01/25/12 The National Conference on Jewish Affairs joins Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres in condemning the public call to kill Jews made by the supreme religious leader of the Palestinian Authority.
The PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein urged Muslims to ensure Islam's destiny by fighting and killing Jews. He said that “Palestine [sic] in its entirety is a revolution,” that “continues today,” and then quoted from what he decreed is an authoritative statement of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, that while Jews “will hide behind stones or trees,” those objects will say to Muslims: “there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.” The Mufti stated that the trees invoked in the statement are like the modern day trees surrounding current Israeli towns and colonies. He explained that fighting and killing Jews will usher in the Muslim "Hour of Resurrection."
“When an Arab Palestinian leader calls upon his people to kill Jews in order to fulfill Islam’s religious destiny, all people of good will must stand up and denounce the incitement,” said Lori Lowenthal Marcus, NCJA executive committee chair.
NCJA calls on President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Leadership of the House and Senate and the Chairmen and Ranking Chairmen of the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committee to also condemn this explicit call to murder Jews.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israeli President Shimon Peres both called for a criminal investigation into the incident, which was initiated on January 24th. The British Foreign Officer for the Middle East Alistair Burt has joined them in condemning the Grand Mufti’s incitement.
The Mufti gave the speech on January 7, 2012, to supporters of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas who were celebrating the Fatah political movement's 47th anniversary. Abbas appointed Hussein as the Mufti in 2006. The speech was carried on official Palestinian Authority television, and was translated and aired by Palestinian Media Watch.
In response to charges that he was advocating a Jewish genocide, the Mufti and the PA Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud al-Habbash, claimed the Mufti was not engaging in current incitement, but merely repeating theological dictates. “But the Mufti’s invocation of these 'dictates' as the source of a Muslim religious duty to kill Jews is the dictionary definition of incitement,” said Marcus, "he clearly was talking about now, not the past, and not the future, by referring to the trees from the hadith as being the same as those surrounding current Israeli cities and villages," she added.
NCJA also exhorts the Secretary General of the United Nations as well as leaders of all human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to join in this condemnation. Organizations which profess to care deeply about the rights of people in Israel, such as the World Council of Churches, must not miss this opportunity to demonstrate their concern. All peace-loving and all pro-Israel groups must also make public statements strongly denouncing the Mufti's hateful and irresponsible statement.