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European Parliament president to Knesset: To be antisemitic is to be anti-European

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola at the Knesset in Jerusalem on May 23, 2022. (Dani Shem Tov/Knesset)
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola at the Knesset in Jerusalem on May 23, 2022. (Dani Shem Tov/Knesset)

In a speech to the Knesset plenum, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola declares that to be antisemitic is to be anti-European.

“The ties of our people are deep,” says Metsola in a speech to MKs that was intermittently interrupted by shouting and booing from both Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi and Religious Zionist MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, among others.

Metsola says that Israel and Europe have “a bond made in suffering and in salvation… a bond that has and will withstand the test of time.” She proclaims that “to be antisemitic is to be anti-European,” noting unfortunately that “every day we still witness attacks on Jews, on synagogues… the European Parliament is committed to breaking the cycle, to combating antisemitism.”

She says that this is her first visit to Israel, but “it will not be my last.” She notes her desire to deepen ties between Israel and the EU “in culture, in science, in trade, in education, in art, in research and in technology.”

“Europe will always back Israel’s right to exist,” Metsola says, to applause. “Peace is difficult, but in Europe we know that peace is possible… peace with security, peace with liberty, peace with dignity, peace with justice.”

Metsola reiterates her support for a two-state solution, “with a secure state of Israel and an independent democratic contiguous viable state of Palestine,” to smatterings of both applause and jeers. “I know there are those who do not agree.”

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