Young people 'key' to building understanding, Israeli ambassador to Poland says
Dialogue between young people from Israel and Poland is key to building understanding between the nations, Israeli Ambassador to Poland Yacov Livne told students and faculty at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, on June 21.
"Meetings of young Poles and Israelis constitute an investment in our common future," the ambassador said. "The future of our mutual relations is in their hands."
The ambassador's remarks came at the announcement by Father Miros?aw Kalinowski, the university's rector, of the creation of The Abraham Joshua Heschel Center at the university. The center, which will carry out joint educational and cultural projects addressed to Jewish and Polish youth, "seeks to build bridges and develop Polish-Israeli research and cultural cooperation," Kalinowski said. Kalinowski added that he is looking forward to the center's cooperation with the Israeli embassy and academic centers in Israel.
"A thousand years of living together on Polish soil is the cornerstone of our present and future cooperation," Livne said. "We should work together to solve the problems that Poland, Israel, and all of Europe are currently facing. Challenges open up new opportunities. Responding to these challenges is our task."
"A lack of respect between parties who do not understand each other is the root of many conflicts," the ambassador continued. "My people have experienced this very strongly. Our main task is to build bridges -- bridges of mutual understanding, bridges of communication. This is the answer to the challenges we are going to face in the future."
"It is much easier to distort history when we do not know our own past and that of our neighbors," Livne said. "It is therefore our responsibility to conduct thorough research and to learn from history based on facts."
The ambassador's visit is considered a stepping stone to ongoing cooperation between the countries. Kalinowski and Livne also met on May 13 at the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw.
Livne has served as the Israeli Ambassador to Poland since the end of February.