Americans in general, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in particular, are motivated in their stance on Israel by “satanic urges,” according to a top Palestinian official.
The insult comes from Mahmoud Al-Habbash, an adviser to Mahmoud Abbas.
It was in response to Friedman’s characterization of a long-running and likely unsolvable disagreement over land.
Despite Arab denials, Israel has been part and parcel of that region of the Middle East for 3,000 years. The Jewish temples are among the evidence of the links between the Jewish people and the land.
Now comes the latest charge in the fight.
Palestinian Media Watch said that in an interview Friedman gave to the Jerusalem Post, he rejected the assertion that Israel occupies any land by using the term “alleged occupation.”
PMW monitors, interprets and analyzes reports in the region.
The new report from Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik said Abbas’ adviser on religious and Islamic affairs and the PA’s supreme Shariah judge, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, referred to Friedman’s statement as “idiocy” and added that he and “these people,” presumably Americans in general, are motivated by “satanic urges” and “have lost all morals.”
Al-Habbash’s comment, in a sermon broadcast on PA TV, was: “One of the representatives of the superpowers – who some people consider to be the most expert and knowledgeable people, the greatest supporters of justice, and the greatest democrats – one of them [U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman] spoke several days ago about the occupation, which is clear even to the biggest idiot, and all the more so to a wise man. Regarding the Israeli occupation of the land of Palestine – he [Friedman] said that it is an ‘alleged occupation,’ in other words: ‘You claim there is an occupation? It isn’t really an occupation.’ What idiocy is this? What satanic urge motivates these people? These are people who have lost all morals, who watch the oppressed and support the oppressors and stand by their side.”
PMW said the “fact that the most important religious leader in the PA used the word ‘satanic’ to describe the motives of someone making comments supportive of Israel is not surprising.”
“Al-Habbash has defined the essence of Israel as ‘Satan’s project,’ saying the conflict between Palestinians and Israel is not new, rather it is the continuation of the ‘historic conflict’ against Jews who have been supporters of ‘the satans,’ representing falsehood and evil in the world. According to Al-Habbash, the conflict is ‘Allah’s project vs. Satan’s project,’” the report said.
Al-Habbash continued: “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 (i.e., Palestinian-Israeli). 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.”
Friedman’s comment was in response to a question about what surprised him after his appointment by President Trump.
He explained, “I think the American Jewish community tends to look at Israel somewhat myopically.”
The right side of the political spectrum is portrayed as believing that peace is not possible. The left, he explained, is portrayed as believing that only if the “alleged occupation” ended would Israel become a better society.
But he said there are many more nuances to the issue.