Tag Archives: antisemitism

Zahra Billoo’s “pro-Palestinian” antisemitism

You don’t have to be a scholar specializing in the study of antisemitism to realize that the idea that Jews enjoy doing evil is a fundamentally antisemitic notion. But like too many others, Zahra Billoo seems to think that as long as she substitutes “Zionists” or “Israel” for Jews, it’s terribly unfair – and indeed downright “racist” and “Islamophobic” – when she gets criticized for her openly displayed bigotry.

Billoo, who is the Executive Director of the San Francisco branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was obviously infuriated when the Women’s March swiftly rescinded her recent appointment to its board soon after her long record of social media posts that demonize Israel in clearly antisemitic terms caused an outcry. 

Billoo seems to have embraced extremist views for more than a decade. In 2007, she proudly linked to an article quoting her “lil’ brother” Ahmed Billoo, who told The Jewish Journal that “the righteousness of suicide bombers needs to be evaluated on a ‘case-by-case basis.’” In an attempt to support his reluctance to condemn suicide bombings, Ahmed Billoo explained that he believed they were “something that Islam justifies,” adding that it was “very rare that I meet someone who says suicide bombings in Palestine are not justified.” 

Then as now, Zahra Billoo had little reason to be proud of her brother, though she only recently declared once again: “My brother @AhmedIbnAslam makes me proud often.” Ahmed Billoo is now a cleric, and just in the week before his sister praised him again, he led a trip to Jerusalem for his employer, the “Institute of Knowledge” in California. While waiting for his return flight at Ben Gurion Airport, Billoo reportedly posted a no longer publicly accessible — but archived — Facebook update announcing that he was “feeling annoyed.” He added an invocation in Arabic that reads in translation: “Oh God, reduce their numbers, exterminate them, and don’t leave a single one alive.” The hashtag “Zionists” in English clarified whom Ahmed Billoo wanted exterminated.

But it is Zahra Billoo’s own openly displayed obsession with the world’s only Jewish state that leaves little doubt about her passionate hatred and unrestrained bigotry. While many people apparently assume that the intensity of her resentments might be explained by a Palestinian family background, Billoo’s parents immigrated to the US from Pakistan. In view of the fact that Billoo has precious little to say about Pakistan’s truly atrocious human rights record it seems justified to conclude that her hatred for Israel cannot be explained by a principled concern for human rights. 

However, Billoo is a longtime close friend of the prominent Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, who now rushed to her defense, insisting that “Zahra is more than a few tweets,” hailing her as “a long time champion of human rights and a steadfast ally and supporter of the Palestinian people.” 

But it is deeply dishonest to pretend that this is about “a few tweets.” Anyone who tries to pick some examples to illustrate Billoo’s bigotry faces an embarrassment of riches. Billoo has repeatedly equated Israelis with Nazis and shown a measure of sympathy for Hamas, declaring that “Blaming Hamas for firing rockets at [Apartheid] Israel is like blaming a woman for punching her rapist.” She has also opined that “the Israeli Defense Forces, or the IDF, are no better than ISIS. They are both genocidal terrorist organizations.” In another attempt to convey her sense of Israel’s infinite and cynical evil, she tweeted: “‘Welcome to Israel. Where chanting “Death to Arabs” is democracy, running over children is equality, and firing on funerals is peace.’”

Then there is a whole series of tweets, posted between May 2011 and January 2015, that reflect the deeply antisemitic idea that Jews enjoy perpetrating evils that the rest of humanity abhors. In May 2011, Billoo declared: “Israel commits war crimes as a hobby.” A year later, she tweeted: “Apartheid Israel kills children as a hobby” and “Apartheid Israel violates international human rights laws as a hobby.” In 2013, Billoo once again returned to this theme, asserting “Apartheid Israel commits war crimes as a hobby, funded by US tax dollars,” which she also repeated in 2015:  “#Israel commits war crimes as a hobby.”

Demonstrating that she has not changed her views, Billoo posted a thread at the end of September, denouncing Israel once again as “an apartheid, racist, terrorist state” that “commits war crimes as a hobby;” she also asserted that “American Muslims who work with Zionist institutions” should be held “accountable for their complicity in state terror” and insisted that there was no difference between joining the notorious Islamist terror group Daesh/ISIS and joining the Israeli army. Billoo further opined: “If we’re going to counter violent extremism, let’s start with those who support Apartheid Israel.” By beginning her thread with a quote from Islamic texts, Billoo indicated that she considers it her “religious obligation” to speak out against the “evil” that is the world’s only Jewish state, and she expressed the hope that this intolerable evil would eventually be eliminated: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will InshaAllah be free.”

The Nazis aptly summarized their Jew-hatred with the slogan “The Jews are our misfortune;” Zahra Billoo’s Jew-hatred could be summed up with the slogan “The Jewish state is our misfortune.” Moreover, her statement that “Apartheid Israel kills children as a hobby” unmistakably echoes the blood libel, and it is not the only time Billoo alluded to this enduring favorite of Jew-haters. In May, she linked to an article reporting about the opening of branches of the Israeli-founded restaurant chain Burgerim in the San Francisco area and commented: “When they say they sell halal meat, I can’t help but wonder, when [what] does it mean to drain the animal’s blood if your company’s identity is drenched in Palestinian blood?” 

Several of the Twitter users who responded to Billoo’s tweet noted that she invoked the blood libel; one retorted acerbically: “I love my burgers dripping in blood and I also make my Passover Matzoh with the blood of children. It’s delicious and also Halal.”

Given that Billoo has almost 34 000 Twitter followers, she may not have seen the responses, and she may also not have seen a blog post that highlighted her updated blood libel. But it is also unlikely that she would have cared much if she had noticed the criticism. Like her good friend Linda Sarsour, Zahra Billoo despises anyone who dares to notice contemporary manifestations of antisemitism propagated by the left. That includes the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), to which Billoo devoted a Facebook post and an almost identical Twitter thread last year in order to educate her followers about the ADL’s supposedly vicious record and odious history. 

If you consider an organization that has been fighting antisemitism and other forms of bigotry for more than a century as an unmitigated evil that must be denounced and shunned, you shouldn’t be surprised when lots of people doubt that you’re just out to criticize Israeli policies.

In this context it’s particularly depressing that Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib decided to issue a full-throated declaration of solidarity with Billoo. Tlaib linked to a thread in which Billoo attributed her ousting from the Women’s March board to “an Islamophobic smear campaign led by the usual antagonists,” which she identified as mainly “right-wingers, from the President’s son to the Anti-Defamation League and troll armies.” It seems fair to assume that Tlaib intended to endorse Billoo’s take when she wrote: “They won’t silence us for speaking out against human rights violations. They will lie, smear our names and call us anti this and that, but we always be pro- humanity & we have the truth on our side.”

Well, if you think it is “pro-humanity” to endorse the kind of blatant antisemitism Zahra Billoo propagates, you probably agree with all the Jew-haters who have thought for centuries that Jews are not quite human.

I can easily imagine that neither Rashida Tlaib nor Linda Sarsour nor Zahra Billoo would think I have any standing to define what’s “pro-Palestinian,” but if they insist that it’s “pro-Palestinian” to update age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes by substituting “Israel” or “Zionists” for “Jews”, their Palestinian cause can only attract vile bigots. 

***

First published at my TOI blog.

Omar Suleiman and the vile propaganda and incitement from American Muslims for Palestine

Almost two years ago, I noticed the group “American Muslims for Palestine” (AMP) thanks to their ardent support for convicted Palestinian terrorist and US immigration fraudster Rasmea Odeh. I didn’t cross-post the piece I wrote back then, but will do so now (see below) because the group has once again come to my attention, this time due to the support it has been getting from Omar Suleiman, a prominent American-Palestinian imam about whom I’ve written before (here and here and here).

Suleiman has recently been again in the news after he was invited to give a prayer in Congress; soon afterwards, the information I documented about his intense hatred for Israel was apparently unearthed and led to a controversy. Needless to say, Suleiman rejected the criticism as unfair and even claimed to fiercely oppose antisemitism. 

I plan to explain why I don’t think Suleiman’s claims and perfunctory expressions of vague remorse are all that trustworthy. While I have a hopefully soon to be published op-ed pending (now available here), I have much more material than I could present in the op-ed; therefore, I will also post some updates like this one, which focuses on Suleiman’s recent collaboration with AMP. 

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) profiled AMP in a report that includes activities up to 2014/15 and describes the group as “the leading organization providing anti-Zionist training and education to students and Muslim community organizations in the country. Founded in 2005, AMP promotes extreme anti-Israel views and has at times provided a platform for anti-Semitism under the guise of educating Americans about ‘the just cause of Palestine and the rights of self-determination.’” 

The ADL report also notes that “AMP has its organizational roots in the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), an anti-Semitic group that served as the main propaganda arm for Hamas in the United States until it was dissolved in 2004. Since its creation in 2005, AMP continues to work closely with some former IAP leaders who currently hold positions as AMP board members.”

Yet I found that in December 2017, Suleiman joined an AMP demonstration in front of the White House “in protest of Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.” This protest was held immediately after President Trump’s declaration that the US would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy there. Suleiman reacted to the announcement by posting an image of the Al-Aqsa mosque and tweeting: “Your embassy is as illegitimate as the occupation it seeks to legitimize.” #FreePalestine#Jerusalem

Later in December 2017, Suleiman wrote a fundraising appeal for AMP, describing the group as “a leader in the fight for justice in Palestine” and as “the only Muslim organization in the U.S. working exclusively on the issue of Palestinian rights.” Echoing his previous falsifications of history, Suleiman claimed that “Jerusalem historically has been a place of safety for people of all faiths,” and after emphasizing the special holiness of the city for Muslims, he asserted: “Palestine is a place from which many of us draw our history, and it is incumbent upon us to protect its sanctity and its native inhabitants who are being ethnically cleansed and their identity erased.”

Suleiman ended his appeal by admonishing his Muslim readers: “Resisting injustice and oppression is an integral part of our obligations toward God and humanity.”

[An archived copy of this text is here.] 

In late November of last year, Suleiman announced that he was on his way to attend an AMP convention. When you click on the attached image, you can see the poster advertising the AMP gathering.  The poster referred to Israel’s establishment in 1948 with the statement “70 YEARS LATER COMMITTED TO RETURN;” the demand was also presented visually by figures carrying Palestinian flags and walking towards a gate shaped in the outline of the area between the Jordan river and the sea, and leading to the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. AMP thus left no doubt that their conference advocated the elimination of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state from the river to the sea. 

A month later, Suleiman once again wrote a fundraising appeal for AMP, this time railing against “ridiculous and illegal” efforts to pass laws combating discriminatory BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns targeting Israel. The text was illustrated with a photo of Suleiman speaking at the AMP conference in November in front of the poster advertising the conference.

[Archived here]

This clearly shows that less than half a year before Suleiman was invited to lead Congress in a prayer, he was agitating for BDS in co-operation with a radical group that rejects Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. 

* * *

Here is what I wrote about AMP two years ago:

The vile propaganda and incitement from American Muslims for Palestine

Maybe I’m late, but I recently discovered “American Muslims for Palestine” (AMP) It’s not a particularly prominent organization: it was founded in 2006; its Twitter account has some 6,600 followers, while the Facebook page – which describes the outfit as a “Public & Government Service in Falls Church, Virginia” – has some 15K followers. I’d love to know which government is behind this “service”…

In any case, the main “service” offered at the time of this writing is a frantic effort on Twitter to promote the hashtag #HonorRasmea in support of convicted supermarket bomber and US immigration fraudster Rasmea Odeh. I have to confess that it strikes me as not terribly prudent when groups that surely oppose restrictions on Muslim immigration to the US cheer a convicted terrorist like Odeh – though I guess the Trump administration will only be too happy to have this kind of opponents.

Consider this tweet: “If more people were like her, we would live in a more just world #HonorRasmea and come to her farewell.” Yeah, if more people bombed supermarkets full of Jewish shoppers and then sneaked into the US by lying about their terrorist past, it would be really great, wouldn’t it.

Another “service” provided recently by AMP was a demonstration with “Friday prayers outside Israeli embassy;” the demonstrators were mobilized with the blatant lie “AQSA UNDER ATTACK” – with “Aqsa” referring to the entire Temple Mount.

Just how low AMP will go is nicely illustrated in a slideshow that is featured on the group’s website under the title “Jerusalem in the crosshairs.” 

We learn that it all started in December 1917, when the British marched into Jerusalem, “ending hundreds of years of Ottoman rule of Jerusalem, ushering in an era of colonization and dispossession. Despite Palestinians’ best efforts, the Judaization of Jerusalem has been ongoing since this period and exacerbated after the June 1967 war.” 

Right – who wouldn’t be sentimental about the good old days of “Ottoman rule of Jerusalem,” when the city became the ‘backwater of a dying empire’ – but at least non-Muslims “lived under numerous restrictions” and were “subject to special taxes” that had to be paid “both to the Turks and the local Moslem authorities.” Glorious!!!

And naturally, when such glorious times end and non-Muslims, especially Jews, are no longer treated as second- or third-class citizens, rampant “Judaization” sets in. Horrific!!!

The slides are full of distortions and outright lies, which are all too obviously meant to incite and justify Muslim rage and terrorism. 

The slide for June 7, 1967 is entitled: “Israeli forces occupy Al Aqsa;” the text mentions the raising of the Israeli flag on the Dome of the Rock – but not that the flag was quickly taken down; it also claims that Israeli soldiers “burned the Quran,” prevented worshippers from praying and confiscated the keys. Needless to say, there is no slide explaining that, in a concession that may have no precedent in history, Israel quickly handed control of Judaism’s holiest site back to the Muslim Wakf. 

The intentionally misleading use of “Al Aqsa” for all of the Temple Mount in many of the slides clearly serves to add fuel to the fires of religious passions; one example is the slide for January 28, 1976, which asserts: “Israeli Supreme Court rules that Jews have the right to pray in Al Aqsa.” The next slide claims that “Members of the extremist Temple Mount movement storm Al Aqsa and raise the Israeli flag with the Torah.” The accompanying image is taken from a 2015 Daily Mail article about renovations at the Dome of the Rock and shows the shrine with two regular Israeli flags (without Torah!!!) in the foreground, i.e. clearly not on the Temple Mount, let alone the Al Aqsa mosque. 

No less vile than the incitement propagated by AMP are the justifications offered for the murderous Al Aqsa intifada and the more recent “stabbing intifada.”

Since American Muslims for Palestine prominently emphasize that they want “to educate the American public and media about issues related to Palestine and its rich cultural and historical heritage,” it’s a pity that the historic Palestinian leader who clearly inspires their efforts gets no mention in the slideshow. But at least Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas knows how to honor this important Palestinian hero: he has repeatedly paid homage to Haj Amin al-Husseini (a.k.a. “Hitler’s Mufti”), praising him for having “sponsored the struggle from the beginning.”

The trouble with “white Jews”

Okay, I’ll admit that I’m late to the party, but I’ve only recently discovered that in the US, it has become really fashionable to designate Jews as “white” and to castigate them for enjoying “white privilege” or even accuse them of “upholding white supremacy.” While I got immediately furious for reasons I’ll explain, it seems that if you are an American Jew who wants to be counted as broadly sympathetic to progressive causes, you better uncritically embrace your “whiteness” and ruefully ponder the attending privilege and the ways in which you might contribute to white supremacy.

Obviously enough, this discourse developed in the very specific context of American debates about race and inequality, and it reflects supposedly progressive ideas about intersectionality and identity politics according to which being “white” is something deeply shameful akin to the worst sins condemned by religions. As Andrew Sullivan recently put it in an interesting column on “America’s New Religions,” “the young adherents of the Great Awokening exhibit the zeal of the Great Awakening.”

So questioning woke dogma and rituals will inevitably incur the wrath of the faithful – which hasn’t deterred me from voicing my objections to the in my view rather pernicious designation of Jews as “white.” Obviously enough, “white” isn’t just meant to describe the tone of one’s skin, but it is also meant to identify an individual as part of a racist and exploitative system that keeps all POC (people of color) down.

It is of course true that in 21st century America, most Jews live relatively comfortable lives and face little discrimination, which is reflected in a Pew survey from 2013 that describes American Jews as “a comparatively well-educated, high-income group.” But it wasn’t all that long ago that American Jews were not “white” enough to dare speaking out forcefully for taking in those “white” European Jews trying to flee very white murderous Nazis intent on achieving their “final solution” to the “Jewish problem.” Yet at very same time that American Jews felt too powerless to campaign to help desperate European Jews, polls showed “that many Americans believed that Jews were too powerful in the United States.”

The idea that Jews are too powerful, and therefore a threat that has to be fought, is of course an old antisemitic canard – and it is precisely because fantasies about Jewish power have cost so many Jewish lives over the centuries that it is preposterous to suddenly designate Jews as “white,” thus magically transforming them into accomplices and beneficiaries of power structures that, until quite recently, cast Jews as despised and dangerous outsiders. Designating Jews as “white” also seems to suggest that as soon as there is a generation of Jews lucky enough not to share the experience of endless discrimination and persecution of previous generations, Jews are expected to feel guilty and share the blame for whatever discrimination and racism other groups continue to suffer. At the same time, the vigorous Jewish support for the Civil Rights movement and liberal/progressive politics can apparently be ignored.

Another obvious problem with designating Jews as “white” is the fact that those really obsessed with “whiteness” violently disagree – as sadly demonstrated again just some two months ago, when a white supremacist killed 11 people and wounded several others at a Pittsburgh synagogue. That’s why the African-American activist and researcher Eric Ward was right to argue that “the truth is that Jews are not ‘whites’ in the United States. If they were, they would not receive death threats, their houses of worship would not be targeted, their burial sites would not be desecrated.”

Ward also pointed out that the left’s insistence on designating Jews as “white” leads to a downgrading of antisemitism as a comparatively minor form of racism that after all targets a supposedly privileged group. Yet, Ward concluded that Jews have only “temporary access” to “white privilege,” and he as well as others have noted that it is often conditional on concealing their Jewishness.

One good example of how happy Jew-haters are to seize on this debate was provided by an incident at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in March 2017, when fliers were distributed on campus announcing in big bold letters: “Ending White Privilege Starts With Ending Jewish Privilege.” white jewish privilege

The validity of the claim that Jews enjoy “white privilege” is also undermined by the fact that according to FBI data on hate crimes, Jews have been for decades the most frequently targeted group per capita; e.g. in 2017, “Jews accounted for 60% of hate crimes motivated by religion of target, despite being just 2% of population.” Figures for 2018 indicate that nothing has changed for the better.

So whenever I get involved in one of those endless Twitter debates about the question if American Jews are really “white” or just “white passing” and how much “white privilege” they enjoy and whether they can be both upholding “white supremacy” and be targeted by it, I think to myself that Eric Ward was definitely right when he expressed impatience with “contemporary movement versions of identity politics … that are navel gazing and focused on picking the lint from our own bellybuttons.” It seems to me that the current obsession with intersectionality and identity politics results all too often in a toxic divisiveness that contributes nothing to building a better society.

Yet another problematic aspect of the counter-productive debate about the “whiteness” of American Jews is that it gets inevitably applied to Israeli Jews. So it’s a fairly good bet to expect people who like to hold forth about “white” American Jews to move effortlessly to denouncing Israel as an evil colonial enterprise led by Nazis who insist on “Jewish supremacy.” The staunchly left-wing Israeli historian and writer Gershom Gorenberg captured it very well when he commented on Twitter: “When it’s good to be white, we’re not. When … it’s bad to be white, we are. When it’s good to be European, we’re Levantines. When Europeans are colonialists, we’re colonialists. When they hate immigration, we brought immigrants. When they hate capitalists, we’re capitalists.”

Arab-Muslim fantasies about Israeli cowardice

I recently scrolled through the tweets of the popular Palestinian caricaturist Mohammed Saba`aneh, who makes his living by producing images that depict Israel and its military as brutal and bloodthirsty monsters.

Pal caricaturist Sabaaneh2Pal caricaturist Sabaaneh3Pal caricaturist Sabaaneh4

But given that Saba`aneh earns his money with images designed to show what monstrously cruel enemy the Palestinian face, I was astonished to see that he re-tweeted an obviously fake clip trying to ridicule Israeli soldiers as pathetic cowards, easily scared by a youngster with a giant Palestinian flag.

Pal caricaturist Sabaaneh1

The clip is obviously a particularly shoddy Pallywood production; its creators didn’t even try to dress up the actors posing as Israeli soldiers in anything resembling IDF uniforms and gear.

 

Yet this shoddy fabrication got more than 20.000 views; the original tweet garnered almost a thousand retweets and some 2000 “Likes”, and the responses included lots of “hahahah” and related emoji.

However, one response was somewhat incongruous – because if the Israelis are such cowards, how do they manage to be so powerful that it’s up to them to “allow” Trump “to be President for the TV” if he meets a list of “Zionist” demands???

Pakistani patriot antisemitism

It turns out that Zaid Zaman Hamid who posted the fake clip is apparently a rather popular Pakistani political commentator whose verified Twitter account has more than 180.000 followers – and rather unsurprisingly, he’s fond of conspiracy theories, including blaming Israel’s Mossad along with the CIA and India’s foreign intelligence agency for destabilizing Pakistan.

So again, this self-declared Pakistani “National Security Analyst” seems to believe that the Israelis are pathetic cowards but still manage to project their power far beyond Israel’s borders…

That’s what makes antisemtism so unique: its practitioners manage to believe both that Jews are despicably weak and cowardly, and at the same time so powerful that they can control anything they want all over the world — needless to say, always to the detriment of the world. 

  

Hating Jews and Israel: When David Duke agrees with Marc Lamont Hill, Linda Sarsour and Louis Farrakhan

It’s often said that Israel is a divisive issue – but Israel-haters from the far-right and the far-left actually find a lot of common ground when it comes to the world’s only Jewish state.

So David Duke – described by the ADL as “perhaps America’s most well-known racist and anti-Semite” – has decreed that “no decent person can disagree” with Marc Lamont Hill’s views on Israel. Hill is a far-left anti-Israel activist who thinks the Jewish state too evil to exist and wants it eliminated in favor of a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.”

ML Hill D Duke

And while Duke doesn’t think too much of Women’s March leader and prominent activist Linda Sarsour, he does think she’s absolutely right to believe Israel exerts undue influence on US politicians…

D Duke Sarsour

Last but not least, über-progressives Marc Lamont Hill and Linda Sarsour are both admirers of veteran Jew-hater and all-round bigot Louis Farrakhan. David Duke isn’t a big Farrakhan fan, but just like he appreciates Linda Sarsour for expressing disgust with Israel’s supposed influence on American politicians, he appreciates Farrakhan’s very similar sentiments.

D Duke Farrakhan

The left likes to pretend antisemitism is an exclusively right-wing phenomenon. But every time the left makes statements about the world’s only Jewish state that appeal to the likes of David Duke, it proves that contemporary left-wing antisemitism masquerades as “anti-Zionism” while faithfully reflecting “the tropes, images and ideas of classical antisemitism. In short, that which the demonological Jew once was, demonological Israel now is: uniquely malevolent, full of blood lust, all-controlling, the hidden hand, tricksy, always acting in bad faith, the obstacle to a better, purer, more spiritual world, uniquely deserving of punishment, and so on.”

Or, to put it differently: Jew-haters on the far-right still subscribe to the Nazi-slogan “the Jews are our misfortune” – which the far-left will readily condemn while chanting “the Jewish state is our misfortune.”

Update:

For people who argue that to point to David Duke’s endorsements for left-wing positions is just a spurious attempt to establish guilt by association, let’s hear it from Marc Lamont Hill: “The fact that David Duke is thanking Trump for his South Africa tweet says everything.”

So presumably, the fact that David Duke agrees with Marc Lamont Hill says everything… 

ML Hill D Duke 2

Why Jamal Khashoggi’s Islamism matters

Would Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul be any less horrific if it were more widely acknowledged that he was indeed an Islamist? It seems that’s how a lot of people feel – and if you disagree, you risk being denounced as a fanatic right-wing supporter of Trump and a cynical apologist for the cruel and oppressive Saudis regime.

I’m not a Trump supporter, and I would find it very hard to think of anything good to say about the Saudi royals. But I also can’t quite see the political wisdom of reducing Khashoggi to the last year of his life and pretending that he was just some sort of liberal Saudi dissident who was writing op-eds for the Washington Post. What I do see instead is that these efforts to whitewash Khashoggi’s political views inevitably benefit the Islamists with whom he spent the last days of his life.

It’s true that – as a CNN article put it – “Jamal Khashoggi was a journalist, not a jihadist,” but it’s also true that Khashoggi collaborated to his last day with people who advocate jihad and that he was quite open about his support for the Hamas jihad against Israel.

When the news about Khashoggi’s disappearance at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul first broke, I noticed that many of the reports featured a photo showing Khashoggi in front of a banner advertising the Middle East Monitor (MEMO). From my work on anti-Israel activism and anti-Semitism, I knew what MEMO is, and I started to wonder why a Washington Post columnist would associate himself  with a disreputable Islamist organization like MEMO.

Khashoggi tweets MEMO                  

As it turned out, Khashoggi spent his last weekend in London, visiting his old Islamist comrade Azzam Tamimi and attending a conference organized by MEMO. While this fact has been noted in some media reports, there has been a marked reluctance to acknowledge the fact that MEMO is a British news site notorious for its “pro-Hamas and pro-Muslim Brotherhood stance.” As British antisemitism researchers have pointed out, MEMO frequently promotes “conspiracy theories” about Jewish or Zionist machinations as well as “other classical antisemitic canards and tropes.”

So the main benefit of getting your news from MEMO is that you quickly realize that whenever something bad happens in the Middle East, it’s the fault of the evil and illegitimate Jewish state – indeed, at MEMO, even Khashoggi’s disappearance can somehow be connected to Israel.

As Khashoggi certainly knew, MEMO is part of an extensive network of groups and organizations that was patiently built up based on an initiative first conceived in 2003 by two former al-Qaeda members in Saudi Arabia. In 2009, one of the groups affiliated with the network attracted critical attention with its so-called “Istanbul Declaration” which reflects an event with the Orwellian title “Global Anti-Aggression Campaign” where reportedly “speaker after speaker called for jihad against Israel in support of Hamas.”

MEMO director Daud Abdullah was one of the signatories of the “Istanbul Declaration.”

Abdullah is reportedly also “a leader of the Brotherhood-linked British Muslim Initiative.” A decade ago, he faced sharp criticism for insisting that the Muslim Council of Britain should boycott Holocaust Memorial Day.

It would be hard to overstate how much MEMO has benefitted from the free advertisement provided by prestigious media outlets that cited its association with Khashoggi without divulging its political agenda.  

MEMO cleverly seized the opportunity to further enhance its completely undeserved legitimation by organizing a memorial event for Khashoggi at the end of October. MEMO director Daud Abdullah opened the event which was live-streamed by the Washington Post. Senior Human Rights Watch official Sarah Leah Whitson also saw fit to legitimize MEMO by attending this event and promoting it energetically to her almost 50,000 followers on Twitter.

SLW at MEMO

SLW RTs MEMO Khashoggi

Those who are now so eager to legitimize MEMO in the wake of Khashoggi’s assassination are particularly disingenuous when they deny that he was a lifelong Islamist who cheered Hamas and whitewashed the record of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood clearic Yussuf Qaradawi.

It is after all thanks to MEMO’s reporting about Khashoggi and the translation of some of his columns to English that it is now so easy to document some of Khashoggi’s rather unsavory views.

One of the noteworthy examples is a MEMO report from last February – i.e. when Khashoggi was already writing for the Washington Post. According to the report, Khashoggi told his audience during a speech in Istanbul that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s “talk about moderate Islam” should be dismissed as worthless as long as the Saudi royals remained hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood. Khashoggi asserted that it was Muslim Brotherhood clerics like Yusuf Qaradawi who “introduced the term moderate Islam” and he insisted that “Bin Salman is confused about the proper choice for moderation […] The Muslim Brotherhood are moderates, but he does not want to admit that.”

Let’s contrast Khashoggi’s praise of the notorious Qaradawi as a paragon of “moderate Islam” with what the Washington Post reported on Qaradawi just a few months before the paper hired Khashoggi.

Citing a US counterterrorism expert, the paper described Qaradawi as “one of the most public figureheads of the radical wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.” Other US officials characterized the Muslim cleric as “a man whose beatific smile and folksy speaking style belie a history of defending suicide bombings in Israel and condoning violence against U.S. troops in Iraq.” The report also highlights the fact that Qaradawi sometimes used his popular sermons and his TV show to express support for Hamas and that he “has suggested that the murder of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany was ‘divine punishment’ for historical transgressions. He has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel, including the killing of civilians.”

Qaradawi’s precise comment on the Holocaust during an Al Jazeera program in January 2009 is worth quoting:

“Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.”

It is hardly less alarming that Qaradawi also believes in a divinely ordained end-of-times battle between “all Muslims and all Jews.”

The fact that Qaradawi’s well-documented fanaticism didn’t bother Khashoggi is most likely due to his own intense hostility to Israel, which is clearly reflected in some of his Al Hayat columns published by MEMO in English translation.

In an article from July 2014 entitled “Palestine, the occupation and the resistance for beginners”, Khashoggi asserted that Israel’s “existence is outside the context of history and logic […] it came into being by force, it will live by force and it will die by force.”

While Khashoggi is now widely portrayed as a sophisticated Middle East analyst who shared important liberal values, he meant it quite literally when he claimed that Israel exists “outside the context of history and logic.”

Khashoggi’s shocking denial of Jewish history is evident from a Twitter exchange [archived] that took place in October 2015 [emphasis added; the tweets were first highlighted by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre].

Khashoggi first posted a tweet asserting that the “Grave of Al-Nabi Yusuf [Joseph’s Tomb] which was attacked by demonstrators yesterday is a Jewish fabrication. It is a grave built in the Turkish period, and the Jews turned it into a school of extremism and claimed that it is [the grave] of Joseph.”

He then followed up explaining:

The Jews have no history in Palestine. Because of this, they invented the Wailing Wall, which is a Mameluke structure. After 67 they noticed Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus and they decided that it is [the grave] of Joseph, and they took it over.”

Another Twitter user (@JawadAlhashimy) objected: “The Jews without history in Palestine!!! It seems professor that your honor’s knowledge of history is like my knowledge of the Korean language!! Greetings.”

Khashoggi responded: “Go and dig with them Jawad Al-Hashimi, maybe you will find a grave or remains that they can ask blessings from. [The Jews] dug all over [Palestine] and they didn’t find anything, maybe you have [more] experience.”

Jawad Alhashimy replied: “For your knowledge professor, we Muslims took from the Jews even the name ‘Al-Quds’. [The Jews] called Jerusalem ‘Beit Hamikdash’ and we stole it and called it Bayt Al-Maqdis.”

In response, Khashoggi wrote: “@JawadAlhashimy shame [on you]… The Muslims didn’t steal anything from the Jews. I consider you to be a Muslim who is proud of your identity, do not provoke me anymore.”

Jawad Alhashimy insisted again: “Yes, they [the Muslims] did. They stole its Hebrew name ‘Beit Hamiqdash’ which means ‘Holy House’ and they gave this name to Iliya [Arabic version of the Roman Aelia Capitolina] in the days of the conflict between the Omayyads and Ibn Al-Zubayr.”

Khashoggi’s denial of Jewish history clearly reflects his commitment to rather extremist Islamist ideology, which he also betrayed with his evident hope that Israel “will die by force.”

It is thus hardly surprising that Khashoggi was also an ardent admirer of the terror group Hamas.  In an article written in July 2014, Khashoggi begins with what reads like a bitter lament that the Arabs have never waged “a jihad” against Israel. Implicitly rejecting negotiations with Israel, Khashoggi asserts that the divinely ordained “price” for freedom was “blood and death.” He then heaps praise on Hamas for accomplishing the “miracle” of procuring rockets and explosives; he expresses great admiration for the “distinguished combat performance” shown by Hamas and the building of “the huge network of tunnels that extends for miles under Gaza and the borders with Israel and Egypt” which – as Khashoggi notes with undisguised delight – “were used brilliantly to inflict unprecedented losses on the enemy.”

But the perhaps most chilling sentence comes when Khashoggi concludes: “All of this proves that the movement [i.e. Hamas] wasted no time while ruling in Gaza.”

All too obviously, Khashoggi felt that Hamas should be applauded for turning Gaza into a heavily armed terrorist enclave instead of taking advantage of Israel’s withdrawal in 2005 to develop the territory into a model for a Palestinian state. But praising this as a miraculous accomplishment of Hamas makes sense only for someone who fervently hopes that one day, Israel “will die by force.”

As vile as some of Khashoggi’s views may have been, they obviously don’t justify his assassination. Yet, his undisguised hatred for Israel should not be whitewashed by portraying him as a quasi-liberal writer who just wanted a few freedoms for the Middle East. Khashoggi also wanted a Middle East where Islamist forces like the terror group Hamas would vanquish the hated Jewish state. Precisely because Khashoggi’s many Islamist friends are fully aware of this fact that is so inconvenient for his western friends, the efforts to downplay what Khashoggi’s Islamism entailed could all too easily be construed as tacit approval.

*

Translation from Arabic courtesy of Ibn Boutros.

A slightly different version of this post was first published at my Times of Israel blog.

The endless hate for Israel at Human Rights Watch

I have documented the blatant bias against Israel that is openly displayed by Human Rights Watch (HRW) officials in several recent articles (see e.g. here and here).

However, it’s usually not possible to cite all the material that may be relevant in articles – they’re after all categorized as op-eds and can’t be endlessly long, even if you have tons of outrageous stuff.

Since I use Twitter a lot to check on the issues I work on, I’ve also tried to collect some of the material there (see e.g. here).

But the more I look at the conduct of HRW officials, the harder it becomes to avoid the conclusion that their unending and completely shameless display of hypocrisy, if not outright bigotry on Israel, is worth documenting more systematically.  

So here are just two of the recent examples.

A few days ago, Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of the HRW Middle East and North Africa Division, retweeted a cartoon by the notorious Carlos Latuff, who is a prolific producer of antisemitic images – one of which won him an award at an Iranian-sponsored “International Holocaust Cartoon Competition” in 2006.

The Latuff cartoon Whitson liked so much associates Israel prime minister Netanyahu with the assassination of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It is widely assumed that the assassination was ordered by the Saudi crown prince, and there is an energetic campaign initiated by the Washington Post (which hired Khashoggi a year ago) demanding a drastic downgrading of all dealings with the Saudis.

In my view, this campaign is in many ways hypocritical – whoever needed the assassination of Khashoggi to discover how dreadful the Saudi regime is shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Moreover, I think it’s very problematic that Khashoggi’s Islamist views are now not only whitewashed, but also mainstreamed.

But needless to say, Whitson enthusiastically supports this campaign; and equally needless to say, whoever can be tarred as a supporter of the Saudis is unspeakably evil. Neither Netanyahu nor other Israeli government officials have made statements regarding Khashoggi’s assassination and its political implications, but that doesn’t prevent types like Latuff and top HRW official Sarah Leah Whitson from trying to spread the idea that the world’s only Jewish state must surely be on the side of the evil ones.

SLW RTs Latuff Netanyahu Khashoggi MbS

Another very similar effort comes from veteran Israel-hater Glenn Greenwald in the wake of the recent Brazilian election won by Jair Bolsonaro, who is widely regarded as a right-wing populist and has been described as a Brazilian Trump.

As is customary, most political leaders will congratulate the winner of a democratic presidential election – here is e.g. a report on French President Emmanuel Macron’s congratulation.

But of course, the congratulation of Israel’s prime minister provides yet another irresistible opportunity to depict the Jewish state as an evil entity – both for Greenwald and Sarah Leah Whitson.

As Greenwald put it: “Like most fanatical far-right leaders, Bolsonaro loves Israel & craves closeness to it. With the western liberal world recognizing Israel for what it is and abandoning support, Israelis see an alliance with far-right nationalists as their key strategy.”

SLW RTs Greenwald Bolsonaro

 

Linda Sarsour’s white knights: Max Blumenthal, David Duke &Richard Spencer

It’s terrible. Every morning Linda Sarsour wakes up – and because she has apparently set Google alerts for her name, she wakes up to “a new headline, a new google alert.”  She finds it “exhausting,” “so damn exhausting.” Maybe cancel the Google alerts? Or maybe grow up and accept that newspapers have op-eds and that not every op-ed writer falls for your hypocrisy and bigotry???

complains abt criticism

But here’s the good news, dear Linda Sarsour: in the past few days, three sort of well-known guys came to your defense. Among those heroes was your fellow-Israel-hater – and award-winning antisemite – Max Blumenthal, who happily joined so many of your wonderful fans in denigrating the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt, who had the temerity to doubt your absolutely FABULOUS credentials as an antisemitism expert. After all, the expertise you get from learning by doing is unbeatable, isn’t it…

And of course you love it when your fans stand up for you and tell Greenblatt that compared to you, he and his organization are just utterly clueless about antisemitism. I mean, the ADL has been fighting antisemitism, racism and bigotry for a century, but really, that means absolutely nothing, nothing at all if they can’t see that there’s no antisemitism expert as brilliant as you are, right?

MB defends Sarsour

Indeed, we should all remember that you never really liked the ADL. For example, you had a big problem with the ADL’s campaign against Hamas back in the summer of 2014; indeed, you condemned the ADL for “inciting hate here in the US” with this campaign. Absolutely right – why oh why should anyone hate a murderous Islamist terror organization like Hamas???

Attacks ADL anti-Hamas campaign 2014

And naturally, dear Linda Sarsour, you were appalled [archived] when the ADL’s Abraham Foxman condemned the kidnapping and murder of three teenaged Israeli students by Hamas terrorists: “The ADL should be the PDL (Pro Defamation League) – defaming Palestinians. Shame. Shame.” Again – absolutely right, of course!!! (Never mind some two decades worth of opinion surveys that document Palestinian support for terror…)

ADL defames Palestinians

Well, dear Linda Sarsour, there’s no doubt that Hamas fan Max Blumenthal fully agrees with you on all these issues.

But let’s have a quick look at the other two heroes who came to your defense. Admittedly, David Duke was a bit lukewarm, comparing you to a broken clock that is right twice a day…

David Duke defends Sarsour

But hey, I think David Duke and you could find a lot of common ground when it comes to the ADL – he would surely LOVE your witticism about the “Pro Defamation League” given that the ADL has described him as “perhaps America’s most well-known racist and anti-Semite”…

And let’s not forget that alt-rightist Richard Spencer also came to your defense – indeed, given your complaints about how exhausting you find it to get criticism, you’ll surely appreciate his thoughts about why you are so terribly unfairly criticized.

Richard Spencer defends Sarsour

Mea culpa, mea culpa is all I can say here: I’m afraid I was the first one to highlight this tweet of yours, along with a whole lot of similar ones…

But in any case, there can be little doubt that also Richard Spencer would just LOVE your “Pro Defamation League” quip – can you imagine that the evil ADL has accused him of trying “to mainstream racism and anti-Semitism”???

So you see, the ADL isn’t just defaming Palestinians – they’re also defaming the likes of David Duke and Richard Spencer, and of course, worst of all, they’re defaming you, dear Linda Sarsour!!! But isn’t it a consolation that you are in such great company???

* * *

A previous version of this post was published on EoZ.

When an antisemitic picture from Michael Chikindas is worth a thousand words from Linda Sarsour

Michael Chikindas is a professor at Rutgers’ Department of Food Science who recently really made a name for himself thanks to numerous utterly bigoted posts on Facebook. The material was first exposed on the blog Israellycool and then reported by many other sites, including The Algemeiner and Tablet. The writer John-Paul Pagano, who authored the Tablet piece, also posted an archive with screenshots of the Facebook posts Chikindas shared with the world – though the professor apparently didn’t have many Facebook “friends” who noticed. Pagano later found additional bigoted posts from Chikindas on social media.

While most of the material is shockingly vile, I was particularly struck by one image – because it could have served as the perfect illustration of one of Linda Sarsour’s tweets that I documented earlier this year. As I noted back then, Sarsour wrote several tweets with a similar message, but the one I immediately recalled when I saw the Chikindas post is: “Homeless on the streets, Americans who haven’t recovered from natural disasters, unemployment, and we have extra $$$ for Israel. Smh. [Shaking my head].”

Chikindas greedy Jews

Chikindas Sarsour

The interesting point is of course that the image Chikindas posted will be recognized by most people as antisemitic, while the text Sarsour posted will be widely justified as legitimate criticism of US support for Israel. Some people will also argue that Sarsour didn’t blame Jews – not even “Zionists” – for the “extra $$$ for Israel” and that it is therefore completely unfair to compare her tweet with the vile image posted by Chikindas.

However, this argument works only if you look at this one tweet in isolation, because Sarsour posted plenty of tweets suggesting that Israel was either controlling or corrupting US lawmakers. As I pointed out in my documentation, Sarsour repeatedly insinuated that American politicians who back strong bonds between the US and Israel must be suspected of dual loyalties or corruption. Echoing the “Israel-firster” slurs – which caused much controversy a few years ago and were widely considered as reflecting antisemitic tropes – Sarsour suggested in July 2014 that “Israel should give free citizenship to US politicians. They are more loyal to Israel than they are to the American people.” At the end of last year, Sarsour reacted to a statement by Senator Lindsey Graham with the question “Are you a US Senator or do you work for Israel?”

Sarsour also repeatedly shared her conspiracy theories about AIPAC, i.e. the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Sarsour apparently believes that AIPAC lobbies to get the US to “revolve around Israel;” she therefore demanded in 2012: “Our country’s future should not revolve around #Israel. #aipac2012.” Sarsour also complained “#Election2012 issue priorities should be Jobs, jobs, jobs, immigration, and economy NOT #Israel. #AIPAC2012”.

In July 2014, Sarsour asserted that there was an “awkward moment when the White House goes off AIPAC script and says ‘Israel must end the occupation;’” according to Sarsour, this meant for the White House that “#theyareintroublenow.” When someone challenged her claim that the Obama administration was an “AIPAC puppet,” Sarsour insisted “that’s why we send $3 billion in military aid to Israel while Michigan/Detroit is bankrupt. Detroit doesn’t have AIPAC lobby.” It was hardly surprising when another Twitter user felt it was appropriate to affirm and illustrate the views Sarsour had expressed with an image that showed President Obama and the 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney licking the boots of “Rothschild.”

AIPAC script

Last year, when Hillary Clinton addressed AIPAC, Sarsour commented: “What was in Hilary’s goodie bag at AIPAC. Had to be real nice after that speech that almost bought her a prime minister seat in Israel.”

It is hard to imagine that someone who is as hyperactive politically as  Sarsour would not know that US support for Israel enjoys broad backing among Americans because Israel is widely regarded as “a clear strategic asset to the United States,” and the bilateral relationship is therefore widely regarded as based on “tangible, steadily increasing security and economic interests.”

Seen in this context, the message conveyed by Sarsour in her repeated efforts to suggest [http://archive.is/kZpAj] that US military assistance to Israel comes at the expense of health care, education funding and various other social benefits for US citizens is not that much different from the message Chikindas tried to convey with the vile image of a greedy Jew stealing money from an American family begging on the streets.

* * *

Note: A previous version of this post was published at EoZ.

The hate preachers of Al Aqsa

In a commentary on the tense aftermath of the recent terror attack committed by three Arab Israeli Muslims coming from what is supposedly Islam’s “third holiest” site, David Horovitz rightly notes that the current status quo on the Temple Mount is in many ways “outrageous.” Towards the end of his column, Horovitz wonders if it was perhaps “a historic mistake” that shortly after Israel took over the Temple Mount in 1967, it returned control of the site to the Muslim authorities of the Waqf.

I think Horovitz’s column answers his question: yes, it was indeed a terrible historic mistake, because – as Horovitz himself explains – this naïve gesture of good will “has empowered a Palestinian and wider Muslim false narrative that asserts the Jews actually have no connection to the Mount, no history there, no legitimacy there — and by extension no sovereign legitimacy in Israel either. Why did defense minister Moshe Dayan’s concession on June 10, 1967, fuel that false narrative? Because, the way it was perceived in much of the Muslim world, the Jews could not and would not have relinquished their authority over the site if it truly constituted the most sacred physical focal point of their faith. Israel’s restraint […] in other words, has come to be regarded as proof of our illegitimacy.”

But the status quo on the Temple Mount is also outrageous for reasons I outlined in a recent EoZ post:

Since the Temple Mount is in the news again, it’s perhaps time to update a post I wrote some two years ago about the hate preachers who hold forth quite regularly at what is supposedly Islam’s “third holiest” site. Unfortunately, the mainstream media seem to have little interest in covering what Muslim worshippers attending the Al Aqsa mosque are told about how their faith relates to today’s world. And once you know what they’re being told, it’s clear that reporting it would be dreadfully “Islamophobic.”

Thanks to MEMRI, there is a large collection of translated clips that provide a revealing glimpse of the intense hatred that passes for pious Islamic teaching at the Al Aqsa mosque. I think it would be a great service to peace in the Middle East and beyond if MEMRI put all these clips together into one chilling documentary that should be shown around the world in order to perhaps shame the responsible Muslim authorities into putting an end to these vile outpourings. After all, the Temple Mount has been a symbol of Muslim fanaticism for decades – indeed, it soon will be a century since Haj Amin al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, who later gained notoriety as a Nazi collaborator, first incited murderous Muslim violence with his mendacious fabrications about “Zionist” plots to damage the site’s Islamic shrines. But when the evil Zionists took over the Temple Mount in 1967, they naively thought it would be a wonderful gesture of good will to promptly hand the control of the site back to the Muslim waqf.

Ever since, Israel has cravenly served as enforcer of a “status quo” that is dictated by frequent threats of massive Muslim violence and that helps to entrench Muslim supremacism: only Muslims can pray on the Temple Mount – which is Judaism’s holiest site – while Jews and Christians are at best allowed to visit at severely restricted hours under strict police surveillance. 

My disgust with this arrangement isn’t due to any religious belief or sentiments; rather, with each new Muslim riot or act of violence justified “in defense of Al Aqsa,” it seems increasingly clear to me that peace has to begin on the Temple Mount: as long as Muslims are violently opposed to recognizing the Jewish and Christian attachment to the site and refuse to accept equal rights for Jews and Christians on the Temple Mount, there won’t be peace. And as long as Muslim leaders insist on denying equal rights for Jews and Christians on the Temple Mount, they should be denounced as supporters of a vile “status quo” that inevitably disgraces the religion which demands it.

So let’s have a good look at the “status quo” on the Temple Mount.

A perfect example is a recent speech by Palestinian preacher Ali Abu Ahmad during a rally at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in early May. The short clip – which concludes with a “prayer” imploring Allah to help Muslims to destroy whomever they perceive as enemies and to “annihilate all the Jews” – will give you a good idea about the intense hatred and the murderous incitement that is a regular feature of speeches and sermons at Islam’s “third holiest” site.

Hate preachers 1              

Shocking, but unfortunately, a common occurrence at Al Aqsa – in June, a very similar “prayer” was led by Palestinian cleric Sheikh Nadhal Siam (Abu Ibrahim): “Oh Allah, enable us to slaughter the Americans!” Audience: “Amen!” Nadhal Siam: “And the Europeans!” Audience: “Amen!” Nadhal Siam: “And our criminal and treacherous [Arab] rulers!” Audience: “Amen!”

Just two weeks after Ali Abu Ahmad had prayed for Allah’s help to “annihilate all the Jews” in early May, he was at it again, denouncing Trump as “the White House Satan” who is eager to talk with Arab rulers “about moderate Islam.” And once again, this hate preacher implored Allah to “bestow upon us a rightly-guided Caliphate in the path of the Prophet soon. Oh Allah, annihilate Trump and the conspirators. Oh Allah, annihilate all the Jews.”

At the end of May, Palestinian cleric Sheikh Muhammad Ayed, (Abu Abdallah) enlightened his audience at the Al Aqsa Mosque about the confessions of “Jewish schemers” from “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”: “They are behind all the strife in the world. They cause all the killing, the slaughter, and the destruction everywhere.” He also got around to contemplating America’s fate: “First, the Caliphate will clip America’s nails and then move on to chopping off its hands. After we clip its nails, we will chop off its hands, and then we will chop off its feet and drive it out of our countries.”

Also in May, Palestinian cleric Sheikh ‘Abd Al-Salam Abu Al-‘Izz gave a speech at Al Aqsa that is fascinating in the context of the controversy about the meaning of “jihad” in the wake of Linda Sarsour’s call for “jihad” against Trump: “Many people say that Islam did not spread by the sword. They try to conceal Jihad for the sake of Allah as a means of spreading Islam. They say that the Muslims were only defending themselves, and that if they conquered some country or another, it was only in order to put an end to tyranny. […] Any system of governance in the world is tyranny against humanity, except Islam. If we look at it this way, we find that there is tyranny in every country. Let us not forget that the Quran makes it incumbent upon us to spread Islam through Jihad: ‘Fight the infidels who are near you, and let them find harshness in you.’ […] the Jihad continues as long as there are infidels who are not ruled by Islam. Thus, the jurisprudents defined the reason for Jihad as the existence of infidels.”

Incidentally, another Palestinian cleric who educated his audience at Al Aqsa about the meaning of “jihad” in January 2016 concluded: “The purpose of Jihad for the sake of Allah is to make His word reign supreme, and to conquer the world. Thus, the Prophet’s companions roamed the planet Earth in order to conquer it. The Islamic State, which will be established soon, Allah willing, should do the same. It must conquer Rome, Washington and Paris, Allah willing, by means of Jihad for the sake of Allah, in order to remove oppression, and to purify the land from the filth of polytheism.”

Now let me just list a few of the examples I covered in my post two years ago:

In an address at the Al Aqsa Mosque on February 18, 2015, Palestinian political researcher Ahmad Al-Khatwani  (Abu Hamza) urged his audience to “pray that Allah will enable the Muslims to wage war on America and against its true terrorism. May He grant victory to the Muslims, and may they raid America on its own land and the land of heresy everywhere.”

In March 2015, preacher Muhammad Abed delivered two sermons at the Al Aqsa Mosque anticipating the establishment of a global caliphate: “Oh how similar to the past is the present! Just like the ideology of the Prophet Muhammad laid siege to the Quraysh tribe, the Persians, and the Byzantines, today, the religion and ideology of Muhammad – including Islam’s men of Truth, the men of the Caliphate and of jihad – are laying siege to America […] They are laying siege to Europe and to the fabricated democracy, the great lie. […] Oh nation of Islam, only a real Caliphate is capable of satiating your hunger, of defending you and your honor, and of liberating your Al-Aqsa Mosque form the filth of the defilers. […] America will be trampled by the hooves of the horses of the Caliph of the Muslims, Allah willing. This is the promise of Allah.”

In a lecture at the Al Aqsa Mosque on May 29, 2015, Sheik Khaled Al-Maghrabi spoke at length about Jewish evil and justified the Holocaust: “Let us consider the Holocaust of the Israelites in Germany, and all the prior problems that they experienced throughout Europe. The Israelites were expelled from all the countries of Europe, and eventually, they were burned in Germany. Ask yourselves why. […] It was not only due to (Jewish) corruption. On Passover, every Israelite community would seek a small child and kidnap him. They would bring a barrel pierced by many needles, and would place the little child inside it. That way, the needles would pierce the child’s body. At the bottom of the barrel there would be a tap to drain the blood. Why would they collect the blood of the kidnapped child? Because Satan, or one of the other higher gods, said that if they wanted him to fulfill their desires, they would have to eat bread kneaded with children’s blood. […] On Passover, when they are not allowed to eat regular bread, they make their matzos. They would knead the dough for these matzos with children’s blood. When this was discovered, the Israelites were expelled throughout Europe. That was the beginning of the calamity of the Israelites in European countries. It got to the point where they were burned in Germany. It was because of all those things, because of their multiple kidnappings of children.”

In another frightening lecture bordering on madness, delivered at the Al Aqsa Mosque on July 4, 2015, Palestinian cleric Issam Amira told his audience: “An Islamic state is required to deliver the call for Islam to the whole world. Therefore, this state must be qualified for expansion, militarily, ideologically, economically, and geographically. […] Therefore, our main war is with whom? With the Byzantines, with America and Europe – with France, with Britain, with those places […] The Islamic Caliphate must be restored, so that it will lead the armies to war against the infidels. Then we will bring about a second battle of Badr, and a third, and a fourth… In order to achieve that, the activists must work, along with [all] Muslims, to establish the Islamic State. It also requires destroying all the entities in the Islamic world.”

In an address at the Al Aqsa Mosque on July 6, 2015, Sheik Muhammad Abed said: “From here, from the land of the Prophet’s nocturnal journey, armies will set out to conquer Rome, to conquer Constantinople once again, as well as its [modern] symbols, Washington and London. This is Allah’s promise to His Prophet: Islam will rule the entire Earth.”

During an address on July 24, 2015, Sheik Ahmad Al-Dweik told his audience at the Al Aqsa Mosque: “Allah has promised to restore the Islamic Caliphate […] The Caliphate will come to be, and the nuclear bomb will be produced. It will be the number one country in the world. It will fight the U.S. and will bring it down. [The Caliphate] will eliminate the West in its entirety.”

Finally, since Muslims now like to claim that the Al Aqsa Mosque is not just the gray-domed building, but extends to the entire Temple Mount, let’s end with an example that illustrates just how holy that area is to Muslims: almost exactly four years ago, in July 2013, Islamists held a rally there proudly displaying their murderous hatred for everyone and everything they don’t like: America, France, Rome, Britain, and of course the Jews. But as the examples listed in this post show, all the hate expressed at this rally has also often been expressed inside the mosque. And if this is what’s being preached at Islam’s supposedly “third holiest” site, one can only wonder what is being preached in mosques all over the world.

Hate preachers 2