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Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger
Photo: Guy Assayag
Rabbinate freezes interfaith dialogue
Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger says his representatives have suspended all meetings with Muslim clerics until they denounce Jerusalem bombing
The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has decided to freeze all types of dialogues held by its representatives with Muslim clerics in Israel, until the latter denounce last week's terror attack in Jerusalem and the ongoing rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli communities from the Gaza Strip.

 

In a statement released Wednesday night, Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger said he expected the Muslim spiritual leadership to strongly condemn the act of terror in the capital.

 

"Once again our neighbors have proved that we have no real partner," Metzger said. "Until the inciting religious leaders denounce the terrorists, the Rabbinate will suspend its interfaith dialogue with them."

 

He was referring to different forums in which Rabbinate representatives meet with Palestinian Muslim clerics, like the "council of religious leaders in Israel", in which the chief rabbi participates alongside officials like Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement's northern branch.

 

A Rabbinate official said Wednesday night that the Palestinian terror organizations believe they are operating in the name of Allah, and therefore the Muslim clerics have an important and influencing role and can work to eradicate this phenomenon.

 

A source in Rabbi Metzger's office added that the chief rabbi himself had rushed to condemn attacks committed by Jews against Palestinian targets, and even visited the sites where those attacks took place. Thus, he expects the Muslim clerics to do the same.

 

About a year ago, Rabbi Metzger visited a mosque in the West Bank village of Yasuf, which was torched in a "price tag" activity. Attempting to convey a message of reconciliation, the rabbi said his visit was aimed at encouraging the village residents and not disrupting the reconstruction efforts.

 

During his visit, Metzger implicitly criticized the Muslim clerics, saying that "so far we have not seen a similar open and courageous act of solidarity on the part of Islam leaders in reversed cases."

 

 

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