Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO.
(JNS.org) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin launched his first official visit to the United States on Sunday at Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center, a predominately black megachurch and the largest church in New York City.
Speaking to the some 2,500 black congregants, including Senior Pastor Reverand Dr. A.R. Bernard and Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rivlin invoked the famous civil rights leader.
“I also have a dream—I have a dream that once again God will knock on our door,” Rivlin said. “I dream that Jerusalem, which is a microcosm for the world, will serve as a model for coexistence between different communities and religions. We, the Jews and Muslims, are the children of Abraham; We are all the children of God.”
Rivlin also mentioned that Jews and blacks have a shared history of struggle, and warned against Holocaust denial.
“Those who say the Holocaust never happened, the day will come when some will say the transportation and enslavement of 10 million Africans to the Americas never happened,” Rivlin said.
“We must celebrate the past. We must rehearse it in the ears of our children and the world, from generation to generation. So that history does not become myth,” he added.
Rivlin is scheduled to take part in a number of events in New York to commemorate International Holocaust Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. This includes launching a Yad Vashem exhibition at the U.N. headquarters and a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
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