A Jordanian cleric who ruled earlier this year that it is not permissible under Islamic law to kill Israeli Jews, including IDF soldiers, backtracked Tuesday and declared that Muslims have a “mandatory jihad” against the Jews but should “save their strength” for the right moment.
In the new clip translated by the MEMRI watchdog, Amman-based cleric Abdullah el-Alawneh said the Palestinians were currently incapable of beating the “treacherous enemy” and should not “fool ourselves.”
“The Jews are occupiers and plunderers. They are people (prone to) betrayal, fraud, cunning, and deceit. They are slayers of the prophets and the messengers,” said el-Alawneh. The Jews are “among the brothers of apes and pigs,” he added.
“The jihad against the Jews is a mandatory jihad, incumbent upon any Muslim country and upon any Muslim who accepts Allah as the Lord and Islam as his religion,” continued the Jordanian cleric. “But it cannot be done through such an emotional thrust and with such excitement that only serves to harm us.”
El-Alawneh said the conflict will not be won by the Palestinians for now. “No matter how hard they try, they will not succeed,” he said.
“But what we should really do is save our strength, and protect our unity, our religion, our men, and our youth for the right moment that is bound to come,” he said.
“Unfortunately, tens of thousands of Palestinians work with the Jews, and accept money from the Jews.They need the Jews. Sadly, this is the reality of an occupied people.I am not saying this, as some people mistakenly understood it, as praise for the Jews, who deserve nothing but more and more curses. I am talking about the reality. What will be the outcome of such an asymmetric war, if not, sadly, total defeat?”
The cleric maintained that “a Muslim’s fingernail is worth more to us than the heads of a thousand Jews,” but said the Palestinians must not deceive themselves and believe they can win the conflict.
“Yes, we are happy when the Jews are humiliated and defeated, when they fall. But there is a way of doing things,” he said.
The earlier clip, from February, was circulating widely on Arabic social media amid the ongoing surge in Palestinian stabbing attacks on Jews, the MEMRI watchdog group said Monday. In it, el-Alawneh speaks very differently, insisting that the unprovoked killing of Jews in Palestine, even soldiers, is forbidden: “Someone who provides you with protection, electricity and water, who transfers you money. And you work for him, taking his money. And then you kill him?!” he responds in horror to a question. “Even if he is a Jew!”
Killing a Jew “is permissible during a declared war,” el-Alawneh elaborates, “but if you both pledge for the safety of one another, you are not allowed to betray and kill him.”
The cleric cites shari’a law agreements “that protect people’s rights and lives,” to underpin his ruling, though he acknowledges that “the emotional perspective is one thing and the scholarly perspective is another.”
His questioner then wonders, even if killing civilians is not allowed, “what about soldiers who walk down the streets with guns?”
“The answer is the same,” el-Alawneh responds. “Let me ask you a question: Does this man who walks down the street with a gun kill every Muslim he sees?” The question is rhetorical. He spreads his arms.
Next, the questioner asks: “Sheikh, is it true that (the Jews) do not attack you if you do not attack them?”
“I haven’t lived in Palestine but this is what the brothers tell me,” he says. “Our brothers in Palestine tell us that the Jews do not attack anyone who does not attack them.”
He declares: “Nobody should think that by saying this I am defending the accursed Jews. But this is the reality. If they killed any Muslim they saw, nobody would be left in Palestine. All the people would leave Palestine. They would flee to other countries. But all the people there stay put — in the 1967 territories, the 1948 territories, and Jerusalem. They remain there, with the Jews around them with their weapons.”
“You see (the Palestinians) killing (the Jews), who only kill (Palestinians) when attacked,” he concludes. “But like I said before (the Jews) only do this out of wickedness and heresy. They have principles. They want to be able to say: ‘We are better than the Muslims, who kill us unprovoked. We don’t do that.”