Meeting Merkel, Rivlin says Germany shouldn’t try to avoid US sanctions on Iran

President Reuven Rivlin welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel by hailing her staunch support of Israel and her fight against anti-Semitism. At a speech ahead of a lunch at his official Jerusalem residence, he also calls on Berlin to join US sanctions against Iran and to stop looking for ways to circumvent them.

“From our point of view, now is the time to join the effective sanctions on Iran and not to circumvent them,” Rivlin says. “The Iranian beast must be starved and not fed. This is the only way to guarantee the stability of the world.”

Rivlin also attacks the far-right Alternative for Germany party, saying that it is impossible to both love Israel and hate the Jews.

“We won’t be confused,” he says.

“The lesson of history is this: we must show zero tolerance for anti-Semitism and racism. Zero tolerance. Wherever there is fruitful ground for such a thing, we need to uproot these terrible threats, as you all know,” he tells Merkel and her delegation, as well as some two dozen Israeli guests invited for lunch, including writers A.B. Yehoshua, Meir Shalev and four Israeli Nobel laureates.

Rivlin also subtly criticizes the recently passed nation-state law, telling Merkel that Israel’s Declaration of Independence calls for full civil and political rights for all its citizens.

— Raphael Ahren

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