Jerusalem, July 27, 2003

Israel summons Romanian Ambassador to Foreign Ministry
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

The Ambassador of Romania, Valeria Stoica, was summoned today (27 July) to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, following the recent statement made by Romanian President Ion Iliescu regarding the Holocaust and other subjects.

In a meeting with Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General for Central Europe and Eurasia David Peleg and his staff, a stern protest was delivered to the Ambassador regarding the President’s statement. Mr. Peleg stated that Israel takes a grave view of President Iliescu’s statement that he does not see the Holocaust of European Jewry as a unique issue – a statement which constitutes a form of Holocaust denial.

The Ambassador was presented with the demand of the Government of Israel to receive and be informed of the clear position of the Government of Romania on the issue of the Holocaust, and how to reconcile this position with the President’s statement.

Peleg noted that Israel has supported the process of Romanian integration into Western frameworks, such as NATO and the EU – while stressing that the fundamental cornerstone of this process should be the creation of a tolerant civil society that courageously comes to terms with the darker pages of its past, shoulders its responsibility and learns the lessons it provides. In the context of the shouldering of responsibility, Israel expects that Romania would also relate to the matter of compensation for the community and private property of Romanian Jews.