When the “Chief Islamic Judge” of the “moderate” Palestinian Authority launched a vicious tirade against Israel at a meeting attended by Pope Benedict today (even though he wasn’t scheduled to speak at all), the Pope walked out.
Chief Islamic Judge of the Palestinian Authority, Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, launched a poisonous verbal attack at Israel at a Monday night gathering attended by Pope Benedict XVI.
In a meeting with organizations involved in inter-religious dialogue at the Notre Dame Jerusalem Center, Tamimi called upon Muslims and Christians to unite against what he said were the murderous Israelis.
Taking the podium after the pope without being on the original list of speakers scheduled for the evening, Tamimi, speaking at length in Arabic, accused Israel of murdering women and children in Gaza and making Palestinians refugees, and declared Jerusalem the eternal Palestinian capital.
Following the diatribe and before the meeting was officially over, the pope exited the premises. Army Radio reported that the pope shook Tamimi’s hand before walking out.
Minutes after the embarrassing occurrence, Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, released a response to the incident. “The intervention of Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi was not previewed by the organizers of the interreligious meeting that took place at Notre Dame Centre in Jerusalem,” the message read. “In a meeting dedicated to dialogue, this intervention was a direct negation of what [it] should be,” it continued.