A senior Palestinian Authority (PA) government official is facing a fierce public backlash after condemning last week’s terrorist murder of 47-year-old Baruch Mizrahi as he was driving to the Passover Seder with his family.
PA Endowments Minister Mahmoud El Habash told a reporter with Israel’s Army Radio that he was “pained” by the slaying of Mizrahi and the wounding of his pregnant wife and young son.
“We condemn the killing of all people irrespective of their background,” El Habash went on to say. “The idea of killing and violence is completely illegitimate.”
But El Habash’s words did not sit well with many Palestinians, who have long been exposed to systematic indoctrination against Israel and the Jews.
According to Israel Radio, there have been calls for El Habash’s dismissal, and even some who demand the minister be put on trial for treason. In Gaza, leaflets bearing El Habash’s visage and the words “Wayward Son” have been distributed far and wide, while in the PA-controlled “West Bank” posters featuring a doctored image of El Habash in Jewish ultra-Orthodox garb have appeared on street corners.
Meanwhile on Facebook, Palestinians have threatened to kill El Habash for his outrageous sympathy toward Israeli victims of terror.
The treatment of El Habash in this instance is very telling of Israel’s “peace partners,” especially in light of the refusal of his boss, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, to himself issue a public condemnation of the Passover attack.
A group of Israeli lawmakers who visited Abbas during the Passover holiday insisted that he had privately condemned the killing of Baruch Mizrahi. But Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Ruaineh later scrambled to correct those reports, insisting that while Abbas had spoken again violence in general, he had not specifically condemned the targeting of the Mizrahi family.