IN BETWEEN ERUPTIONS of exceptional violence that propel the Israeli-Palestinian conflict back to the front pages, life goes on in the Palestinian Authority. Friday sermons, in particular, go on, and every Friday at noon, one of them is broadcast live on the radio and shown on the PA's single TV channel.
It's worth tuning in from time to time. Non-Arabic speakers can do this thanks to the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute, which posts its translations of items from the Arabic media on its website. Because of MEMRI's work, we can sample the hate speech characteristic of extremist Islam.
Thus, Friday before last, on March 12, the Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris used an example from the life of the Prophet Mohammed to explain why the Jews must be destroyed. When it came to eliminating the Jewish "cancer" from the city of Medina, the prophet got his orders direct from God.
The "Lord of heaven and earth, Who knows the nature of the Jews, who forever live off the fire of civil strife and disseminating their venom among the brothers," informed the prophet that in dealing with the Jews of Medina, there would be three stages.
First, an unavoidable political stage, while the Muslims were gathering strength. "The second stage was harder for the Muslims: The stage of tolerating the damage caused by the Jews, who again began violating the pacts and spreading their poison among the Muslims."
Finally, the third stage, when at last the Muslims could say to the Jews, "We have tolerated you for a long time--you offspring of apes and pigs!" and get on with the business of expelling them from Medina. The prophet's "strategic choice was: 'Fight them, Allah will torture them [at your hands]' and also, 'Make ready against them [all] the force and horsemen that you can.'"
History repeats itself, explained the imam. Once again, the Jews, characterized by "miserliness and cowardice," are the terrorists. "They deserve death, and we deserve life, because we are the people of Truth."
Sheikh Mudeiris, MEMRI notes, is paid by the Religious Affairs Ministry of the Palestinian Authority, as are his fellow Friday preachers. For a sampler of PA TV sermons from 2000 to 2003, see the special report by Steven Stalinsky. Read up on the education of children for martyrdom ("blessings for whoever has saved a bullet in order to stick it in a Jew's head . . ."), the reconquest of Palestine for the purpose of establishing the Muslim caliphate with Jerusalem as its capital, the rewards that await the martyr ("he is saved from the torments of the grave; he sees his place in Paradise; he is saved from the Great Horror [of the day of judgment]; he is given 72 black-eyed women; he vouches for 70 of his family to be accepted to Paradise; he is crowned with the Crown of glory, whose precious stone is better than all of this world and what is in it"), the religious war against Crusader America, and more.
Whatever the headlines on any given day, these are themes that are going to be with us for a long time.
Claudia Winkler is a managing editor at The Weekly Standard.