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Israel President Extols Persian King at World Congress of Scholars

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The President of Israel and a famous scholar from Iran joined here today in paying tribute to the memory of the founder of the Persian Empire, King Cyrus the Great, extolling the declaration issued 2,500 years ago by King Cyrus, permitting the Jews to leave their Babylonian captivity and return to their homeland in Palestine.

President Izhak Ben-Zvi was chairman of a plenary session held today by the third World Congress of Jewish studies being held here. More than 100 scholars from all over the world are attending the congress. Today’s plenary was devoted to celebration of the 25-00th anniversary of King Cyrus’ liberation order. In addition to the address by Mr. Ben-Zvi, the principal paper was delivered by Prof. Poure Davoud, of the University of Iran.

Mr. Ben-Zvi noted the similarity between the Israeli nation and the Persian nation. He pointed out that both had to resist first the Greek world, then the Roman-Byzantine power, and that both, despite odds, succeeded in preserving their people’s spiritual identity and integrity. “Both Israel and Persia,” noted President Ben-Zvi, “are living nations today, while the classical world disappeared long ago.”

Prof. Davoud traced the common sources of the Messianic idea in Jewish and Zoroastrian origins. He recalled that the prophet Isaiah described King Cyrus as the Messiah whom God had promised help in conquering Babylon.

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