Czech President Miloš Zeman, it was recently said, is “a world leader guided by principles, a man not only knows right from wrong, but has never been afraid to voice it. ” Known for his longstanding support for the US, Israel and the Jews, he was the only European president publicly to support then-candidate Donald Trump before the US presidential election.
The historical relationship of Czechoslovakia, later the Czech Republic, towards Israel is most likely based on when the Czechs were overrun by Hitler in 1938, and learned the hard way that “appeasement never works”. Zeman defends the Czech presidents’ motto: “Truth prevails”.
A Euro-federalist and leftist, Zeman became known to the public in August 1989, three months before the Velvet Revolution, thanks to an article, “Prognostics and Perestroika.” In it, he criticized the totalitarian Czechoslovak régime at that time:
“The stolen future was not shared by a society which was not planning for itself but for which plans were being made…. Current events have already proven that long-term [economic] lagging has not contributed to the prestige of socialism. Also not contributing to it is a persistent unwillingness to admit its own responsibility for this lagging… There is nothing antisocialist about criticizing the incompetence of an uncontrollable power. On the contrary, there is nothing socialist about tolerance or even support for that incompetence.”