An international conference devoted to "freedom of expression and tolerance" should allow representatives from all over the world, right? Wrong — if that conference involves Muslim nations.
Yossi Sarid, an Israeli liberal journalist
was among 60 journalists invited to take part in the conference, whose stated goal is "bridging gaps between different religions, cultures and peoples."
However, three weeks ago the Norwegian embassy in Israel informed Sarid that Indonesia refuses to grant him a visa "in the existing circumstances." (source: Haaretz)
This is the same Indonesia that regularly joins with its Muslim co religionists around the world to shrilly denounce Israel and Jews. Obviously, conference organizers thought this was the perfect location for a conference "bridging gaps between different religions, cultures and peoples."
"Hey, no problem," the Norwegians helpfully replied, "we'll grant you temporary Norwegian citizenship and we can all just discuss tolerance."
Sarid, rightfully declining the ludicrous offer, asked others to boycott the conference. But the conference will probably continue, everyone attending will smile and hold hands while blaming the Israelis for being such troublemakers.
Yep, that always seems to bridge those gaps between religions, cultures and peoples.
Ethel C. Fenig 8 28 06