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May 22, 2014 11:12 am

U.K. Silent on Pope’s Meeting With Mufti Who Wants to Kill Jews

avatar by Adam Levick

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Pope Francis. Photo: Casa Rosada via Wikimedia Commons.

report at the Independent by Ben Lynfield focuses on Palestinian activists who are “scathing about the Pope’s plans to make the first visit by a pontiff to the tomb of Theodor Herzl” – the founder of Zionisism. Zionism is the political movement, Lynfield explains, “that established Israel and displaced the Palestinians.”

Lynfield continues:

Omar Barghouti, a Ramallah-based member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, termed the planned visit to the grave “nauseating”.

“Laying a wreath on the grave of the founder of Zionism, a patently racist ideology that has served to enable and justify the ethnic cleansing of most of the indigenous people of Palestine, is a nauseating, offensive act of complicity that Palestinian civil society cannot but condemn,” Mr Barghouti wrote in an emailed statement. He added that the gesture would “serve to whitewash Israel’s occupation and apartheid”.

Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s central council, also questioned the Pope’s choice. He said that if the Pope is to visit Herzl’s tomb, he should make a visit to the Yasser Arafat mausoleum in Ramallah for “balance”

Of course, neither Lynfield nor any of his colleagues within the U.K. media have yet noted that, although the Pope will not be visiting the grave of the ‘father of modern terrorism,”Ž’ he will be meeting with the Grand Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein. The Grand Mufti is the most senior religious figure in the Palestinian Authority (the Palestinian equivalent of the Israeli Chief Rabbi), and has an appalling record of extreme anti-Semitic hate speech and support for suicide bombings.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported the following:

What Pope Francis may not be aware of is that the Mufti has an ongoing record of vicious Antisemitic hate speech, which has been condemned internationally.In 2012, the Mufti preached that it is Muslim destiny to kill the Jews. On a different occasion, in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, he taught that Jews were “enemies of Allah,” and in another speech he said that the souls of suicide bombers “tell us to follow in their path.”

PMW recently cited a speech, broadcast on PA television in January 2012, from a Fatah celebration in East Jerusalem, where the Mufti endorsed the murder of Jews.

Here’s the transcript:

Moderator at Fatah ceremony: “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews) is a war of religion and faith.

Long Live Fatah! [I invite you,] our honorable Sheikh.”

Palestinian Authority Mufti Muhammad Hussein:
“47 years ago the [Fatah] revolution started. Which revolution? The modern revolution
of the Palestinian people’s history.
In fact, Palestine in its entirety is a revolution,
since [Caliph] Umar came [to conquer Jerusalem, 637 CE],
and continuing today, and until the End of Days.
The reliable Hadith (tradition attributed to Muhammad),
in the two reliable collections, Bukhari and Muslim, says:
‘The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews.
The Jew will hide behind stones or trees.
Then the stones or trees will call:
‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’
Except the Gharqad tree [which will keep silent].’
Therefore, it is no wonder that you see Gharqad [trees]
surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies.
[Gharqad trees] surrounding, surrounding and surrounding.
That’s the Palestine we are talking about,
with the beginning of the Jihad and the continuation of the Jihad,
with the struggle and the procession of the Martyrs.”

[PA TV (Fatah), Jan. 9, 2012]

As PMW explained, not only didn’t the Grand Mufti retract or condemn these statements by the moderator, but instead cited the Hadith to buttress the narrative that Palestinians are indeed destined to murder the Jews.

Though the U.K. media often characterize mainstream Israeli politicians who are on the right side of the political spectrum as “ultra-nationalist,” “far-right,” or even “extreme”, it seems certain that journalists working for the Independent, Guardian, Economist, Telegraph, or other newspapers covering Pope Francis’s visit to Israel, will fail to use similar pejoratives when reporting on his meeting with the PA Mufti who incites Palestinians to kill Jews.

As was demonstrated recently by a Guardian op-ed’s shameful justification for unparalleled anti-Semitism within Palestinian society, such egregious double-standards in moral accountability (the bigotry of low expectations) continue to skew the media’s coverage of the region, and deny news consumers the opportunity to fairly assess those dynamics which truly represent the ‘root cause’ of the conflict.

Adam Levick is the managing editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

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  • Hunter Watson

    “U.K. Silent on Pope’s Meeting With Mufti Who Wants to Kill Jews”

    One must be silent occasionally, especially when the demand is to make Zionist propaganda on behalf of Israel. Those demands are made every day without fail.

    And when the demands are made by advocates of a country which has killed far more Palestinians than vice versa, one must at least think before speaking.

  • Jews , get out of Europe now.

    Holocaust Questions and Answers:


    rabbi dr. Bernhard Rosenberg


    Can another holocaust happen?

    YES it can .If it happened before it can happen again. We must make certain that Israel remains strong. That is our salvation. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg http://www.mycentraljersey.com/viewart

    Holocaust Questions and Answers: by Rabbi Dr. Bernhard …


    rabbi dr. Bernhard Rosenberg


    Can another holocaust happen?

    YES it can .If it happened before it can happen again. We must make certain that Israel remains strong. That is our salvation. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg http://www.mycentraljersey.com/viewart

  • never forget, never forgive, never again. Support Israel.
    Holocaust Questions and Answers: by Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg…

    • Hunter Watson

      There is no connection between the Holocaust and the Palestinian people. But there certainly is a connection between the Naqba and subsequent ethnic cleansings of the Palestinians and the Israelis.

      • HH

        Um… ya, maybe read Palestinian Authority (aka the PLO) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Soviet PhD – It has 2 parts: first, about Holocaust denial (he says 1 million Jews died, not 6 million), then, the plan he wrote out 40 years ago: how to make it look the same happened for Palestinians to create negotiating leverage against Israel.

        Learn the truth, Hunter. The only thing real here is that the PA strategy is never to agree to a real truce. Why allow Israel and Jews to live in peace, when you can use the Palestinian people as a thorn in the side for eternity?


        The dark context for this is that Abbas, himself, is among the loudest firebrands of that hatred, and has been for the past 30 years since writing his doctoral dissertation at Moscow’s Oriental College on the very subject of Nazism.

        Abbas published a book in 1983 based on that thesis, which, according to Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in Washington, D.C., argued that less than one million Jews were killed by Nazis, not the six million Jews believe to have perished. And that those Jews were killed as the victims of a secret partnership between the Nazis and David Ben-Gurion and other Zionist leaders in order to have a stronger basis for demanding a state.

        “Since Zionism was not a fighting partner, it had no escape but to offer up human beings, under any name, to raise the number of victims, which they could then boast of at the moment of accounting,” Abbas wrote. “Having more victims meant greater rights and stronger privilege to join the negotiation table for dividing the spoils of war once it was over.”

        In another book he published, ‘Zionism: Beginning and End,’ in 1977, Abbas spelled out a strategy that sought to split Israeli society and co-opt those left-wing elements that felt unattached to Israeli leadership, to become his supporters and weaken Israel.

        His book is still being referred to today, including in the 56-page strategy document published by the PLO at end-2012, according to blogger Elder of Ziyon.

        One of the points Abbas mentions is “to develop a strategy to work with Israeli society, particularly with the forces that supported the principle of two states on the 1967 borders,” as a way to split Israeli opinion between hardliners and those willing to trade anything for peace.

    • There are 6,000,000 reasons why you have no ability to forgive what happened to these Jews of The Holocaust. We have every reason to look for comprehension, to attempt to understand what happened but We have no Right, whatsoever to act as adjudicators in the admonition of those who Perpetrated, those who Participated and those who merely looked the other way while Jewish Men, Women and Their Children were Murdered! Only those Jews of The Holocaust have any right to Forgive, while Justice might well apportion blame and seek restitution!

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    Mufti? Or Jack Straw?

  • Julian Clovelley ,I respectfully disagree with your point of view mentioning “.. Jewish settlers in palestiniana’s territories” .Just how those territories became palestinian’s ? You are either mixing up history of prefer to ignore facts which I will try to briefly reconstruct for you.There was the Ottoman Empire, there was WWI, there was Syke-Picot agreement, there was San Remo Conference. By far the vast majority of the middle east formerly under Ottoman’s was awarded to the arabs. The Land of Israel renamed by the Romans into Syria- Palestine Province , was awarded to the Jews.Following WWI Britain renamed the Land of Israel into Palestine and awarded the eastern part of the Land of Israel to a Saudi Sheik , whom they made king and who named his kingdom Jordan.There was a war in 1947/48 wedged by 6 arab countries against Israel among those attacking arab countries there was also Jordan who overwhelmed and occupied east Jerusalem and part of the Western Bank, yes part of the Western Bank , the part having original and historical name ; Judea and Somaria the cradle of our Jewish nationhood , expelling all the Jews from those areas conquered by Jordan very much the same , simultaneously , Jews were expelled from all the other arab countries.. It was ok then , the palestininas didn’t claim anything from the Jordanian king, they became his subjects .You recall there was another war the one in 1967 , this time Israel prevailed and overwhelmed and returned to its historical homeland , a homeland in which only the Jews have ever had sovereignty!! There are many people in the wordl who claim sovereignty and here is my suggestion to you ; please resolve first the aspirations of the Tchetchyans , the Catalunians, the Basques, the Germans in the Italian Tyrol, the Curds, the Tibetans,the Aborigines in Australia, the Maurees in new Zealand, give back America to the native Indians, return South America and Mexico to the original , native people , give the Scots their sovereignty as well as the Welsh , and then only then come to us , the Jews, to speak about the arabs who since 1968 call themselves palestinians!

    • Julian Clovelley

      Your response, ami, highlights the confusions of history. It would not be hard to add to that confusion. Revisiting history and traditions in Middle Eastern politics – perhaps any regions politics – is less than helpful. To cite one simple example, in my own family you will find practising Jewish people if you go back three generations, and if you then follow another stream you will find their descendants, by other genealogical routes, that are still practising. Assimilation over two thousand years – and conversions which seem to have taken place, on a large scale and in earlier centuries, totally confuse the issue. What rights do these people, who can prove their own genealogical connection, have over this same geographical area? What about the descendants of Roman, Carthaginian, and Greek people, that once lived there, where do you stop?

      Genetically based claims simply do not hold water. You may find this religiously offensive but it is a reality. In truth the words “historic homeland” are questionable. We are again talking tradition here. But to me this is not the justification for the existence of the State of Israel. For me that lies in the decisions made in the League of Nations, and the United Nations in the last century – decisions made in the light of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and in the aftermath of the Second World War. Many such territorial decisions were made in attempts to repair the damage of two major conflicts and centuries of struggle, including the chaos brought by the collapse of the Byzantine Empire. You may not feel, from the vantage point of your traditions, that they were enough, but more is not on offer. These decisions were at least, from the outset, based on existing communities in the area. The passage of time has highlighted the need for some minor adjustment made through respectful discussion and agreement. Such adjustments require a spirit of goodwill

      The nationalistic aspirations of ethnic groups are rarely achievable, often because the reality bases of these nationalisms are so dubious, that even within them there is dissent. look only at Judaism’s own internal diversity. Unity comes from looking forward not backwards

      If you want to argue about whether the West Bank territories should be regarded as Palestinian, then you undermine the entire modern justification for the existence of Israel too. Where a settlement violates foreign territory the whole structure of international decision is threatened with collapse. The American Right might want to tear down the United Nations edifice, as might the more extremist elements in Israel and Palestine, but had we not had the United Nations, and the Security Council, it is highly likely the world would have descended into nuclear war in the sixties or seventies. It cannot be perfect but it is all we have. Beyond that is only bullying. When I went to school in London in the sixties, during the Cuba crisis, we were ninety seconds distant from a missile launched from one of the Russian submarines submerged off our shores. To undermine the UN is to play with nuclear fire.

      The cradle of a groups nationhood is not a geographical area, but the traditions of history mythology and religion that bring them together as a group and keep them together. On a factual level these three items are none of them possessed of absolute truth, and often in conflict with other similar items from other competing groups. Even Aboriginal tribes sometimes had territorial disputes, despite claims of an absolute spiritual connection with the land.

      This is a hornet’s nest best left undisturbed. Safer far to concentrate on the post 1918 era when the world attempted to find solutions to the conflicts that brought it to the very edge of the abyss, failed absolutely, and then after the most horrific war and genocide in history, tried again.

      Ultimately the future is all we have – the past is gone the present fleeting. We cannot live comfortably together as creatures of the past, because the imperfections of human perception will always divide us. Our survival depends of recognising ourselves as as people with a common future. As such our aim should be a vast improvement in inter-personal behaviour, replacing anger with the elusive dream of peace. It can be done. The true triumph of Palestine and Israel would be if they jointly showed the world the way out of conflict and towards reconciliation, shared prosperity, and peace. It will require all of the descendants of Abraham to confront Abrahams choice, slaying the ram of pride and of traditional conflict, for G-d truly does not demand human sacrifice as a validation of imagined identity, rather he demands an end to it.

  • Julian Clovelley

    Where I disagree with you, I think, Shalom Hillel, is that I see the problem of all religions foundation stories and of their individual Fundamentalisms as interlinked. Militant Islamic Fundamentalism largely has arisen accompanying an atmosphere of Militant American Fundamentalism, this being itself a reaction to the growth in the nineteenth century, and continuing, of a more scholarly and scientific approach to beliefs.

    In the television age Christian Fundamentalism decided to make a last stand – developing a kind of money fueled corrupted pop evangelism that returned to a level of Medieval superstition even Catholicism had abandoned. Exorcisms and deliverances were back, along with “faith healings” and the uttering of gibberish, that they called “speaking in tongues” (glossolallia) . A ridiculous Creationism was promoted, which has even infected American education, fabricating the pig-ignorant stupidity of “intelligent design”

    This retreat into mythology and Medievalism was bound to find a reflection in other religions. Much of the Creationist and Fundamentalist material found in Islamic Fundamentalism has been found to echo the phraseology of Christian Fundamentalist propaganda. It is the religious thinking mode per se that is the problem, not a particular religion

    The authoritarian structure of Arab (including religious) society worsens the effects of Fundamentalism, in particular its hatred of shared knowledge, and its dictating of social and sexual roles. A prejudice against gay people in Christianity, becomes death sentences in much of the Islamic world. The homely role of women becomes their absolute repression, and the denial of education, on threat of death, to girls, combined with forced child marriage. Secularism or conversion becomes “apostasy” punishable by murder. Outspoken disagreement becomes “blasphemy”. The Muslim world lives in a state of self created intense religious tension

    Instead of growing out of superstition, the world is being forced back into it – even within popular entertainment soap operas. Just as in the East, Western political interests use religion to create a conservative extremism – the Christian Right – failing to see, or care, and at worse even welcoming, just how close this pattern of orchestrated behaviour is to the hysteria of Fascism. I am deeply concerned at seeing Jewish communities being encouraged into this trap. It has happened before

    Fascisms always clash in the end and draw everyone into the conflict as collateral damage. Imagine how different an analysis of the twentieth century would look if behaviour was the standard of judgement, rather than ideology. There would be a recognition that Stalin and Hitler and indeed Lenin and Mao were, in practice, of similar nature, all every bit as Fascist in practice, as what they fought against.

    International, cross religion, Fundamentalism has now become an assault on the products of Reason – most especially Democracy itself. Fundamentalisms become tools manipulated to create an elitist theatrical pseudo Democracy in place of a universally representative social Democracy. The New World Order isn’t just a paranoid’s nightmare.

    Gibbon – all those years ago – In “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” spoke of the early centuries of the Christian era as being accompanied by the triumph of superstition over reason. He was right. We cannot sort out problems in the world because our motivations are still largely religious based, rather than reasoned.

    There remains one factor – which to my mind is the key to it all. All religions contain within them a land grab, or a justification of land occupation. The rational understanding of the need to share the land and its products goes out the window – in its place comes Lebensraum, occupation, and the right of imperial conquest and settlement of foreign territory. The ability to reason our way out of these situations is lost in a morass of superstition and class and caste racist tribalism, often neatly packaged as “nationalism” or “the middle class”.

    The real failure of media – all media – is to maintain the responsible roles of promoting progress, knowledge and understanding. Media should be part of the evolution of human consciousness and society, rather than be part of the elitist thought structure of “divide and rule.” For without knowledge and understanding we are all threatened with becoming – like the entire Middle East – collateral damage in someone else’s conflict.

    I fear an old saying needs revision. “Evil will triumph when good men become religious” for when religion prevails, reason is lost, and the way is clear for evil to move in as the party of order

  • FYO the Moslems hate the Christians more than they hate the Jews (if that is possible). Just that the Pope hates Jews more than he hates Moslems. But the WORST are the Zionists…. they actually brown-nose BOTH the Moslems AND the Church. And now Shimon Peres possibly the BIGGEST enemy of mankind (he was the first to reward terrorists and suicide bombers, recalled Arafat, armed him and gave him a part of Israel and is directly responsible for the deaths and maiming of thousands of Jews and gentiles alike got a Medal of Honor from Obama (another loser).

    • Have you heard yourself tuvia? The Church has had 2,000 of blame for what we know as anti-Semitism. Popes of recent past have done much to bridge that divide and temper our Intolerances. But to call Pope Francis a Jew hater! Ignorance is not bliss!

  • theo

    Quite clearly this pope is a political novice
    He is showing this in the grossest way possible by endorsing pro Nazi, and thus anti semitic forces His visit has now taken on an unfavourable odour
    It is such a pity that someone whose visit was looked forward to has somehow spoilt it all by his – to put it mildly – naivete
    What a shame !

  • Kris Kristian

    Can we expect anything better than the disgusting hate speech from those savage bastards?
    They call Jews “sons of pigs and apes” Yet, they claim that Ishamael was a (illigitimate) son of Abraham.
    Therefor, they should look at themselves in the mirror and see who the real sons of pigs and apes are.

    The true sons of Abraham are the decendents of Isaac, the real son of Abraham

  • judorebbe

    One can only imagine their fate, if Jesus and Mary were to set foot in Bethlehem (under PA rule) today.
    Probably lynching?

    • Hunter Watson

      And if they were to set foot in Tel Aviv?

  • judorebbe

    Disgraceful that Pope Francis is snuggling up to jihadis who have a long track record of killing, raping, beating, and intimidating Christians.
    He is no John XXIII … What a shame!

  • Julian Clovelley

    I quite agree that the continuing use of this archaic passage to excuse racism and murder is outrageous. It is yet another of those passages one finds in any religion that seem to negate and contradict a multitude of other more benevolent, universal, and loving passages. My personal reaction is to give up on the entire religious mess, and treat it as predominantly mental illness. Crazy people hurting each other

    In your condemnation of the use of the passge in question, there needs to be some balance, Adam. We are all far too aware of statements made by Jewish Settlers in Palestinian territories that are equally based on archaic claims – the most outrageous being the claim “This is my land, G-d gave this land to me” – a direct quote from a widely disseminated video on YouTube featuring an apparently drunken Settler, who to me is a sad victim of a religious fundamentalist sub-denomination stuck firmly in the mud of a mythological past.

    Both sides need to get away from religious justifications for bad behaviour. But you will not find that ability, I fear, within the religions themselves in their present inherited incarnations. They will only come from developing a sense of genuine history, from being honest and scholarly about the nature of reality, of the Cosmos, and of mankind’s relationship to it and too each other. Secular understanding seem the only viable path, and all sides should embrace it. Reconciliation and peace may be impossible without taking that step. We can be as religious as we like within our cultures, so long as we allow continuing spiritual evolution, but we need to be secular in our striving for mutual coexistence with other cultures

    It isn’t just one side that needs to walk away from its foundation mythologies – it is all sides. We all have to grow up, the Pope included. One might argue that the Holocaust might have been far more preventable if Catholicism had not been so wedded to its antisemitic concept of “the perfidious Jews” Despite much amendment the Good Friday Prayer outrage continues. In his visit to the Last Supper Room the Pope might consider announcing the abandonment of the prayer in any form and at any time, and apologise for its past existence as a doctrinal Catholic error – a relic of antisemitic blaming for the death of Christ, that did not even exist in the Nicean Creed, which states clearly “crucified under Pontius Pilate” Nor did such blaming exist in the earlier Apostles Creed for that matter

    I do get concerned that I see only one version of history being pushed by media so much of the time. History records massive debate surrounding the questions of Zionism and assimilation, and much soul searching. It records the agonised debates in the League of Nations, the UN and in the British Parliament over the situation in the Middle East, the operation of the Palestinian Mandate, and the question of Partition. No good is served by pretending history has only one unified stream and that only one Weltanschauung can properly comprehend it.

    Incidentally Adam I am afraid I am beginning to find your attacks on the UK media – bad as some of it admittedly is – seem rather possessed of their own pseudo-racist content. It seems to me that most of the issues they raise are also discussed within Jewish and Israeli society – and symbolic of the inherent Democratic nature of the State of Israel and of the majority of its people.

    Very deep cultural matters are involved – the avoidance of offence is almost impossible, get over it everybody, so that talks can proceed on how our children can be freed from the violence of the past

    • June Grant

      Well said, Julian.

    • Shalom-Hillel

      Your reply is well-thought-out and makes some points, but I disagree with it. Your approach comes down to saying that all religious traditions have their foundational stories that make moderation difficult. This is the even-handed approach that is so prevalent in the West. All are equally guilty. But all are not equally guilty. The Muslim religious leadership in the Middle East is overwhelmingly extremist and carry real influence. Religious extremism in Israel, such as it is, is mitigated by many moderating voices. Christian extremism is not much of an issue in the world.

      You take issue with Adam Levick discussing UK media, but the bias at the BBC continues, and I find an unusual degree of ill-will and antipathy towards Israel coming out of the UK. There’s not much empathy that I detect for the Jewish State. With England’s nefarious history of barring entry to Palestine of Jews fleeing the Nazi Final Solution, the UK has a special responsibility to the worldwide Jewish community, but I see no recognition of that. The BBC ought to recount that history every year on Holocaust Memorial Day.

      • Hunter Watson

        Julian Clovelley
        May 22, 2014
        8:38 pm

        “I quite agree that the continuing use of this archaic passage to excuse racism and murder is outrageous. It is yet another of those passages one finds in any religion that seem to negate and contradict a multitude of other more benevolent, universal, and loving passages. My personal reaction is to give up on the entire religious mess, and treat it as predominantly mental illness. Crazy people hurting each other.”

        I see Zionism as a romantic mix of religion and its secular counterparts in the nineteenth and twentieth century political ideologies which arose out of the European socialist tradition. The Founders in particular were socialist and secular. Marxists even. Utopians. The central problem with those systems was that at bottom line they were all capable of becoming oppressive, over centralized and totalitarian. You can see how insensitive to it the people of Israel have become. If one is willing to keep slaves, he is likely to become one.

    • There are no ‘Jewish settlers’ in Israel…the West Bank’s true name is Samaria and Judea… this is Israels land and ‘always’ was Israels land! there are no such people called ‘Palestinians’ these people are Arabs whose land of origin is in fact, Lebanon…and so they…the so-called
      ‘Palestinians’ are the actual squatters on Israels land…they are run by their ‘puppet-masters’ Al-Qaeda- the Muslim brotherhood- Hamas- all terrorist groups…Lebanon doesn’t want anything to do with these Arabs…as a matter of fact…neither do any of the other Arab Nations…G-d did in fact give Israel to the Jews…his ‘chosen’…his ‘treasure’…((every tribe)) was offered this land by G-d…and with this offering came G-d’s laws and commandments… no other tribe accepted,except for the Jews…they accepted G-d’s gift…they, in actuality chose G-d, but it some how has been mis-translated as ‘G-ds chosen people’…they took that barren desert, and followed each and every one of G-d’s laws, and commandments…and they turned that barren land into the land of ‘milk and honey’ they created from their sweat and tears, one of the most beautiful countries in the world…this land…’all of it’ is called Israel…and belongs to no other people from any other nation…’all of Israel’ every piece of this tiny piece of land, is the land of the Jewish people.