Merry Christmas! Israeli President's Christmas Blessing
24 December, 2009
Israeli President Shimon Peres offered his warmest blessings to Christian communities around the world today, on the occasion of Christmas Eve. The President gave his blessings from the President's Residence in Jerusalem and posted them on his recently launched YouTube channel.
President Peres has an extensive history of reaching out to Christian citizens both inside and outside Israel. Last year he hosted Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Israel. The two planted an olive tree as a symbol of unity and peace in the Presidential Garden. In 1984, he was the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit Bethlehem during Christmas. His prayer then, "that peace, mutual respect, coexistence, and understanding will prevail," remains the same as his prayer today (see below).
Transcript of Christmas Blessing:
"From here, from the eternal city of Jerusalem, from this beautiful place, I want to wish each of you, and all of us, a happy and merry Christmas. Let's pray the next year will be a year of peace, of brotherhood, of tolerance, of affluence. That nobody will suffer unnecessarily. That everybody will be helped accordingly. This is the call of heaven. This is the wish of our lord. This should be our own purpose. Let's celebrate and hope and do accordingly. All the best to all of you."