JCCV asks Anglican Archbishop to reconsider Khatami visit – and resigns from university board

March 16, 2009 by J-Wire
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The Jewish Community Council of Victoria has declined an invitation from the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne to meet with former Iranian President Khatami…

HE Sayed Mohammed Khatami

HE Sayed Mohammed Khatami

Furthermore, the JCCV has asked Archbishop Philip Freier to reconsider the Diocese’s decision to host Khatami. They have also resigned from La Trobe University’s Centre for Dialogue’s Advisory Board. The resignation was immediate on learning that the Centre was also hosting Khatami.

In a letter to Archbishop Freier, JCCV President John Searle pointed out that During the presidency of HE Seyed Mohammed Khatami “more than fifty newspapers were closed, Internet services were banned and satellite dishes confiscated.The Government harassed and killed intellectuals, students and dissidents.”

He asked Archbishop Freier on behalf of the Victorian Jewish community to reconsider his decision to host or even meet the former Iranian President

Khatami was president of Iran from 1997 to 2002. During his presidency, in a televised address, he said: “We should mobilise the whole Islamic World for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime. All of us should mobilise to kill.”

Searle also pointed to the Archbishop that last year Khatami, a supposed champion of dialogue, called Israel “an old incurable wound on the body of Islam.”  Khatami has expressed support for Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad…Searle maintaining that “a person with this track record could not have an honest commitment to dialogue.”

In his letter he told Archbishop Freier “While he [Khatami] may spout pious words of coexistence, his actions certain belie them.”

Also hosting the former Iranian president is the Centre for Dialogue at Melbourne’s La Trobe University. Searle has written to the Centre’s Director Professor Joseph Camilleri resigning the JCCV’s membership. He wrote: “It is not  possible to participate in an organisation ostensibly committed to dialogue when it hosts a man whose views on the State of Israel are clearly inimical to true dialogue and peace.

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