Rabbis and MKs Upgrade Israeli-Christian Relations

Continuing effort to improve and solidify Christian-Israeli relations, MKs of the Christian Allies Caucus took part on Thursday in a daylong seminar on Christian churches in Israel.

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, | updated: 10:19

Following the seminar, which was hosted by the American Jewish Committee, the MKs were joined by Chief Rabbinate representatives for discussions on Christian-Israeli relations. Rabbis She'ar-Yashuv Cohen, Yosef Azran, and David Brodman - Chief Rabbis of Haifa, Rishon LeTzion, and Savyon, respectively – took part. In the afternoon, the MKs toured the Christian quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, meeting with the Patriarchs of the Latin, Greek, and Armenian churches.

"In the 21st century, Jews and Christians will be the closest of allies," said MK Dr. Yuri Shtern (National Union), co-chairman of the Caucus. "We need each other if we are to successfully meet the challenges posed by those threatening us."

Rabbi She'ar-Yashuv Cohen of Haifa, who heads the Chief Rabbinate's Committee on Relations with the Vatican, told Arutz-7 today, "Both sides understand that there is to be no attempt to change the other's opinions. Ever since the Pope's recent ruling against missionizing Jews, this has become much easier. Amongst Protestants, there is no one leader that can issue such a ruling, and so we do not yet have a parallel committee for Jewish relations with Protestants."

The Christian Allies Caucus met in session at the offices of the American Jewish Committee. “It is important that members of the caucus have a better understanding of the Christian world at large, and the potential alliances as well as pitfalls, and it is equally important that they know that they have the support of the rabbinical establishment," said Rabbi David Rosen, the International Director of Inter-Religious Affairs at the American Jewish Committee.”

The Christian Allies Caucus was established to facilitate communication and promote cooperation between the State of Israel and Christians around the world. The 12 Knesset Members who comprise the Caucus represent six of the seven largest parties in the Knesset – Likud, Labor, Shinui, Shas, National Union and the National Religious Party; Meretz/Yachad is not represented.