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Posts Tagged ‘mufti’

Police Arrest Jerusalem Mufti

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

In an unusual move, police have detained the Jerusalem Mufti, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, on Wednesday, according to an AP report.

The detention followed Arab attacks and violence against Temple Mount tourists on Tuesday.

The police did not say what the Mufti’s specific involvement was.

Over the past few months, Arabs have been escalating the level of their violent attacks on the Temple Mount to include stoning and firebombs.

In April, the Waqf, controlled by the Mufti, informed the Prime Minister of Israel that “World War 3″ would break out if MK Moshe Feiglin visited the Temple Mount.

In 2006, Hussein stated in an interview that suicide bombing by Palestinians against Israelis was “legitimate, of course, as long as it plays a role in the resistance”.

In 2011, at an event marking the 47th anniversary of the founding of the terrorist organization Fatah, Hussein quoted a controversial hadith, stating: “The Hour will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jews will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

In short, the man’s got a history.

Police said the Mufti would be released later today, but still, even for this short time, this was a nice gift to Israel on Jerusalem Liberation Day.

Egyptian Grand Mufti in Jerusalem

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, a top Egyptian Islamic cleric, came to Jerusalem to show support for Palestinian claims to eastern Jerusalem on Wednesday, breaking a long-standing taboo imposed by Muslim clerics, professional and private organizations against visiting Israel.

Gomaa, who prayed in the Al-Aqsa mosque situated on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, wrote on his Twitter account that he made the trip to show solidarity with the Palestinians, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Despite a 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt under Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Gamael Abdel Nasser, Egypt and Israel share cold relations.  In September, a mob of several thousand rioters threatened to lynch the diplomatic corps at the Israeli embassy in Cairo, leading to the evacuation of the majority of workers and staff.

The Muslim Brotherhood condemned the visit on Thursday, with Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozian saying “Muslim clerics have taken a position that there is no visiting Jerusalem under continued Israeli occupation.  He violated this opinion of the majority of clerics.  Why, I don’t know.”  Abdel-Akher Hamad, the leader of the fundamentalist Al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya associated Gomaa with the ousted regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and said Gomaa would not enjoy his position for much longer.

Though Gomaa’s position on Israel is unclear, a 2007 report in the Egyptian daily al-Ahram newspaper stated that he considered the famous Jewish blood libel, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, to be a forgery, and took a publisher who falsely put his name on an introduction to its Arabic translation to court.

Gomaa was appointed by Mubarak in 2003 to serve as Egypt’s top religious law authority.

Since the expulsion of Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood influence has increased throughout the country, and with it, a decline in sentiment toward Israel.

The Mufti Influences An American Election

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

A Palestinian mufti has called for violence against Jews, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is demanding Palestinian leaders disavow him and America’s presidential race could be affected.

That could be the lead sentence of a news report week before last.

Or from 1946.

Sixty-five years ago, another Palestinian mufti, another Netanyahu and another American presidential race likewise intersected in an unexpected round of high-stakes Middle East politics and diplomacy.

At the center of the current controversy is Sheik Muhammad Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem, who is the Palestinian Authority’s senior religious official. In a recent speech Hussein, citing a traditional Islamic text, urged Arabs to “fight and kill the Jews.” Later he explained he was “only quoting the words of the Prophet Muhammad.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by saying, “Whoever wants peace should not permit such incitement and should not allow calls to murder Jews.”

Hussein’s “morally heinous” statements, he added, were reminiscent of one of his predecessors, the mufti Amin el-Husseini, who fled to Germany in 1941 and collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust. Husseini’s pro-Nazi radio broadcasts were beamed from Berlin to the Arab world – including a March 1, 1944 tirade in which he exhorted his listeners, in language similar to that of last week’s controversy, to “Kill the Jews wherever you find them.”

What is not well known is the impact of the mufti on the 1948 U.S. presidential race.

In the aftermath of World War II and the revelations of the full extent of the Holocaust, American Jews and Christian Zionists pressed President Harry Truman to endorse creation of a Jewish state. Truman, fearful the U.S. would be dragged into sending “half a million troops” to Palestine, preferred to stay at arm’s length from the conflict.

But his political advisers saw trouble looming in the 1946 midterm congressional elections. New York State Democratic chairman Paul Fitzpatrick warned that if Truman failed to support Jewish statehood, “it would be useless for the Democrats to nominate a state ticket this fall.” And another longtime New York Democratic Party leader, Ed Flynn, predicted that if Truman backed down on Palestine, “the effects will be severely felt in November.”

Enter the mufti. In the waning days of World War II, Husseini made his way to France, where he was placed under house arrest. Yugoslavia indicted him for war crimes committed by members of an all-Muslim SS unit he organized in Bosnia, but did not seek his extradition. The French and the British, nervous about angering the Arab world, likewise took no action.

While Husseini was relaxing in his French villa, a series of exposes in the New York Post, PM and The Nation in early 1946 revealed new details of his wartime activities, including his sabotage of a prisoner exchange with the Germans that would have saved the lives of 4,000 Jewish children.

Furious American Jewish groups wanted Truman to intervene. The American Zionist Emergency Council sent the State Department a 13-page memo urging the United States to indict the mufti.

Another notable voice of protest was that of Benzion Netanyahu, the father of Israel’s current prime minister, who in the 1940s was director of the U.S. wing of the militant Revisionist Zionist movement. He sponsored large newspaper advertisements headlined “The Mufti Must Be Brought to Trial!” and featuring a photograph of Husseini meeting with Hitler. The administration ignored the protests.

To make matters worse, in May 1946, the mufti escaped to Cairo – with what seemed to be the connivance of the French and British – and promptly renewed his efforts to incite the Arabs in Palestine against the Jews. For American Jewish leaders, it was another sign that London, with Washington’s tacit support, was taking the Arabs’ side.

Even Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, usually the most pro-Truman voice in the Jewish leadership, publicly urged the president to “speak sharply and act decisively in relation to the [Palestine policy of] the British government.

Meanwhile, the Republicans were taking up the Zionist cause. In 1944, the GOP had adopted the first-ever platform plank endorsing Jewish statehood (which the Democrats then had to match). From 1945 to 1948, the likely contenders for the Republican nomination, Sen. Robert Taft and Gov. Thomas Dewey, repeatedly urged creation of a Jewish state and criticized the Truman administration for waffling on the issue.

The mufti’s escape and the revelations about his World War II activity were part of the tumultuous series of events in 1946-48 that helped inflame American Jewish voters against the Truman administration and, by association, the Democratic Party. It contributed to the Republican landslide in the 1946 midterm congressional elections (including the election of the first Republican senator from New York in 30 years) and the shocking defeat of Truman’s candidate in a congressional election in New York City in early 1948.

Netanyahu Condemns PA ‘Confidence Destroying Measures’

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told visiting Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore on Sunday that Palestinian Authority incitement is a “confidence destroying measure,” at a time when the two sides are trying to revive direct negotiations.

Netanyahu was referring to the recent PA-run television broadcast in which the family of one of the perpetrators of the Itamar massacre glorified him as a “legend” and a “hero”. This incitement followed the recent invocation by the PA mufti in Jerusalem of a Muslim text calling for the killing of Jews.

“I think this is the wrong way to go. We demand a prompt condemnation; I hope you demand a condemnation because the only way to move to peace is to prepare our people for peace and not for brutal terror,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu also conveyed a similar message in a meeting later with visiting Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.

The Sound Of Silence

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Given its context, the recent declaration of the mufti of Jerusalem that it is Muslim destiny to destroy the Jewish people cannot be dismissed as the primitive rant of a crackpot cleric.

Perhaps more disturbing than his actual diatribe is that Israel’s ostensible peace partner, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, has yet to be heard from. Nor has there been any discernible reaction from those – including the Obama administration and the Middle East Quartet – who constantly call for Israel to do more to get negotiations moving again.

A little over two weeks ago, the mufti, who is officially the principal Palestinian Authority religious leader, citing a traditional religious text attributed to the Prophet Muhammad , said at an event celebrating the 47th anniversary of the founding of Mr. Abbas’s Fatah movement:

The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: “Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

The mufti was introduced by a moderator who said, “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs [i.e., Jews] is a war of religion and faith. Long live Fatah.”

The mufti did not distance himself from the moderator’s remarks.

Consider the following: The speech was broadcast by PA TV, which is controlled by Mr. Abbas. In addition, the mufti works for Mr. Abbas. Yet, as mentioned, Mr. Abbas has been silent on the issue. This takes on added significance inasmuch as Mr. Abbas – fresh off his twin failures of getting Israel to make concessions and of birthing a Palestinian state at the UN – has been calling on his faithful to engage in a “peaceful” intafada.

And then there is the recent interview with the Independent from no less an authority than Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Addressing the overwhelming (75 percent) number of seats scored by Muslim parties in the Egyptian parliamentary elections, Mr. Haniyeh said:

The Palestinian cause is winning. With the Muslim Brotherhood part of the government [in Egyptl, they [the Egyptians] will not besiege Gaza. They will not arrest Palestinians. They will not give cover to Israel to launch a war…. Gaza was a main reason for the Arab Spring. It was people’s anger at the regimes that cooperated with Israel and did not recognize the government here…. Israel is disturbed by this. It knows the strategic environment is changing. Iran is an enemy. Relations are deteriorating with Turkey. With Egypt they are really cold. Israel is in a security situation they have never been in before. The Palestinians are winning more than anybody else due to what’s happening in the Arab countries. That will come out clearly in the future.

Mr. Haniyeh may not be correct across the board but he certainly mentions what have to be legitimate Israeli concerns in terms of negotiations with the Palestinians. Coupled with Mr. Abbas’s apparent willingness to let the Arab street drive the Palestinian relationship with Israel, one wonders why President Obama and the Quartet do not see the need to read the riot act to the Palestinians about anti-Israel incitement and what will be required to allow Israel to determine a reasonable approach to a peace agreement.

To be sure, there are those who will point to President Obama’s oft-expressed declarations that his commitment to the “security” of Israel is “unshakable.” Yet that formulation avoids the issue of Israel’s retaining its settlement population centers in the West Bank in any peace agreement – which was U.S. policy under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. It also presupposes that Israel will agree with the president on where its security interests lie. Recent developments concerning Iran should raise some alarm bells.

Indeed, most observers perceive a significant disagreement between the Obama administration and Israel over how to deal with the issue of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear- weapons capacity. Without getting too much into the particulars, suffice it to say that Israel, which views the matter as presenting an existential threat to its survival, is inclined toward a military solution while the U.S. is considerably less so. Thus, the two countries are at odds over the effectiveness of economic sanctions and even how severe those sanctions should be.

But there is also deep division on the military aspect itself. The U.S. seems reluctant at this point to consider military action because of possible Iranian retaliation against U.S. targets in the area. Yet when Iran threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz and choke world oil supplies, the U.S. declared a “red line” which if crossed would trigger a massive American military response. And the U.S. then massed perhaps the planet’s most lethal military force in the area. It could not have been lost on Israel that the Iranian response to any attack would be the same no matter what precipitated it.

UPDATE: Israel Attorney-General to Investigate Jerusalem Mufti for Incitement

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein has ordered an investigation of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, for comments he made glorifying the killing of Jews as a religious edict for Muslims at a Fatah event recently

PM Netanyahu Condemns Jerusalem Mufti’s Anti-Semitic Speech

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu inveighed against the comments made by Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein that glorified the killing of Jews.

“These are heinous words that the world needs to condemn,” Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting. He called on Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to investigate the PA religious leader for incitement after quoting an Islamic text attributed to Muhammad that calls for the killing of Jews.

In response, Hussein denied inciting the killing of Jews, saying he was merely quoting the Islamic text. “I can’t change the Hadith,” he retorted.

Energy minister and Yisrael Beiteinu MK Uzi Landau, reminded the cabinet that “this is not coming from Hamas, which we are used to – this is coming from Palestinian Authority television.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pm-netanyahu-condemns-jerusalem-muftis-anti-semitic-speech/2012/01/22/

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