Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, has told the Archbishop of Canterbury his nation is “committed to the values of freedom of religion for all people of faith”.
In a meeting with the Most Reverend Justin Welby at his residence today, Mr Rivlin added that Israel was “the only country in the Middle East where the Christian community is flourishing.
“Jerusalem is a microcosm of our ability to live together. And we will continue to ensure freedom of religion for all faiths.”
Both men highlighted the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which will be marked later this year.
President Rivlin took the opportunity to extend a second invitation to the Royal Family to visit Israel – the first was issued in March – while the archbishop said: “For some of us who are profound friends of Israel, who feel huge admiration, deep affection, and who loathe and hate antisemitism, and speak against it wherever it occurs, whether it is implicit or explicit, there is an element of unfinished business. Because until there is peace in region, the Balfour Declaration has an element of unfinished business.”
The Archbishop is still due to meet with both the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Read more at JTA.