The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, visited the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation and met with Chemi Peres on Thursday (11.5) to promote interfaith relations and hear from Young Ambassadors for Peace
The Most Reverend Welby said: "Shimon Peres always supported and worked for peace initiatives. I am glad that we have people like you – Christian, Muslim, and Jewish, Palestinian and Israeli – who continue in this vision. We need you. You are our future. I will support you."
Chemi Peres: "You young people must not wait for an end to the conflict, but must trust yourselves and work together to move us forward."
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the senior bishop and leader of the Church of England, met today (11.5) with Chemi Peres, Chairman of the Board of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation and son of the late Ninth President of Israel Shimon Peres. They engaged with young leaders from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths – as well as Palestinian and Israeli Ambassadors for Peace from several of the Peres Center's flagship peacebuilding initiatives. They were joined by Mrs. Caroline Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s spouse, Mr. Tony Kay, Deputy British Ambassador to Israel, and Mr. Aldo Enriquez, British Ambassador Quarrey’s spouse, together with a delegation of representatives from the Anglican Church, St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and the British Embassy in Israel.
Chemi Peres opened the discussion and said: "Most people on both sides want peace. They want to live a good life, to see their children successful and secure. You young people must not wait for an end to the conflict, but must trust yourselves and get together, Jews and Arabs. As more young people meet and move us forward, then the leaders will follow."
The Most Reverend Welby said: "We are undergoing great changes in society with science and technology and there are many opportunities opening up. We must ensure that everyone benefits from these changes and finds their lives more fulfilled."
Both Chemi Peres and The Most Reverend Welby spoke to the importance of science and technology to move society forward and promote peace, and also to the importance of maintaining the moral values of dignity, patience, and tolerance, and to the responsibility that comes with change.
Ron, a participant in the Peres Center's Hangout Bridges: Bridges for Peace program said: "Projects like these are long overdue. Hatred comes from misconceptions and stereotypes. I learned about the other side's culture, and now I see them as fellow participants and as friends. Our educators must guide us to work together because that is the way to peace."
The Most Reverend Welby concluded the event saying: "Shimon Peres always supported and worked for peace initiatives. I am glad that we have people like you – Christian, Muslim, and Jewish, Palestinian and Israeli – who continue in this vision. We need you. You are our future. I will support you."
The Most Reverend Welby, who is the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, arrived this week for his first official visit to Israel since his enthronement in 2013. During his visit he met with the President of Israel Reuven (Rubi) Rivlin, prayed at the Western Wall, spoke out against anti-Semitism, visited holy sites important to the Christian faith, and advocated for the importance of religious freedom and reconciliation.
Photos Credit- The Peres center for Peace& Innovation