12 November 2012, 10:35
Israel will do everything for Orthodox believers - Peres
Jerusalem, November 12, Interfax - Israeli President Shimon Peres said
he will always remember Russia's exceptional role in the victory over
"I will never forget that Russia together with the allies emerged
victorious from World War II, paying the dearest price for the victory -
the lives of 30 million citizens who dealt the strongest blow on Nazi
Germany and saved the world from a disaster," Peres told Patriarch
Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on Sunday.
"Therefore, the Red Army deserves the highest praise and honor. That war
demonstrated vivid cooperation between the United States, Europe and
Russia. Russia indeed saved the world from total annihilation. We will
never forget that Russia saved our people, putting an end to gas
chambers and crematoriums," Peres said.
One third of the Jewish people perished in World War II, he said. About
half a million Jews served in the Red Army and about 250,000 of them
were killed in battles and 160,000 got high military awards and ranks,
Israel profoundly respects the Russian Orthodox Church and other
religions, he also said.
"We want to guarantee the safety of this religion, so Orthodox believers
could pray according to their canons and rules. We will do everything we
can for that and for ensuring their physical and spiritual peace," he said.
The Russian Patriarch said that Russian-Israeli relations have reached
"the highest point in the Israeli state's history, which is largely due
to political change observed in the late 20th century."
No other non-Slavic country has so many people speaking the Russian
language, he said. Following the "wise decision" to scrap visas between
Russia and Israel, the number of Russian pilgrims has reached hundreds
of thousands, Patriarch Kirill said.