As the Bush administration begins its push for the formation of a Palestinian state, a Palestinian diplomat, speaking on a popular Islamic website, claims Israel is responsible for the looting of museums and banks in Baghdad, calls for jihad against “the occupiers” of Iraq and Palestine, denies Israel’s right to exist and compares President George W. Bush to Hitler.

Wasef Mansour, a diplomat with the Palestinian mission in Morocco, made the remarks in an online discussion titled “What Israel Gains From the Occupation of Iraq,” on Islam Online. The prominent cleric Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi is one of Islam Online’s editors.

Mansour’s statements were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.

Asked by a visitor to the website what Israel gains from the “wars it wages on the Arabs,” most recently the war on Iraq, Mansour replied:

The first benefit is the shattering of the great military power that Iraq possessed, which posed a danger to the Israeli entity. Second, Israel will enjoy normal relations in various spheres with its surrounding [neighbors] because of American power, and thus will not need military power to implement its historic goal of establishing the State of Israel from the Euphrates to the Nile. It will also benefit from the appearance of ethnic states in the region, as it seems that one of the Americans’ first aims is to shatter the region and establish small states.

Thus, Israel will become one ethnic state among a great number of ethnic states in the region, and it will no [longer] be an unusual entity.

To this must be added the economic benefits that began before the war, when the American administration gave Israel $9 billion in aid and guarantees, and the benefits it will derive from its contracts for rebuilding Iraq and from the cheap oil it will get. We should also note what Israel has already done, by sending agents as soon as the American forces entered Baghdad; they looted the museums, information banks, and financial banks.

It turns out, therefore, that Israel will reap great economic benefits [from the war in Iraq] — and let us not forget the possibility of the renewal of the oil pipeline from Kirkuk to the port of Haifa which was cut off after the 1948 war …

Another of the site’s visitors hoped “Allah would hasten to liberate the three occupied lands — Iraq, Palestine, and the North African cities of Sebta, Melilia, and Tanja [sic],” to which Mansour replied:

There is no doubt that this is the wish of all decent people and believers in our nation. But such liberation is possible only by deeds. … We must comply with the precepts of the Messenger of Allah, according to which when the lands of Islam are occupied and their men are unable to stop the attackers, jihad becomes a personal commandment (Fardh ‘ain) for every Muslim man and woman. Prayer alone cannot liberate these usurped lands …

Jewish state ‘unjustified’

Identifying himself as a “pupil,” one visitor claimed the “basic goal of the Jews was to take over the [land] between the two rivers … the Nile and the Euphrates,” and added, “Know that their greed will lead ultimately to an attempt to enter Mecca and Medina …”

Mansour responded:

Among the Zionist thinkers are those who say that the State of Israel must be between the Nile and the Euphrates, because they claim that the Jews lived in or ruled this land for a particular period, and therefore this is the Promised Land. Some Israeli politicians have adopted this approach publicly, or have implied it, and doubtless someday someone will try to actualize it.

But this claim [regarding Jewish control of the Promised Land] has been fundamentally disproved: The Jewish state ruled only over the internal part of the land of Palestine, for only 73 years. …

It is inconceivable to rely on a period of only 73 years during which the Jews ruled part of Palestine, as a [justification] for the establishment of the State of Israel in Palestine where the Arabs ruled for 1,400 years. … And another point: The Israelis see the fact that the Jewish religion existed in Palestine as justification for a Jewish return to [Palestine].

But does the fact that Nazareth and Bethlehem are the cradles of the Christian religion give the world’s Christians justification to return to Palestine? Similarly, Mecca and Medina are the cradles of the Islamic religion, but is this justification for all the Muslims in the world to come live in this region?

Responding to a question about the difference between Zionism and Judaism, the Palestinian official explained:

Judaism is a monotheistic religion, like Islam. Allah revealed its laws to Moses in Sinai, and [the message] reached its full [development] with David, Solomon, and many other prophets. As Muslims, our faith is complete only with belief in Allah, his angels, his books, and his Messenger…”

The view that it was the Jews who founded the Zionist movement has not been scientifically proven. Anyone who examines the archives of Britain, France, and Germany discovers plans to take over the region and clear instructions to establish a Jewish movement whose role will be to prevent [Arab unity] in the region. The 1907 Campbell-Bannerman conference in Britain convened a large group of various experts in the affairs of colonialist states to discuss the future of world civilization and the question of which civilization would take the place of Western civilization.

All the conference participants agreed that the danger would come from the peoples dwelling along the southern and eastern banks of the Mediterranean, because they had a single religion, a single language, a strategic location, extensive territory, high population density, natural resources, and were the first to have civilization. They decided to act to prevent the region’s unification, to fully exploit its natural resources, and to cause it to be preoccupied with itself and with those around it — which would happen only if a foreign body were to be [placed] in its center to be an enemy to the region and friend to the West.

These requirements suited the Jews, and thus [it was decided to establish] the State of Israel in the region … What is happening now in the U.S. is exactly what happened at the Campbell-Bannerman conference — that is, Christian Zionism is the one defending Israel.

Bush compared to Hitler

Asked if he expects a scenario like that following the first Gulf War, with the subsequent Madrid and Oslo conferences, Mansour replied:

Not exactly. What happened in the previous Gulf War did not reach [even] a fraction of what happened in the recent war. Similarly, the current American administration is the most arrogant Zionist government that has ruled the U.S. since its establishment.

Nevertheless, I am not pessimistic, as anyone who reads history knows there have been tyrants who ruled the world — Alexander the Great, Hulago [the Mongolian], and Hitler. But all fell and were defeated because the world could not live with a single leader arbitrarily controlling its fate. Thus we know that Bush is no stronger than Hitler was in his time or Hulago in his time, and his fate will be no different from the fate of the tyrants who preceded him.

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