Dr. Zahi Hawass on “the blood of the Palestinian Jews”

21 October 2010, 1:45pm:  Dr. Hawass’s website (www.drhawass.com) is either not working, or has been taken down. We’ve saved a cached copy of his blog post — Further Remarks on Statements Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict — below.


This is Google’s cache of http://www.drhawass.com/blog/further-remarks-statements-regarding-israeli-palestinian-conflict. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Oct 17, 2010 06:58:09 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime. Learn more

For me, archaeology is not a just a job. It combines everything that I could want – imagination, intellect, action, and adventure.

— Zahi Hawass

Further Remarks on Statements Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

I recently issued a clarification of remarks that I made on the Egyptian television show El Beit Beitak regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I made this statement after my comments were interpreted by some as anti-Semitic, even though I absolutely did not mean them to be. Since this time, some members of the online community have raised concerns about several phrases from an article that I published in El-Sharq El-Aswat in January. These phrases have been similarly misinterpreted, so I would like to take this opportunity to make an additional statement further clarifying my position.

Let me begin by reiterating that I admire and respect the international Jewish community, and the possibility that my comments may have hurt or offended any of my many Jewish friends has upset me a great deal. The statements in this article were meant as criticism of the policies of the Israeli government, and they were addressed to Middle Eastern readers, and thus were written in a rhetorical style meant to communicate specifically with this audience.

In an article about Jewish history that I wrote in January for El-Sharq El-Awsat newspaper, I wrote, “It seems that the idea of killing children, old people, and women and ignoring taboos runs in the blood of the Palestinian Jews,” a statement that has been interpreted as anti-Semitic. There are two important points that I want to stress in addressing this criticism. First, I was not speaking of Jews in general. I was speaking only of the “Jews of Palestine” – the modern state of Israel. I deeply disapprove of the policies of the Israeli government with regard to Palestine, and I felt that strong language was necessary to communicate the intensity of my emotions. In addition, I was writing in Arabic for a Middle Eastern audience. The cultural gulf between the West and the Middle East is so deep that I cannot blame people for misinterpreting my statements, but I would like for everyone to know that the tone that I adopted and the words that I chose were tailored to convey my emotions to other Arabic speakers in an idiom that they would appreciate.

Any native speaker of Arabic would understand that by “the Jews of Palestine” I meant Israel. To make this even more readily apparent, however, I went on to state that I was not referring to the Jewish faith. In fact, I wrote that the Israeli government is poisoning this great faith by its inhumane treatment of Palestinian Arabs – “When we talk about their ideology, we do not mean their religion itself, to which they also do harm. They falsify it and put in it all their poisons, which are against all humanity.”

I am deeply sorry that my words were misinterpreted by Western readers. I regret any offense that this may have caused, and I hope that with this clarification, everyone will be able to understand my real meaning. I do believe that the policies of the Israeli government are wrong. However, I also deeply respect and admire the Jewish faith and the international Jewish community. I would like to reiterate the hope that I have expressed in the past for a peaceful, equitable settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict, for the good of all of the innocent people who have suffered because of it.


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