In June 2009, internationally renowned Egyptologist and Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities secretary-general Zahi Hawass made headlines when he gave U.S. President Barack Obama a personal guided tour of the Pyramids. In February 2010, Dr. Hawass was in the news following the culmination of the two-year international and interdisciplinary investigation into King Tut's death that he led. A New York Times article last week noted his role in the restoration of one of Cairo’s most historic synagogues and the yeshiva of Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, or Maimonides. The article quoted Dr. Hawass as saying, "It’s part of our history. It’s part of our heritage," and states that he also promises that six more synagogue buildings in Cairo will be restored within two years.
Yesterday, Dr. Hawass attended a Washington, DC ceremony at which he collected a stolen Egyptian sarcophagus that had been seized by U.S. Customs officials (below). He praised the U.S. for its role in recovering the sarcophagus and other stolen Egyptian antiquities.
According to his website, Dr. Hawass holds an honorary doctorate from the American University in Cairo, and was one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2005. He is spokesman for CNN on archaeological news in Egypt, is Explorer-in-Residence of the National Geographic Society, received the 2000 Distinguished Scholar of the Year Award from the Association of Egyptian-American Scholars, was awarded a Mellon Fellowship, was a Fulbright scholar, and received an Emmy for his performance in a documentary. He frequently briefs members of the entertainment industry including Shakira at Giza, Samuel L Jackson at the 33rd Cairo International Film Festival,, and actor Vin Diesel. He has presented copies of his books to former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush, and given President Obama a replica of his own hat.
In February 2009, Dr. Hawass asserted on Egyptian TV that the Jews control the entire world, stating that it was their "unity that gave them this power" (to view this clip, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/2049 ). Just last month, in February 2010, he stated that he had said to "the rabbi in Washington... [that] under no circumstances will I open a Jewish [antiquities] museum" until "the Palestinians get their rights" (to view this clip, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/2406).
Following are the transcripts of the two clips.
Zahi Hawass: Jews Control the Entire World – Egyptian TV, February 11, 2009
Interviewer: "So [the Jews] were dispersed in 133 C.E.?"
Zahi Hawass: "That's right."
Interviewer: "And they didn't reunite until 1900?"
Zahi Hawass: "Exactly."
Interviewer: "So they were dispersed for 18 centuries?"
Zahi Hawass: "For 18 centuries, they were dispersed throughout the world. They went to America and took control of its economy. They have a plan. Although they are few in number, they control the entire world."
Interviewer: "Dr. Hawass, you are a great historian and archaeologist. I would like to figure out the mystery of how 15 million people, 5 or 6 million of whom do not share this vile Jewish logic... With regard to Israel and Zionism – we are talking about 7 or 8 million. How is it possible that these 7 or 8 million have taken control of the entire world, and have convinced the world of their cause, while we, over one billion Muslims, cannot convince the world of our cause? How would you explain this from a historical perspective?"
Zahi Hawass: "The reason is that they are always united over a single view. They always move together, even if in the wrong direction. We, on the other hand, are divided. If even two Arab countries could be in agreement, our voice would be stronger. Look at the control they have over America and the media."
Interviewer: "So in your opinion, the secret lies in unity?"
Zahi Hawass: "Yes. It was unity that gave them this power..."
Interviewer: "You mean from a historical perspective?"
Zahi Hawass: "Of course."
Zahi Hawwas: No Jewish Museum in Egypt Before Israeli-Palestinian Peace – February 21, 2010, Egyptian Channel 1
Interviewer: "Do you continue to maintain the position you declared in the past – that you will not open a museum for Jewish antiquities in Egypt?"
Zahi Hawwas: "I am adamant about this. I carry out restoration of Jewish antiquities because they are Egyptian, but I will not open a Jewish museum. I will open such a museum only when the Palestinians get their rights, and Israel... The Jewish rabbi responsible for this issue came to me, and I said to him, in front of everybody..."
Interviewer: "The chief rabbi of Egypt?"
Zahi Hawwas: "No, the rabbi in Washington came to see me, and I said to him: Under no circumstances will I open a Jewish museum. This is impossible. Politically, I cannot do this, because all the people would hold me accountable. I am Egyptian, and I would like to see the Palestinian issue resolved. Until that happens, I will not open such a museum. I will build the museum only when there is peace."