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The following are summaries of the Institute's Policy Studies publications.

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Summary of Policy Study No. 7

"The Jewish-Moslem Dialogue and the Question of Jerusalem"

Abdul Hadi Palazzi

A study concerning the bases of Jewish claims for sovereignty over Jerusalem can only be effective if one tries to take into account all religious perspectives about the city. While primarily addressing a Jewish readership, the author wants to clear the ground of baseless anti-Israel propaganda and to restore the original approach of Koranic teaching related to interfaith dialogue between Jews and Moslems.

After dealing with the role of Jerusalem and the Holy Land in the Koran, he summarizes both the early history of the city under Islamic administration and the attempt made by Christians to spread certain antisemitic features of their theology among Moslems. A short description of the connection between the two concepts of holy place and political capital in Islamic history and jurisprudence will help foster a deeper understanding of inter-Islamic rivalry in claiming sovereign rights over the Old City and the Temple Mount.

A recent archeological theory concerning the identification of the exact location of the Second Temple is evaluated as a factor which could contribute to the improvement of Jewish-Moslem relationships. The possibility of rebuilding the Jewish Temple without affecting Islamic sanctuaries is mainly understood as a scenario in which it would be possible for both communities to worship God side by side, according to what is respectively revealed in the Torah and the Koran.

The author deeply believes that religious jurisdiction over the Islamic holy places in Jerusalem must be exclusively entrusted to the King of Jordan. He also envisages a Middle East federation – formed by Israel, Jordan and Palestine – and investigates the most relevant political options for granting all parties satisfaction of their real rights. The appeal for deeper intellectual cooperation between Jewish and Moslem religious leaders and thinkers is explained as an attempt to plan a future of peace and prosperity by rediscovering common religious and cultural roots.

Author

Professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi lectures at the Department of History of Religion at the University of Velletri (Rome, Italy). In 1987, after studying Islamic sciences and Koranic cantillation in Cairo, he was ordained as an Imam for the Italian Islamic Community. In 1989 he was appointed a member of the Board of Directors of the Italian Moslem Association and subsequently elected its Secretary-General. In 1991 he was asked to serve as the Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Moslem Community with a program based on the development of Islamic teaching in Italy and an increase in the Islamic role in interreligious dialogue. He is the author of several books and articles, and a co-author of religious and cultural programs on Italian State Television. In 1997 Professor Palazzi joined the International Council of Root and Branch Association and became a member of the Islam-Israel Fellowship


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