Middle East

Israeli president opposes contacts with Europe's far-right

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addresses attendees at the "Haaretz Q: with New Israel Fund" event at The Roosevelt Hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, December 13, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly - RTX1YHSY

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addresses attendees at the "Haaretz Q: with New Israel Fund" event at The Roosevelt Hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, December 13, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly - RTX1YHSY

 Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has told Jewish representatives that he strongly opposes contacts between his country's officials and European parties with a history of anti-Semitism.

Rivlin says he will "never condone" meetings between representatives of Israel and "European parties of the far right that are tainted with a history of anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial ... or the promotion of racial hatred or intolerance."

Vienna's Jewish community emailed a copy to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

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Dated Dec. 20, the letter is in response to one sent in November by World Jewish Congress Vice President Ariel Muzicant and Oskar Deutsch, the head of Vienna's Jewish community, complaining about contacts between Austria's Freedom Party and Israeli political figures.

The party said Wednesday that it doesn't consider Rivlin's comments as applying to it.