Monday, December 29, 2003

MORE JEWISH-TEMPLE DENIAL (and other weird things) from the Palestinian Authority:

MEMRI has just published a report on sermons delivered in 2000-2003 by preachers who are paid employees of the Palestinian Authority. There's not a dull paragraph in it, but I'll limit my comments to a a couple of passages. The first was delivered on August 15, 2003, by Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris in the Sheikh 'Ijlin Mosque in Gaza. The sermon is on the attempt by an Australian Christian fundamentalist to burn down the Al Aqsa Mosque in 1969. The bold-font emphasis is mine.

They are planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is subject to acts of destruction, planned and organized in advance. Oh Muslims, Al-Aqsa is in real danger. Tunnels have been dug underneath Al-Aqsa on the pretext of uncovering the false Temple of Solomon. Oh Muslims, Al-Aqsa is subject to planned and organized acts of destruction. It is the people of Jerusalem and Palestine who protect the existence of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and we are not exaggerating. We bless you, we bless everyone whose blood flows upon this good and pure land. If a prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque is worth 1,000 prayers at another mosque, then know that a Shahid [who falls] on this land is considered more than one Shahid someplace else. Yes, there are traditions that a Shahid here [in Jerusalem] is worth 70 Shahids in a place other than this good land� Every wounded person on this land is comparable to hundreds of wounded [elsewhere]�

"The false Temple of Solomon." Once again, just a few months ago, a religious leader paid by the Palestinian Authority has repeated to his hearers the lie that the Temple of Solomon never existed. How can the PA expect to be taken seriously in its negotiations when it supports outrageous falsehoods like this?

Incidentally, the word shahid is explained earlier in the report.

Here's a passage from a sermon delivered on September 21, 2001, by Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi in the same mosque. Again, the bold-font emphasis is mine.

"Oh beloved of Allah, who are the Jews? Regarding their belief about Allah: The Jews have said that the hand of Allah is fettered in chains; [but] it is their hand that is fettered in chains, and they are cursed for their words� According to the Jews' belief, as it is written in some of their holy books, such as the Talmud, Allah divides his time into three parts. One third of the time he weeps. Why? Because his [chosen] people are dispersed in all directions. Another third he spends playing with the whales, and the final third he spends doing nothing in particular. This is their perverted belief about Allah�

"Oh beloved of Allah� One of the Jews' evil deeds is what has come to be called 'the Holocaust,' that is, the slaughter of the Jews by Nazism. However, revisionist [historians] have proven that this crime, carried out against some of the Jews, was planned by the Jews' leaders, and was part of their policy� These are the Jews against whom we fight, oh beloved of Allah.

"On the other hand, [what is our belief] about the Jews? Allah has described them as donkeys who must carry the books of the Torah - but they have not carried them. Our belief, which is true, about the Jews is that Allah is angry at them. They are cursed with the curse of Allah in this world and in the hereafter. Therefore, we say to them out of friendship: 'Oh Jews, come to your senses, return to the true faith; you must convert to Islam�'

"Our belief is that this war, between us and the Jews, will continue to escalate until we vanquish the Jews and enter Jerusalem as conquerors, [and] enter Jaffa as conquerors. We are not merely expecting a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital; we are heralding [the creation of] an Islamic caliphate with Jerusalem as its capital�

Somehow I have the impression that Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi hasn't done much reading of the actual Talmud. Note also the Holocaust revisionism.

The MEMRI report is long but it has lots more interesting material. If you're in a hurry, skim through it using the search term "Jews." That will give you the general idea.

By the way, I have seen criticisms of MEMRI for their selectiveness of content, and ad hominem criticisms of its staff, but everyone seems to agree that they translate their sources accurately. See, for example, Brian Whitaker's 2002 Guardian article "Selective Memri" and Yigal Carmon's response "Media organisation rebuts accusations of selective journalism," also published in the Guardian. See also the retraction and apology of a Counterpunch writer who accused MEMRI of mistranslating their sources. I really don't see how putting the above quotes into a larger context could change their import.

As I've said before, I am not advocating a particular solution to the Israel-Palestine dilemma. That would be another discussion. Rather, I am pointing out that the PA needs to deal with history honestly if it wants to be taken seriously.

UPDATE: More here.

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