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>> 170 scholars to attend interfaith dialogue >>        H.E. Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud opened Tuesday morning the 7th Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue, which kicked off this year under the slogan" Human Solidarity".       
Peninsula / Rabbi backs 'single state'
10/22/2009 0:45:16
DOHA: The one state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will help both Israelis and the Palestinians to get rid of all the spending on fighting and killing, according to a Jewish religious leader from the UK, attending the seventh Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue.

Rabbi Jakov Weisz, while addressing a session at the conference said although the one state solution would look like an utopian idea at present, the harsh economic realities may allow both sides “to show the world a model of empathy and concern.”

“ Israel itself is speeding to its own economic meltdown. Many of its most rapidly growing constituencies are its most impoverished. I refer to the ultra- Orthodox, the Sephardim, and the religious Zionist settlers. It is difficult to fathom how Israel can survive the enormous economic drain on its taxpayers by continuing to support these groups, especially when the nation’s military budget is astronomical and continues to grow,” said Weisz.

“The Israeli state must get beyond its vast military expenditures and it must accept that its current level of economic plenty is coming to an end,” he added.

Weisz said the one state solution is a means to address this issue. “It offers the hope of wiping out almost all Israeli and, for that matter, Palestinian spending on fighting and killing. But it also plunges both peoples into the challenge of creating a sustainable economy. It will be an economy of less consumerism and spending, an economy of limits and restraint. Into that picture will step the Palestinian people long schooled in living with less. They may have much to offer in providing alternatives to the current advanced industrial and largely urban lifestyle,” said the Rabbi.

He, however, noted that given the clear economic superiority of the Jewish inhabitants of the Holy Land the beneficiaries of any merger would be the Palestinians. The various government benefits given at present to citizens of Israel would, in a unitary state be given to both peoples.

“This prospect might certainly be a daunting one for most Israeli Jews. But beyond the transference of economic well being that One State would entail, it would also require both peoples to say openly to each other: We feel that you have deeply wounded us over the past 60 or 100 years. Yet, we are willing to look to the future and not to the past. We are willing in order to end the pain of both our peoples to look to the future. This clearly seems at present to be a utopian perspective. The wounds on both sides are just too deep,” said Weisz. 

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