Seventh Meeting of Israel’s Council of Religious Leaders
NABI SHWEIB: On 10 December 2014 Israel’s Council of Religious Leaders held its seventh yearly meeting at the main Druze memorial of Nabi Shweib (Corns of Hittin, on the road to Tiberias), at the invitation of the Department of Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Interior.
The suggested theme was a verse of Hadith Nabawi nr 13 (Prophetical Tradition): “No one among you is a true believer as long as he does not wish – for his fellowman what he wishes for himself”. It is the Moslem version of the famous “rule of gold” known in almost all religions, and which is well expressed in the Gospel: “So in everything do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Mt 7,12 & 22,39)
Participants numbered about 170. Were present all main responsible figures of the Druze with at their head the Chief of the Druze High Council, Sheikh Mwaffaq Tarif, the two Chief Rabbis, David Lau and Itzhak Yossef, Rabbi David Rosen of AJC, Mr. Oded Wiener with other responsible figures from the Rabbinal Secretariate, Sheikh Mohammad Kiwan and Samir Assi with other Moslem sheikhs affiliated to the Ministry of Interior, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, K.K. Theophilos, some bishops and priests of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
On the Catholic side there were Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, Mgr Jules Zerey, Melkite Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem, Mgr George Bakouni, Melkite Archbishop of Acre, Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land, as well as some local parish priests.
They all focused on the need to react forcefully regarding tension and issues of religious relations in Israel (letters of threat, vandalism acts against worshipping places, graffitis, riots in Jerusalem, radicalized political life in general, etc.). Also on the agenda the tragedy of inter-religious relations in the Middle East.
Mgr Marcuzzo urged the participants to “Listen to the Pope Francis who in Istanbul has recently requested that a universal choir of voices be raised with regard to atrocities committed against minorities in certain countries, and to come back to the spirit of the message which Pope Benedict had said in front of the same Council in Nazareth, on 14 May 2009, and to his other message given in Rome, in front of the same Council, on 10 November 2011”
Text : our correspondent in Galilea
Photos : A.K.