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Israeli Pres.: Anti-semitism corrupts society

Anti-semitism and the hatred of minorities "corrupts society," Israeli President Reuven Rivlin warned in an exclusive interview with CNN's Oren Liebermann.

Posted: Nov 30, 2018 7:09 AM
Updated: Nov 30, 2018 7:09 AM

Anti-Semitism and the hatred of minorities "corrupts society," Israeli President Reuven Rivlin warned in an exclusive interview with CNN.

"For us, it is clear as daylight. Anti-Semitism is a presence in society that corrupts society itself," said Rivlin.

"We try to explain to the whole world that if you don't fight against anti-Semitism, it will hit your societies. There are stereotypes present in societies that create a lack of understanding; treatment of minorities which is not humane or moral will corrupt societies."

Responding to CNN's survey on anti-Semitism in Europe, Rivlin said Israel must always stand strong against anti-Semitism in all its forms and in all its locations.

"We are diligent, and we have to be even more diligent, to explain in all those places where anti-Semitism is spreading, or returning, that we are not ready to accept it," Rivlin told CNN.

The Israeli President also addressed the rise of neo-fascism in Europe and other parts of the world, saying, "Someone who is neo-fascist is truly a person who is totally against the spirit, principles, and the values of the State of Israel."

This past summer, Rivlin met with Hungarian President Viktor Orban, who has been repeatedly accused of using anti-Semitic language by the United Nations.

Orban has been largely nationalist and anti-immigrant, often calling for "ethnic homogeneity."

Rivlin told him at the time, "I know what you are doing against anti-Semitism. I know the efforts. But we have to remember, when we say never again, that neo-fascism and neo-fascist groups are a real danger to the very existence of the free world."

In June, Rivlin also welcomed Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to Jerusalem. Kurz's coalition includes the far-right Freedom Party, which has Nazi roots.

In a readout of the meeting from Israel's government press office, Rivlin said that, even given Europe's complex political reality, you cannot have elements which support the State of Israel but also hold positions that are racist or anti-Semitic.

"This is impossible," Rivlin told CNN. "It is impossible to say we admire the State of Israel and we want ties with the State of Israel, but we are neo-fascists."

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN in an exclusive interview that he was concerned with the findings of CNN's survey on anti-Semitism, but not surprised.

"Anti-Semitism is an ancient disease and when it rears its ugly head, it first attacks the Jews, but it never stops with that, it sweeps entire societies," Netanyahu said.

"I saw Viktor Orban in Hungary -- he's opened up a center against anti-Semitism. I saw Sebastian Kurz in Austria -- he just held a conference against anti-Semitism, and that's encouraging," said Netanyahu.

Rivlin echoed Netanyahu's language, describing it as an "evil illness" that can exist anywhere. "Evil can sprout in any society that fails to examine itself, that fails to remember the past, and that fails to educate," he told CNN.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 96677

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7143160
DeSoto559460
Harrison388374
Jackson350570
Madison331089
Rankin330679
Lee273670
Forrest248973
Jones248779
Washington225977
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Lamar171635
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Pike124051
Monroe123568
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Scott117627
Coahoma116329
Marshall110617
Lincoln110253
Holmes109859
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Yazoo106230
Simpson104646
Tate100437
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Marion86535
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Newton77224
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Tippah67117
Attala66725
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Clarke60046
Clay59518
Hancock58722
Jasper57515
Noxubee55116
Smith53415
Calhoun52112
Tunica49715
Claiborne46516
Montgomery46420
Yalobusha43514
Lawrence43313
Perry42419
Greene38817
Humphreys37715
Quitman3775
Stone37412
Jefferson Davis34211
Webster33813
Amite33210
Carroll31912
Wilkinson30518
Kemper29015
Sharkey26613
Jefferson2439
Benton2273
Franklin1933
Choctaw1866
Issaquena1053
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19676351
Mobile13373292
Montgomery8834184
Tuscaloosa8621118
Madison788178
Shelby597849
Lee589760
Baldwin547750
Marshall394343
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Morgan329228
Houston290321
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DeKalb241621
St. Clair232235
Walker231684
Talladega216629
Limestone210120
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Franklin177129
Autauga176425
Russell17603
Lauderdale171333
Colbert164626
Blount161115
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Chilton158530
Jackson157511
Covington140127
Dale138644
Coffee13486
Pike119810
Chambers116442
Tallapoosa116085
Clarke109116
Marion96429
Butler91239
Barbour8827
Winston74412
Marengo72020
Pickens66214
Bibb65410
Lowndes65327
Randolph64713
Hale63528
Geneva6254
Lawrence62023
Cherokee60813
Bullock60414
Monroe5898
Clay5858
Washington55713
Perry5416
Crenshaw53732
Conecuh53511
Wilcox53111
Henry5055
Macon48018
Fayette4578
Sumter43819
Cleburne3805
Lamar3672
Choctaw34712
Greene30315
Coosa1713
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