President Rivlin Stresses 'Strong Bond' Between Israel, U.S. in Visit to West Point

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President Rivlin at West Point, January 26, 2015.Credit: Mark Nayman, GPO

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin stressed the importance of the strong bond between the United States and Israel in a visit to the West Point military academy on Monday.

In a ceremony honoring the Israeli military's first brigadier general, David Daniel Marcus, buried in the academy, Rivlin said the deceased's life was a testimony to the "simple truth" that those defending Israel and those defending the U.S. are defending the shared values of liberty and democracy.

Marcus, who emigrated from the U.S. to the fledgling Israeli state to fight in its war of independence, was accidentally killed by an Israeli guard, and laid to rest in West Point.

The Israeli president was scheduled to attend a United Nations commemoration of Holocaust victims on Tuesday, but the event was postponed to Wednesday due to the heavy snow in New York City.

Tuesday's annual commemoration would have coincided with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp in Poland.

Holocaust survivors and Rivlin will be joined by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and several other high-ranking UN diplomats at the commemoration to be held at the UN General Assembly.

Miri Ben-Ari, a Grammy-award winning violinist, and The Jewish Chapel Choir of the United States Military Academy at West Point will perform at the event.

A traveling exhibition by Yad Vashem, the Israeli center for documenting and researching the Holocaust, is on display at UN headquarters detailing the main historical aspects of the Holocaust.

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