JERUSALEM (JTA) — President Reuven Rivlin of Israel called for the new year 2017 to be a year of “mutual respect, between people, and between nations.”
Rivlin issued the nearly 3-minute recorded message on Thursday in advance of the secular new year.
“There is no ignoring the fact that 2016 was a very difficult year. Bloodshed and terror, in the name of politics and religion, have led to much misery, and loss. We also have said goodbye to some great leaders,” Rivlin said, singling out his predecessor Shimon Peres, and Elie Wiesel.
He expressed his pride in the Israeli Olympic and Paralympic teams, marveled at the Israeli innovation he saw on his trip to India, and reflected on the world leaders and others that he welcomed to the president’s residence during the year.
“After a year of so many highs and lows, let’s make 2017 a year of mutual respect, between people, and between nations,” Rivlin said. “I wish all of you; to the Christian community in Israel and around the world, season’s greetings, and a very happy, healthy New Year; and to all our Jewish brothers and sisters, I wish you all, a very happy Hanukkah. God bless, and Shalom from Jerusalem.”