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Friday, March 26, 2010

Zahi Hawass: "I will not allow any Jew to pray in restored synagogue"

Zahi Hawass, the Jew-hating general secretary of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities and Egypt's top archaeologist, has announced that he will not allow any Jew to pray in the restored Maimonides synagogue in Cairo.

He told a Muslim scientific forum that "his decision to close the temple was a reaction to Israeli attacks on Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem."

He stressed that he would treat the Maimonides synagogue the same as any other Egyptian antiquities, and that the decision to cancel the opening rededication ceremony of the synagogue was to keep history and politic separated.

But he would not allow any Jew or Israeli to pray there and he would not allow the Egyptian Jewish community to administer the site. He also said that this was a reaction to "provocative practices that carried out by the Jews in their celebration which was held in the temple." He was referring to the dancing and drinking of wine, which he felt offended a billion Muslims.

He said that Egypt still intended to restore ancient synagogues, and the next one to be worked on was the Temple of the Prophet Daniel in Alexandria.

Earlier today, Palestine Today (link not available) quoted Hawass as saying that the very opening of the synagogue was a "slap in the face" of Israel, showing that Egypt is a tolerant country.

To him, Egyptian synagogues are museums that are meant to promote the idea that Egyptians are open-minded towards Judaism, even as he shows that he is not tolerant at all towards Jews.