The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 10, 2007

President Bush Meets with Jewish Leaders
Roosevelt Room

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  Presidential Remarks

2:10 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Just had an extraordinary meeting with Jewish men and women, many of whom are from different parts of the world, who are fortunate to call America home, and they do so because of our great tradition of religious freedom and religious tolerance.

We discussed how America must remain engaged in helping people realize the great blessings of religious freedom; and where we find societies in which religious freedom is not allowed to practice, that we must do something about it.

I recognize today is International Human Rights Day. And a good way to celebrate this day is to invite people from our country and from around the world to share with me their stories -- stories of courage and stories of people who simply want to be in a society where people are allowed to worship freely.

We discussed the world in which we live today. We all recognize that we're in an ideological struggle against people who murder the innocent in order to achieve political objectives, and that on the one hand America must do everything to protect ourselves, and are doing so in the long term, the best way to defeat an ideology of hate is with an ideology of hope. An ideology of hope is one that says we value your religion, we honor the way you worship. And in our society, you can worship any way you so choose, and that's the vision and dream for societies around the world.

So I want to thank you for sharing your stories with me. I thank you for your courage. May God bless you all. Thank you.

END 2:12 P.M. EST

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