New York, NY, May 12, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land to immediately expel the Muslim cleric who launched a hateful verbal attack against Israel during an interreligious event in Jerusalem featuring Pope Benedict XVI.
The Chief Islamic Judge of the Palestinian Authority, Sheik Taysir Tamimi disrupted the special event with Pope Benedict XVI when he took control of the stage at the Notre Dame Center and urged Muslims and Christians to "unite together against the murderous Israelis," according to media reports.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
It is outrageous that Sheik Tamimi has once again thrown a verbal hand grenade into a historic gathering of Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders, thus ruining an event dedicated to peace, interfaith dialogue and reconciliation. Sheik Tamimi also delivered a rant against Israel nine years ago during a similar interfaith gathering honoring Pope John Paul II, the first pope in history to officially visit the State of Israel.
We call on the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, a group of Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders, to immediately expel Sheik Tamimi for violating the group's core principles. His actions warrant denying him a place at the table of interfaith dialogue.
In a 2007 communiqué of the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, the religious leaders pledged to "commit ourselves to using our positions of leadership, and the influence of our good offices, to advance shared sacred values, to prevent religion from being used as a source of conflict, and instead serve the goals of just and comprehensive peace and reconciliation."