Every Arab reader should know the story of André Azoulay to protect himself from the dangers and injustices of stereotyping. It is common to hear assumptions made about “all Jews”, especially as concerns Palestine. The reality is there are Jews who objectively seek the truth and fully support the Palestinian cause.
During my life, I was fortunate to meet some of them. Foremost among these was the late Bruno Kreisky, Chancellor of Austria, who was the first to open his country’s doors to the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, challenging many in doing so. Kreisky also raised awareness about the Palestinian cause among other countries, members of the International Socialist Union, through my friend the late Issam Sartawi who was able to make many Jewish friends having the same attitude as Chancellor Kreisky. Among those Sartawi befriended was the France former Prime Minister, Pierre Mendès-France, a Jew who was instrumental in granting Tunisia independence from France. Mendès-France married the daughter of the Jewish Solomon Cicurel, owner of many shops carrying his name in Egypt.
The Austrian banker, Karl Kahane, a friend of Chancellor Kreisky, also helped the Palestinian cause through money and communications through Issam Sartawi, who was treacherously murdered in Barcelona. I was among those who carried his remains to Jordan. Now, back to André Azoulay, who was senior advisor to the late Moroccan king, Hassan II. He remains an advisor to the present king, enjoying the same trust built over decades. I have participated in many conferences organized by Jewish associations where André Azoulay vigorously defended Palestinians rights. He always insisted that those who defend Jews and oppose anti-Semitism should demand the same rights for Muslims.
All of these examples encourage us, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, to refuse stereotyping as a matter of principle. We should never refer to “all Jews” as long as there are some who defend what is right.
André Azoulay was, and still is, a unique example of those who defend justice before their fellow Jews. So let us listen attentively and respond to the Holy words of Surat An-Nisa as God commands us “to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice”
translated from Al Osboa