Israeli Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger yesterday used the opportunity presented him at the 2006 World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP), in Kyoto, Japan, to present a siddur? to the conference organizer, asking that it be passed along to the IDF soldiers currently held in Hizbullah captivity. When the chief rabbi began speaking at the closing ceremony, held on Tuesday, the Iranian delegation, led by former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, stormed out of the hall. In his remarks, Rabbi Metzger expressed his disappointment that he could not talk with some religious leaders because he was Jewish.
Rabbi Metzger asked that Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of the WCRP, use his relationship with Khatami to see to it that the soldiers held by Islamist forces in Lebanon receive the prayer book. The rabbi noted that the Jewish captives should have the right to pray from the siddur, just as Muslim prisoners in Israeli jails have their religious rights respected. In a noble gesture, Dr. Vendley walked up to the lectern where Rabbi Metzger was speaking to take the prayer book from him and promised that it would be delivered.