Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Nisan 5766 - April 4, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Abbas in South Africa

By Yated South African Correspondent

Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein and the respective chairmen of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and Zionist Federation were included in a six-person Jewish delegation that met last Friday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The half-hour meeting, which was held at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, took place shortly after Abbas had addressed the South African Parliament and met with the Muslim Judicial Council. Other members of the delegation were Zev Krengel (National Vice-chairman Jewish Board of Deputies), Moonyeen Castle (Cape Council chairperson) and Jonathan Silke (National Vice-chairman Zionist Federation). Abbas was accompanied by Palestinian ambassador Ali Halima.

The Jewish delegation reiterated Israel's commitment to working for a lasting peace in the Middle East. At the same time, it fully endorsed the refusal of the Israeli government to meet with the ruling Hamas party until Hamas has complied with the three preconditions set out by the Quartet. These were the recognition of the legitimacy of the State of Israel and its right to exist in peace and security, the abandonment of methods of violence, including terrorism, and the acceptance of the international agreements signed by Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

President Abbas expressed his desire to resume negotiations with Israel. He stated that any settlements could only be achieved if Israel was secure and Hamas did not pursue its present policy. He said he would institute a referendum to determine the will of the people.

Abbas further called on the South African Jewish and Muslim communities to foster good relations locally and jointly to express their desire for parties in the Middle East to resume peace talks. The Muslim Judicial Council in South Africa has swung sharply towards supporting radical Islamic movements in recent years, including Hamas and Hizbullah, and has issued a number of virulently antisemitic statements.

Both parties at the meeting paid tribute to the SA government for facilitating the meeting. Abbas said South Africa was well placed to play role in peace talks and as a mediator because of its good relations with the Palestinians and Israelis.


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