Representatives of the World Jewish Congress took part in the Conference of Inter-Faith Dialogue in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday.
Vice President Rabbi Marc Schneier, who is 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, 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."