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February 14, 2016 / 5 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘mufti’

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.”

Terrorism Without “Occupation”: Some Lessons From The Early Arab Pogroms

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

The Bash-Israel media and the Arab terrorist amen chorus have been repeating for so many years that Palestinian terrorism and barbarism are caused by Israeli “occupation” that few are still capable of examining that “theory” critically.

The simple fact is that Palestinian terrorism and atrocities against Jews began not only long before Israel “occupied” the West Bank and Gaza, but long before Israel was created. Examining those early waves of violence can shed enormous light on the Middle East conflict even today and help us understand its true nature.

There were waves of attacks against Jews in Palestine throughout the 1920’s – the Jewish population of Hebron was destroyed by Arab terrorists in 1929. Palestine at the time was part of the British Mandate. While a few hundred thousand Arabs lived in there in the 1930’s, it had never been an Arab Palestinian state, and in fact had not been under any form of Arab rule since the Dark Ages.

The worst anti-Jewish atrocities in Palestine were part of a wave of Arab pogroms lasting from 1936 to 1939 and dubbed the “Arab Revolt” by apologists for the terrorism. They were designed to stop immigration to the Land of Israel by Jewish refugees trying to flee a Europe that was coming under the growing shadow of Hitler. During the “Revolt,” between 415 and 463 Jews (depending on the source) were murdered by the Arab pogromists.

The pogroms were aimed at Jewish civilians and sometimes at British colonial forces. They escalated in September 1937, after the British Royal “Peel Commission” made its recommendations. That commission called for a tiny Jewish mini-state and a large Arab state, both to be carved out of Western Palestine. It also called for severe restrictions on further immigration to Palestine of Jewish refugees from Europe. But because it did not rule out Jewish sovereignty and Jewish immigration altogether, which were the minimal demands of the terrorists, the pogrom leaders ordered escalated violence.

At the time, Palestinian Arabs were led by an “Arab High Command” headed by the infamous Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini. The mufti served as chief clergyman in Jerusalem with British approval, even though he had fought against the British in World War I.

Al-Husseini later went on to become Hitler’s ally and point man, assisting Hitler in recruiting Muslims for the German side in World War II.

On May 10, 1941 the mufti broadcast a fatwa (religious ruling) calling for a holy war against the British. It claimed the British had profaned the Al-Aksa mosque and were out to destroy Islam (an allegation reinvented against Israel by more recent Palestinian leaders). In 1943 the mufti was sent to Yugoslavia, where he organized the 13th Waffen SS division, which not only was responsible for the murder of about 90 percent of Bosnia’s Jews but also destroyed numerous Serbian churches and villages.

In his memoirs, the mufti thanked Eichmann and praised him as “gallant and noble.”

Throughout this period the Jews did not “occupy” anything except their own personal property, exercising no sovereignty at all in the Land of Israel. The campaigns of Palestinian terrorism had nothing to do with occupation, because there was no Jewish occupation.

Apologists for the terrorists, like Hebrew University’s pro-Palestinian professor and propagandist Baruch Kimmerling, argue that the violence proves that a “Palestinian nationalism” was emerging in the late 1930’s. In fact, the term “Palestinian” referred at the time to Jews, not Arabs. Palestinian Arab leaders did not begin to demand the right to “self-determination” and statehood until after 1967. When the West Bank and Gaza were occupied by Egypt and Jordan, the Palestinian leadership had no complaints about any “alien occupation” and expressed no desire for self-determination.

Were there no voices of moderation and tolerance among Palestinian Arabs at the time? As a matter of fact, there were. And the story of what became of one of them can help us understand the entire Middle East conflict.

On May 4, a fascinating story related to that era was published for the first time by the dovish Israeli journalist (and filmmaker) Yehuda Litani in Yediot Aharonot, Israel’s leading daily. Litani is well known for

films sympathetic to the mundane problems of Palestinian Arabs.

Back when the mufti was beating

the war drums and organizing mass murders of Jews, it seems that an article was published by a young Palestinian Arab intellectual, Araf al-Asli, age 27, denouncing the mufti, the pogroms, and the violence.

The article appeared in both Hebrew and Arabic leaflets. Titled “The History of the Jews and the Arabs,” its theme was that Jews and Arabs had cooperated in the past, especially during the era of cultural flowering in Muslim Spain. That cooperation had helped make Spain the most advanced civilization of its age, surpassing the rest of Europe in science, literature, and architecture. Indeed, Muslim Spain was the most tolerant regime in all of medieval Europe.

Al-Asli went on to denounce Arab leaders trying to organize violent assaults against Jews and trying to recruit support among Palestinian Arabs for the untrustworthy dictators of the Arab states. He called for cooperation and solidarity with the Jews. He warned the Arabs that if they chose the path of armed conflict with the Jews, rejecting the outstretched hand of the Zionists, the Arabs would lose.

In the midst of the anti-Jewish pogroms, al-Asli was proposing an immediate ceasefire, followed by an alliance with the Zionists that would produce prosperity for Jews and Arabs.

Soon after publication of the essay, terrorists commanded by the mufti kidnapped the dissident, interrogated him, and eventually walled him up inside a cave on Mount Scopus. Meanwhile, al-Asli’s father, a civil servant in Jordan, managed to persuade the mufti to let his son out of the cave. Afraid of antagonizing the Jordanian regime, the mufti allowed the battered son out, but banished him to Lebanon. There al-Asli found work waiting tables and teaching Hebrew to students at the American University of Beirut.

The story was buried for many years until relatives of al-Asli told it to Litani and he published it. The incident shows clearly why so few voices of moderation have ever been heard among the Palestinian Arabs.

The mufti died in 1974, but the al-Husseini family has continued to play a central role in Palestinian terrorism and extremism.

For those who think Middle East terrorism is attributable to Jews “mistreating” and “occupying” Palestinians, nothing can better remove the blinders than studying the 1936-39 period in Palestine.

Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at Steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Terrorism Without “Occupation”: Some Lessons From The Early Arab Pogroms

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

The Bash-Israel media and the Arab terrorist amen chorus have been repeating for so many years that Palestinian terrorism and barbarism are caused by Israeli “occupation” that few are still capable of examining that “theory” critically.
 
The simple fact is that Palestinian terrorism and atrocities against Jews began not only long before Israel “occupied” the West Bank and Gaza, but long before Israel was created. Examining those early waves of violence can shed enormous light on the Middle East conflict even today and help us understand its true nature.

There were waves of attacks against Jews in Palestine throughout the 1920’s – the Jewish population of Hebron was destroyed by Arab terrorists in 1929. Palestine at the time was part of the British Mandate. While a few hundred thousand Arabs lived in there in the 1930’s, it had never been an Arab Palestinian state, and in fact had not been under any form of Arab rule since the Dark Ages.

The worst anti-Jewish atrocities in Palestine were part of a wave of Arab pogroms lasting from 1936 to 1939 and dubbed the “Arab Revolt” by apologists for the terrorism. They were designed to stop immigration to the Land of Israel by Jewish refugees trying to flee a Europe that was coming under the growing shadow of Hitler. During the “Revolt,” between 415 and 463 Jews (depending on the source) were murdered by the Arab pogromists.

The pogroms were aimed at Jewish civilians and sometimes at British colonial forces. They escalated in September 1937, after the British Royal “Peel Commission” made its recommendations. That commission called for a tiny Jewish mini-state and a large Arab state, both to be carved out of Western Palestine. It also called for severe restrictions on further immigration to Palestine of Jewish refugees from Europe. But because it did not rule out Jewish sovereignty and Jewish immigration altogether, which were the minimal demands of the terrorists, the pogrom leaders ordered escalated violence.

At the time, Palestinian Arabs were led by an “Arab High Command” headed by the infamous Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini. The mufti served as chief clergyman in Jerusalem with British approval, even though he had fought against the British in World War I.

Al-Husseini later went on to become Hitler’s ally and point man, assisting Hitler in recruiting Muslims for the German side in World War II.

On May 10, 1941 the mufti broadcast a fatwa (religious ruling) calling for a holy war against the British. It claimed the British had profaned the Al-Aksa mosque and were out to destroy Islam (an allegation reinvented against Israel by more recent Palestinian leaders). In 1943 the mufti was sent to Yugoslavia, where he organized the 13th Waffen SS division, which not only was responsible for the murder of about 90 percent of Bosnia’s Jews but also destroyed numerous Serbian churches and villages. In his memoirs, the mufti thanked Eichmann and praised him as “gallant and noble.”

Throughout this period the Jews did not “occupy” anything except their own personal property, exercising no sovereignty at all in the Land of Israel. The campaigns of Palestinian terrorism had nothing to do with occupation, because there was no Jewish occupation.

Apologists for the terrorists, like Hebrew University’s pro-Palestinian professor and propagandist Baruch Kimmerling, argue that the violence proves that a “Palestinian nationalism” was emerging in the late 1930’s. In fact, the term “Palestinian” referred at the time to Jews, not Arabs. Palestinian Arab leaders did not begin to demand the right to “self-determination” and statehood until after 1967. When the West Bank and Gaza were occupied by Egypt and Jordan, the Palestinian leadership had no complaints about any “alien occupation” and expressed no desire for self-determination.

Were there no voices of moderation and tolerance among Palestinian Arabs at the time? As a matter of fact, there were. And the story of what became of one of them can help us understand the entire Middle East conflict.

On May 4, a fascinating story related to that era was published for the first time by the dovish Israeli journalist (and filmmaker) Yehuda Litani in Yediot Aharonot, Israel’s leading daily. Litani is well known for

films sympathetic to the mundane problems of Palestinian Arabs.

Back when the mufti was beating the war drums and organizing mass murders of Jews, it seems that an article was published by a young Palestinian Arab intellectual, Araf al-Asli, age 27, denouncing the mufti, the pogroms, and the violence.

The article appeared in both Hebrew and Arabic leaflets. Titled “The History of the Jews and the Arabs,” its theme was that Jews and Arabs had cooperated in the past, especially during the era of cultural flowering in Muslim Spain. That cooperation had helped make Spain the most advanced civilization of its age, surpassing the rest of Europe in science, literature, and architecture. Indeed, Muslim Spain was the most tolerant regime in all of medieval Europe.

Al-Asli went on to denounce Arab leaders trying to organize violent assaults against Jews and trying to recruit support among Palestinian Arabs for the untrustworthy dictators of the Arab states. He called for cooperation and solidarity with the Jews. He warned the Arabs that if they chose the path of armed conflict with the Jews, rejecting the outstretched hand of the Zionists, the Arabs would lose.

In the midst of the anti-Jewish pogroms, al-Asli was proposing an immediate ceasefire, followed by an alliance with the Zionists that would produce prosperity for Jews and Arabs.

Soon after publication of the essay, terrorists commanded by the mufti kidnapped the dissident, interrogated him, and eventually walled him up inside a cave on Mount Scopus. Meanwhile, al-Asli’s father, a civil servant in Jordan, managed to persuade the mufti to let his son out of the cave. Afraid of antagonizing the Jordanian regime, the mufti allowed the battered son out, but banished him to Lebanon. There al-Asli found work waiting tables and teaching Hebrew to students at the American University of Beirut.

The story was buried for many years until relatives of al-Asli told it to Litani and he published it. The incident shows clearly why so few voices of moderation have ever been heard among the Palestinian Arabs.

The mufti died in 1974, but the al-Husseini family has continued to play a central role in Palestinian terrorism and extremism.

For those who think Middle East terrorism is attributable to Jews “mistreating” and “occupying” Palestinians, nothing can better remove the blinders than studying the 1936-39 period in Palestine.

Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at Steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/terrorism-without-occupation-some-lessons-from-the-early-arab-pogroms-3/2006/05/10/

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