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Cooperation between Jews and Muslims
RABBI AND SHEIKH DEMONSTRATE OUTSIDE PLO MISSION
A protest against Palestinian terrorism last week in New York featured, for
the first time, a Moslem sheikh. Only hours after the bus bombing in Haifa
that killed 17 Israelis, Rabbi Avi Weiss, president of the Coalition for
Jewish Concerns, called yet another protest outside the PLO Mission in New
York City against the murderous Palestinian terrorism. Though in previous
similar instances Weiss' call for a Muslim leader to join him had gone
unanswered, this time was different. Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi,
secretary-general of the Italian Muslim Association, who happened to be
lecturing not far away in New Haven, immediately drove to New York to join
Rabbi Weiss in the protest. The Haifa bus massacre was an eerily
appropriate tragedy for the joint protest, as its 17 victims included an
Arab, a Druze, and two Christians - one of whom was an American citizen.
While demonstrators held signs such as, "Bus Bombings: Haifa Today, NYC
Tomorrow", Rabbi Weiss declared, "The challenge of terror, of radical
Islam, is aimed at peaceful Islam, Judaism, Christianity, at all of
us." Sheikh Palazzi denounced the Palestinian Authority and called for a
battle against terror "in all its forms." He stated, "It is time for the
world and civilized nations not to consider the Palestinian Authority as
representative of a people, of having a place among the nations, but rather
as a gang promoting terror, educating children in terror from elementary
school age. The tragedy is that this organization receives funds and
donations… If you promote a Palestinian state with American and European
funds for the PLO, you increase the opportunity for terror."
As the crowd sang "Am Yisrael Chai" (The Jewish Nation Lives), Rabbi Weiss
and Sheikh Palazzi walked to the door of the PLO Mission and left a jointly
signed note that said, "In the name of G-d, stop your terror."
In February 2001, Sheikh Palazzi led a delegation of the Islam-Israel
Fellowship of the Root and Branch Association in Jerusalem to meet with
President Moshe Katzav, who honored his guest for his support of America,
Israel and Jews worldwide.
In an interview with WorldNetDaily.com before returning to Rome this week,
Palazzi said he fears a repeat of history following the likely defeat of
Saddam Hussein - just as after the Gulf War in 1991 the U.S. pressed Israel
to accept the Oslo peace process, resulting in the present intifada. He
said he is wary that after Saddam's demise, the U.S. will make a similar
miscalculation and renew a path toward the establishment of a Palestinian
state. "Why would you destroy a totalitarian regime in one part of the
world and create it in another?" Palazzi asked. "You defeat Saddam Hussein
and then you reward the Palestinian Authority, which was the best ally of
Saddam Hussein [and was] funded by him from the very beginning."
Sheikh Palazzi explained that the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam exported
by Saudi Arabia - the most visible and powerful expression of Islam in the
U.S. - is the source of Middle East terror. The Wahhabist Saudi government
began "colonizing" the West after World War II, Palazzi said, sending
students abroad to study with a mission to "start creating the local
mosques, local organizations and groups such as the Council on
American-Islamic Relations," or CAIR. Though it claims to represent
moderate Muslims, Palazzi calls the Washington-based lobby group the "U.S.
section of Hamas." He says that the Wahhabi aim "is nothing short of
bringing the whole world under its domination." For more information, see
Prophecies about Islam in Judaism and Christianity
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‘The Koran Says The Jews Would Return To Their Land`: Exclusive Interview With Sheikh Abdul Palazzi
Posted 3/27/2003 By Naomi Klass Mauer, Editor, the Jewish Press, New York.
Sheikh Abdul Palazzi, professor at the Research Institute for Anthropological
Studies in Rome, was in the United States recently guest lecturing at Yale
University on the possibility of bringing democracy to the Arab world. Having
read numerous items about the sheikh, we were interested in meeting him. We
caught up with him in New York as he was preparing to return to Italy.
Jewish Press: Tell our readers a little about yourself.
Palazzi: I was born in Rome 42 years ago to a Syrian mother and an Italian
father. In addition to teaching at the Research Institute, I also teach a
post-doctoral course on Middle East studies, I’m the secretary general for the
Italian Muslim Association and the Muslim chair of Islam-Israel Fellowship at
the Root and Branch Association.
Do you think democracy can ever come to the Arab world?
The United States has a real opportunity now to accomplish just that. The best
proof is Afghanistan. Things are really turning around there and they can do the
same thing in Iraq. After the first Gulf war ended the Emir was left in place in
Kuwait. Slavery is rampant in Kuwait, but no one tried to replace the Emir with
a real democracy, or to abolish slavery. Everything was left in place. But this
time if the U.S. proves that it wants the globalization of democracy, it has a
real chance to accomplish it in Arab countries. When you show the Arab world
that you side with Arab leaders who kill them or enslave them, they lose all
hope of change. An example is Arafat. When you build him up and the people know
who he is, they have no hope of a change. I am terribly concerned that President
Bush speaks of a Palestinian state. I am afraid that once this war with Iraq is
won, the pressure on Israel to create a Palestinian state will be enormous. You
cannot get rid of one terrorist state and then create a new one. And the
Palestinian Authority will be worse, because they are the true allies of Saddam
You know the terrorists always claim to be followers of the Koran.
The Koran is being misread. The Koran forbids mistreatment of Jews and the state
is obligated to protect them. At the time of the Ottoman Empire Jews held
positions in the government. The Koran says before the end of days the Jews will
return to their land. At the end of World War One, Sharif Al Hussein, the leader
of the Hashemite family and governor of Mecca said, when he saw the Jews
returning to Palestine, “We are seeing what was foretold in the Koran. When
others settled there the land stayed barren, but now the land recognizes its
original sons and it is producing.”
It’s too bad the Palestinian Arabs don’t know that.
They can’t know it because these passages have been removed from their books.
The PA selected only certain sources for their books. All of the proofs are
deleted. But in other Islamic countries you do find all proofs in the Koran. You
know, before 1967, Islamists referred to the Jews as Palestinians and the
present-day Palestinians were called Jordanians. In Jerusalem, Imam Tabari, an
important cleric, wrote an important book, “Lives of Prophets and Kings” He
described the life of King Solomon and the Temple he built. Anyone who denies
this not only denies history, but denies Islamic sources.
The Palestinian Arabs even deny that the Holy Temple ever stood on the Temple
I was part of an international delegation that visited Israel in 2000. The Wakf
took us to visit Al Aksa. Right outside of the Dome of the Rock is a small
chapel on the eastern side. “What is this place?” I asked. “It is the place
where Solomon stood to dedicate the Temple,” was the reply. “Then why do you
deny this?” I asked. With a smile I was told, “For political reasons.” Mecca and
Medina are the holiest places for Islam. Jerusalem is shared with Jews and
Christians. Why, according to Islam, did Mohammed go to Jerusalem? To meet all
the prophets from other religions who worshiped there. Islam is faith in
monotheism, faith in prophets, faith in humanity. The basic distinction is
monotheism versus idolatry. And this concept it shares with Judaism.
This is just one of many instances of historical revisionism on the part of the
Another example of history being forgotten concerns the 1919 agreement between
Chaim Weizmann and King Faisel of Jordan and Iraq. The agreement said that the
Jordan River was the border between the Jewish state and the Arab state. The
Arabs did not oppose this. Then the British came and created Saudi Arabia,
taking land from Jordan. So they told them to take some of the land back from
the Jews. When the kingdom of Saudi Arabia was created, control of Mecca and
Medina was thereby given to Wahabbism, the most primitive tribe of all. Islamic
scholars were horrified. Then oil was discovered and they became all powerful
and forced everyone to believe in Wahabbism and killed whoever didn’t. With the
passing of years they became more sophisticated. Wahabbism in its original form
is still practiced in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It is their official religion.
Regarding the situation in Iraq, are you surprised by the way the French have
Unfortunately, no. France has reached a new low level. They want the regime of
Saddam to survive because they have a financial interest in him.
What about the Vatican?
Tariq Aziz was warmly welcomed by the Vatican and the Franciscan Monks prayed
with him for Bush to repent. The pope approved the war against Milosevic – was
he worse than Saddam Hussein?
We recall that the pope didn’t condemn the Arab gunmen who took over the Church
of the Nativity in Bethlehem last year.
No voice of dissent is heard inside the Catholic church. In the past there were
many instances where bishops and cardinals voiced an opposite point of view. But
not this time. The Franciscan priest inside the Church of the Nativity acted as
if the Arabs were just seeking refuge from the Israelis. He is now visiting
Italy and has such deep-rooted anti-Semitism that he is speaking out against
Israel wherever he goes.
The Arab bishops who depend on their dictators for appointments are increasing
inside the Vatican. The best bishops and cardinals are retiring, leaving a
terrible vacuum. Cardinal Martini was an honorable and brilliant scholar from
Milano. He said you cannot accept opinions of dictators in religious matters.
After his retirement he was sent to Jerusalem. He was accepted by the Latin
Patriarchate only because the pope sent him, but they don’t like him and refer
to him as “the Zionist.”
What is your view of the now discredited Oslo peace process?
Oslo was a basic mistake, and unless Israel takes steps to end it and publicly
renounce it, we cannot expect the rest of the world to do so. When we in Italy
try to stop the European Union from transferring money to Arafat, they answer us
that even Israel is doing so. And why shouldn’t Bin Laden hope to be forgiven
like Arafat was? Oslo abolished one of the basic principles of international
law. If you are a terrorist, your crimes will not be forgiven. The world needs
to be reminded of that.
* * * * *
The day after our interview a suicidal Arab terrorist blew up a bus in Haifa. A
protest was immediately organized outside the PLO mission in New York by Rabbi
Avi Weiss. Sheikh Palazzi, about to leave the country, joined Rabbi Weiss at
that protest. It was the first time a Moslem sheikh took part in such a protest.
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