Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday thanked outgoing Pope Benedict XVI
for strengthening the bond between Christians and Jews.
Last week the
pope announced his plans to step down at the end of the month. It’s the first
time in 700 years that a pontiff has done so.
“I want to thank you for
all you have done as Pope to strengthen relations between Christians and Jews
and between the Vatican and the Jewish State,” Netanyahu said in a letter he
wrote to the Pontiff.
“I thank you also for courageously defending
Judeo-Christian values and the roots of our common civilization during your time
as pontiff,” he said.
“Your historic visit to Israel in 2009 offered a
rare opportunity to give expression to the new relations between our faiths,”
“I remember fondly our meeting, in which you referred to
Judaism as Christianity’s elder brother and in which you reaffirmed your
commitment to a cooperative future between Christians and Jews,” Netanyahu said.