Andrius Kubilius: Common history serves a foundation for the development of good present and future relations


2010 12 20


At the Tel Aviv Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, the Prime Minister met with the management, teachers and students of this prestigious university.

In his introductory speech, the University President Prof. Uriel Reichman talked about a number of common things that the two nations share. "Both nations fought hard for their independence, identity, language and traditions. The two nations share a common past in Lithuania, where the highest and lowest dimension of the relations between the peoples intertwined. There was a period of prosperity of the Jewish culture and religion in the Northen Jerusalem, but there was also a painful Holocaust tragedy, involving some Lithuanians too, "- said the professor. He pointed out that the current young generation of Lithuanians and Jews and successfully cooperate, participate in joint projects, businesses, and their relationship is not marred by the shadows of the past, and this is prospective and is certainly welcome.

Prime Minister Kubilius, addressed the Israeli academic community on the subject: “Lithuania: vision and strategy-2030“. In addition to the usual highlights of Lithuania as a dynamic, open to change, ready for global competition and high-tech and information technology breakthrough by the year 2030, the Prime Minister focused on the Lithuanian-Israeli relations. The Prime Minister agreed with Professor Reichman’s thoughts about the importance of the common history of more than 500 years shared by the two nations and a a bright and very meaningful footprint left by the Jewish people in Lithuania. The Prime Minister expressed regret for the Nazi Holocaust and the fact that some people of the Lithuanian ethnicity also contributed to the terrible tragedy.

"The tragedy happened, and it must not be forgotten, but we must look forward. I think that it is necessary to go back to the rich Litvak heritage. The best monument and commemoration will be tribute to the remembrance of Litvaks. Therefore, we have declared the year 2011 a year of remembrance of Holocaust victims in Lithuania. I am confident that the commemoration programme and specific actions will fill our relationships with new content, "- said Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister also noted that the existing mutual relations between Lithuania and Israel are good, and centuries of common history shared by the two nations, both good and tragic, is the sound foundation upon which very strong and mutually beneficial future relationship can be built "Future relations seem to be even better as a fruitful co-operation, apart from the IT, has been observed in other areas too. A shared Lithuanian-Jewish passion is basketball, and our shared god is Šarunas Jasikevicius, "- said Andrius Kubilius.

The audience burst out laughing when the Prime Minister Kubilius quoted his favorite authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer (Start-Up Nation): "When an Israeli man wants to date a woman, he asks her out that night. When an Israeli entrepreneur has a business idea, he will start it that week.”, and added that Lithuania, unfortunately, has successfully mastered only the first part of this idea as yet, and, according to the Prime Minister, Lithuanians could learn much from Israeli businessmen as far as the spirit of entrepreneurship is concerned.

The Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya is Israel's largest private university. Back in December 2009 during the visit of Lithuanian Foreign Minister, the Lauder IDC School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy of Herzliya and Kaunas Vytautas Magnus University l signed a letter of intent. The University President confirmed that in 2011 the leadership of the IDC Herzliya would visit Kaunas VMU to discuss further cooperation.