23 January '12..
For some in the West, including many left-wing Jews, the prime obstacle to peace remains an obdurate Israeli government whose hard-line policies need to change. This is the conceit behind groups like J Street; the left-wing lobby that claims its services are needed to save Israel from itself. Unfortunately for the group and its cheering section in the press, all that is needed to debunk their argument is to pay even the slightest attention to what the Palestinians–the intended object of the left-wingers’ solicitude–are doing and saying.
Their principal religious leader, Mufti Muhammad Hussein, provided the latest example of mainstream Palestinian opinion. Earlier this month, Hussein told a gathering commemorating the founding of the “moderate” Fatah Party the slaughter of the Jews remains their religious duty. The speech, broadcast on official Palestinian television on Jan. 9, is a classic anti-Semitic incitement to hatred and a violation of the peace accords the Palestinian Authority has signed. The fact that it is has largely gone unreported tells you all you need to know about the distorted vision of the Middle East by the mainstream media.
The program was, as Palestine Media Watch reports, introduced by a moderator who repeated a familiar theme in Muslim hate speech:
Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs is a war of religion and faith. Long Live Fatah!
The mufti’s reminder followed that to the faithful saying Islam’s goal is to kill Jews:
47 years ago the [Fatah] revolution started. Which revolution? The modern revolution of the Palestinian people’s history. In fact, Palestine in its entirety is a revolution, since [Caliph] Umar came [to conquer Jerusalem], and continuing today, and until the End of Days. The reliable Hadith (tradition attributed to Muhammad), in the two reliable collections, Bukhari and Muslim, says:
“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.’
Except the Gharqad tree [which will keep silent].”
Therefore it is no wonder that you see Gharqad [trees]
surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies.”
This is not the first time Mufti Hussein, who was appointed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, has spoken in this manner. He gave a similar sermon in Jerusalem in 2010 in which he preached that the Jews are “the enemies of Allah.” Israel has condemned this hate speech but there has been no disavowal by the Jewish state’s peace partners. Nor has the United Nations or the European Union, both of which have spoken of Jewish home building in Jerusalem as crimes, spoken out against it.
The point about this incident is how unremarkable it is for Palestinians to speak of killing Jews as a religious obligation. Anyone wondering how or why the PA could have rejected Israel’s offer of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and a share of Jerusalem three times between 2000 and 2008 need only read these words to know it is unthinkable for any Palestinian leader to sign an agreement that signifies their acceptance of the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. It is this sort of hate speech, and not Israeli settlements or insistence on security, that is holding up the peace process. Until statements such as those of Abbas’s mufti are regarded as outliers rather than mainstream opinion, the religious and political culture of Palestinian society will continue to make peace impossible.
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