The Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, the oldest university in the world, has warned against the "state of hatred and hopelessness created by American bias towards Israel. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Sheikh Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb called on the United States and the other supporters of Israel's occupation of Palestine to treat the Palestinian issue "as the most important cause in the world, to be dealt with in a genuinely responsible manner, with fairness".
Sheikh El-Tayeb spoke in the wake of Palestine's election as a member of UNESCO. This, he said, is just the start of Palestine's acquisition of full member status of the United Nations. "The world is aware of the violations and injustice against the people of Palestine," he said, "so it is about time that an independent state was established."
The suffering of the Palestinians must be brought to an end, added Sheikh El-Tayeb, and this means an end to the double standards applied to matters involving the Arab and Muslim world. His statements strengthen the support of Al-Azhar University for the Palestinian cause.
The Grand Sheikh praised the UNESCO decision, describing it as "a victory for righteousness, peace and tolerance."