Representatives of the World Jewish Congress are participating in the 8th Doha Conference of Inter-Faith Dialogue.
Online PR News – 19-November-2010 – – WJC Vice-President Rabbi Marc Schneier, who is also the founding president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, WJC Deputy Secretary-General Maram Stern, who is in charge of inter-religious dialogue, and Claudio Epelman, executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress, are in the Gulf Emirate of Qatar where the meeting is being held this week.
At the conference, Marc Schneier defended Israel against a diatribe by Sheikh Taysir al-Tamimi, the chief Islamic judge of the Palestinian Authority, who said at the conference that Israel was “illegally occupying” and “Judaizing” Jerusalem. Rabbi Schneier declared: “Jerusalem represents Jewish hopes and dreams. For millennia, we have prayed toward Jerusalem. We pray at the Western Wall, we mourn the destruction of our Temple 2,000 years ago, and we tell each other ‘Next year in Jerusalem’. Jerusalem has always been the capital of the Jewish state, ancient or modern. It is therefore an insult to all of us to accuse us of illegally occupying the city.”
Marc Schneier added: “At the same time, we respect that Jerusalem is a holy place for Christians and Muslims as well. We know that the status of Jerusalem is at the forefront of peace talks, but denying the other side’s right to be there is wrong and counter-productive.” The WJC vice-president praised the organizers of the 8th Doha Conference of Inter-Faith Dialogue, which was opened on Tuesday by Qatar’s Justice Minister Hassan bin Abdulla Al Ghanim, for focusing on how to raise future generations in a spirit of respect and understanding for other faiths. “This is what inter-religious dialogue is all about: winning the future, and not fighting the battles of the past."
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