JAFFA, Israel – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to attend former Israeli President Shimon Peres’ funeral on Friday has divided the Palestinians.
Mahmoud Alhabash, an advisor to Abbas and the head of the Palestinian Authority Sharia Courts, came under fire for saying that the decision demonstrated political savvy, because Abbas pre-empted international criticism of the Palestinians had he chosen to shun the event.
But most controversial was Alhabash’s declaration that “Prophet Mohammed would have attended Peres’ funeral. Whether you like it or not, Peres is a neighbor, and Prophet Mohammed attended the funeral of a Jewish neighbor.”
Habash quoted a scene from the Quran, in which the Prophet saw a funeral procession passing by. “They told the Prophet, ‘it is a Jew.’ And the Prophet answered, ‘was he not a soul created by Allah?'” Habash said, causing a social media storm.
Hamas leader Dr. Mahmoud A-Zahar, for his part, claimed that by attending the funeral Abbas was tantamount to a Jew, with the anti-Semitic al-Zahar clearly meaning that at an insult.
He paraphrased a Quranic verse, saying: “You believers do not take the Jews and the Christians as friends and partners, because if you do, you will become one of them.”
“Today we saw Abbas shedding a tear for Peres, who killed Palestinians, Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians and others,” Zahar said. “He’s one of the founders of the Zionist entity that, among other things, drove us out of Al Aqsa Mosque and expelled millions of Palestinians from their homes.”
“The Sharia says that whoever attended a funeral purportedly representing the Palestinian people is in fact a Jew,” he added. “So, for the millionth time, we say that this man is not our representative. He is a Jew, made in Israel, and works against the Palestinians. We wish him to find his soul in hell, together with Shimon Peres, inshallah.”