful pasts.”

The setting for the discussion was the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, whose director, Tali Nates, herself the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, was the moderator.

 

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