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Incitement watch: Saudi cleric’s Blood Libel and PA honours terrorists while forbidding Jews from praying at holy site

Aug 17, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Incitement watch: Saudi cleric's Blood Libel and PA honours terrorists while forbidding Jews from praying at holy site
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The Times of Israel reported an official statement from the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday accusing Israel of “incitement”. The source of the alleged incitement was a call from opposition MK Aryeh Eldad, from the hard-line National Union party, demanding that Jews be permitted to pray on the Temple Mount/al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday condemned Israeli calls to allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, saying that Israeli incitement against the Al-Aqsa Mosque could lead to “a disaster.”

In its weekly meeting, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s government condemned what it said were “the continuous Israeli schemes against the Al-Aqsa mosque” which it claimed included Israeli digging underneath the mosque; daily incursions “by the army and the settlers”; calls to destroy the mosque or allow Jews to pray in it; and Israel’s prevention of Muslims from praying in the mosque during certain times of day. [emphasis added]

In an ironic twist, this statement was reported on the same day as reports emerged of a new mausoleum that the PA is building to honour the eight terrorists responsible for an attack on an Israeli hotel in 1975, which resulted in the deaths of eight civilian hostages and three Israeli soldiers.

The Ramallah municipality approved the construction of a mausoleum to honor the Palestinian terrorists who killed 11 Israelis in the 1975 attack on Tel Aviv’s Savoy Hotel.

The vote was reported last week by the PA daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and translated into English by Palestinian Media Watch.

The eight terrorists, members of the Palestine Liberation Organization, traveled by boat from Lebanon to Tel Aviv, where they took over the Savoy Hotel. Seven of the terrorists were killed during an Israeli rescue attempt, during which eight hostages and three soldiers were killed.

If demanding that Jews be permitted to pray on the holiest site in the Jewish religion is “incitement”, what then to make of honouring men who stormed a hotel and murdered the people inside?

That said, these PA decisions are benign in comparison to a lot of the material that regularly airs in the mainstream Arab media. The most recent example to gain attention was a television appearance by Dr Salman al-Ouda, a promi­nent Saudi scholar and the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the Inter­na­tional Union of Mus­lim Schol­ars.

Ouda was being interviewed on a weekly show called Milad, which, according to the ADL, airs on Qatar Tele­vi­sion, Libya Tele­vi­sion, and Saudi chan­nels includ­ing 4Shabab, Rotana and Al-Risala, among oth­ers.

Translated by MEMRI, the interview (video below) is practically a reverse-chronological history of antisemitic tropes since the Middle Ages.

He begins with the most recent development in antisemitic thought: downplaying the horror of the Holocaust while simultaneously accusing “the Jews” of conducting “a Holocaust” against the Palestinians.

The problem lies, first of all, in the exaggeration of the Holocaust. It has been turned into a myth of tremendous proportions. …

The … most important point is that the Holocaust has become a source for extortion. Through this Holocaust, the Jews began to extort many government worldwide – in Europe and in the US. The Jews even began to perpetrate the same thing themselves against the Palestinian people, carrying out a Holocaust in Gaza and the occupied land.

Next, he employes the antisemitism of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, accusing Jews of being a murderous and treacherous race that orchestrates the disasters that befall other peoples.

The role of the Jews is to wreak destruction, to wage war, and to practice deception and extortion. …

For thousands of years, the Jews were subject to persecution, deportation, killings, and accusations. Maybe much of this stemmed from their moral values, their treacherous nature, their schemes, and the ploys, which made other nations be wary of them.

The Jews believe that they have the right to kill anyone who does not adhere to their religion. This is written in the Talmud and some of their holy books.

And finally, he mentions the ‘Blood Libel’ from the Middle Ages — that Jews kill Christian babies and use the blood for Passover Matza.

It is well-known that the Jews celebrate several holidays, one of which is the Passover, or the Matzos Holiday. I read once about a doctor who was working in a laboratory. This doctor lived with a Jewish family. One day, they said to him: “We want blood. Get us some human blood.” He was confused. He didn’t know what this was all about. Of course, he couldn’t betray his work ethics in such a way, but he began inquiring, and he found that they were making matzos with human blood.

Ouda is not a marginal figure, he is a highly influential Saudi preacher and he was speaking on a widely-syndicated Arabic TV program. The material that he was preaching is so hateful and unfounded that it sounds ludicrous to most Western ears, yet these beliefs are common enough in the Arab world to be given mainstream attention without much controversy.

Moreover, they are not so different from a lot of material that often appears in Australia.

While Australians are not as openly extremist, many watered down versions of the same tropes have a surprisingly prominent place in mainstream discourse.

As the recent David Pullbrook movie Last Dance demonstrates, it is unfortunately not uncommon to see comparisons between the Holocaust and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that downplay the horror of the former and draw a false equivalence with the latter. The same can be said for the constant accusations from some quarters of the “Zionist influence” over the government.

Failing to firmly denounce these ideas when they appear leads them to become internalised and begin to subtly influence the wider discourse. That is something that Australians should bear in mind during the current debate over the racial vilification legislation.

Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

(Via Andrew Bolt)

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