Presidential Candidates since Bill Clinton have promised to move the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, but not one has followed kept the promise once they took office. All indications are that when he moves into the White House, Donald Trump will keep his promise and move the U.S. Embassy to Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem. But the “moderate peace partners” of the Palestinian Authority are threatening Trump that they will react with violence if the U.S. Embassy is moved to Israel’s capital. The question is will their threats stop Trump from making the move?
The Palestinian Authority’s supreme Sharia judge and President Abbas’ advisor on religious affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash declared on during Friday prayers that a move of the embassy would be considered “a declaration of war” on all Muslims. His sermon was broadcast live on Palestinian TV with PA President Abbas in the audience.
According to the translation published by Palestinian Media Watch, Al-Habbash said moving the embassy to Jerusalem “harms” Muslim faith, and then threatened: ”
“The new American administration intends to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem. In a simple, calm, and rational manner, in clear words that need no explanation and which are unambiguous: Such a step, for every Muslim, is a declaration of war on all Muslims. It’s a declaration of war on all Muslims. We are no one’s enemies, and we do not want to be. We are not enemies of the US and we do not want to be. However, when something harms our faith and our existence, we cannot stand by and do nothing. We will not agree to this under any circumstances. This will not pass in silence… The entire Muslim world will not accept it, and the entire Christian world will not accept it. Occupied Jerusalem is our eternal capital, the capital of our existence and the capital of our state. In politics there can be compromises here and there… In politics there can be negotiation. However, in matters of religion, faith, values, ethics, and history, there can be no compromises. Therefore, it isn’t possible to compromise on or negotiate over Jerusalem. This of course does not mean that we will prevent anyone from considering Jerusalem their direction of prayer. Our Jerusalem will remain open to all believers as it has been. Open to all of the monotheists.”From the sound of it Al-Habbash isn’t a big believer in the Qur’an which refers to the existence of both temples in verse 17:7. In this passage, the Qur’an deals with God’s punishment of the Children of Israel for their transgressions:
(We permitted your enemies)
To disfigure your faces,
And to enter your Temple
As they had entered it before,
And to visit with destruction
All that fell into their power.
The word translated as “Temple” by Abdullah Yusuf Ali (and by the influential translator Marmaduke Pickthall before him) is masjid. This word, which is usually translated as mosque, has the meaning of a sanctuary wherever it appears in a pre-Islamic context. The usual Muslim exegesis of this verse (including that of Abdullah Yusuf Ali) holds that it refers to the destruction of the First and Second Temples.