Palestinian moderation was once again on display yesterday when a Palestinian Authority court in Hebron sentenced to death Anwar Brigith, 59, from the village of Bet Umar, north of Hebron, for the crime of selling land to Jews.
The Jerusalem Post’s Khalid Abu Toameh reports:
The three-judge panel found the defendant guilty of violating PA laws that bar Palestinians from selling property to ‘the enemy.’ In its ruling, the court, which convened in Hebron, said that Brigith had acted in violation of a Palestinian ‘military law’ dating back to 1979, which states that it is forbidden for a Palestinian to sell land to Jews. The accused was also found guilty of violating a law dating back to 1958 that calls for a boycott against Israel, as well as another law from 1953 that bans trade with Israelis. The judges issued the verdict unanimously and pointed out that the defendant did not have the right to appeal. The death sentence, however, must be approved by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
Mind you, this is not the act of the extremist Islamists of Hamas. This comes from a court whose officers and judges are all affiliated with the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority — the supposedly moderate peace-partner to whom most of the world is pressuring Israel to make concessions. But even to these “moderates,” a real-estate transaction with a Jew is a capital offense because it is an article of Palestinian faith that every inch of their country must be rendered Judenrein in order for their national destiny to be fulfilled.
As Abu Toameh points out, this would be the first official execution over selling land to Jews but, in fact, many others accused of this “crime” — whether the charges stand or not — have often been abducted and murdered by Palestinian gangs.
All of this ought to highlight a key truth about the Arab-Israeli conflict: though Israel is routinely depicted as a “racist” or “apartheid” state, it is actually the Palestinian nationalist movement that is predicated on hatred and exclusion — not Israel, which protects the political and property rights of its Arab minority.
It will be interesting to see whether the State Department or the White House, both eager to portray the P.A. as a worthy peace-partner and deserving of statehood, will call upon Abbas to pardon or commute the sentence of Brigith. We’ll also be waiting to see whether this outrage is taken up by the United Nations and its various agencies that are usually busy condemning Israel for having the temerity to defend its citizens against terrorism.