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      Archive: 4/17/2008
      17:52
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      News Brief

        4/17/2008, Nissan 12, 5768

      Peres Hopes to Reconcile Secular, Religious


      President Shimon Peres said recently that he hoped to reconcile the secular and religious communities in Israel in honor of the state’s 60th Independence Day.  “There is no Israeliness without Judaism,” he said, according to the weekly paper Mishpacha.

      Peres denounced scorn for religious and hareidi-religious Jews, saying, “There is no place for condescension, derision, or mockery.”  Peres said just weeks earlier that secular Israelis “must stop treating the ultra-Orthodox public with contempt.”  In addition, he called on the secular community to “return to our roots” by studying the Torah.