Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the PA’s Supreme Shari’a Judge and Religious Advisor to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. (Credit: Twitter screenshot)
When a high-ranking leader in the Palestinian Authority made a statement directly contradicting what he declared to the global media just three weeks ago, the question changes from “did he lie?” to “which time was he lying?” Considering the plethora of important Palestinian policies he has commented on, the question takes on enormous importance.
Palestinian Media Watch reported on Wednesday that Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the PA’s Supreme Shari’a Judge and Religious Advisor to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, declared that the current conflict between the Palestinians and Israel is religious in nature; the ultimate battle described in the Qura’an as the “final promise,” leading to great destruction for the “Children of Israel.”
“Jerusalem is the arena of conflict between us and the colonialist project [Israel],” Al-Habbash said on official Palestinian television on June 30. “Jerusalem’s [Al-Aqsa] Mosque apparently is the heading for the eruption of the conflict and The Battle of History between Islam and the enemies of Islam; between the Muslims and the enemies of Muslims; between the Islamic culture in all its splendor and human glory and the culture of Satan attempting to establish oppression and aggression at the expense of the culture of truth and goodness… This mosque is decreed to be the arena of the battle between good and evil. This mosque and this wonderful city – the city of history, religion, and culture, Jerusalem – are decreed to be the heading of the conflict… Jerusalem is the heading of this battle, this conflict, and this round, which I and many others see as the key, as the first step, as the spark of the battle of the ‘final promise.”’
When addressing foreign media, Al-Habbash stated precisely the opposite. Just three weeks ago, on the eve of Abbas’ address to the United Nations General Assembly, Al-Habbash insisted that the conflict is political and Israel, who he refers to in his speeches aimed at Arabic-speaking audiences as “Satan’s project,” is “marketing it as a religious conflict to the world.”
As its highest ranking religious leader, Al-Habbash is responsible for many of the PA’s major talking points. Al-Habbash originated the narrative that Palestinians lived in Israel 6,000 years ago, “before Judaism and Christianity”, which was adopted by Abbas. At the same time, he has accused Israel of “forgery of History.”
While warning the Palestinians that Israel was planning a “massacre at Al Aqsa”, he later called for a “Ribat” (eternal religious violent conflict) with Israel at the Temple Mount.
Al-Habbash has also been quoted as saying that Palestine is the “homeland of coexistence, tolerance, and rejection of violence.” In a disturbingly intolerant and threatening manner, Al-Habbash stated that “either the Palestinians will restore their right, their land, their dignity, and their Jerusalem to themselves, or there will be no stability or security for anyone – neither here nor anywhere in the world.”
Al-Habbash does not limit his creative rhetoric to Israel. He called David Friedman, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel “an imbecile.”
The religious leader does sometimes reveal the truth. In April, Al-Habbash criticized Hamas for using Palestinian blood and suffering to earn points in the political arena and the media. He accused Hamas of “selling illusions,” “trading in suffering and blood, trading in victims” so that it could make headlines.
We all know that the midterm elections are different this time around. They are usually like “all politics,” namely local. But this time around they’re different. They are all presidential, all about Trump, as most everything is. And for the anti-Trump crowd — I’m talking about the political commentators and “analysts” — any and all things bad are held to be Trump’s fault. This is presumably because they believe that their condemnations of Trump will result in a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives.
A new book explores how graffiti artists in Beirut skirt limitations on expression to share political criticism in the streets.
A photograph of the book “Drawing Lines” by Tamara Zantout, taken at the launch of the book at Beit Beirut cultural center, Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 25, 2018.
BEIRUT — Beirut’s alleyways and streets are peppered in bright, detailed and provocative graffiti. Street artists use the medium, which exists in a legal grey area, to express their identity and give voice to political frustrations.
On Tuesday, San Francisco will become the largest city in the nation to allow noncitizens to vote, and the city has spent $310,000 on a “new registration system” specifically aimed at illegals. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the plan is the first in the state and follows Proposition N, a 2016 ballot measure allowing votes by noncitizens over the age of 18, reside in the city, and have children under age 19.
By the count of the Chronicle, only 49 noncitizens have signed up to vote on Tuesday, which works out to $6,326 for every illegal voter, but there’s more to the story. City officials are worried that voting could expose illegals to ICE, who might come looking and possibly deport somebody. So supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a backer of Proposition N, urged the city to spend $500,000 to warn the illegals.
At first Sabbath service after massacre, shooting survivors are blessed; rabbi says to those who condemned Trump’s visit: ‘No one tells me how to welcome a guest in my own home’
On November 3, 2018, a joint communal Shabbat prayer service at Pittsburgh’s Beth Shalom Conservative synagogue following the massacre a week prior which saw 11 Jewish community members killed. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — A week after an anti-Semitic shooter massacred 11 worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the community embraced each other in prayer on Saturday.
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.” He sees this trend creating a surge in “xenophobic populism.” Writing in Politico, Katy O’Donnell agrees: “Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” Jewish leaders like Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense “a very real threat from populist movements across Europe.”
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.”
We’ve been told for a long time that the ceasefire is on the way. It had many names in the past, such as tahdiah, hudna, and most recently—”an arrangement.” On Friday, once again, reports started emerging that an agreement has been reached. Several hours later, southern Israel was hit with a barrage of rockets. What happened?
And He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for No Human Being shall see Me and live.” — Shemot 33:20
Faith is deeper than knowledge. While scientific data is absorbed only in the brain, faith permeates all parts of the human personality. Nothing is untouched, all spiritual limbs quiver, and everything is transformed. It is thus more difficult to acquire faith than knowledge, and faith has a more radical effect on the human being.
A Catholic archbishop recently touched on an unspoken but highly subversive phenomenon: How anti-Christian forces exploit Christian teachings to empower those who seek to dismantle Christian civilization, Muslims being chief among them.
In an interview published last summer by the Italian outlet IlGionarle.it, Catholic Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan said:
The King of Jordan, not some lowly clerk, announced that Jordan will not extend the currently existing leases renting two parcels of land to Israel. One is the so-called Island of Peace in the northern Naharayim area and the other located in the southern Arava, near Tzofar, an agricultural cooperative village (moshav). Jordan was entirely within its rights to decide not to renew the leases