Tánaiste commences his visit to the Middle East in Jerusalem
Press release05 September 2023
Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD begins his three-day visit to the Middle East in Jerusalem today (Tuesday).
The Tánaiste will travel first to the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, Yad Vashem. He will lay a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance and will also visit the Children’s Memorial.
The Tánaiste will then visit Lod, a mixed Jewish-Arab city. Here the Tánaiste will meet with members of local government as well as with representatives of the Abraham Initiatives project, which is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and works to promote engagement and dialogue between the Jewish and Arab Israelis who live there.
The Tánaiste will then visit the National Library of Israel, where he will be able to view some of the archives from the Genealogical History of the Irish Jewish Communities, which was presented to the Library late last year.
The Tánaiste will also undertake an intensive round of political engagements, meeting with Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and later with the Minister for Strategic Affairs, Ron Dermer and with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He will deliver a keynote address to the Israeli Council on Foreign Relations.
The Tánaiste said:
“At a time when there is a worrying rise in antisemitism and Holocaust denial globally, it is fitting that I should commence my programme by visiting Yad Vashem and laying a wreath on behalf of the Government and people of Ireland. I know that this will be a deeply moving experience.
“I look forward to my visit to Lod and the opportunity to engage with members of the Arab and Jewish communities there. My Department is pleased to fund the Abraham Initiatives, a project which works to bring these communities together, including by sharing cross community engagement experience from the island of Ireland.
“I anticipate a wide-ranging, open exchange of views with Ministers Cohen and Dermer and with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Our discussions will cover a broad range of issues including underlining Ireland’s strong commitment to combating antisemitism and I look forward to updating on our domestic and international engagement on this issue. I will also raise my deep concern at recent developments in the occupied Palestinian territory and the negative trajectory we are witnessing.”