Jerusalem Muslim Cleric Who Called for Slaughter of Jews Convicted of Incitement

Al-Aqsa mosque preacher said: ‘I say to the Jews we and the state of the Islamic caliphate will come to liberate this land from your filth.’

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Jewish worshippers are escorted by Israeli security forces as they visit the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, in Jerusalem's Old City, on October 28, 2015.
Jews accompanied by Israeli security forces outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where Muslim cleric Omar Abu Sara spoke in November 2014.Credit: AFP

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court has convicted a Muslim preacher of incitement to violence and publicizing comments constituting incitement to violence, after speaking out at the Al-Aqsa Mosque against Jews.

According to the charges, on November 28, 2014, religious teacher Omar Abu Sara was speaking at the mosque, on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, and was caught on video – uploaded to YouTube – saying the following: “I say to the Jews loud and clear: The time for your slaughter has come. The time to fight you has come. The time to kill you has come and we, with the help of Allah, we are ready for the task – we and the loyal and faithful Muslims, along with the armies of the state of the Islamic caliphate, which will come to liberate this land from your filth, and that day is near

"Allah, please bring the day nearer, bring the day of killing them nearer, bring the day of fighting them nearer, bring the day of their slaughter nearer, bring nearer the day we cleanse al-Aqsa from their filth, bring nearer the day the caliphate Islamic nation arises Please do not leave in our hearts a single grain of mercy toward you, O Jews, because when the day of your slaughter arrives, we shall slaughter you without mercy.”

Charged by the prosecution of inciting to violence, Abu Sara claimed that he was merely quoting the Koran and that such holy statements were permitted, but Judge Shmuel Herbst did not agree.

“The defendant’s words cannot be taken as innocent expressions of faith,” Herbst wrote in his judgement. “There is no doubt that they humiliate and degrade the Jewish people and the defendant’s statements are rife with demonstrations of hatred and hostility toward all Jews.”

“Let us put aside the law books and the clever claims, and look at the reality of our lives for a moment. Jews and Arabs live together in the State of Israel. That is a fact that is not in controversy and that will not, apparently, change in the foreseeable future," the judge noted in his summary.

"By their words and speeches," he added, "the defendant and his ilk fan the flames of ongoing tensions. This begins with verbal utterances but we can see how it ends in the streets of Israel and in security footage showing incessant, bloody pursuits in which children and young people brandish knives aimed at the bodies, the flesh and throats of members of another people.

“This is not just a theoretical matter of ‘defensive democracy,’ but of passersby who turn into fighters for a moment and are required, when returning from the day’s labors, to ‘neutralize’ an existential threat to their lives that stems from incitement to racism and to violence. This is the time to stop this incitement, on the Internet, at gatherings and in places of worship.”

In conclusion, Herbst wrote, “I look at the defendant and see before me a person. It is a great pity that he looks at me and sees the image of a monkey or a pig, whose fate it is to be slaughtered without mercy. It is a shame.”

The prosecution applauded the verdict, saying that Abu Omar and others like him indeed exacerbate tensions between Arabs and Jews, which leads to murders by stabbings, firebombs and stones, diminishing the public’s sense of security.

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