From Anastasiades to Zelensky: Rivlin hosts Israel’s largest diplomatic influx
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From Anastasiades to Zelensky: Rivlin hosts Israel’s largest diplomatic influx

A whole lot of hugs and handshakes as more than 40 kings, princes, presidents, prime ministers, parliament speakers and other dignitaries came to town in a whirlwind of diplomacy

  • President Reuven Rivlin greets Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen (R) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin greets Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen (R) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin meets with King Felipe VI of Spain (L) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin meets with King Felipe VI of Spain (L) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin greets French President Emmanuel Macron (R) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin greets French President Emmanuel Macron (R) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin greets Dutch King Willem-Alexander (R) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin greets Dutch King Willem-Alexander (R) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin greets Britains Prince Charles (R) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 23, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin greets Britains Prince Charles (R) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 23, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin meets with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (L) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 24, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin meets with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (L) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 24, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
  • President Reuven Rivlin meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 24, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
    President Reuven Rivlin meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on January 24, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)

President Reuven Rivlin on Friday wrapped up a whirlwind period of diplomacy after welcoming dozens of heads of state to the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, the largest-ever diplomatic gathering to be held in the Jewish state.

With over 40 kings, princes, presidents, prime ministers, parliament speakers and other dignitaries all making their way to the President’s Residence for the three day-event, the Holocaust summit turned hectic, even seeing French President Emmanuel Macron volunteer to help take pictures.

When President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus was signing the guestbook at the President’s Residence on Wednesday, Macron, who was waiting in line to meet the Israeli president, snapped a photo of Rivlin and the Cypriot leader.

“Seeing how intense our diplomatic activity was, he lent a hand, revealing another of his many talents as a photographer,” Rivlin said of Macron on Twitter.

On Friday, the final day of the diplo-marathon, Rivlin met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Canadian Governor-General Julie Payette, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.

He somehow managed to greet them all without having to write their names on his hand, something Culture Minister Miri Regev was caught doing as she welcomed Argentina’s Fernandez at the airport.

Rivlin hosted many of the visiting dignitaries for a dinner Wednesday at his official residence in Jerusalem and held dozens of short sessions of bilateral talks Tuesday to Friday.

After all the hugs, handshakes and group photos, Rivlin also used the opportunity for more serious matters and pressed many of the leaders to condemn the December announcement by the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories after its top prosecutor said there was a “reasonable basis.”

The potential probe, which would investigate Israel and Palestinian terror groups, has been widely denounced by Israeli leaders.

“We have an ethical code and accepted rules. It is not our right to defend ourselves, it is our duty. No one in Europe would accept the reality in which they were shot at without returning fire,” Rivlin was quoted telling German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The president also spoke out against the probe while meeting Macron, King Felipe VI of Spain and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, among others.

President Reuven Rivlin greets Britain’s Prince Charles (R) at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on January 23, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin meets with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (L) at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on January 24, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin greets Dutch King Willem-Alexander (R) at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on January 24, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin greets French President Emmanuel Macron (R) at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin meets with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez (L) at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on January 24, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin (L) walks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (C) during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem on January 23, 2020. (Abir Sultan/Pool/AFP)
President Reuven Rivlin meets with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (L) at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on January 24, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin meets with King Felipe VI of Spain (L) at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin greets Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen (R) at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2019. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin hosts over 40 world leaders for dinner at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem as part of the World Holocaust Forum, on January 22, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
President Reuven Rivlin shakes hands with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on January 22, 2020. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
President Reuven Rivlin meets with Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili (L) at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on January 21, 2020. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin meets with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on January 21, 2020. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin hosts over 40 world leaders for dinner at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem as part of the World Holocaust Forum, on January 22, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
President Reuven Rivlin chats with his guests Kings Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (L) and Felipe VI of Spain (R) during a dinner reception at his official residence in Jerusalem, on January 22, 2020. (Heidi Levine/Pool/AFP)
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