OU leaders Steve Savitsky (president), Rabbi Tzvi Hersch Weinreb (exec. vice president) and Nathan Diament (IPA director) are in snowy Jerusalem participating in the annual mission of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
This meeting’s podium has served as the latest venue for, among other issues, the latest statements from Israeli leaders about the prospect of negotiations over the fate and possible re-division of Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Olmert opened the volleys Sunday evening by stating that he and PA President Abbas had agreed to defer the negotiations until the very end of their negotiation process. The next morning, the press reported that Abbas denied any such agreement and that talks over Jerusalem must not be put off, followed by today’s news reports assert that U.S. Secratary of State Rice has agreed with Mr. Olmert that the Jerusalem issue should be deferred.
In the midst of all this, Shas party chairman Eli Yishai came to the Conference where he was asked why Shas has not left Mr. Olmert’s governing coalition per its stated commitment to do so if Jerusalem is discussed; Mr. Yishai responded that Shas will leave the coalition when Rav Ovadia Yosef instructs them to do so.