Skip to comments.Mufti bars relinquishing right of return
Posted on 12/10/2003 3:45:21 PM PST by yonif
Two weeks after he issued a fatwa (religious decree) banning Muslims from working in the construction of the security fence, the Palestinian Authority mufti of Jerusalem, Ikremah Sabri, announced that it is forbidden to give up the right of return for all refugees. In an interview with the Israeli Arab Web site arabs48.com, he said it is also forbidden for refugees to accept financial compensation in return for surrendering their right to return to their original homes inside Israel.
"There is a religious inheritance ruling that states that he who was forced out of his house has the right to return to it whenever he wishes," Sabri said. "And if he passes away, this right moves to his children and grandchildren."
In an implicit reference to the Geneva Accord, which has been attacked by many Palestinians because it does not guarantee the right of all refugees to return to their homes, Sabri said: "No person or body is entitled to interfere with this right or relinquish it. On the other hand, it should be stressed that the land of Palestine is not for sale or purchase because it is Islamic land owned by the Wakf (Islamic trust)."
He said that it is also forbidden for anyone to take financial compensation for his property. "Accepting money for the land means selling it, and this is forbidden in line with previous fatwas," he said, referring to decrees barring Palestinians from selling property to Jews.
However, Sabri, who was appointed to the job by PA Chairman Yasser Arafat seven years ago, made it clear that refugees would be able to take financial compensation only for damage they suffered when they were forced to leave their homes.
Asked about calls by moderate Palestinians to make compromises on the issue, Sabri said: "I want to stress that a legitimate right remains forever and does not fade away with time. Nor is it subject to political and international circumstances. If I'm not able to achieve my right today, does this mean that surrendering it?"
His ruling on the right of return is the second of its kind since the Geneva Accord was launched last week. An earlier fatwa by the Palestinian Religious Scholars Council barred Palestinians from relinquishing the "sacred" right of return.
This is a very effective ploy. Nearly all Westerners, especially politicians and newspapermen, cannot conceive that the religious spokesmen have any such clout, so they think the Arabs are still going to keep their promises. But for Arafat (who, surprise surprise, appointed this mufti and most of the other spokesmen who chime in at the appropriate moment) and every other Arab leader, these "religious" pronouncements have more authority than any earthly government, and it is as if Allah Himself had forbidden them from complying with their own promises and had loosed them to renege on every deal made with the Israelis.
So here we have, for the last two weeks, all sorts of world sympathy with the PLO for negotiating this Geneva Accord, not much attention paid to the distinguished Israelis who stuck their necks out to negotiate the same Accord, and lots of nastiness on the Israeli government which did not encourage this deal-making. But the fact that the Palestinians, having put this on paper and collected whatever goodwill (and subsidies) were available, now (with a most fortuitous two week delay) have been given Allah's explicit instruction to completely renege on it will go unnoticed among most civilized countries (and their news media).
Fine. That means Arabs out of Israel, it belongs to the Jews. Jews were there first, 2500 years before Mohammad was sucking his mother's teet.