The PA’s highest religious authority, Grand Mufti Muhammad Hussein, earlier this month assured PA TV viewers that the destruction of Israel, the “liberation” of Jerusalem and its “return to Islam,” are only a matter of time:
“The injustice will certainly pass and the occupation will pass… If we turn to the history of Palestine it has been occupied by many peoples, and many invaders have entered it, but in the end, the occupation left and the invaders left … Jerusalem will certainly be liberated and return to the embrace of Islam, noble and strong with its holy sites and its people, and the evil will pass, Almighty Allah willing.”
The Land of Israel was occupied by Arab invaders in the seventh century after a new force appeared on the stage of the history of the Middle East: the Islamic religion. The Ottoman Empire replaced the receding Arabs in Israel in 1516 and remained there until the British takeover in 1917. The British left in 1948 when the country was finally in the hands of its original owners – the Jews.
Not according to Grand Mufti Hussein, of course, whose perception of history begins 19 centuries after the Israelite conquest of the land.
According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), shortly after the PA Mufti promised Israel’s demise, official PA TV broadcast a filler between programs, stating that all Jewish immigration to what is today Israel was illegal and carried out according to a “colonialist Zionist plan.” Therefore, Israel’s existence will come to an end and its people will “return to where they came from” because “occupiers always leave in the end.”
Muhammad Ahmad Hussein has been the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem since July 2006, when he was appointed by Mahmoud Abbas, reportedly because, unlike his predecessor, he was expected to avoid controversy and self-aggrandizement.
In October 2006, three months after his appointment, Grand Mufti Hussein said in an interview that suicide bombing against Israelis was “legitimate, of course, as long as it plays a role in the resistance.”
On January 9, 2012, Hussein quoted the notorious anti-Semitic hadith (a saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad), “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: O Muslim, a servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the mufti’s words as “morally heinous” and compared his behavior to the former grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who had allied himself with Adolf Hitler. Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein instructed the police to launch a criminal investigation of the Mufti’s statement.
On May 8, 2013, the Grand Mufti was detained by Israeli authorities for questioning his connection to riots on the Temple Mount.
In an October 25, 2015 interview with Israel’s Channel 2, Hussein denied that the Temple Mount had ever housed any Jewish temple. The site, according to the Grand Mufti, was a mosque “3,000 years ago, and 30,000 years ago” and had been so “since the creation of the world.” Regarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Mufti said: “This is the Al-Aqsa Mosque that Adam, peace be upon him, or during his time, the angels built.”
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner was asked by Srugim in 2015 after Mahmoud Abbas was caught saying Israelis had murdered an Arab child who was seen alive and well on camera – why do Arabs lie? The good rabbi answered: “The lie is a weapon that Arabs use all the time. … They lie so much and repeat their lies, that they convince themselves that they are telling the truth.”