JERUSALEM (JTA) — Barack Obama was "chosen by the whole of humankind," Israeli President Shimon Peres said.
In a statement to mark Obama’s inauguration, Peres said Obama won his position "because of his personality, because of his philosophy and because of the hope he offers to all of us."
"I pray here in Jerusalem that Barack Obama will be a great president of the United States. If he will be a great president of the United States, he will serve all humankind, all nations and all persons. Because to be a great American president today means to struggle for peace, to fight terror, to correct the environment and to offer the young generation a better future," Peres said.
The statement concludes: "I am sure that Israel will be a good partner to President Obama. They say Obama will be a good president to Israel, and I say Israel will be a good country for the president, because his goals are our goals, his hopes are our hopes, his source is our source. All of us are coming from the same depth of biblical convictions, with a permanent respect for the Ten Commandments. I want on behalf of the people of Israel, actually of all of the Jewish people, to tell the president, ‘God bless you.’ Your success will be our success. Your hope will become a reality. We should continue to dream to make the world move ahead further, better and peacefully."