DOHA • An Iranian delegate stunned the audience at an international inter-faith dialogue here yesterday when he angrily interrupted an American panelist who said Tehran wanted to eliminate all the Jews in Israel.
Joseph Ehrenkrenz was in the middle of his speech when Mohamed Sadiq Husseini shouted back at him.
"Ya, Yahud!," (Oh, Jews!), he said loudly, putting his microphone on, "Iran does not have any such agenda. What you are saying is a lie. Contrarily, your designs are suspect…Look, what you are doing at ‘Guatenamobay’."
Ehrenkrenz said that in the 1930s, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem congratulated Hitler for his anti-Jewish stance and "sought his help".
While the Jews may be targeting Muslims in this region, the latter have killed the former in several countries around the world, including Argentina, France and the US, he said.
The biggest challenge before the rabbis (Jewish spiritual leaders) today is to protect the community. Palestinians have influenced Muslims around the world. "We are getting threats from Tehran. Their decision is to eliminate all the Jews in Israel. The UN is not taking any action," said Ehrenkrenz.
No sooner than he finished his sentence, Husseini, who is advisor at the General Secretariat for the Centre for Iran-Arab Cooperation in Tehran, interrupted him with an angry protest, speaking in Arabic.
When he was through, Ehrenkrenz responded coolly saying that since he did not have the headphone (to listen to the English translation), he did not know what he said. "But it was rude of you," was all he commented, insisting: "We want to protect the Jewish community."
Husseini was later engrossed in talks with several Arab delegates outside the venue for a while, who seemed to be appreciative of what he did.
There were five panelists discussing 'Mysticism: the Spirit of Revealed Religions' at the 5th Doha Conference on Inter-Faith Dialogue, with Ehrenkrenz being one of the speakers.
Husseini's interruption took place during the 'discussions and dialogue session' when the speakers were provided an opportunity to reply to comments and questions from the audience. The session was moderated by Algeria's Dr Mohamed Ben Breika.