President Bush left Israel after pledging to come back to help celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary.
“I intend to come back to help the peace process move forward but also to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary,” Bush told Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Shimon Peres before boarding Air Force One on Friday after completing bhis first presidential visit to the region. Israel launches year-long 60th anniversary celebrations on May 8.
Bush is in the region to promote renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He met Wednesday and Thursday with leaders of both peoples; on Friday he laid a wreath at Israel’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem.
“I would hope as many people in the world would come to this place,” Bush said at Yad Vashem. “It would be a sobering reminder that evil exists and a call that when we find evil we must resist it. It also is a – I guess I came away with this impression, that I was most impressed that people, in the face of horror and evil, would not forsake their God, and in the face of unspeakable crimes against humanity, brave souls young and old stood strong for what they believe.”
Bush also toured Christian sites in Israel’s north on Friday.