TEL AVIV – A radical Islamic preacher who called on his followers at the Temple Mount’s al-Aqsa Mosque to “slaughter Jews” who are “monkeys and pigs” has been sentenced to eight months in jail for incitement to violence by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Sunday morning.
Sheikh Omar Abu Sara, 51, was captured on a video uploaded to YouTube by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) imploring his congregation to have no mercy when it comes to killing Jews.
“I say to the Jews loud and clear: The time for your slaughter has come. The time to fight you has come. The time to kill you has come,” the sheikh said. “Please do not leave in our hearts a single grain of mercy toward you, oh Jews, because when the day of your slaughter arrives, we shall slaughter you without mercy.”
“Jews are a people and God made them monkeys and pigs,” Abu Sara continued, adding that Jews are “the most evil creatures ever on the Earth.”
“God willing, we are ready,” he continued. “We… will release this land from your filth. We are waiting for the day – for the moment – to slaughter you.”
After the inflammatory video went viral, Jewish Temple Mount activist Yehudah Glick submitted a formal police complaint, blaming incitement such as Abu Sara’s for his near assassination a few weeks prior.
Glick, 50, was critically wounded when Islamic Jihad member Moataz Hejazi sprayed him with bullets outside Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center last October.
“Glick personally experienced that [such rhetoric] can lead to incitement and attempted murder,” his attorney said in the complaint. “As someone who has experienced firsthand the results of incitement against Jews in general, and with regard to the Temple Mount in particular, he cannot stand by and watch [Abu Sara’s] incitement.”
“Threats and incitement against Jews because they are Jews are the basis and cause of the Holocaust,” the complaint stated. “We must not allow anyone, or any cause, to incite and threaten Jews only because they are Jews. Therefore, we call on the Israel Police to prevent the rhetoric of violence against Jews.”
On Sunday, Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Judge Shmuel Herbst weighed freedom of expression in his ruling, but said that incitement to murder trumps the basic rights of others and is not protected speech.
“I look at the defendant and I see a man,” said Herbst after the sentencing. “It is a great shame that he looks at me and sees a monkey or a pig who should be slaughtered without mercy. What a shame.”
For his part, Abu Sara contended that he was conveying religious teachings and a vision of future in which the Prophet Muhammad returns, and was not calling on his congregants to take action.
The court also found that Abu Sara expressed no regret over his words.