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Berlin, Germany - Israeli PM Says Didn't Violate Shabbat With Attending Kohl's Funeral

Published on: July 1, 2017 10:48 PM
By: Jerusalem Post
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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attend a memorial ceremony in honour of late former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, July 1, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir -Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attend a memorial ceremony in honour of late former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, July 1, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir -

Berlin, Germany - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu risked evoking the wrath of the Jewish religious world by making a highly unusual appearance on Shabbat at the funeral of former German chancellor Helmut Kohl in Strasbourg, France on Saturday evening.

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Netanyahu’s presence in the ceremony at the European Parliament, along with wife Sara, caused many to raise eyebrows as it is uncommon for Israeli leaders to participate in public events on Shabbat, which is considered a holy day of rest.

However, a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office stressed the the premier did not violate the Shabbat by attending the ceremony, noting that he arrived at the European Parliament building on foot from his hotel (instead of using a car) and even going so far as to point out that he declined to make a speech or sign the guestbook in order to honor Shabbat traditions.

“His sympathy for Israel and Zionism is reflected in my many meetings with him,” Netanyahu said on Saturday in memory of the former chancellor, “and his position was always firmly in favor of Israel, which has been steadily present in Europe and in other international forums.”

The prime minister and his wife also surprised congregants praying at the Strasbourg synagogue when they arrived for an unexpected visit on Saturday evening.

Neetanyahu visits a Strasbourg synagogue before Helmut Kohl's funeral. . (photo credit:KOBI GIDEON/GPO)Neetanyahu visits a Strasbourg synagogue before Helmut Kohl's funeral. . (photo credit:KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

Netanyahu told the community’s chief rabbi and the Jewish community members who came for prayers at the synagogue that he “came here to respect the memory of a great friend of the State of Israel, Helmut Kohl, here at the European Parliament, but of course there’s no visit that doesn’t include a visit with the Jewish community and I am glad to see you here preserving Israel’s tradition.”

This is not the first time the premier gets tangled up in controversy over religious issues, angering the religious community in Israel and abroad. The past two weeks saw Netanyahu at the helm of a crisis that some fear has sparked a rift between Israel and the Diaspora after the government froze a plan to open an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall and advanced a bill making the country’s Chief Rabbinate solely in charge of conversion in Israel.

The burial ceremony was also attended by world leaders including current German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and former US president Bill Clinton.

Netanyahu thanked Merkel before the funeral for concluding procedures ahead of the signing of a memorandum of understanding for security assistance between both nations after Germany’s National Security Council reportedly approved the sale of three advanced submarines to Israel on Saturday.

According to the report, Israel will receive three more Dolphin submarines in a $1.5 billion deal with German shipmaker ThyssenKrupp.

Netanyahu also spoke to Macron in the event, and the latter reportedly told Netanyahu that he expects him to attend an event in Paris marking the 75 anniversary of Jewish expulsion from France scheduled in two weeks. Netanyahu along with Macron are both slated to speak at the event.



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Read Comments (11)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 01, 2017 at 11:01 PM Anonymous Says:

In 1981, Prime Minister Begin attended the funeral of Anwar Sadat, which was also on Shabbat. I remember that he also walked from his hotel, to the funeral.

2

 Jul 02, 2017 at 01:14 AM Anonymous Says:

I wonder if wearing headphones is also not chill Shabos...?? what a funny

3

 Jul 02, 2017 at 01:16 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

In 1981, Prime Minister Begin attended the funeral of Anwar Sadat, which was also on Shabbat. I remember that he also walked from his hotel, to the funeral.

Exactly ..They r both the same posher yisroal!!!

4

 Jul 02, 2017 at 03:37 AM Anonymous Says:

If someone is still bothered by Bibi, the total secular atheist, that he is mechalel shabos, please go check yourself out. Hes not violation Shabos while wearing headphones LOL! To all you frum Zionists; It kills you? Great! But why? Dont blame you. You call it the Jewish State and the so called leader openly violates the key principles of the Torah. Hes a goy gomir!

5

 Jul 02, 2017 at 07:04 AM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

Who took a picture in shul on shabbos? Let me get this straight this non shomer. Shabbos pm attends anazis funeral on the holy day?

6

 Jul 02, 2017 at 09:28 AM Anonymous Says:

Why is everyone coming down heavier on Netanyahu, than they do to Jared and Ivanka??

7

 Jul 02, 2017 at 12:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Why is everyone coming down heavier on Netanyahu, than they do to Jared and Ivanka??

Why?? Thats why! Cuz they Do NOT claim to represent Jews and its not anyones business their level of observance besides G Ds, although open chilul shabos shld strongly be condemned as its a real chilul Hashem. The "slight" diffrence is too that BIbi, claims himself as the leader of ALL Jews! That secular Zionist atheist sitting with headphones in the open on Shabat. Can it get more comical than that? I dont give a hoot what he does cuz to me he doesnt represent a single erlicha yid but to all u religious people cozying up to Bibi, u got what you deserved. An open mechalel shabos. We all know he doesnt abide by the Torah in any way but to c it up front shld make YOU all GAG!

8

 Jul 02, 2017 at 12:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

In 1981, Prime Minister Begin attended the funeral of Anwar Sadat, which was also on Shabbat. I remember that he also walked from his hotel, to the funeral.

So ur comparing one koifer to another. Wow!thats your best limud zchis. What a condolence! Lol!

9

 Jul 02, 2017 at 02:34 PM jack-l Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

If someone is still bothered by Bibi, the total secular atheist, that he is mechalel shabos, please go check yourself out. Hes not violation Shabos while wearing headphones LOL! To all you frum Zionists; It kills you? Great! But why? Dont blame you. You call it the Jewish State and the so called leader openly violates the key principles of the Torah. Hes a goy gomir!

and u a shoyteh gomir

10

 Jul 02, 2017 at 01:35 PM Mayer Alter Says:

#6 - very simple; because he is the Prime Minister of the Jewish State of Israel.

11

 Jul 02, 2017 at 02:47 PM Breslover-Kotzker Says:

Reply to #5  
triumphinwhitehouse Says:

Who took a picture in shul on shabbos? Let me get this straight this non shomer. Shabbos pm attends anazis funeral on the holy day?

Read article.
Then make rude comment.
It stated that he went late in the day on Saturday. The picture was probably taken motzi Shabbos. I think that because I'm dan lekaf schus.
You should try it, it makes for happier living.

12

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