Nazareth sheikh attacks Zionism

Proponent of interfaith dialogue: You Jews brought a Holocaust on us.

By MATTHEW WAGNER
July 20, 2006 16:30
2 minute read.
church of the annunciation 298.88

nazareth church 298.88. (photo credit: Associated Press [file])

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

One day after the tragic killing of two baby brothers in Nazareth, a leading Suffi Sheikh from the same town, who has been heavily involved in interfaith dialogue for two decades, equated the dispossession of Palestinians from their land in 1948 with the Holocaust. Sheikh Abdel Salam Manasra, Secretary General of the High Suffi Council in the Holy Land, also equated Zionism with idolatry. "Just as it says in the Bible that there were Jews who worshipped Ba'al [a type of ancient idolatry] so too there are Jews today who are Zionists," said Manasra. "You are not a Jew as you should be if you [support] Zionism," he added. "Zionism is a bad thing." Manasra rejected the idea that Israel was a Jewish state or a homeland for the Jews. "After the Europeans brought a Holocaust on the Jews, you Jews came here and brought a Holocaust on us," said Manasra. "None of the Europeans responsible for the Holocaust paid the price. Instead, I paid the price because I lost my land." Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish, Director of the Inter Religious Coordinating Council in Israel, who has participated in numerous interfaith dialogues with Manasra over the years, said the comments were very surprising. "If this is indeed that is what he said about the Holocaust and Zionism, I think those are very poor, unhelpful comparison. I have known Sheikh Manasra as a man of peace and dialogue. I urge him to rethink his comments if indeed he said them. "I am sensitive to the pain caused by the Naqba [Israeli victory against the Arabs] but it is not to be compared to the Holocaust." When Manasra discovered that The Jerusalem Post reporter interviewing him lived in a settlement beyond the Green Line he said, "You live on conquered land. Come live in Haifa, Ashdod or Tel Aviv. "Besides, most of you are there because you love money," said Manasra. "A lot of you settlers are not even Jewish. They are Russians who oppose Judaism. I see them come to the Church in Nazareth." Manasra was quick to condemn Israeli violence in Lebanon, but only after repeated questioning by The Post was Manasra willing to criticize the Hizbullah's bombing. "But I do not want that statement against the Hizbullah to be placed prominently in your article," said Manasra to The Post. He said that the relationship Sunni Arabs like himself had with the Shi'ite Hizbullah was "similar to the relation Jews had to the Black Hebrews in Dimona". Manasra said he has been involved in interfaith dialogue since 1987. He said that as a Suffi Sunni with more moderate views than other Sunni orders, he has suffered financially. "The Saudis are opposed to the Suffis," said Manasra. "It's not easy to be a promoter of peace."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN