TIBERIUS, Israel, June 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Israel Snir, who is recognized as the pioneer of the Tilapia aquaculture and processing industry in Israel and worldwide, paid a special visit today to the Church of the "loaves and fishes" in Tabgha (Church of the Multiplication on The Banks of the Sea of Galilee) to strengthen the hands of the local people. Snir brought a large consignment of fish and loaves to the grateful clergy.
Snir said: "The move is meant to show solidarity with the pain of the church, in alignment with the preservation of this special place, and as a moral duty to express our opposition to the recent expressions of hatred and violence towards the church - and ask for forgiveness, though we have no direct involvement.
"I came as an individual, not on behalf of any organization but my conscience. I want to atone for the vandalism and to express the disgust and insult to the basic values of all human society, with hopes to repair the damage to the reputation of Aquaculture in Israel, and to minimize further damage to the tourism industry and the degradation to Israel's world image."
After meeting the leaders of the church, Snir said: "Aggressive and violent, extremist fanatics hit Christian neighbors' sacred site in an attempt to destroy a subtle but long-standing relationship based on mutual respect for human dignity - whatever our faith may be. They struck the church and its property - but not its spirit, they attempted to break the common faith that allowed for the harmonious life we have shared."
Snir offered condolences, gratitude and sympathy with the pain of the church. "In recognition with the preservation of this miraculous place, we feel a moral obligation to say clearly that we are opposed to any expressions of hatred and violence towards you - and we ask for your forgiveness. We have come to revive the miracle again - we offer your church a symbolic gift of bread and fish!"
Israel is well known as the holy country due to its many places sacred to believers of Christianity, among them the Bread and Fish Church on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. But the church is much more than another holy site. Burning the church is a serious blow not only to the church but to many others all over the world for whom the story of the miracle of the loaves and fishes is a source of faith, inspiration, but first of all a source of life.
The miracle, in simple form, as recounted in the New Testament:
"But, lest we cause them to stumble, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a shekel: that take, and give unto them for me and thee." (Matthew 17:27)
Israel Snir, who was born on Kibbutz Neve Eitan of the Beit She'an Valley, a pioneer of the industry in the country, took the Tilapia, established a first in its class industrial processing factory named "Dag Shean" which lead the way to the first ever Tilapia fillet product to be introduced to the US and Europe and to the creation of one of the major seafood products produced and consumed today.
Over the last thirty years, the fish, known by names such as Ammon, Musht, Tilapia, Saint Peter's Fish, has become the most important fish species globally, grown and locally consumed in more than 100 countries.
SOURCE Ronen Hillel Communications