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Jerusalem Peace & Security Forum

Jerusalem Peace and Security Forum Hosts Muslim Group from Azerbaijan

Israel-2015-01-20 Jerusalem Peace Forum Hosts Azerbaijan

Jerusalem, Israel - The Jerusalem Peace and Security Forum held a special session for a group of Muslim dignitaries from Azerbaijan, who had come to learn about the political situation in the Middle East.

The 33 visiting politicians, academics and public sector directors from the former Soviet republic attended a one-day conference on January 20, 2015, in the Dan Jerusalem Hotel.

In deference to the group's request, the meeting started with a moment of silence to remember the 1992 Khojaly Massacre, in which at least 161 Azeris were killed by Armenian and Commonwealth of Independent States forces in the nation of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Professor Eliezer Glaubach, president of the Jerusalem Peace and Security Forum, opened the discussion with warm welcoming remarks to the distinguished guests. Dr. Glaubach, who has long specialized in Israeli politics with a focus on Jerusalem, emphasized the importance of Jerusalem, the Holy City, for all the monotheistic believers in the world.

Dr. Glaubach said that the conflict between Israel and Palestine has lasted for more than 100 years. Although solutions to the conflict have been proposed by a variety of countries and individuals, a peace treaty still has not been established, despite the need and mutual desire for peace. According to Dr. Glaubach, the gap between the will for peace and the reality of conflict lies mainly within the internal political problems of both the Palestinian and Israeli nations.

Mr. Menashe Shaul, a political commentator from the Israel Broadcasting Authority and an expert on relations between Israel and its neighboring countries, was the second speaker. He said the terror groups led by the Islamic State are enemies of all humankind since they kill people from all religions and nations: Christians, Yazidis, Jews and even Muslims. They hold to the view that there can be only one way to live—as one global Islamic state where all other faiths and believers surrender. Mr. Shaul agrees with U.S. President Barack Obama’s former position that the only solution to the Islamic State is to destroy it.

Regarding Israel and Palestine, Mr. Shaul said that both are suffering from Hamas, a terror organization whose declared goal is to destroy and replace the State of Israel with its idea of a Palestinian state. The many attempts at unity between the Palestinian political party Fatah and Hamas are failing, because Fatah, unlike Hamas, supports a "two-state solution" to resolve the long-lasting conflict. Mr. Shaul further explained that Israel—like any other country in the world—would not negotiate with anyone who wishes for its destruction. He concluded by saying that the relationship between the Palestinians and the Israelis should move onto a new track, one of peace, similar to the one Israel has been sharing with Egypt for 35 years and with Jordan for 20 years.

Ms. Ksenia Svetlova, a reporter and a freelance commentator on Arab affairs in the Russian language, participated in the conference just a day after announcing she had joined the Zionist Camp political party in a location that virtually guarantees her election to the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in the upcoming March elections.

As part of her journalistic work, Ms. Svetlova has visited many Muslim countries, including Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Bahrain, the Gulf States, Egypt and Malaysia. She offered a broad overview of modern Egypt, information on the Palestinian territories and Arab culture and society, while relating their impact to changes in the region and the State of Israel.

The presentations concluded with remarks from Mr. Suleymanov Tahir, a school director from Azerbaijan, followed by questions and answers and a lively discussion.

Eliezer Glaubach

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