On Friday, November 5th / 18th 2011, a ten-member delegation of the city council of the city of Jerusalem from the party of Meretz, headed by the Deputy Mayor Mr. Jose (Pepe) Alala and the Board member dr. Meir Margalit visited the Patriarchate.

They were welcomed by His Holy Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos. They on behalf of their parties, of Meretz, expressed to the Patriarchate their sorrow for the fact that several times fanatic religious Jewish spit the priests they meet.

His Beatitude appreciating their intention of standing by the Patriarchate, said that we as Christians have been called to love our enemies and to him who strikes we offer our right side and that by this stance of love and education, eliminating this bad habit is possible. The role of the Patriarchate said, is conciliatory and peacekeeping.

The above mentioned visitors conversing added that their party looks at Jerusalem as the capital of two states and three religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as a model city from which “light will emerge to the world”.

Answering His Beatitude said that the Patriarchate as well looks at Jerusalem as Its base and on a daily basis accepts numerous pilgrims Orthodox and non Orthodox as well as visitors Christians and non Christians, sending them a message of love, peace, conciliation and justice.

Moreover, His Beatitude drew their attention to the avoidance of actions on behalf of the City Hall or other Authority, aiming at the modernization of the Old City of Jerusalem and the distortion of its religious character.

They expressed their gratitude for the visit and their intention of all possible assistance.

His Beatitude offered them medals made for the 2000year history of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Chief Secretary’s Office

(translated from the original document in Greek by Mrs. Irini Valasi)