The opening of the Consulate General of Israel in Munich (April 8) constitutes an expression of the importance which Israel to its relations with Germany and importance of the state of Bavaria in the context of these relations. On this occasion in Munich, while looking to the future, we cannot forget the past, which contains many significant milestones for us, as Jews and as Israelis.
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman inaugurated the first Israeli Consulate in Munich (April 8), at a ceremony attended by Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer, Munich Mayor Christian Ude, and heads of government in Bavaria.
Foreign Minister Liberman said:
"The opening of the Consulate General of Israel in Munich today, constitutes an expression of the importance which Israel to its relations with Germany and importance of the state of Bavaria in the context of these relations. Bavaria, the largest state in Germany, comprising more than 12 million people, is a major component of Germany’s political economic, and cultural strength. The presence of an Israeli mission in Munich, will help promote cooperation between Israel and Germany in various fields, including the promotion of economic and trade relations.
On this occasion in Munich, while looking to the future, we cannot forget the past, which contains many significant milestones for us, as Jews and as Israelis. Bavaria, and Munich in particular, holds special significance as the cradle of the National Socialist Nazi movement. The city and its immediate vicinity also witnessed the establishment of Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp.
I am pleased to note that today Germany stands alongside Israel, and Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer, who is with us here, continues this tradition of friendship and commitment to the special relationship with Israel. No less important is the ability of the two countries to develop a meaningful common agenda in all areas of life – economics, research, society, culture and more.
Also with us here today is Mrs. Esther Rot-Shahamorov, who witnessed one of the most painful terror attacks we have known as a country: the massacre of the Israeli team to the Munich Olympics. Eleven representatives of Israeli sports were killed on September 5, 1972 by Black September terrorists. Their memory will be perpetuated in the permanent structure of the new consulate, as an integral part of the Israeli Consulate in Munich.
In a few days, the Jewish people will celebrate Passover, the holiday of freedom. We are currently witnessing popular uprisings in our region motivated by the desire for freedom. We hope that these changes will open new horizons, both for the peoples of the region and for Israel’s relations with those peoples."
FM Liberman then attended the memorial ceremony for the Israeli athletes killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics at the Olympic Village. The ceremony was also attended by Esther Rot-Shahamorov. Liberman said at the ceremony that "Here, it is easiest to explain what we mean by Israel’s special security needs. Unfortunately, even 39 years after the event, just yesterday we again saw a criminal act of terrorism in the form of a missile fired at a bus of children. Only by luck were they spared a terrible tragedy, and one boy, who was unlucky, was critically wounded. These events, which continue even now, with the firing of rockets from Gaza into southern Israel communities, demonstrate the correctness of our expectation that the international community, instead of exerting pressure on Israel, should help us overcome terrorism and defeat it."