J Street's Jeremy Ben-Ami Responds to Mufti's 'Incendiary' Comments

January 24th, 2012

WASHINGTON— J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement in response to Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Muhammad Hussein’s invocation at a recent Fatah event: “We are appalled by Palestinian Sheikh Muhammad Hussein’s incendiary invocation at a political event held by the Fatah party, in which he recited Muslim hadith inciting Muslims to kill Jews as a requisite for religious resurrection. The Mufti of Jerusalem’s use of such language should be roundly condemned by all who support a political, non-violent resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We are also deeply concerned that such incitement was given a platform by the Fatah party and that it was later broadcast on Palestinian Authority television. Attempts by Palestinian Authority officials to explain Sheikh Hussein’s inflammatory remarks as a matter of religious dictum, not policy, and pertaining only to the future, not the present, are not only woefully inadequate but stoke the flames of distrust between the parties. Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will require that moderate voices on both sides, who recognize that peace and security depend on achieving a two-state solution, defeat voices of extremism that preach hatred and violence. We urge the leadership of the Palestinian Authority to condemn such incitement and to ensure that it has no place in the PA's official media or programs.”