Since his appointment in 2006 as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein has expressed words of incitement from every possible platform. Last week he participated in a celebration marking the 47th anniversary of the Fatah movement's creation, at a sports stadium in Sur Baher on the outskirts of Jerusalem, which for this occasion was dubbed the Faisal al-Husseini fortress.
Other participants at the conference included the Palestinian-appointed "Governor" of Jerusalem, Adnan al-Husseini, and additional senior Palestinian Authority officials, as well as Palestinian and Israeli-Arab prisoners freed from Israeli jails. As was the case at other Fatah conferences, senior Palestinian officials voiced extreme calls to rescue Jerusalem and free all of "Palestine," including Haifa, Nazareth and Jaffa.
At the event, Grand Mufti Hussein sounded like a broken record and quoted – for the umpteenth time – the claim that “The hour of resurrection will not come until you fight the Jews.” Citing a hadith -- a saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad -- he went on, “The Jews will hide behind stones and trees. But the trees and the stones will call: O Muslim, O servant of God, there is a Jew hiding behind me so come and kill him." Only the mysterious Gharqad tree (the Nitraria) will keep quiet and shelter the Jews from certain death.
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Islamic extremists have claimed that Israeli settlers know their fate and therefore plant many of these trees on their "plundered land." As expected, the phrase calling Jews the sons of monkeys and pigs was also mentioned at the conference.
There is a phrase in Yiddish, "Hat er gesagt," meaning "He has said," or in other words, so he has said the same thing again. Indeed, the grand mufti once again quoted Islamic scripture, and if he is questioned by police for incitement, he might even transform into a present-day international Islamic hero. However, sermons at the Al-Aqsa Mosque have always reflected the longings and intentions of Palestinian terrorist leaders, who employ their belief system and Islamic tradition to inflame the masses. Like former Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein also praised soldiers' sacrifice and made a vow to God and to the mujahideen who follow his path.
The only problem with the grand mufti's slander is that it is actually expressing "the voice of his master" (Mahmoud Abbas) at a time when Israelis believe that Hamas has grown more moderate and the PLO has become Zionist.
The truth is Palestinians have internalized that the dream of Jerusalem as their capital has disappeared, that "one Jewish millionaire has succeeded in doing what the entire Arab world could not." Now Palestinians are placing their hopes on the Islamic "tsunami" swirling around the region and are returning to radicalized views.
What they are left with is the idea of liberating all of "Palestine" in the spirit of Islam while deceiving the international community. The method they use this time around would be mass protests in the form of a more sophisticated first intifada inspired by Tahrir Square, alongside unity with Hamas.
If the grand mufti's words are to be taken seriously, then Israel does not need to defend itself against the flood of illegal immigrants, the waves of terror, Palestinian family reunification or slaughter by Muslims. It should just plant more Gharqad trees.
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