Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday ordered an investigation into the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, who called for the killing of Jews in a televised tirade last week.
The prime minister, who has asked Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to oversee the investigation, said at the weekly Cabinet meeting that the remarks made by the grand mufti, a representative of the Palestinian Authority, should be condemned by every nation in the world.
Netanyahu also spoke about the Iranian threat, saying, "The government of Israel has the right, duty and ability to prevent another extermination of the Jewish people or an attack on our country."
Marking the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, the 1942 meeting of senior Nazi officials convened to plan the "Final Solution,” Netanyahu said, “There is no shortage of evil dictators even today. The same desire to destroy the Jews still exists, and hasn't changed. What has changed is our ability to defend ourselves, and our determination to do so."
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Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein said that the fact that the mufti's remarks had been broadcast on Palestinian Authority television and posted on the official website of the Palestinian Authority was disturbing. "If that is not anti-Semitism, I don't know what is," he said.
Just before the Cabinet meeting, National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beitenu) said the mufti should stand trial and be thrown in jail. He described the Muslim leader as an "extremist imam who gets his inspiration from Nazi Germany."
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has instructed Israel's ambassadors around the world to condemn the anti-Semitic tirade. Lieberman encouraged the ambassadors to publicly denounce the mufti's remarks, and to approach the governments of their host countries on the issue.
For his part, the mufti told Israel Radio earlier Sunday that he had not in fact encouraged the murder of Jews, but rather had quoted Muslim holy text that makes such a call.
PA Mufti calls for the killing of Jews quoting Islamic Hadith from Palestinian Media Watch on Vimeo.
Last week, Palestinian Media Watch reported that the mufti had said that the murder of Jews was justified by Islamic text. The group said Hussein told television audiences that according to the Hadith, the record of the words and actions of the Prophet Muhammad, Islamic Resurrection would not come until Muslims fought the Jews.
Palestinian Media Watch provided video footage of Hussein's speech in which the mufti says: “Forty-seven years ago the 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 in 637 C.E.], and continuing today, and until the End of Days. The reliable Hadith, 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: ‘O 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."
In 2006, Hussein said suicide bombings were a "legitimate weapon" in the Palestinian struggle for independence.
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