HAARETZ: EJC head Kantor: World Jewry should be able to vote on Jerusalem

Anshel Pfeffer Israel should grant Jews around the world the right to vote even on political issues, European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said yesterday.

Kantor spoke during meetings of the Board of Governors of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) yesterday in Jerusalem.

The question of the right of non-Israeli Jews to take part in the debate over the future of Jerusalem was the major topic being discussed behind the scenes.

“Israel’s leadership should recognize that all the Jews in the world have the right to vote in Israel elections,” Kantor told Haaretz. “If anyone with at least one Jewish grandfather or grandmother has the right to make aliyah within the framework of the Law of Return, then we need to grant them equal rights,” Kantor commented. The issue of non-Israeli Jews’ involvement in Israeli politics – in particular the issue of talks over the future of Jerusalem – was not discussed officially.

Despite this, World Jewish Congress members linked to right-wing parties tried to pass a resolution calling on Israel not to divide Jerusalem. The traditional World Jewish Congress policy of not taking sides on Israeli political matters held, and only a declarative resolution calling on Jewish communities around the world to support Jerusalem passed. The World Jewish Congress, at least in its own eyes, is the most important Jewish organization in the world.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert cancelled his appearance before the World Jewish Congress after Congress president Ron Lauder published a letter three weeks ago calling on Olmert to take world Jewish opinion on Jerusalem into account. President Shimon Peres did appear at the meetings, as did Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and Lauder’s friend, the head of the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu.

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