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Germany should take role in Muslim-Jew dialogue
World Jewish Congress says Germany should promote inter-religious dialogue by copying the model created between Jews and Catholics
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
by Spero News  See all articles by this author

Germany should take a leading role in promoting inter-religious dialogue between Muslims and Jews, according to the World Jewish Congress.

At a Monday meeting in New York between Germany's new Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier met Monday in New York with Israel Singer, Chairman of the World Jewish Congress, the proposal was made that Germany should promote inter-religious dialogue by copying the model created between Jews and Catholics.

For his part, Singer who praised Germany for its leadership in working with Jewish communities to combat anti-Semitism and racism in Europe, and offered the support of the Jewish community in creating a dialogue with Muslim religious leaders.

Singer also called on the German government to renew its commitment to aging Holocaust survivors in need of homecare. Singer noted that nearly half of those survivors in special need reside in the United States and he expressed confidence that the new German government will resolve this humanitarian issue.

Singer will meet with the new German Chancellor, Angela Merkel in Berlin in the coming weeks.

Red Shield Of David

Also related to Jewish and Muslim relations, an agreement was signed Monday in Geneva between Magen David Adom and the Palestinian Red Crescent.

"This is a further boost to Israeli-Palestinian relations, which we trust will enhance still further the likelihood of Magen David Adom gaining formal international recognition," said American Jewish Committee Executive Director David A. Harris.

The Israeli-Palestinian agreement comes one week before a Diplomatic Conference in Geneva that is expected to adopt a third humanitarian relief emblem, in the shape of a crystal, for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. If adopted, the Israeli Red Shield of David could be placed in the middle of the crystal.

"The crystal is a creative solution," said Harris. "Those nations driven by political considerations should drop their opposition to the MDA's full membership in the Federation, and join with the majority in adopting the third emblem for the universal, impartial, non-political movement."

For more than 56 years, Israel's humanitarian emblem, the Red Shield of David, has been the only symbol rejected by the Federation.

"Israel's national relief society understandably refused to operate under the banner of the cross or of the crescent, choosing instead the ancient symbol of the Jewish people," said Harris.

AJC praised the Swiss government for taking the initiative to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian agreement, as well as to invite all countries party to the Geneva Conventions to gather in Geneva for a Diplomatic Conference to consider the third emblem.

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