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The Speech of the President of the Czech Republic Given on the Occasion of the AIPAC Gala Dinner

6/5/2018

Shalom, Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

It is a great pleasure to meet you in the Prague Castle. I remember my meeting in  AIPAC three years ago when I said paraphrasing John Kennedy: “Ich bin ein Berliner,” I said: “I am a Jew - איך בין אַ איד” /ami jahudi/

Anyway, now we must take the next steps, not one step but more than one step, and of course, the Czech Republic is either a small or middle country, and four years ago, when I visited Israel, for the first time I proposed the relocation of the Czech embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. American ambassador - where are you? where? oh fine - my best regards to president Trump. He tries to copy my proposals with only four years of time delay. But more than that, Bibi Netanjahu told me: “If you do so, I‘ll give you my own house for your embassy.” I firmly hope his proposal is still valid because it might reduce expenses for this relocation.

But friends, step by step, the first step has been made. A week ago, we opened the honorary consulate led by Mr. Proper, who is of the Czech origin by the way. Where? Of course, in Jerusalem. In my visit this November, we plan to open the Czech House. Where? In Jerusalem. This will be the second step. And you might guess what the third step will be.

But at a conclusion, let me at something which will be very, very impolite against any political correctness. I admire Israel as a country of courageous people. But we must say that not all people are courageous people and we must admit that some people are simply cowards. It is impoliteness, you know. I remember appeasement policy. In the 30s of the last century, Hitler was a fighter for peace, yes really, a fighter for peace! And not only Hitler. And you know the consequences: many, many victims because the politicians were not able to fight against a totalitarian system, against dictatorship, against anti-Semitism. So, it is impoliteness, isn’t it? But it is not all. I observe this impoliteness in the present European Union. Only three countries blockaded the proposal of the former communist madam Mogherini to protest against the relocation of the American embassy. Ambassador, you have the conflict with the European Union. By the way, if we speak about customs, I understand this conflict as fully justified because I am against any protectionism. However, not in this case.

So, five minutes for Hitler, five minutes for Jews - this is political correctness, isn’t it? But we must know that there is not only the cowardice of this form. There is also the cowardice which is called international terrorism. Yes, some people protest and tell me: “Miloš, but there is not only the Islamic terrorism.” And I replay: “Yes, you are right, but where is IRA? Where is Brigate Rosse? Where is ETA? Where is Rote Armee Fraktion?” They all have diminished, fully diminished, so only Islamic terrorism survives; and the cowards are unable to fight against the Islamic terrorism. They say that in the Middle East there is the liberation movement. What liberation, good heavens? Hamas, a terrorist organization, Hezbollah, a terrorist organization? And the full stop to my incorrectness is, friends, I have some doubts whether Al Fattah is a democratic organization. Mr. Abbas fulfills his function before his election period. I could not afford anything close to this. And there were, as far as I know, no free elections in Palestine. So what democracy, my dear lady, what democracy?

So I am afraid that of the total population only 10 per cent, maybe less, are courageous people; that’s why I love Israel. And let me conclude with a single sentence of an old Jewish prayer: Next year in Jerusalem.

 

The Speech of the President of the Czech Republic Given on the Occasion of the AIPAC Gala Dinner, Prague Castle, 5th June 2018

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