Cross the Line is the title of a new exhibition of Czech and Slovak contemporary glass design that runs from Sunday in the Czech House Jerusalem. The exhibition is a joint project organized in cooperation with the Czech Centre Tel Aviv and the Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou. I asked the head of Czech Centre in Tel-Aviv, Robert Mikoláš, to tell me more about the exhibition:
Recently elected Senate chairman Jaroslav Kubera of the opposition
centre-right Civic Democrats has expressed his support for President Miloš
Zeman’s plan to move the Czech embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to
Mr Kubera’s comments came on Thursday evening following his first meeting with the Czech head of state, held at Prague Castle. He told reporters they had agreed to continue to discuss foreign policy issues together and to continue to promote economic diplomacy.
But the Senate chairman said economic diplomacy should not be limited to China and Russia, countries which President Zeman supports. He said they agreed on increasing the country’s military spending in line with NATO targets.
Czech President Miloš Zeman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
have officially opened a new Czech House in Jerusalem. The facility will be
home to a Czech Centre and CzechTrade, CzechInvest and CzechTourism
Mr. Netanyahu said at Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony that Israel had no better friend in the Eastern Hemisphere than the Czech Republic. For his part, Mr. Zeman said he firmly believed that on his next visit to the country he would open a Czech Embassy in Jerusalem.
The Czech head of state advocates moving the Czech Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The switch is not currently planned by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On a state visit to Israel, Czech President Miloš Zeman on Monday addressed a special session of the country’s parliament, the Knesset – the first Czech politician ever to do so. Mr. Zeman highlighted the special relationship between the two countries and vowed to do everything in his power to ensure that the Czech Embassy be moved to Jerusalem.
Following foreign policy consultations at Prague Castle on Wednesday,
senior state officials expressed support for the idea to move the
country’s diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying that the
opening of a Czech House in the holy city should be a first step in this
The president, prime minister, lower house speaker and foreign and defense ministers also concluded that the European Union’s trade sanctions against Russia are justified and the reasons why they were introduced remain valid. This despite the fact that President Zeman has long opposed the sanctions on the grounds that they are ineffective.
The country’s senior officials also upheld the Czech stance against admission of migrants and stressed that the migrant crisis needs to be resolved in the countries of origin.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said he does not agree with the idea that
the Czech Embassy in Tel Aviv could be moved to Jerusalem. President Miloš
Zeman brought up the possibility after expressing backing for US President
Donald Trump who officially recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital this
Prime Minister Babiš told Czech Radio’s flagship station Radiožurnál that it was important not to create new conflicts in the Middle East, saying that the Czech Republic was a “small country which should try and work for peace”.
Czech President Milos Zeman has defended US President Donald Trump’s
decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US
embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Zeman said EU member states
should follow the US example.
Meanwhile, the Czech political scene is divided on the issue. The right-wing Civic Democrats and the SPD welcomed Trump’s decision, while TOP 09 took a reserved stance and the Communist Party sharply criticized the move.
The Czech Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it considers Jerusalem the future capital of both Israel and the future state of Palestine, in line with EU policy. It said Prague would not transfer its embassy to Jerusalem without discussing the issue with its partners in the EU.
The lower house of Parliament on Tuesday rejected a resolution by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization critical of Israeli conduct in Jerusalem and Gaza. The lower house has also called on the government to suspend the country’s payments of membership fees to the organisation. The resolution, which describes Jerusalem as ‘occupied’ and rejects Israel’s sovereignty over the city was backed by 22 countries. The Czech Republic should pay UNESCO over 30 million crowns in annual membership fees.
The lower house of Parliament has strongly rejected a resolution by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization which denies any Jewish connection to Judaism’s holiest site, Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the Western Wall. The UNESCO resolution, called it an exclusively Muslim shrine, sparking protests from Israel. In a resolution passed on Wednesday Czech deputies rejected the UN resolution saying it fuelled anti-Semitic sentiments. The UNESCO resolution coincided with international efforts to calm violence in the region after what Palestinians say are increasingly frequent Jewish visits to the compound that is officially under Muslim administration. Under Israeli law, Jews are not allowed to pray at the site to avoid potential violence, but many Jewish activists still rally there.