Note: This report was sent to the Hebrew University to call attention to the ideology and hate speech expressed by the religious leader Al-Habbash, who will be speaking there next week.
Abbas' advisor, speaking at Hebrew U next week -
- Promotes Antisemitism: Jews represent "evil," "falsehood," "the devils" and "the satans"
- Israel is "Satan's project"
- Preaches that Islam prohibits recognizing Israel:
- "According to Islamic Shari'ah law, the entire land of Palestine is Waqf" (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment)... it is prohibited to sell, bestow ownership or facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter of it."
- Glorifies terrorists: We show "our respect, honor, and appreciation for those who are more honorable than us, the Martyrs"
Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
The Hebrew University has invited Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the PA's Supreme Shari'ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, to debate Israeli MP Ofer Shelah from the Yesh Atid Party next week.
Palestinian Media Watch has reported at length on Al-Habbash and his messages to Palestinians. At the beginning of the current terror wave, Al-Habbash preached Antisemitism in a sermon broadcast on official PA TV, explaining that Jews represent "evil," "falsehood," "the devils" and "the satans" and that Israel is "Satan's project."
Al-Habbash has on several occasions presented all of Israel as the "land of Ribat" and a "Waqf" - meaning all of Israel is Islamic land and an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law. He also stressed that this means that Palestinians are prohibited under Islamic law from accepting Israel's existence in any borders, because they are prohibited from giving up Palestine - "even a millimeter of it."
Al-Habbash has also defended the terrorist murderers of the current terror wave, explaining that they are "more honorable than us," and glorified them as "Martyrs" - Shahids - the highest honor a Muslim can achieve. During a similar upsurge in terror attacks in 2014, Al-Habbash specifically stated that the PA leadership supported the terrorists.
Antisemitic hate speech by Abbas' advisor: Jews represent "evil," Israel is "the project of Satan"
According to Al-Habbash, Jews throughout history have represented "falsehood," "evil," "the devils," and "Satan," and therefore Israel is "Satan's project," whereas the Palestinians constitute "the good" and "Allah's project":
Mahmoud Al-Habbash: "The conflict here in Palestine between us and the criminal occupation and its criminal leaders, is a further manifestation of our trials, a further manifestation of the historic conflict between truth and falsehood, between good and evil. Throughout history, there has been a conflict between good and evil. The good is represented by the prophets and their supporters. The evil is represented by the devils and their supporters, by the satans and their supporters. We are not inventing anything new here. This is a conflict between two entities, good and evil, between two projects: Allah's project vs. Satan's project, a project connected to Allah, which is his will - true and good - and a project connected to oppression and Satanism, to Satanism and animosity, occupation and barbarism."
[Official PA TV, Oct. 23, 2015]
Denial of Israel's right to exist by Abbas' advisor: "According to Islamic Shari'ah law, the entire land of Palestine is Waqf" (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment)"
According to Al-Habbash, Palestinians must not recognize Israel in any borders simply because Islam prohibits it. He has explained that it is "prohibited to sell, bestow ownership or facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter" of "the entire land of Palestine" - which for Palestinians includes all of Israel:
"Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Supreme Shari'ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, said that selling or handing over lands and real estate in Jerusalem and all of Palestine to the Israeli occupation or settlers constitutes treason and a violation of Islamic law. He emphasized that anyone committing this crime - whether as a [real estate] agent or seller - is not part of the nation, and must be responsible for his crime. In addition, he issued a call to fight the groups of traitors - to isolate and boycott them in any way possible.
Al-Habbash emphasized that according to Islamic Shari'ah law, the entire land of Palestine is Waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) and is blessed land, and that it is prohibited to sell, bestow ownership or facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter of it."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 22, 2014]
For comparison, Article 11 of the Hamas Charter says exactly the same:
"The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up."
Al-Habbash has included the Western Wall, the holiest place in Judaism, as part of the "Islamic Waqf," and stated that it is "a property of the Muslims... an Islamic right... This property belongs to me and all Muslims." [Official PA TV, Oct. 28, 2015]
Glorification of terrorists by Abbas' advisor: We show "our respect, honor, and appreciation for those who are more honorable than us, the Martyrs"
Defending the incessant glorification of terrorists and murderers by PA leaders, as well as the terrorist crimes themselves, Al-Habbash has during the current terror wave proclaimed that: "We do not incite," and justified the praise for terrorists as showing "our respect, honor, and appreciation for those who are more honorable than us, the Martyrs":
"Some accuse us of incitement against others. What incitement? Are we inciting? ... If by incitement they are talking about our insistence on holding on to our principles, and our respect, honor, and appreciation for those more honorable than us, the Martyrs who fall for Palestine - if that is what they call incitement - we do not deny this, and are not ashamed of it, and we do not renounce it. Indeed - we cling to our right, our land, our holy sites, our Jerusalem and our Al-Aqsa Mosque... We adhere to our right to defend ourselves."
[Official PA TV, Dec. 11, 2015]
"First of all, allow me to say that we kiss every forehead, every hand and even every foot that carries out Ribat (religious conflict/ war over land claimed to be Islamic) at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in Jerusalem... I am not talking about strengthening their resolve; I am talking about participating in their resolve... We are behind them. The leadership is with them. A few days ago, President [Mahmoud Abbas] greeted them, reinforced them and requested more Ribat from them. This statement may have angered the Israelis and the occupation, that the President is inciting the Palestinians from Jerusalem to [perform] Ribat. Yes, we are inciting the people in Jerusalem to [perform] Ribat. Ribat means to protect and to hold on to your ground. We are with them in every movement, in every action and every deed, and we welcome what they are doing at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque."
[Official PA TV, Nov. 5, 2014]
Al-Habbash's referral to dead terrorists as "Martyrs" - Shahids - is crucial, and another sign of the high esteem in which Palestinians hold anyone who died while attacking, injuring, and murdering Israelis. When he served as PA Minister of Religious Affairs, Al-Habbash explained in a sermon broadcast on official PA TV the value of Shahada - Martyrdom-death for Allah:
"After prophecy and righteousness there is no status Allah has exalted more than Shahada (Martyrdom)... ''And think not of those who have been killed in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they are alive (and) are provided sustenance from their Lord.'
Allah forbade us to consider them [the Shahids (Martyrs)] (as dead or to speak of them as being dead... They went smiling to their deaths... The Shahid has merit with Allah, a merit that no one else has... No one - not even the righteous - yearns to return to this world after death. Only Shahids. Why? Because they see the great honor Allah has prepared for them. One of them aspired to return to this world in order to be killed again, in order to die as a Shahid yet again... Allah spoke with one of them (a Shahid), Jabir ibn Abdullah... After all he saw in Paradise, he wanted to return and be killed [again] in order to taste the pain of death a second time. Abdullah said to Him:
'Lord, then tell those who follow us about what we have found.'
Allah Himself is conveying to us the message from the Shahids. The prophets convey Allah's message and Allah conveys the message of the Shahids. What kindness!
'The Shahid - his sins are forgiven with the first gush of his blood from his wound...
The Shahid advocates on behalf of 70 members of his family, and saves them all from hell. The Shahid lives together with the prophets and the righteous ones.'
When they threatened Yasser Arafat, [he said] 'You threaten me with death?
I yearn to die! I come only to it; I seek only it.'
We will never reach the level of the prophets. We won't. So let us reach the level of the Shahids. I say to you, brothers, as the Prophet [Muhammad] said: 'He who honestly seeks Shahada, Allah will give him the status of the Shahids, even if he dies in his bed.'"
[Official PA TV, Nov. 8, 2013]
In 2014, when Al-Habbash was invited to speak at Ben Gurion University about "religious tolerance," PMW reported on his promotion of religious war.
The following is a longer excerpt of Al-Habbash's defense of glorification of terrorists:
Official PA TV, Friday sermon by Supreme Shari'ah Judge and Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash at the Muqata'a mosque in Ramallah
Al-Habbash talks about the accusations of incitement against the Palestinians and says that the Palestinian culture, religion, and values prevent them from spreading hate and attacking, and that they will continue to honor 'Martyrs.'
"The whole world... everyone knows the truth, knows that we are a people subject to aggression, oppression and persecution, whose rights have been denied, and land taken, and has been denied a dignified humane life. And yet - only a few speak the truth and take a just stand. Some accuse us of incitement against others. What incitement? Are we inciting? Originally, our culture, religion, and values prevent us from spreading the culture of hate, and prevent us from attacking others - neither with actions, nor with words. Our religion and our Quran tell us: 'Do not attack... Allah does not love aggressors.' If by 'incitement' they are talking about our insistence on holding on to our principles, and our respect, honor, and appreciation for those who are more honorable than us, the Martyrs (Shahids) who fall for Palestine - if that is what they call incitement - we do not deny these standpoints, and are not ashamed of them, and we do not renounce or retreat from them. Indeed - we cling to our right, our land our holy [sites], our Jerusalem and our Al-Aqsa Mosque... we adhere to our right to defend ourselves and thrust off the oppression from our people... and we continue to honor our Martyrs and to respect them and to raise them above our heads."
[emphasis added, Official PA TV, Dec. 11, 2015]