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Message from Shimon Peres
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We all pray for the success and the grandeur of the Olympic Games in China

Dear Friends,

China built the longest wall in history. Now it is building the largest Olympic Games in history. The wall was meant to conceal China from its enemies, while the Olympic Games are destined to reveal the new China to its friends. Whereas the wall shows the greatness of its land, the Olympics will show the greatness of its spirit.

The President of China, Hu Jintao, calls for harmony between man and nature, between man and man, between nation and nation. There is nothing better than sport to express this harmony. When one sees a person exercising or a group playing, little significance is given to race or religion. In sport people confront each other with neither violence nor victimhood and whoever adopts the spirit of sport prepares his people to live in peace. To the spirit of sport, there will be added the beautiful esthetic acrobatics of historic China. It will be a vessel for harmony and a display of beauty. We all pray for the success and the grandeur of the Olympic Games in China.

China is a fabulous example of having ventured forth, with vision and determination, and having gained a remarkable and world recognized role in its economic growth, and in the preservation of its unique culture.

On behalf of the State of Israel and its people, I would like to congratulate the Chinese people for being chosen to host the 2008 Olympic Games. This historical occasion, is a significant platform upon which the Chinese ideals, hopes, development and culture may resonate, within a framework of promoting cooperation, friendship and mutual understanding amidst the different people who shall participate in the celebrations.

This prestigious publication expresses the great potential which lies in strengthening the understanding between different cultures of the world. The Olympic setting and the opportunity which the Games hold for improving the ties between the competitors and the states, which they represent, serve to enhance this potential. Great fruit is yet to spring forth from this seed, given the tremendous hope embedded in such further cooperation between nations.

By Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel

(Source: Civilization Magazine)

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