President Peres on state visit to the Netherlands
The President will address the Dutch Parliament, hold a press conference
with Dutch Prime Minister, and be the guest of honor at a state dinner
attended by members of of the royal family and the political leadership.
President Peres visits Anne Frank House in Amsterdam (Photo: GPO/Amos Ben Gershom)
(Communicated by the Office of the President)
Peres left on Sunday morning, Sept 29, 2013 for an official visit to
Holland as the guest of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander.
the visit he will meet with justices of the International Court of
Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, headed by ICF President Judge Peter Tomka.
President Peres will present the importance attached by the State of
Israel to uphold international law and the role of the International
Court of Justice in dispute resolution and mediation between states
through peaceful means and dialogue. The President will also present to
them how Israel confronts the threats of terrorism and state-sponsored
terrorism, as well as changes and developments in the Middle East.
Tuesday (October 1) President Peres will address the Dutch Parliament,
where he will stress the importance of European involvement in
international operations against the Iranian nuclear race, tensions in
Syria and the disarmament of its chemical weapons, and European support
in promoting the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
President will meet with the new Dutch King, His Majesty King
Willem-Alexander, in Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. He will be received
in a official welcome ceremony which will include review of the honor
guard, signing the royal guest book, a political meeting with the King
and a state dinner with the participation of political leaders of the
Netherlands adn members of the royal family, including former Queen, now
Princess Beatrix. President Peres will be the first head of state
received by the new Dutch King who assumed the throne on April 30, 2013.
addition, the President will hold a working meeting with Dutch Prime
Minister Mark Rutte followed by a joint press conference in which the
president will address the Iranian nuclear issue, the situation in Syria
and political and economic relations between Israel and the Netherlands
- this in light of the leading role played by the Dutch government in
actions to exclude products produced in the Israeli settlements from the
free trade agreement between Israel and the EU.
will also use his visit to strengthen ties with the Diaspora. He will be
the guest of honor and will speak at a festive event of the Jewish
community to be held in the Old Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam
(Sunday), and lay a wreath at the Hollandsche Schouwborg monument to
victims of the Holocaust with survivors from the Jewish community.
President Peres began his visit in the Netherlands with an historic
visit to Anne Frank's house, a symbol of Holocaust remembrance in the
Netherlands and across the world. During the visit President Peres
examined unique original pages from Anne Frank's diary and was presented
with an original photo album Anne Frank compiled during her time hiding
in the annex.
In a rare moment President Peres was shown
original pages from Anne Frank's diary, the photo album and the first
letter written by her father upon his release from Auschwitz – items
usually kept under strict control in the archives. President Peres, who
wore special protective gloves, held the photo album in his hands,
looked through the photographs and said, "Anne Frank's message should
especially resonate today. Her legacy is not just remembrance of the
Holocaust but a living testimony that no-one in the world can ignore - a
ray of light and an honest voice in a darkened world."
Peres continued and said, "As I begin my visit to the Netherlands today
I cannot ignore what is happening around us and say in a clear voice
that Anne Frank's warning stands before us today. I doubt whether Assad
read Anne Frank's diary, when he didn't hesitate to use chemical weapons
to murder innocent women and children. It serves as a warning to us all
against a tyrant who uses chemical weapons to murder children and
against attempts to develop nuclear weapons for mass destruction."
President Peres concluded and said, "Anne, your voice which rings in our
ears today, will forever remind the Jewish people and the world of the
victory of light over darkness."
During the visit by President
Peres, Anne Frank's house unveiled, for the first time to the public,
original copies of two letters in German sent by the sole survivor of
the Frank family, Otto Frank, who was rescued from Auschwitz. The
letters, written in February 1945, are to his mother and were sent only a
month after his liberation from the death camp by the Russians. The
letter shows that even in the final days of the war Mr. Frank continued
to do everything he could to protect his family and to believe that they
will survive despite the tragic situation. The letters are part of a
collection given to Anne Frank's house by the American actor, Joseph