Arafat's Mufti Calls Settlers "Sons of Monkeys and Pigs"

By JAY BUSHINSKY     ©Jerusalem Post, July 14, 1997

- A vitriolic sermon by Palestinian Authority-appointed Mufti Ikrama Sabri, in which he branded Israeli settlers "sons of monkeys and pigs" and called for America's destruction, was assailed yesterday by senior government officials as a grave violation of the Oslo accords.

Addressing Moslem worshippers in Jerusalem's Al-Aksa Mosque, Sabri charged that the US "is ruled by Zionist Jews" and that President Bill Clinton "is fulfilling his father's will to identify with Israel."

"Allah will paint the White House black!" said Sabri, who the PA appointed as the supreme Moslem religious authority in Jerusalem to supersede his veteran Jordanian-backed counterpart, Abdel Kader Abdin, who is still in office rivaling Sabri.

"The Moslems say to Britain, France, and all the infidel nations that Jerusalem is Arab. We shall not respect anyone else's wishes regarding her.

"The only relevant party is the Islamic nation, which will not allow infidel nations to interfere."

Government officials cited Article 22 of the Interim Agreement of September 28, 1995 (known as Oslo 2) which states that Israel and the PA "shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance and shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda against each other..."

Article 22 also obligates them to "take legal measures to prevent such incitement by any organizations, groups, or individuals within their jurisdiction."

This raises a delicate issue inasmuch as Al-Aksa is within the boundaries of Jerusalem, which is under Israeli jurisdiction, but also is subject to the direct and exclusive administration of the Moslem religious trust or Wakf.

Sabri's rhetoric escalated as his sermon proceeded, reaching this pejorative plateau: "Allah shall take revenge on behalf of his prophet against the colonialist settlers who are sons of monkeys and pigs."

He went on to ask Allah to forgive the Moslems "for the acts of these sons of monkeys and pigs who sought to harm your sanctuary."

A senior Israeli official referred to the Note for the Record which accompanied the Hebron Protocol of January 14, 1997, in which the PA reaffirmed its commitment to Oslo 2, regarding the prevention of incitement and hostile propaganda.

Independent Palestinian quarters were appalled by the mufti's remarks. These sources put his words into the same reprehensible category as the burning of Israeli flags, contending that "it was sheer stupidity for Speaker of the Palestinian [Legislative Council] Ahmed Qurie to have been present at the scene and not to have left in protest. They are simply helping [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu implement his policies."

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