The House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously approved a resolution condemning the Palestinian incitement that has been fueling the latest violence in Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.
The non-binding resolution, drafted by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) and Congressman Ted Deutch (D-Florida), lists a host of statements from PA leadership made since 2013 that its authors consider inflammatory. Noting that the Oslo II agreement, signed in 1995, forbids such rhetoric, it condemns PA President Mahmoud Abbas for praising the killers of Israelis as “heroes,” for labeling Jews a “contaminating” presence on the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif) and for encouraging bloodletting in Jerusalem.
Committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R – Calif.) and ranking member Rep. Eliot Engel (D – N.Y.) commented on the effects of the incitement.
“It doesn’t help when those in the media – or the secretary of state for that matter – give this incitement a pass,” Royce said. “Yes, there are many complexities in the Middle East, but there can be no moral equivalency when children as young as two are being stabbed.” …
Royce’s Democratic counterpart, ranking member Eliot Engel (D-New York), said it was “heartbreaking” for him “to wake up seemingly every morning to a new report of a stabbing or a shooting of an innocent civilian in Israel.”
Engel added that there is no “moral equivalency” between attacker and victim.
The vote on the resolution followed a committee hearing on Palestinian incitement. David Makovsky, director of the Project on the Peace Process for the Washington Institute of Near East Policy, provided the committee with a history of anti-Israel violence fueled by false claims of a Jewish threat to the Temple Mount in his prepared testimony (.pdf).
This incitement includes public remarks by President Abbas, during which he said “every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem is pure. Every martyr will reach paradise and every injured person will be reward by God” and Jews “have no right to desecrate the Mosque with their dirty feet.” Abbas has not renounced these statements, but in recent days, has called for “popular non-violent
Sadly, the charge that Israel is out to destroy the Mosque is not new. This claim was made in 1929, resulting in riots in Hebron that killed 63 people. More recently, fatal violence surrounding the Temple Mount occurred in 1991 (20 killed), 1996 (87 killed), 2000 (153 killed within the first month), and 2014 (nine killed), when similar allegations were made. I want to be clear that this does not mean that all Palestinians favor this approach. In fact over 400 Jews were saved in 1929, when many found refuge in the homes of Palestinians.
The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was instrumental for inciting the violence in 1929 by calling for Muslims to defend their holy places from the Jews.