Pope Walks Out of Meeting After Palestinian Outburst

Monday, 11 May 2009 03:32 PM

By Nicole Jansezian

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

JERUSALEM – An meeting of 300 religious leaders hosted by the Pope came to an abrupt end Monday night when a Palestinian sheikh, who was not on the program, forced his way to the pulpit to criticize Israel.

The head of Sharia courts in the Palestinian Authority, Taysir Tamimi, made an animated plea to the Pope to fight for “a just peace for a Palestinian state and for Israel to stop killing women and children and destroying mosques as she did in Gaza.”

“Israel destroys Palestinian cities and establishes settlements on Palestinian land,” he cried in a rising voice, adding that Jerusalem “will remain the capital of a Palestinian state.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry called the outburst a “provocation” and said that instead of “fostering peace and co-exstistence chose to plant seeds of division and confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians and also between Jews, Muslims and Christians.”

“It is a shame that the extremists are those who represent the Palestinians and the Muslims in his important event in the presence of the Holy See,” said Aviv Shiron of the Foreign MInistry.

The speech was given in Arabic with no translation, but most local Christians and Muslims present understood what was said. Others simply understood the intent.

“If the Pope wasn’t there, I could stand up and leave the room, but I didn’t want to insult the Pope,” Oded Wiener, director general of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, told Newsmax after the incident.

Wiener and his Palestinian friend from the Islamic land trust were supposed to present a gift to the Pope after the scheduled speeches, but the Pope left the stage after Tamimi finished his speech, which wasn’t stopped by officials at the dialogue.

During the speech, some in the audience got up to leave, but most attendees stayed put, some laughed while others even applauded enthusiastically when Tamimi finally brought his statement to a close.

The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said that the interruption was “a direct negation of what a dialogue should be. We hope that such an incident will not damage the mission of the Pope” and inter-religious dialogue.

“We hope also that inter-religious dialogue in the Holy Land will not be compromised by this incident,” Lombardi added, in his statement.

Outbursts like these are not uncommon for Tamimi, who was specifically banned from speaking tonight because he has chosen to speak off-topic at other gatherings.

“All religious people in the world of all other religions need to guard the Palestinians from Israel and protect their lands,” he implored.

Wiener accused Tamimi of “time and again” spoiling the dialogue.

“We want to speak about peace and he speaks hatred,” he said. “He embarrassed the Pope and wasn’t supposed to speak tonight. The fact that a person like him ... used an internal stage instead of seeking peace, promoting peace instead of using the opportunity with the Pope to promote peace, he spoke about hatred and terrorism.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

State Dept.'s Nuland to Newsmax: Sanctions Reined Putin In

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 22:10 PM

Without the tough sanctions the U.S. and its allies placed on Russia last year and the faltering Russian economy, Vladim . . .

Attkisson: CDC Not Telling Public About Possible Ebola Cases

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 23:40 PM

The government is not telling the public about all the possible cases of Ebola it is monitoring in the United States, sa . . .

Atlanta US Attorney Yates Tapped for Deputy AG

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 17:46 PM

President Barack Obama is preparing to nominate the top federal prosecutor in Atlanta to the No. 2 position at the Justi . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved