A Palestinian preacher brushed off accusations of anti-Semitism on Wednesday after Jewish groups objected to his propagation of blood libel stories in his sermons at Jerusalem’s Al-Aksa Mosque.
“It doesn’t matter what they said,” Sheikh Khaled al-Mughrabi told The Jerusalem Post when asked about objections to his homily made by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Mughrabi, who teaches religious classes at the mosque, is an employee of the Wakf, the Muslim religious trust controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
In a lecture published online and translated by Palestinian Media Watch, Mughrabi accused Jews of slaughtering gentile children and draining their blood for use in Passover matzot, a centuries-old European anti-Semitic trope.
“The Children of Israel... would look for a small child, kidnap and steal him, bring a barrel called the barrel of nails... They would put the small child in the barrel and his body would be pierced by these nails. In the bottom of the barrel they would put a faucet and pour the blood,” he asserted.
He said that such actions were directly responsible for the Holocaust, explaining that “when these stories were exposed the Children of Isra - el were expelled from all of Europe and the tragedy of the Children of Israel began in all Europe. In the end it reached the point where they were burned in Germany because of these things, because they kidnapped young children.”
During the same sermon he accused the Jews of masterminding the September 11 attacks and controlling Hollywood.
In response, the Simon Wiesen thal Center wrote directly to King Abdullah of Jordan and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, urging them to denounce the preacher’s statements and make the Wakf “permanently ban Sheikh Khaled al-Mughrabi from ever using the grounds holy to our faiths to spread his deceitful and dangerous lies.”
Neither Abdullah nor Abbas have responded to the letter, Simon Wiesenthal Center associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Post .
Asked if he believed the blood libel to be a matter of historical record, Mughrabi said he “cannot say that it happened or not, but I am sure that the stories exist and some people have some proofs that it is happening.
“It doesn’t matter what they said. What I said, it’s recorded. Every thing that I said is recorded. What I said is that story happened in Europe and many countries in Europe and I still say that,” he added in response to Jewish critiques of his sermons.
Palestinian Media Watch accused the Palestinian Authority of regularly trafficking in blatant anti-Semitism, citing a recent PA television program in which the host stated that “Israel is a cancerous tumor... [ Jews] are usurers... They control the media, the money, the press, the resources, the plans.”