IOCB Prague expresses support for the Israeli Weizmann Institute

10 November 2023
IOCB Prague expresses support for the Israeli Weizmann Institute

"In the face of the horror and barbarism to which Israel is currently exposed, we cannot remain silent," says the director of IOCB Prague to his counterpart at the Israeli Weizmann Institute of Science. He is reacting to the unprecedented and reprehensible attack at the beginning of October this year by members of the Hamas terrorist organization in Israel.

In a letter addressed to Prof. Alon Chen, President of the Weizmann Institute, Jan Konvalinka expresses the following views to the people of this prestigious scientific institution, with which IOCB Prague has established close collaboration in the past. "In the Czech Republic, we see Israel as a model and an example that even a small country, exposed to many difficulties, can not only succeed, but even excel," Jan Konvalinka says in the letter and offers his colleagues from Israel help and reassurance that Czech scientists are on their side in these turbulent times.

Prof. Jan Konvalinka (Photo: Tomáš Belloň, IOCB Prague archive)

Prof. Alon Chen
President of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Prague, November 2, 2023

Dear Professor Chen,

In light of the current situation in your country and the horror and barbarism we have been witnessing in direct transmission, we cannot stay silent. By this personal letter, I want to assure you, your colleagues and the people of Israel, of the heartfelt support from our Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences, as well as from myself personally.

In Czechia we are extremely proud of our historic contribution to defending the newly created state of Israel in 1948 – showing that words of support may often be motivating but in the time of real crisis powerful ideas need to be defended by power of arms.

We are witnessing that what we know as liberal democracy is under attack on several fronts – both from outside but, unfortunately, also from inside. We have always viewed Israel as a friendly democracy and integral part of Western civilization based on the Judeo-Christian values and traditions, that is, with all its shortcomings and problems, still the best social system this world has to offer.

Israel has survived and preserved its democracy in a difficult neighborhood. During the last several decades it became a prominent center of technological innovation, capitalizing on the values of education and science to create a vibrant knowledge-based economy and society formed by shared values.

I personally had a chance to witness the sincere and peaceful struggle of concerned Israeli citizens against political measures they found dangerous for the democracy and have no doubt that people of Israel will be able to defend the values of humanity and freedom even in these troubled days.

We in Czechia often view Israel as an inspirational role model showing that even a small country can excel and succeed despite adversity. In these days, we are prominently flying the Israeli flag, together with the Czech one, in front of our institute.

Dear Prof. Chen, please extend our best wishes and offer for help to all your colleagues at the Weizmann. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help you. We value tremendously our long-term partnership and during these turbulent times we stand firmly on your side.

Wishing you all the best,

Prof. Jan Konvalinka
Director of IOCB Prague

Share this article
Read next...
See all news arrow