Jerusalem – King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia gave the green light, and Israel has been invited to attend an interfaith peace conference to be held on Nov. 12 in the U.N. building in New York.
Israeli officials ascribe great importance to the invitation and regard it as historic, because it marks the first time that the Saudis have invited Israel to a conference that they initiated.
No official Israeli figures were invited to the previous interfaith conference, which was held in Spain, and only Jewish rabbis were invited.
This time, the Saudis intend to have the conference attended by either heads of state or foreign ministers. Israeli President Shimon Peres and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni are considering attending.
One of the questions quietly raised by the Israeli government is whether this means that Saudi Arabia will cancel its active state of war with Israel, which has continued unabated since 1948.
Unlike Jordan and Egypt, which have signed peace treaties with Israel, and unlike Lebanon and Syria, which have signed armistice agreements with Israel, Saudi Arabia has never abrogated its state of war with the Jewish state.
In that context, Saudi Arabia continues to fund Palestinian organizations that call for Israel’s destruction.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2008