Possible Abbas-Yosef meeting in the works

Shas spokesman said rabbi could have interfaith dialogue with Abbas if he took key steps; Kadima MK wants faction to meet Palestinian leader.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
December 20, 2010 20:12
1 minute read.
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who recently called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “a snake,” could soon end up meeting with him.

The potential sit-down is the initiative of Yosef’s attorney and confidant, David Glass, who was part of a delegation of more than 60 left-wing activists who met with Abbas over lunch on Sunday at the Mukata compound in Ramallah.

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Glass spoke to Palestinian officials Yasser Abbed-Rabbo and Saeb Erekat after the lunch about organizing a meeting. He suggested that as direct talks were not taking place between Israeli and Palestinian leaders at the political level, it might be a good time for religious leaders to get involved.

“There might be those who are close to the rabbi who would oppose such a meeting, but he usually takes my advice,” Glass said.

A Shas spokesman responded that the rabbi had issued a formal ruling that “there currently is no Palestinian partner for peace,” but he said that “Yosef could change his mind if Abbas took key steps, and then there could be room for interfaith dialogue between the rabbi and Abbas.”

Meanwhile, Kadima MK Shlomo Molla, who also participated in the lunch, proposed to party head Tzipi Livni that the entire Kadima Knesset faction meet with Abbas.

Livni told Molla she would have no problem with Kadima MKs meeting with Abbas, but that she personally did not want to because she did not want to be seen as undermining Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on diplomatic issues.


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