Pales­tinian en­voy to speak at Re­form shul

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY SI­MON ROCKER

THE PALES­TINIAN Au­thor­ity’s UK en­voy has been in­vited to ad­dress a meet­ing of Re­form syn­a­gogues next month.

Pro­fes­sor Manuel Has­sas­sian will speak at the North West­ern Re­form Syn­a­gogue (Alyth Gar­dens) in Lon­don at an event jointly hosted by the syn­a­gogue, Finch­ley Re­form Syn­a­gogue and the Pro­gres­sive Zion­ist move­ment, Pro Zion.

Pro­fes­sor Has­sas­sian — who three years ago at­tacked the “ex­clu­sivist, racist ide­ol­ogy of Zion­ism” at his in­au­gu­ral ad­dress as the Pales­tinian’s de facto am­bas­sador in Lon­don — is a for­mer ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of Beth­le­hem Uni­ver­sity.

He is also a board mem­ber of the Cen­tre of Non-Vi­o­lence in Pales­tine and a mem­ber of the Arab As­so­ci­a­tion for Hu­man Rights.

Rabbi Mark Gold­smith, of Alyth Gar- dens, ex­plain­ing the in­vi­ta­tion, said: “We want to en­sure we are en­gag­ing in di­a­logue with all who live in Is­rael and as far as pos­si­ble all who will af­fect Is­rael’s des­tiny in the com­ing years.

“In the sum­mer, we had a fan­tas­tic evening with the Is­raeli am­bas­sador Ron Prosor, fol­lowed up by a dis­cus­sion with the em­bassy’s pub­lic af­fairs of­fi­cer Ronit Ben-Dor.

“We’ve also heard from the Be­reaved Fam­i­lies Fo­rum, which brings to­gether Is­raeli and Pales­tinian par­ents who have suf­fered be­reave­ment.

“And we wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to hear from Pro­fes­sor Has­sas­sian, who is the Pales­tinian del­e­gate gen­eral.”

No one had raised any ob­jec­tions to the in­vi­ta­tion, he said. “It’s been very in­ter­est­ing to me as a rabbi that peo­ple in our com­mu­nity felt the need to hear new and fresh voices from Is­rael and her neigh­bours in the hope of a bet­ter fu­ture.”

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