In a video from February that has been circulating on social media platforms in recent days (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77bqzT5n5Vs), Jordanian cleric Ali Hassan Al-Halabi said that killing Jews is not permissible, adding that the Jews "don't attack you if you don't attack them." On November 3, Sheikh Al-Halabi posted two lengthy videos in which he rebutted criticism by political rivals, especially from the Muslim Brotherhood. In the new videos, Sheikh Al-Halabi referred to Jews as "the brothers of apes and pigs" and said that Jihad against them is a duty, but that the Muslims are not up for the task right now, and must prepare first.
Following are excerpts:
Caller: "Dear Sheikh, a few days ago I read on the Internet that you had issued a fatwa, about which there has been a lot of confusion."
Caller: "Could you please clarify your fatwa? My question is: When was the Israeli soldier ever not ready [for war]?"
Al-Halabi: "Right. Thank you. Thank you very much... Dear brothers, the Jews are occupiers and plunderers. They are people [prone to] betrayal, fraud, cunning, and deceit. They are the slayers of the prophets and the messengers.
"The conflict with the Jews cannot be won just by those defenseless [Palestinians]. No matter how hard they try, they will not succeed.
"We hope that our brothers and folk in the West Bank will have the ability and strength to uproot that treacherous enemy. The Jihad against the Jews is a mandatory Jihad, incumbent upon any Muslim country, as upon any Muslim who accepts Allah as the Lord and Islam as his religion. But it cannot be done through such an emotional thrust, and with such excitement that only serves to harm us. How can we think that this leads us to victory? The nation must prepare and unite in order to uproot this enemy.
"By Allah, if your brother, the son of your mother and father, were to attack you in your own home, and you have no way to fend him off other than killing him, then we say that he was the aggressor and you were the defender – all the more so when the aggressor is an evil Jew, from among the brothers of apes and pigs.
"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.
"A few days ago, a fatwa that I issued in a meeting began spreading like wildfire. That was two days ago, although the aforementioned meeting took place almost a year ago.
"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?
"Yes, we are happy when the Jews are humiliated and defeated, when they fall, but there is a way of doing things. In the words of the poet, a boat cannot sail on dry land.
"By God, a Muslim's fingernail is worth more to us than the heads of a thousand Jews.
"Jihad against the Jews, fighting them, and liberating the land from them is a binding and mandatory duty, incumbent upon the Islamic countries and upon the Muslim individuals, but it depends on capabilities, because everybody knows that America has Israel's back. Are today's fragmented Muslims up for the task? Let's be honest. Let's not fool ourselves."