Lebanese Shiite cleric urges dialogue with Jews

Lebanon's most influential Shiite Muslim cleric has renewed his call for a dialogue between Muslims and Jews to promote world peace. Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah stresses that Islam recognizes Judaism and rejects any offense against Jews or Christians in any Arab or Muslim country. His statement also says Israel should still be confronted for its occupation of Arab lands. Monday's statement said Fadlallah made the call for a Muslim-Jewish dialogue during a meeting with a delegation of German intellectuals, businessmen and journalists who visited him at his residence south of Beirut. Fadlallah, 73, is the main religious authority for Lebanon's estimated 1.2 million Shiites, the country's largest sect, and has followers throughout the Middle East.