Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein will travel to Germany on Tuesday for an official visit marking 50 years since the establishment of relations between Israel and the European country. Edelstein`s visit follows Bundestag President Norbert Lammert`s visit to the Knesset in June, during which he addressed the plenum. Lammert`s visit concluded with a special concert of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at the Knesset`s Chagall Hall.
Edelstein`s visit to Germany will be his first, as he has avoided travelling there for many years. ”For me, this visit is unlike any other. As the son of Holocaust survivors, I had made up my mind not to set foot on German soil, unless my position requires me to do so,” the Knesset speaker said. ”Setting foot on German soil in an official capacity as Speaker of the Knesset will undoubtedly send shivers down my spine. On the other hand, I sense the time has come – 50 years after the establishment of relations with Germany – for me to begin reestablishing my relations with Germany as well.”
While in Germany, Speaker Edelstein is scheduled to address the members of the Bundestag and meet with German President Joachim Gauk and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Speaker Edelstein and the official Knesset delegation he will head will also meet with members of the Israel-Germany Friendship Society and German legislators. During the visit, a special ceremony will be held at Pier 17 in Berlin, from which the city`s Jews were sent to their death in World War Two. In addition, a unique dialogue will take place between Speaker Edelstein and young Germans.
Edelstein will head a delegation that will include the following Knesset members: Nachman Shai (chairman of the Israel-Germany Parliamentary Friendship Group), Tali Ploskov, Yoel Hasson and Hamad Amar. The delegation will also include former minister and MK Jacob Edery, who headed the friendship group in past Knessets, and Knesset Secretary Yardena Meller-Horowitz.