On Tuesday the 10th/23rd of December 2014, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism organized an event which had as guests representatives of Judaism and Christianity. The event was held in celebration of the Hanukah (the rededication of the Temple of Solomon), Christmas and the New Year 2015, at the Mercaz Shimson in Beit Shmuel, West Jerusalem, opposite David’s Gate and the hill of the Holy Sion.
At the event, the Israeli Minister of Tourism, Mr Uzi Landau, and his associates, hosted lunch for the representatives of Christian Churches in Jerusalem, namely the Greek Patriarch, the representative of the Latin Patriarch, the Custodian of the Holy Land, the Ethiopian Patriarch and the Representative of the Lutheran Church. Also in attendance was Mr Cesar Margiye, Head of the Office of Christian Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, representatives of the Police and the Israeli Civil Administration, Ambassadors of states, etc.
The purpose of the event was to inform guests on the efforts made by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism towards creating conditions that encourage pilgrims and tourists to visit Christian shrines in Israel.
In his address, Minister Landau said that, to the best of his knowledge, the virtues of love, tolerance and the personal pursuit of peace are of great importance to Christianity and that, in the spirit of the days, the Ministry of Tourism invites the representatives of Christian Churches in the Holy Land, to assure them that pilgrims visiting the Holy Land in view of Christmas do so in safety provided by the state of Israel.
Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem also addressed guests. His greeting may be reached here: http://www.jp-newsgate.net/en/2014/12/23/10753
From the Secretariat-General