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February 13, 2020 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 209

Where Will Sudan Be, With Bashir At The International Criminal Court?

February 13, 2020 | By Alberto M. Fernandez
Sudan | MEMRI Daily Brief No. 209
News broke on February 11, 2020 of the willingness of Sudan's transitional government to have every Sudanese indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague appear before that court. The ICC has indicted seven Sudanese; three of them were Darfur rebel group commanders, one of whom supposedly died in battle, one of whom was acquitted, and one of whom is awaiting trial. Four Sudanese regime officials, including deposed President Omar al-Bashir, have been indicted and none have made it yet to The Hague. Surrendering al-Bashir to the court is a core demand of Sudanese rebel groups meeting in Juba with the Sudanese government, and certainly an aspiration of many of the al-Bashir regime's victims whether in Darfur or anywhere else. I was the Charge d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum in March 2009 when President Al-Bashir was first indicted by the ICC. The atmosphere was electric and extremely volatile, given the relative lack of security in the Embassy chancery building, located at that time in a heavily trafficked street in Sudan's capital. Only days earlier, several key officials of the Sudan's People Liberation Movement (SPLM), at the time sharing the government with Al-Bashir's Islamist party but also bitter rivals of Al-Bashir, had warned us in confidence that they thought indicting Al-Bashir was a mistake. It would only strengthen his hold on power, unite the contending factions within the National Congress Party (NCP), and make it less likely that one of Al-Bashir's deputies could force him from office. The SPLM preferred that the threat of an ICC indictment, rather than an actual indictment, be used to extract concessions from the NCP and perhaps used as a way of leveraging him into a comfortable exile outside of Sudan. One of the first things that Al-Bashir did to show his defiance of the indictment was to go on the road to Darfur and to hold massive rallies of support in the cities of El Fasher and Geneina. He took the diplomatic corps with him, and I had two small pleasures during that trip: walking out in the middle of an Al-Bashir speech in El Fasher after he began denouncing the U.S. – its treatment of the American Indians, Hiroshima, Guantanamo, Abu Ghureib – and, the next day, arriving in Geneina as the delegation was welcomed by hundreds of gaily caparisoned horsemen waving rifles, swords, and colored flags. These were, of course, Janjaweed militiamen serving as a picturesque yet baleful backdrop to the trip. This was Al-Bashir saying to the world and the ICC: "You may indict me, but here I am in Darfur, where you accused me of these crimes, being welcomed by tens of thousands of Darfurians including, by the way, the very instruments you accuse me of using in war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity."   Omar Al-Bashir certainly deserves to be questioned in The Hague. The ICC is problematic in that it seems to be a place to judge Africans more than anyone else. Of the 12 official ICC investigations, 11 are in Africa. Cognizant of that uncomfortable perception, only two out of 10 newer ongoing investigations are in Africa. In recent years, four former heads of state have been tried in international courts – Serbia's Milosevic, Liberia's Charles Taylor, Chad's Hissene Habre, and Cote d'Ivoire's Laurent Gbagbo. But only Gbagbo was tried in an ICC court. He was acquitted in January 2019 due to insufficient evidence, but prosecutors are appealing the case. Al-Bashir deserves to be taken to The Hague, and this action, if the former president actually does make it to The Netherlands, will certainly have benefit in peace talks with rebel groups. Sudan's promise to set up a special Darfur tribunal to deal with war criminals not indicted by the ICC is also a welcome step. However, sometimes, good and even righteous acts may distract from the main event. The offer to extradite Al-Bashir is like the recent meeting between the head of Sudan's ruling Sovereignty Council, Lt.-Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu – positive, good events laudatory in themselves. But these are also actions that could have a marginal if not a negative impact on the main event, which is the nature of political power in Khartoum and the challenge of delivering on a better life for Sudan's growing population of 43 million (expected to rise to 81 million by 2050). A fragile civilian government struggles to contain and manage a series of dire domestic challenges. The same day that the news about Al-Bashir and the ICC broke, a fuel shortage brought much of Khartoum to a standstill, as people waited for gasoline in massive lines stretching miles. Bread shortages have also broken out. In late 2018, it was shortages of food that ignited the rolling demonstrations that led to the fall of Al-Bashir and the NCP in April 2019. Sudan needs justice and the rule of law. It would certainly benefit from better relations with other countries in the region, including Israel. But it could be dangerous indeed if the Sudanese people perceive that seemingly "foreign" demands take priority over improving the daily lives of Sudanese citizens. Many observers presume that the ICC and Netanyahu meeting decisions are connected to larger ongoing discussions that will lead to tangible results, such as finally removing Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. But while such a diplomatic step is essential, it is not, in and of itself, sufficient. For decades, we have seen tyrannical regimes in the Arab world distract their people from their misery by harping on foreign conspiracies, on the supposed evils of America, Israel, and the West. In Sudan, it won't be the current civilian transitional government that will make such charges, but those sinister forces in Sudan who long for the return of Political Islam à la the NCP to return to power, or even something worse. It is incumbent on the international community to not just encourage Sudan to do the right thing in terms of international relations (and both the ICC and Netanyahu can so easily be portrayed in lurid terms by extremists). The international community must help the transitional government in at least being perceived as delivering on some much needed relief to its own people.      *Alberto M. Fernandez is President of Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN). The views expressed herein are those of the author and not of MBN or the Government of the United States.

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February 13, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8555

Sudanese Politician In Saudi 'Al-Sharq Al-Awsat' Daily: Sudanese People Support Normalization With Israel; Arabs’ Policy Of Refusal Has Only Hurt Them

February 13, 2020
Saudi Arabia, Sudan | Special Dispatch No. 8555
In a February 9, 2020 interview with the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi, former deputy prime minister of Sudan and currently the head of the Umma Reform and Renewal Party, expressed support for the recent meeting between Sudanese leader ‘Abd Al-Fattah Al-Burhan and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and for the normalization of relations between the two countries. Responding to those who condemned the meeting, Al-Mahdi stated that the Palestinians themselves have normalized relations with Israel and have maintained economic ties with it since the signing of the Oslo Accords, as do many other Arab countries, chief of them Egypt. Al-Mahdi added that the Arabs’ years-long policy of refusal, as part of which they have rejected every proposal for resolving the Palestinian issue, is unrealistic and has harmed them, and that the talk of a continued boycott of Israel has become meaningless in the current reality and considering the existing balance of power. Urging the Arabs to learn from the mistakes of the past and advance towards normalization with Israel, he stressed that the Sudanese, with the exception of some extremists, are in favor of this option, especially since Sudan is in desperate need for Israeli technology. Moreover, friendship with Israel could help Sudan clear its name as a former state-sponsor of terror and may lead to the lifting of the U.S. sanctions on it, he said. It should be noted that Al-Mahdi expressed similar positions when he served as minister of investments and deputy prime minister, which drew fire from the Sudanese political and religious establishment. [1]  It should also be noted that, according to recent reports, Israel, the U.S., Egypt and Saudi Arabia are discussing the possibility of holding a summit in Cairo, attended by Israeli PM Netanyahu and several Arab leaders, including Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, Egyptian President ‘Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi, and the leaders of the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Sudan. If there is any truth to these reports, the meeting between Netanyahu and Al-Burhan may have been a trial balloon ahead of this summit. The interview with Al-Mahdi in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, as well as another article recently published in the daily – an opinion piece  by senior columnist ‘Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed explaining Sudan’s reasons for drawing closer to Israel[2] – may likewise be a Saudi attempt to promote the idea of normalization with Israel among the Arab public.     The interview with Al-Mahdi in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat The following are translated excerpts from Al-Mahdi’s February 9, 2020 interview in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. [3] The Palestinians Themselves, As Well As Many Arab Countries, Have Normalized Relations With Israel “The leading topic of debate in Sudan these days is ‘normalization with Israel.’ Ever since ‘Abd Al-Fattah Al-Burhan, chairman of [Sudan’s] sovereign council, detonated the ‘normalization bomb’ on February 3, 2020, the Sudanese street has been divided between supporters and opponents of this move, although it appears that the supporters of the move are the obvious majority. One of these supporters is Mubarak Al-Mahdi, former [Sudanese] deputy prime minister, who described the opposition to this step as ‘unobjective,’ claiming that the Palestinians have themselves ‘normalized’ their relations with the Israelis since the Oslo Accords, and that Sudan needs what he called a ‘certificate of innocence’ clearing it of the terrorism charges [against it], which Israel can grant it on a silver platter... According to him, the [Palestinians’] signing of the Oslo Accords ‘means the acceptance of Israel and coexistence with the Israelis in a single state that includes the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. They received autonomy and held elections for the presidency and the municipalities... The Palestinians maintain [economic] relations with Israel in matters of electricity and customs, and Palestinians work in Israel. In other words, full normalization [already] exists, and all that is left is for them is [to finalize] the official status of the state...” “According to Al-Mahdi, normalization began with the Camp David Accords [between Israel and Egypt], which he called ‘the end of the military solution [option],’ because Egypt realized that it didn’t have the necessary resources to enter a ceaseless struggle and arms race. He added: ‘After Egypt regained its honor in the 1973 war, it regained its lands by signing the Camp David [Accords], normalized relations [with Israel] and raised the Israeli flag in Cairo. After that, many Arab countries followed – Jordan, Oman, Qatar – and [Israeli] representations began appearing [in those countries]. “Al-Mahdi, who for years has been publicly calling for normalization with Israel, said that normalization has not occurred with the Arab public because [this public] is still subject to media propaganda which operates in the old way, and which has not been updated to match the change in reality. He added, ‘And then along came the Oslo Accords, which reinforced the recognition that whoever lacks the necessary strength cannot perpetuate the conflict, and everyone understood that the solution required now is political, attained by means of dialogue...’”    The Boycott Against Israel Is Meaningless; The Arab Policy Of Refusal Has Yielded Negative Results “As for the discourse regarding continuing the boycott of Israel, Al-Mahdi said that ‘it has become meaningless,’ because the world and the balances of power are changing, and today there are 13 Arab members in the [Israeli] Knesset, and the conflict has become a political, cultural, and educational [one, waged] by peaceful means, not a conflict of confrontation and boycotts. He blamed the erosion of the Arabs’ achievements on the ‘Arab policy of refusal,’ saying: ‘The Arab policy of refusal has yielded the opposite results [of what was intended. The Arabs] rejected the partition [plan] of 1948; then they rejected the 1967 borders, and now they are demanding a [Palestinian] state even smaller in size... The emotional policy of refusal ignored the balance of power and the global and regional situation, and did not consider what was possible and what was not.’ He called to learn from past experience and to rely on it in contending with the reality, which is leading toward a policy of normalization and confidence-building...” Sudan Paid A Heavy Price For The Policy Of Refusal; Normalization With Israel Will Clear Its Name and Boost Its Economy “Al-Mahdi believes that normalization of relations with Israel and a renewal of confidence-building [with it] have created substantial economic interests for Israel in the Arab world, [because the latter] is an enormous market that the Israeli advanced technology sector needs. He said: ‘Sudan and the Arab world need the advanced Israeli technology. When Israel discovers the interests it has in the Arab [world], its motivation to make further concessions to the Palestinians will increase, [and] they will become part of the country [i.e. Israel]. It will also handle the refugee problem and the “Jerusalem problem,” which is not a Palestinian issue so much as an Islamic issue, which in the past was under Jordanian management.’ With respect to normalization between Sudan and Israel, Al-Mahdi said that the Sudanese economy in general, and specifically the agricultural sector, is severely underdeveloped... and that Sudan needs energy, infrastructures and agricultural technology. He mentioned that ‘in most of the lands there is no water, no electricity and no roads, and therefore we desperately need Israeli technology.’ “Al-Mahdi clarified that Sudan has not yet achieved full national unity due to the regime of Omar Al-Bashir and the Muslim Brotherhood, which brought Sudan back into ‘the [era] of tribalism and sectarian groups’… He believes that ‘this regime’s alliance with Iran, its support of the terrorist organizations and of the Palestinian armed struggle, its opposition to the Oslo Accords, and its involvement, along with Hamas, the [Palestinian Islamic] jihad and various [other] organizations, in the smuggling of weapons from Iran and Syria to Palestine – all these incensed the Christian and Jewish lobbies [in the U.S.] against Al-Bashir’s regime, and [also] led Israel to make three air strikes on Sudan, which was in a state of conflict with Israel... [Sudan] was hit with various sanctions because it chose the path of confrontation...’ He added, ‘We paid a heavy price for our rejectionist positions, which were mostly emotional positions, and we did not take our interests into account.’ Al-Mahdi noted that normalization between Sudan and Israel was in its early stages, and that it could provide Sudan with a ‘certificate of innocence’ [clearing it] of terrorism [charges], adding, ‘Israel is an important country for the issuing of such a certificate, because we acted against it alongside Iran and perpetrated substantial operations that threatened its security, [including] arms smuggling, the training [of terrorists] and significant collaboration with Iran, Syria, and other players.” “Al-Mahdi clarified that the Jewish lobby [in the U.S.] was the most significant factor operating against Sudan, and that operating together with it was the Christian lobby, which was outraged at the religious war in South Sudan. He added: ‘The coalition of the Jewish and Christian lobbies [in the U.S.] is against us [due to] the [Sudanese] support for terrorism and persecution of Christians, and because of the religious war [in South Sudan]. Therefore, we need this certificate of innocence from Israel, and need it to assure the U.S. on our behalf that we have overcome this stage [of supporting terrorism]... We will wait and see what they do for us in terms of lifting the sanctions, since it is the U.S. that organized the meeting [between Al-Burhan and Netanyahu], and therefore it is witness to the fact that that we have dealt with this issue. “He continued: ‘This is the first step, and if we go beyond it and remove the name of Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, we will have all the opportunities that the process of normalization affords, in terms of technical and economic cooperation…”   The Sudanese Today Support Normalization With Israel – Because They Wish To Build Their Future “Al-Mahdi continued: ‘The benefit Israel will derive from [relations with] Sudan is very great, because Africa is the only market left for which the world is competing, and Sudan is the key [to Africa]. Exports from Sudan to Israel in the 1950s were estimated in the millions [of dollars]. Many Sudanese companies exported to Israel, and there was a large Jewish community that worked in exports to Israel.’ “In response to Israeli press reports that [during the Al-Bashir era] Al-Mahdi and former [Sudanese] foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour had met in secret with top Israeli officials, Al-Mahdi said: ‘This is not true; I did not meet with any Israeli and I was not part of these matters.’ He added: ‘Under usual circumstances, these matters were never given to us to handle, because we were considered rivals [of the regime]. They were given to Al-Bashir’s associates... They were handled only by president Al-Bashir and the security apparatus, even foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour was not involved in the matter. Only after the siege closed in around the regime did [Ghandour] lead negotiations with the Israelis. As far as I know, Al-Bashir himself wanted to meet with the Israeli officials but someone advised Netanyahu not to meet with him because he was accused of war crimes and genocide [in Darfur].’ “According to Al-Mahdi, Ghandour’s negotiations with the Israelis focused on cessation of [Sudan’s] support for the armed movements in Gaza, and of arming them, and the [Sudanese] regime clarified that it would not oppose this cessation in exchange for the lifting of the sanctions on it. The former official [Al-Mahdi] said that there was no significant opposition to normalization with Israel, ‘except for a few extremists who repeat hollow slogans about  Jerusalem, but if you tell them to go fight they won’t.’ He continued: ‘...The Sudanese now support normalization [with Israel] because they want to lay the foundations for their future. Ideologies no longer interest them as they did in the past. [The late Egyptian president] Gamal ‘Abd Al-Nasser played on the strings of the Palestinian issue, and during his time the Arabs lost a great deal – until the arrival of Sadat, who discerned [Nasser’s] huge mistake and therefore normalized relations with Israel, and paid a price [for doing so].’”     [1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No.7074, Sudanese Investment Minister: Normalization With Israel Isn’t ‘Such A Big Deal’; Sudanese Cleric: Shari’a Permits It, August 30, 2017; Special Dispatch No. 7109, Sudanese Cleric Defends Investment Minister’s Call To Normalize Relations With Israel, September 26, 2017. [2] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8540, Senior Saudi Journalist Following Meeting Between Leaders Of Sudan And Israel: Sudan’s Action Is Understandable; Many Arab Countries Hold Ties With Israel, February 6, 2020. [3] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), February 9, 2020.

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February 13, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8556

Mk.ru 'Observer' Rostovsky: Russia Must Preserve Its Role As Universal Mediator In Syria

February 13, 2020
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 8556
As tensions between Moscow and Ankara escalated further following another deadly exchange between the Turkish army and Assad's army, Mk.ru's observer Mikhail Rostovsky, who has good ties with the senior Russian leadership, urged Moscow to adhere to its course of universal mediator in Syria and avoid the simplistic but erroneous position of tilting exclusively to the Syrian side. The Soviet Union by breaking relations with Israel in 1967 had forfeited influence in the Middle East and allowed itself to be manipulate by the interests of Hafiz Al-Assad, the father of the current Syrian leader. Rostovsky was certain that Vladimir Putin would not repeat such mistakes although Rostovsky had no illusion about Turkey's malign intentions towards Russia. Addressing the Turkish parliament on February 12, 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan directly accused Russia for the escalation in Syria: "Russian forces and Iran-backed militias are constantly attacking the civilian people, carrying out massacres, spilling blood." [1] Both in Russia and in Turkey noticed the shift in Erdogan's statement. Kommersant wrote: "It was for the first time that Mr. Erdogan directly accused Russia of the civilian population's deaths in Idlib and warned that aircraft that attacked populated areas would no longer be able to 'act freely, as before.'[2] Hurriyet columnist BARÇIN YİNANÇ observed: "President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is always very careful in his criticisms against Russia. His statement on Feb. 12 was certainly an exception. "When Turkey lost 14 soldiers in Idlib in Syria in the last 10 days under two separate attacks from regime forces,” even the pro-government analysts went only as far as saying that Bashar al-Assad forces cannot take action without the knowledge of Russia. "Erdoğan, however, exposed openly the direct military role played by Russia and Iran in assisting regime forces attacks on civilians in order to force them to flee and launch an all-out offensive against opposition forces to take back Idlib, their last stronghold. "This statement came after Erdoğan’s telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This shows that Putin did not pledge to stop regime offensives as a result of which Erdoğan had to come with a strong message that will force Putin to make a decision: Does he want to be the only power to call the shots in Syria’s future? The consequence of that might be military confrontation with Turkey, which ironically currently stands as the most pro-Russian country among NATO members. Or will he accept a compromise solution whereby Turkey will continue to have a say in Syria’s future?" [3]“ Russia did not believe that an actual rupture with Ankara was imminent. Kirill Semenov an expert of the Russian International Affairs Council told Kommersant: "Erdogan’s statement, despite warlike rhetoric, already hints that he would not want to bring the situation into direct conflict with Damascus. He makes it clear that he is counting on reaching a new agreement on Idlib with Moscow before the end of February. ”[4] Also reassuring was the announcement by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu that a Turkish delegation will visit Moscow in the near future to negotiate a settlement to the situation in Idlib: "Turkey will continue negotiations with Russia on the Syrian Idlib, but if they fail, it [Turkey] will act as it deems necessary.[5] As Russia and Turkey traded accusations while attempting to avoid passing the point of no return in their relations, Rostovsky penned an editorial for Mk.ru, titled "How Does One Tame Erdogan: Russia has no allies in the Middle East Only situational partners" that we reprint below:[6] Rostovsky with Russia's defense minister Sergei Shoigu (Source: Aurora network) Turkish-Russian Relations Were Traditionally Hostile "Is my friend’s friend also my friend? As Russia is once again convinced by its own bitter experience, in the Middle East this political arithmetic categorically refuses to work. Syrian President Assad is a sort of friend and strategic partner of Moscow. Turkish President Erdogan is also seemingly an important political ally of the Kremlin. So why, then, recently have military units subordinated to these two of our “friends” periodically come into direct combat clashes with each other? For all its external logic, this question is posed incorrectly. Russia should not consider itself the center of the “political universe” in the Middle East, try to resolve everything and assume upon itself the entire burden of responsibility for the intransigence of its partners. We must constantly remember: for Assad and Erdogan, their current relations with Moscow are just a derivative of their own interests. Remember - and conduct ourselves accordingly. "When is the leader of Turkey Erdogan being more sincere - when he periodically tosses out compliments to Moscow or when he solemnly and publicly proclaims [in Kiev] 'Glory to Ukraine!',as occurred recently? If we set aside the question of the permissibility of employing the term 'sincerity' regarding politicians of this rank, the answer is obvious to me: of course, the second case [is correct]. Throughout the entire centuries-old history of Russian-Turkish relations, they were only quite rarely truly friendly. Only the period of Lenin’s rule comes to mind. Then the retired de facto Turkish leader, Enver Pasha, lived in Moscow for a year and a half as a "treasured guest" of the Soviet government. But the founding father of the newly born Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal and the Bolsheviks had common enemies namely the British and French and maintained allied relations. This idyll did not last long, however. Kemal quickly reconciled with the West, and completely 'pulled a number' on Enver Pasha: [Enver] was sent to Turkestan to help establish Soviet power in the region, but shifted positions and led a rebellion against the 'yoke of Moscow'. "The strategic reality is that the long-term strategic interests of Russia and Turkey either do not completely coincide or are in direct conflict with each other. Ankara’s refusal to recognize Crimea as Russian has a false bottom: deep in their heart, the Turkish political elite still considers this region to be their own. Turkey seeks to dominate the former Soviet republics of Central Asia and is not even averse to gaining political influence in some regions within Russia. The last few years of fairly close cooperation between the two countries is somewhat an historical anomaly. It is quite useful for Russia, but it is still an anomaly. At this particular historical stage, our situational political interests partially coincided and this outweighed all other considerations. But this historical stage will end sooner or later. And something tells me: this will happen sooner than later." Russia, Unlike 1967, Must Preserve Its Role Of Mediator "With Assad, things are a little more complicated. As the Turkish president rightly points out, without the support of Russia, the current official leader in Damascus is a nobody. But without Assad's compulsory bestowal of a Syrian bridgehead upon us, it would be extremely difficult for Russia to play the very beneficial role of a universal mediator in the Middle East. The open conflict between Assad and Erdogan creates real problems for our foreign policy. With all the burning desire to say 'a plague on both your houses!', Moscow will not be able to do this. Where is the way out? The solution is that we should play the role of mediator and arbiter, and not anything else. In the Soviet period, we were not able to toe this fine line. The severance of diplomatic relations with Israel in 1967 as a 'punishment' for Tel Aviv’s “incorrect” behavior during its conflicts with the Arab world deprived Moscow of freedom of maneuver, reduced the influence of our country in the Middle East and enabled the father of the current Syrian president to manipulate the USSR in his interests. "For all our co-dependence with Assad, we should not consider ourselves responsible for all his actions. If the Syrian president wants to 'play at war' with an incomparably more powerful Turkey, this is his problem. Despite the fact that our long-term interests do not coincide with Ankara, we must be impeccably honest with Erdogan. Well, if the Turkish president is again in a state of resentment towards Moscow, then we should reacte very calmly. This is not the first time this has happened - it's time to get used to it. "Of course, the scenario of our optimal behavior described above looks good on paper, but it is extremely difficult to implement. But can it be otherwise in the Middle East? No, it cannot! The region is a most genuine "political cemetery" for good intentions and the most cunning political plans. For those who expect that “everything should be simple,” it’s better in principle to stay out here. I am glad that Putin is definitely not one of these politicians."   [1] Aljazeera.com, February 12, 2020. [2] Kommersant.ru, February 13, 2020. [3] Hurriyetdailynews.com, February 13, 2020. [4] Kommersant.ru, February 13, 2020. [5] Mk.ru, February 12, 2020. [6] Mk.ru, February 11, 2020.

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Feb 08, 2020
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Copenhagen Imam Mundhir Abdallah: I Was Found Guilty of Hate Speech following Sermon Translated by MEMRI; Danish Government Takes Away Muslim Children to Be Raised in the Danish Society of Drugs, Homosexuality, and AIDS

#7805 | 09:18
Source: Al-Waqiyah TV (Lebanon)

On February 8, 2020, Imam Mundhir Abdallah, a Copenhagen-based cleric who has previously been found guilty of hate speech and given a suspended sentence of six months following a MEMRI translation of a sermon he delivered (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7605), was interviewed on Al-Waqiyah TV (Lebanon), which belongs to Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international pan-Islamic organization. Imam Abdallah explained to the interviewer that the Jewish community and the Israeli embassy, which he referred to as the embassy of the “entity of the Jews,” had filed a police complaint against him after Danish media sources “distorted” MEMRI translation of sermon he had delivered in which he said that a rightly-guided Islamic caliphate should wage a real war to uproot Israel and liberate Palestine (see MEMRI TV Clips No. 6013, No. 6033, No. 6689, No. 6695, and No. 7407). Claiming that MEMRI belongs to the State of Israel, he elaborated that his sermon had been about the political issue of Palestine, that it was not about Jews and antisemitism, and that Islam has no problem coexisting with non-Muslims under Islamic rule, but that the Jews’ “propaganda” had convinced the Danish media that he had been calling for the killing of Jews everywhere in the world. In addition, Imam Abdallah said that he is the first person who has been tried for violating the law in question, which he said was passed in 2016 and which he said oppresses Muslims and controls what imams can say in mosques. He added that his verdict had been unanimously upheld even after being appealed. Furthermore, Imam Abdallah said that Western governments and societies believe Islam poses a threat to their disintegrating and empty societies that are “gnawed at by individualism and selfishness” and whose moral and spiritual values have shattered. He added that this is the reason Western youth turn to homosexuality, suicide, and drugs, and he compared the Danish government’s treatment of Muslims to the Chinese government’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims. Imam Abdallah also referred to Danish civilization as a “civilization of AIDS.” The show host mentioned that an Australian cleric affiliated with Hizb ut-Tahrir, Ismail Al-Wahwah (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7893), had been banned from entering Europe because he had made statements similar to Imam Abdallah’s statements.

Imam Mundhir Abdallah: "It all began approximately three years ago, following a Friday sermon that I delivered.

[...]

"[In the sermon, I said] that the solution is for the [Islamic] nation to rise, to regain its sovereignty, to gather its forces, and to liberate its lands by means of a real war that would be waged by the Muslim armies – the armies of the rightly-guided caliphate – and that would uproot the occupation from the land of Palestine. As a result of this... There is a Jewish center in Washington, D.C. Its name is MEMRI, for short. It is a media institute that belongs to the State of Israel. MEMRI translated the sermon to English and aired it on its channel [sic]. This was picked up by the Danish channels, and they distorted what I said. Consequently, the Israeli embassy here in Copenhagen went into action... I'm talking about the embassy of the entity, the Israeli enemy... Along with the representatives of the Jewish community, they filed a police complaint. This is when this matter started."

Interviewer: "You said that your words were distorted. Please explain what was distorted."

Imam Mundhir Abdallah: "The topic of the sermon, from beginning to end, was political. It discussed a political problem – the problem of Palestine. The premise was that Palestine is an occupied Islamic land and that the owners of this land have the right to fight for its liberation.

[...]

"In this case, the Jews are the occupiers, but the issue is not about Jews and antisemitism, and it is not a call to kill Jews wherever they may be. The Danish media said that the sermon... Of course, this was based on Jews' propaganda... The Danish media said that the sermon was a call to kill Jews everywhere in the world because they are Jewish. This claim is false and contradicts our understanding of Islam, of the rulings of the shari'a, of the political facts, and of the historical facts, which clearly show that Muslims have no problem coexisting with non-Muslims under Islamic rule.

[...]

"This is not a legal trial. It is a political trial par excellence. On the one hand, it was done in response to the pressure of the Jewish community and the Israeli embassy here, and on the other hand, it was meant to cover..."

Interviewer: "You mean 'Israeli embassy' in quotation marks... You mean the embassy of the Zionist entity."

Imam Mundhir Abdallah: "Yes, of course. The embassy of the entity of the Jews. This was a result of the pressure they exerted on the Danish authorities and public opinion, but also due to the interests of the Danish government, which wanted to cover up its policies that are biased in favor the entity of the Jews, which carries out massacres against Muslims day and night."

Imam Mundhir Abdallah: "I was tried on the basis of a new law that was legislated in 2016. It came into effect at the beginning of 2017. I am the first person to face trial on the basis of that law.

[...]

"This law was legislated to oppress the Muslims and in order to control what the imams and preachers say in the mosques.

[...]

"I was found guilty and given a six-month suspended sentence. I appealed this sentence and the appeals court convened a little more than a week ago. Even though all the discussions in the appeals court were in our favor – the lawyer spoke, the witness spoke... There was also an expert in the matters of the Islamic world, who was summoned by the prosecution. Even though all that was said was in our favor, the six judges unanimously decided to uphold the verdict.

[...]

"These Westerns governments and the capitalist influencers in these countries, who are decision-makers, have a problem with Islam and the Muslims.

[...]

"They believe that Islam poses a threat to their disintegrated society. From the outside, these societies seem united, but whoever looks at them from within realized that these societies have disintegrated and that they are gnawed at by individualism and selfishness. This is why their moral, human, and spiritual values have shattered. These societies were swept by waves of individualism and they experience emptiness. The youth turn to homosexuality, suicide, and drugs. The presence of Islam in such empty societies, which experience moral and cultural bankruptcy, poses a threat to their society. This is why they treat Islam with a kind of hysteria. This is especially true of the Danish government and regime."

Interviewer: "Our producer sent me some information about the institute you mentioned. It was a Zionist institute that picked up your sermon, translated it, and presented it to the media. It was founded by General Yigal Carmon twenty years ago, in 1998. The goal is to expose what the Arabs are watching, their use of anti-Semitic language, and their incitement to violence. [MEMRI also aims] to promote moderate voices. It has become one of the most important and influential research centers that monitor the Arab media. This Carmon, who served as a counter-terrorism advisor to Yitzhak Shamir and to Yitzhak Rabin, says that the institute had 50 employees at first and that they had been volunteers. There are now 75 employees who work for high salaries. The institute has branches in Jerusalem, Palestine, in Tel Aviv, in London, in Rome, in Berlin, and in Tokyo, and for a while, it even had a branch in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. The institute has Arab, Iranian, and Palestinian employees. Its budget comes from the United States.

[...]

"I'd like to mention that [Australian scholar] Ismail Al-Wahwah was banned from entering Europe due to a statement that is perhaps similar to the one you made, or because of a hadith he quoted that says: 'You shall fight the Jews and you shall kill them.' This is a well-known hadith."

Imam Mundhir Abdallah: "Muslims also suffer from their children being taken away from them. The Danish government employs a hostile policy that is no different from China's policy toward the Uyghur Muslims. The Danish government has legislated the policy that any Muslim family that raises their children on extremism should have their children taken away from them. 'Extremism' or 'extremist upbringing' are very flexible terms in this case, and it has no limits or boundaries. The municipalities and the public employees have the authority to decide for themselves whether something falls under this law or this policy, and Muslim boys are being taken away from their families. This has happened. They are given to Danish families so that they can be brought up within the civilization of AIDS, homosexuality, drugs, and immorality. This is a war against Islam in the full sense of the word."

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Feb 01, 2020
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British Preacher Imran Ibn Mansur "Dawah Man": Infidels in the U.K. Are So Filthy They Don’t Care How Many People You Sleep with; You Can Marry Multiple Wives

#7804 | 04:43
Source: The Internet

British preacher Imran ibn Mansur, also known as "Dawah Man," uploaded a video to the Internet on February 1, 2020, in which he had a discussion with young men and boys about marriage. He asked his audience what they would do if somebody were to try to take their moms or sisters as girlfriends, and when one boy answered that he would want to kill the man, ibn Mansur responded that he is not allowed to do that and that an Islamic court would have to deal with the issue, but that he would have to "move back home" for this because there is no Islamic law in England.

In addition, ibn Mansur told his audience that they can have as many as four wives, even though he advises against it, and he explained that only Allah's form of marriage matters and that it's only illegal to have more than one wife on the wedding registry, but that it isn't illegal to have multiple partners, because the infidels in the U.K. are so filthy that they don't care how many people one sleeps with. He added that while some people say that getting married young may increase chances of divorce, it is nonetheless better to get married young and ultimately get divorced than to commit adultery at a young age. For more from ibn Mansur, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 6760 and No. 6330.

Imran ibn Mansur: "Put up your hand if you've got a sister. Okay, if you don't have a sister, put your hand up if you've got a mum. Now, would you like any guy to come to your mum or your sister and try to take her as a girlfriend? What would you do? You slap him. What about you?"

Boy: "Me?"

Imran ibn Mansur: "Yeah, what would you do?"

Boy: "I would..."

Imran ibn Mansur: "Not what would you do, but what would you like to do to him?"

Boy: "Kill him."

Imran ibn Mansur: "Okay... Now, Inshallah, you don't have to kill no one. Can I tell you something? You know, one Sahabi [companion of the Prophet] said something similar. And he said: 'Are you strange, do you find it strange that he said: 'I'm gonna kill?' And the Prophet said 'I have more ghayra, I have more jealousy for my women than this man. His name was Saad, the companion. And he said: 'And Allah has more than me.'

"But don't kill anyone. Because you're not allowed to kill yourself. It happens in the court. You have to let the court deal with it. We live in a country where they don't have Islamic law. So you have to basically just, you know... move back home.

[...]

"So the point that I'm making is that when you want it, Inshallah, ultimately, brothers, you have it in a halal way, and then you'll be very happy. And then, you know, you can get a second, and a third, and a fourth, if you really want. I don't advise it. But you can get it, if you really want."

Boy: "Is it illegal?"

Imran ibn Mansur: "No, it's not illegal. As in, it's legal to have a registration marriage, like as far as they're concerned, just say: 'It's my other girlfriend.' You know, the kuffar [unbelievers] don't care if you have ten girlfriends. As long as you have nikah [marriage] that is Allah's nikah, you can't go to the court and marry more than one woman. But you can... They don't care, that's how filthy they are. They say, you can sleep with 20 women, and still be married. So, they don't care if you have four wives. It's just you can't go to the court and marry four wives. Does that make sense? Were you thinking of a second? Get a first, first. But you want one? You don't want one? You don't want to get married? How old are you? But you know, can I tell you something, brothers? To want to get married is a good thing. You know, there's a Sahabi called Amr ibn al-As was 11 years old and he had his first son."

Boy: "Eleven?"

Imran ibn Mansur: "Yeah. He's the Prophet's companion, yeah. He was 11 and he had a son. His son's name is Abdullah."

Boy: "And he has a son?"

Imran ibn Mansur: "He has a son, as well, yeah. So, you should want to get married soon. Can I tell you the advice that the Prophet's lesson gave? He said: 'Oh youngsters, any one from amongst you who has the ability to get married, then let him get married.' Here ability does not necessarily mean money, although some say it is money. It means physical ability. As in, you get to the point where you're like: 'I like women.' So to protect yourself from haram, looking at other women, you should now go to Mum and Dad and say: 'Look, I'm a [unintelligible]...' And say: 'I need to get married.' You need to keep trying then. You need to keep chatting to Mum... How old are you bro? How old are you?"

Boy: "I'm 17."

Imran ibn Mansur: "And you?"

Boy: "18 in October."

Imran ibn Mansur: "Boy, you need to try harder, bro. I know a brother who was 18 and got married and he had two wives."

[...]

Boy: "What if bring up marriage to my Mum, and she just brushes it off her shoulder. She doesn't reply back. What's my next step?"

[...]

Imran ibn Mansur: "Show Mum and Dad: 'Look, I'm mature. I'm serious about life.' Does that make sense? You have to start taking responsibility. Because the way they see it, is because if they bring a woman into your life, are you going to be able to fulfill the responsibilities that you have over her? Does that make sense? So, you've got to show Mum: 'Look Mum, I'm mature.' So I think it will be good. Have a real conversation with Mum. Say: 'Mum, look, what's the reason why I can't get married?' Have a conversation. Break it out. Pull it out of her. What's the reason?"

Boy: "I was told that young marriage causes, like, breakups."

Imran ibn Mansur: "It depends, yes and no. It depends. And to be honest, it is better to get married young, even if it doesn't work out, than do to zina [fornication]."

memri
February 12, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8554

Turkey Challenges Greece's Sovereignty Over 16 Islands In The Aegean Sea

February 12, 2020
Turkey | Special Dispatch No. 8554
Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar challenged Greece's sovereignty on its islands in the Aegean Sea, saying in two recent interviews that Greece had armed 16 islands in violation of the relevant agreements. The Greek government reacted, saying: "It is at the very least hypocritical for a country that systematically violates the territorial integrity, sovereignty and sovereign rights of nearly all its neighbouring countries... to invoke international law." Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar: "Greece Has Armed 16 Of Them Contrary To The Agreements" In a statement on January 23, Akar said: "Despite these islands having a non-military status, Greece has armed 16 of them contrary to the agreements. We expect Greece to behave according to international law, the agreements it has signed, and good neighborly relations... We will not be encroached upon in any way. This is not a threat but our saying that we are in favor of good neighborliness is not a weakness. Right now, neither in the world nor in history is there a country whose territorial waters are six [nautical] miles and its airspace is ten [nautical] miles. We are faced with such outlandishness. They are trying to introduce this to world opinion as a reality. We are defending our right on this matter."[1] Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (source: Sozcu.com.tr). Turkish Government: Territorial Waters Are Six Nautical Miles In Aegean Sea, 12 In Mediterranean And Black Seas While the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea expands a country's territorial waters from six to 12 nautical miles from its shore, Turkey is not a party to this convention. The Turkish government recognizes its own territorial waters as including the waters six nautical miles from its shore in the Aegean Sea, and 12 nautical miles from its shore in the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.[2] Were Turkey to recognize Greece's territorial waters as including those waters 12 nautical miles from Greece's shore, the many Greek islands in the Aegean Sea would bring much of that sea under Greek control. Greek Foreign Ministry: "It Is At The Very Least Hypocritical For A Country That Systematically Violates The Territorial Integrity... Of Nearly All Its Neighbouring Countries... To Invoke International Law" Also on January 23, the Greek Foreign Ministry released a statement, saying: "It is at the very least hypocritical for a country that systematically violates the territorial integrity, sovereignty and sovereign rights of nearly all its neighbouring countries – a country that threatens to go to war with its neighbour and ally if the latter exercises its legal rights, a country that trumpets its violation of the UN arms embargo on Libya – to invoke international law. Expectedly this country fails [to] realise that its neighbours are obliged to take every measure for their legal defence throughout their territory, despite the fact that this right is enshrined in the UN Charter, the very gospel of international law. And we continue to be understandably concerned at the fact that the international community’s constant urgings to Turkey to respect international law are falling on deaf ears."[3] Akar discussed the issue of the Greek islands again in a February 9 interview: "Greece's approach to the issue makes it more difficult for the problems to be solved on common ground. Sixteen out of 23 islands have been armed since 1936, contrary to the agreements. At the same time, in a manner not seen anywhere in the world today or in the past, despite its territorial waters being six miles, it claims its airspace is ten miles. This is not in accordance with reason." Retired staff colonel and former secretary general for Turkey's Defense Ministry Ümit Yalım commented on Akar's January 23 statement, saying that Greece had deployed battalion or regiment-level military units to 15 of the islands to which Akar had referred. Yalım listed the 15 islands as Thasos, Samothrace, Agios Efstratios, Psara, Ahikerya, Patmoz, Leipsoi, Leros, Kalymnos, Astypalaia, Nisyros, Symi, Tilos, Karpathos, and Meis.[4] In the past Yalım has cited historical agreements to say that three quarters of the island of Crete, as well as 14 other islands, islets, and bluffs now "under occupation" by Greece in fact belonged to Turkey.[5] Yalım said that Greece had deployed regiments or battalions to 15 of the islands Akar mentioned.   [1] Sozcu.com.tr/2020/gundem/hulusi-akar-yunanistan-16-adayi-anlasmalara-aykiri-olarak-silahlandirdi-5583614, January 23, 2020. [2] Tarimorman.gov.tr/ABDGM/Belgeler/%C4%B0DAR%C4%B0%20%C4%B0%C5%9ELER/Uzmanl%C4%B1k%20Tez%20 Eyl%C3%BCl%202015/Cagla%20Tozlu.pdf, September 2015. [3] Mfa.gr/en/current-affairs/statements-speeches/ministry-of-foreign-affairs-announcement-on-statements-from-the-leadership-of-the-turkish-ministry-of-defence.html, January 23, 2020. [4] Odatv.com/iste-hulusi-akarin-tepki-gosterdigi-fotograflar-23012042.html, January 23, 2020. [5] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8403 Former Secretary General Of Turkish Defense Ministry, Writing Prior To Turkish President Erdoğan's December 2017 Visit To Greece: 'Greece Should Immediately Evacuate And Surrender To Turkey Three Quarters Of The Island Of Crete' And Five Islands Surrounding It (Archival), December 10, 2019.  

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Former Pakistani Taliban Spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan Lands In Turkey After Escaping Pakistani Custody, Launches Twitter Account

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February 12, 2020

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The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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February 12, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8553

Fatah Representative In Poland: The Holocaust Wasn’t The Only Atrocity Committed During WWII; Israel Inflates The Number of Holocaust Victims To Justify Its Crimes

February 12, 2020
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 8553
Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, marked on January 27, 2020, Dr. Khalil Nazzal, secretary of Fatah's branch in Poland, published an article on this topic in the Palestinian Authority (PA) daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. In the article, he acknowledged the horrific suffering of the Jews during World War II, but noted that the Nazis' victims included not only Jews but nationals of all European countries, and that other crimes were perpetrated during that war as well, such as the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Japan, the destruction of Warsaw in 1944 and the rape of German women by the soldiers of the armies that advanced on Berlin. He added that the 'occupation state' (Israel) has illegitimately appropriated their suffering and uses it as an excuse to perpetrate crimes against the Palestinian people, while the West remains silent due to its guilt over the Holocaust. Stating that "opinions differ regarding the number Jewish victims" of the Holocaust, he advised those who question the six-million figure to do so carefully, while basing their claims on "objective studies", and added that the Zionist entity inflates the number of victims in order to blackmail the world and force it to accept its policies. He also complained that the Palestinians, who were not involved in World War II, are paying the price for Europe's crimes against the Jews. Dr. Khalil Nazzal (Source: Fatehorg.ps, November 13, 2017) The following are translated excerpts from Khalil Nazzal's article:[1] "The 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz detention camp, which was established by the Nazi occupiers of Poland during World War II, is approaching. The camp was liberated on January 27, 1945 by the Soviet forces that were pursuing Hitler's armies as they retreated towards their unavoidable fate. The world was appalled by the magnitude of the crimes perpetrated in this large prison, which held a vast number of victims from several of the European countries that had been under Nazi occupation, most of them Jews of various nationalities. This was part of the systematic Nazi policy which was intended to completely eliminate the Jews using many nefarious measures, among them the use of poison gas as an efficient means of mass murder. There isn't the slightest justification for minimizing the gravity of the crimes committed against the people of Europe and the world during World War II. "These victims of these crimes were primarily the Jews, but there were other victim as well, for the dropping of the nuclear bomb on Japan was [also] a crime; the destruction of Warsaw and the murder of hundreds of thousands of its residents during the 'Warsaw Uprising' of 1944 was a crime, and the rape of thousands of German women by soldiers of the armies advancing on Berlin was a crime. We oppose all these crimes, and we oppose persecuting Jews just because they are Jews. [We oppose this] first of all because these are crimes against humanity. We cannot conceivably accept the oppression, persecution or killing of innocent people because of their religion, nationality or skin color, for people are born free and it is forbidden to violate their right to life or to treat them with disrespect, under any pretext. "Opinions differ regarding the number Jewish victims who were killed as the result of the Nazi crimes during World War II. Some historians claim that the number reached six million, while others reduce the number to hundreds of thousands. Regardless, we are convinced that the unjust loss of [even] one life is tantamount to the loss of an entire world, and that arguing about the number of victims is neither reasonable nor moral. "[But] here we would like to emphasize the following: "A. The Zionist state of occupation and settlements is not the [legitimate] heir to the pain and suffering of the Jews, for it is a state based on a racist ideology that disrespects human life and carries out racist discrimination against our Palestinian people just because they are Palestinian. It is this ideology that led to the great Palestinian Nakba, a crime whose repercussions affect our people to this very day. Hence, this ideology, which led to the Nakba, is comparable to the ideology that led to the Holocaust, for the hangmen of all times and eras are similar,  and the pain of the victims is similar as well, whether they are in Auschwitz or in Deir Yassin. "B. We know that the official Western regimes distort history. They took part in usurping the Jews' suffering [during the Holocaust] by allowing it to be appropriated by the racist Zionist regime, which the imperialist [West] established in order to atone for the crime of the Holocaust. However, by [establishing the Zionist regime, the West only] added another crime to the list of its crimes, namely the crime of the Palestinian Nakba, of robbing Palestine from its owners and gifting it to the Zionist movement so it could spread corruption and terror within it. While the massacre of the Jews in Europe lasted six years, the Nakba and the Zionist crimes against Palestine and its people have been going on for decades. The Western leaders continue to wrap themselves in shameful silence when it comes to Palestine, and at the same time, we see them showing up one by one, like [obedient] school children, when the government of the [Zionist] settlers summons them to take part in commemorating the anniversary of the crimes of World War II, which took place 80 years ago. [These leaders] hardly bother to glance over the racist separation fence and notice the victims of the of their own crime, which has been ongoing since they planted this [Zionist] entity in Palestine that specializes in killing, terror, racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing on a daily basis. "C. No matter what the number of Jewish [Holocaust] victims [really] was, it does not give anyone the right to subject our people to racial discrimination and national oppression, for one crime does not justify another. It is also inconceivable that the tendency to inflate the number of Jewish victims should serve as a smokescreen to conceal Israel's daily crimes against the legal owners of the land of Palestine. This is an attempt to ceaselessly repeat the accusation of 'antisemitism' and direct it at anyone who dares to oppose the policy of occupation and to identify with the just struggle of our people. Just as courage and justice during World War II meant saving Jews from the danger of extermination, today they mean supporting the Palestinian people's right to oppose the crimes that the occupation's army and settlers perpetrate against them. Today, the [real] 'antisemites' and inhuman [criminals] are those who support the policy of the occupation state and defend its crimes. "D. Nobody must [propose] a smaller number of [Holocaust] victims without relying on studies whose sole objective is to discover the truth. Here we should note that whoever engages in the hobby of reducing the number [of Holocaust victims] falls into the Zionist trap by believing that the 'small' number of victims undermines the Israeli propaganda, which inflates [this number] in order to blackmail the world and force it to accept the racist policy of the state of occupation and settlements. [But] this inflation does not justify the occupation's crimes, nor does it detract from the ugliness of the crime that was perpetrated against the Jews of Europe!        "E. Our people was not a side in World War II, so why should it bear the consequences of the crimes perpetrated by Europe against its [own] citizens of various religions and ethnicities, especially the Jews? Everyone knows that, during that war, Palestine was under the occupation of the British, who [later] acted to establish a state for the Jews of the world at the expense of our people and over the ruins of our homeland. Our people's efforts at the time focused on legitimate opposition to the Zionist enterprise and were confined to historical Palestine, and we never lost our humanity and our sympathy for the oppressed, wherever they are. "The Jews are fully entitled to seclude themselves with the pain that the Nazi crimes have left in their memory.  As victims of the Zionist racism, we feel unreserved sympathy for the pain of the Jewish and other victims, [but we] oppose the use of this pain to perpetuate the historic injustice against our people. We support the victims, but the state of occupation and settlements is a criminal [entity] that poisons our lives and contaminates the memory of the victims of Auschwitz with shame, racism, oppression and the killing of innocent Palestinians, [who are] the legal owners of Palestine."   [1] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), January 25, 2020.

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