Rabbi protests Naples honorary citizenship to Abu Mazen

Not a partisan offer, both peoples have rights, city council

18 December, 20:33

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES, DECEMBER 18 - The city's Jewish community on Tuesday protested against the municipal government's decision to offer Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) honorary citizenship.

    ''The same recognition should also be guaranteed to Israeli president and Nobel peace prize winner, Shimon Peres,'' Naples and South Italy Rabbi Shalom Bahbout wrote in a letter to Il Mattino newspaper.

    During Abu Mazen's visit to Rome recently, two city council members gave Abu Mazen a letter from Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris, offering him honorary citizenship in view of his commitment to dialogue and peace, and to the affirmation of the identity of the Palestinian people. Abu Mazen thanked him, promising he would visit Naples in April.

    The invitation, said city council member Sergio D'Angelo, was not a partisan one. ''It is a stage in the unfolding of our friendship with the Palestinian people, whom we address in hopes they will pursue dialogue and co-existence with the people of Israel,'' D'Angelo explained. ''Both have the right to a state.'' (ANSAmed).

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