TEL AVIV (Apr. 26)
President Vaclav Havel ended his first full day in Israel Thursday with an appearance before nearly 3,000 Jews of Czechoslovak origin attending a mass meeting at the Binyenei Ha’uma convention hall in Jerusalem.
The Czechoslovak president, the first Eastern European chief of state to visit Israel, arrived here Wednesday for a three-day official visit.
Although his itinerary includes talks with top Israeli officials as well as an hour meeting with a delegation of Palestinians at an East Jerusalem hotel, Havel has been mainly sightseeing.
After lunching with acting Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, the Czech leader toured the Old City and was led around the Israel Museum by Mayor Teddy Kollek.
Earlier, he was shown around the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial by its director, Yitzhak Arad, and placed a wreath at the eternal flame in the Remembrance Hall.
Havel is scheduled to visit the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv on Friday, where a special exhibition on Czech Jewry has been mounted.
He will also take a trip to Kfar Masaryk, a kibbutz founded by Czech Jews and named for Tomas Masaryk, Czechoslovakia’s first president.
The playwright-president was awarded an honorary Ph.D. on Thursday by the Hebrew University, where Tomas Masaryk visited 63 years ago.