The Speech of the President of the Czech Republic to the Knesset


Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker of the Parliament, Madam Chief of Opposition, Shalom.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the Czech Republic is the best friend of Israel in Europe. I wonder why only in Europe. Please believe me, I am the best friend of Israel in my own country.

My speech is a message towards solidarity with Israel and with Jewish people. Why? Let me give you only three historical examples. In 1936 there was a conference in Evian about exile of Jews from Nazi Germany. All countries rejected to accept the Jews except Dominican.

The second example. In 1973 in Yom Kippur War there was the total boycott of Israel from European except Portugal.

The third example, last one, quite recently in European Parliament spoke the Terrorist from Palestine, who co-organized an attack on civic plane. I say it is a shame of European Parliament and it is a shame for all Europeans.

Sometimes it is necessary to be impolite and to avoid political correctness. That is why I do not speak about world terrorism, I speak about Islamic terrorism. My impoliteness will lead to very simple question. We, Europeans, and now I do not speak about America, I speak about European Union in fact, are sometimes hesitating more. We sometimes are cowards. It is very impolite, isn’t it. But I am afraid it is frank. That’s why it is necessary to express all the time the solidarity with Israel, because if we betray Israel, we betray ourselves.

That´s why I am here, saying as Tzipi Livni said “Ani jehudi” (I am a Jew). But few months ago we started the Czech Honorary Consulate where? In Jerusalem. Led by Mr. Propper, who has a Czech Origin. Tomorrow I will open the Czech House where? In Jerusalem. It connects CzechInvest, CzechTrade, CzechTourism, Czech Center and so on.

Well, friends, I am no dictator, unfortunately, but I promise I will do my best in order to realize the third step. After Honorary Consulate and after Czech House you may guess what is to be the third step.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in the Spanish Civil War there was one wise and sad sentence. It is better to die standing than to live on the knees. Dear friends I wish you to live standing.

Thank you.

Miloš Zeman, the President of the Czech Republic, Knesset, 26th November 2018