Son of former Israeli leader invited to visit Belfast
At the suggestion of Northern Ireland Friends of Israel, North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds has invited prominent Israeli politician Isaac ‘Buji’ Herzog to visit the native city of his famous father, former Israeli President Chaim Herzog.
Nigel Dodds issued the invitation when visiting Israel with the European Friends of Israel. Mr Dodds was one of 450 parliamentarians from across Europe taking part in the trip earlier this month, including DUP colleagues Diane Dodds MEP, Ian Paisley MP and David Simpson MP. Isaac Herzog has enjoyed a distinguished career in the Knesset and has held several positions in the Israeli Labour party and cabinet. His father, Chaim Herzog, who was born in Belfast in September 1918, became the 6th President of Israel in 1983.
Mr Dodds said:
“The name of Chaim Herzog is remembered with pride in his native Belfast. It was a pleasure to meet his son Isaac who has followed in his father’s footsteps to forge a successful career in the Knesset, and to invite him to visit Belfast.
“He was curious to see the city of his father’s birth and where his grandfather, whom he is named after, served as a rabbi. The family house still stands in North Belfast, at Cliftonpark Avenue, and is marked with a blue plaque. Although Chaim left Belfast as a baby, when his father was appointed Chief Rabbi in Dublin, he returned to Northern Ireland as an officer in the British army during the Second World War. He was stationed in Lisburn and frequently visited Belfast.
“His father Isaac went on to become the Chief Rabbi of Israel after its independence in 1948. Chaim’s appointment as the 6th President of Israel in 1983 was greeted very warmly in his native Belfast. The synagogue in Belfast proudly displays a plaque to mark the occasion.
“I hope that Isaac Herzog will have the opportunity to visit Belfast in the future to learn more of its part in his family history. This would generate great interest and I assured him that a warm welcome awaits.”
Diane Dodds MEP, Nigel Dodds MP, Isaac “Buji” Herzog and David Simpson MP at their recent meeting in Israel