Today (Wednesday), President Yitzhak Herzog and his wife Michal hosted the leaders of the Christian community in Israel to mark the new civil year, at the traditional annual reception at the President’s House in Jerusalem.
The President of the State opened his remarks by saying: “The State of Israel is blessed with diverse Christian communities, which you lead, and each community is an integral part of the colorful mosaic that makes up the state. You are enriching our people and our country, as well as our many Christian friends around the world. “
The President added: “We are all children of God, the same God, and we all have a dream to improve our world by filling it with peace, grace, charity and compassion. We can fulfill this task together, if we become united around common values and not disagreements due to differences in our beliefs. Today, as historical winds of peace blow in our region, the descendants of our ancestor Abraham – Christians, Muslims and Jews – can unite again. It is time to establish a new partnership between the various beliefs in the Middle East, based on the similarities between us as well as on the uniqueness of each people individually." The President further emphasized: “As President of the State of Israel, I am absolutely committed to preserving the freedom of religion and the freedom of worship of members of all religions living in our Holy Land. I know that Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked agrees with me that we will stand firm in the face of all forms of racism, discrimination and extremism, and oppose any attack or threat on religious communities, leaders or houses of worship."
The President asked the heads of the Christian communities to convey on his behalf warm greetings to the Christian communities around the world and called on them to emphasize to their communities the importance of keeping the Corona guidelines. At the end of his speech, the President wished the heads of the communities and their communities a happy and healthy year, in Hebrew, English and Arabic, and added: "May we give and be blessed with a happy and healthy year, and we will return to work together to expand the circle of peace and tolerance in the Holy Land, in our region and in the whole world."
The Minister of the Interior, Ayelet Shaked, added: “I would like to wish you all a healthy and happy new year, a year in which new ties of friendship and cooperation have been built between all the religious communities in our area. A year in which our prayers for peace to come will be of interest. Despite the differences in our beliefs, we all share a deep love for the Holy Land, a deep connection to its history and a deep belief in its future as a source of blessing for the whole world. “
The Patriarch Theophilus III, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, told the President on behalf of the heads of the churches: Holy of Holies. We, the heads of the churches in Jerusalem, are still grateful for the declared commitment of the Israeli government to maintain a safe and protected home for Christians in the Holy Land, and to preserve the Christian communities as an integral part of the modern social fabric. “
The event was attended by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, Patriarch Theophilus III, and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem; Archbishop Pierre Batista Pizzabala, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem; God"Costus" Of the Holy Land (head of the Franciscan Order in Israel), Father Francesco Patton; Representative of the Armenian Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, Archbishop Sven Gribian; Archbishop d"R. Amer Yosef Mata, head of the Greek-Catholic Church of Haifa and the Galilee; Archbishop Hossam Naum, head of the Anglican Church in Israel; Archbishop Yasser al-Aish, representative of the Greek Catholic Patriarch in Jerusalem; And Father Antonius al-Orshlimi, representative of the Coptic-Orthodox patriarchy in Jerusalem; Father Zabiman Samuel Malikamo, representative of the Ethiopian Church in Jerusalem; Archbishop Musa al-Hajj, head of the Maronite Church in Jerusalem; Father Shimon, representative of the Syrian-Orthodox Church; And Bishop Kamil Samaan, head of the Syrian Catholic Church in Jerusalem; Bishop Sunny-Ibrahim Azar, head of the Lutheran-Evangelical Church in Israel; And the head of the Lutheran-German Church in Israel, Joachim Lenz. Also present were Nazareth Mayor Ali Salam, Supreme Court Justice George Kara.