Czech Republic President Milos Zeman on Monday urged the global community to show solidarity with the Jewish people and Israel. His remarks were made in a speech at the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference.
“Now we all must say, ‘I am a Jew,'” he told a packed auditorium in Washington, DC. After extended applause from the audience, he repeated the sentiment in Hebrew, saying, “Ani Yehudi.”
“Of course, your discrimination is our discrimination,” he added. “Your victims are our victims.”
Zeman told the gathered AIPAC delegates that expressing solidarity with Israel is the first step in fighting Islamist terrorism. He also advocated for “coordinated and systematic action, under the umbrella of [the UN] Security Council, against the basis of Islamic terrorism.” He denounced the efforts to fight terrorist groups that involve the “massive occupation of territory.”
“No tanks, no infantry, no artillery. But drones, rangers and secret service,” he said. “Never again we shall go, we shall march, like sheep to the slaughter. Never again.”
Zeman concluded his speech by highlighting the ties between the Czech Republic and the Jewish state.
“The Czech Republic has been the single island of democracy in central Europe. And [Israel] is the single island of democracy in the Middle East. And there must be the solidarity between those islands against the ocean of dictatorship.”