President Reuven Rivlin met Wednesday at his residence in Jerusalem with a delegation visiting Israel, made up of Jordanian sheikhs representing different tribes representing a cross section of Jordanian society, from Irbid, Zarqa, and Amman. Also participating in the meeting were senior members of the, Middle East Department, of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The delegation of sheikhs were visiting Israel for five days, during which they met with different faces of Israeli society, a move intended to deepen the understanding between the two peoples.
The President spoke with the delegation about his childhood in Jerusalem, and about his father, who had translated the Quran, and ‘One Thousand and One (Arabian) Nights’, from Arabic into Hebrew. “Our history in Israel, and of my family, is of 210 years of continuous connection with the Arab communities in the Land of Israel, and of course with the Bedouin sheikhs, from whom my father learned much.”
The President reiterated the long-standing ties between the Hashemite Kingdom, and between the Jews in Israel, and said, “Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom are working together in the understanding that we are destined to live together in this land.”
The President stressed, “We believe wholeheartedly that everyone of us must have the possibility to serve God according to his faith. When you go around Jerusalem you see how Muslims go to the mosques, Christians to church, and Jews to synagogue. In every group there are extreme elements, but we must seek out that which we share in common, and not that which divides us.”
The sheikhs thanked the President for his warm welcome, and said, “We have come from the land of a hero of peace, King Hussein, a land of agreement, cooperation, and giving, a land of peace and tolerance. We came here in order to implement the peace process, in the name of the leaders of the Hashemite Kingdom, and we bring words of peace to all with whom we speak.”