Israel's prime minister has thanked the pope for rejecting the long-held charge that the Jewish people were responsible for killing Jesus.
In a forthcoming book, Pope Benedict XVI explains that there is no biblical and theological basis to the ancient claim, which helped fuel anti-Semitism. The Second Vatican Council made the same declaration in 1965.
In a letter Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote, "I commend you for forcefully rejecting in your recent book a false charge that has been a foundation for the hatred of the Jewish people for many centuries."
Netanyahu wrote that he hoped the pope's "clarity and courage will strengthen the relations between Jews and Christians throughout the world, and help promote peace and reconciliation for generations to come."