No, not his lies about how there is no evidence for an ancient Jewish presence in Jerusalem. Not his assertion that Israel was planning to destroy Al Aqsa Mosque. Not his absurd assertion that Israel is practicing "ethnic cleansing" against Arabs in Jerusalem. No, none of that is controversial.
The controversial part was his call for Arabs to visit Jerusalem:
Hence the need to encourage all who can, especially our brothers from Arab and Islamic countries as well as our fellow Arabs and Muslims and Christians in Europe and America, to go to visit Jerusalem. This move will have political, moral, economic, and humanitarian repercussions. Jerusalem affects us all and no one can stop us from accessing it. The flow of the crowds to the congested streets and its holy sites will enhance the resilience of its citizens, and contribute to the protection and consolidation of identity, history and heritage of the city [where we are] targeted for eradication, and the occupiers will remember that the issue of Jerusalem is the cause of every Arab, Muslim and Christian. I emphasize here that a visit to a prisoner to support him does not mean by any means normalization with the warden.
Immediately, the influential and hugely popular cleric Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi confirmed his already-existing fatwa banning non-Palestinian Arabs (not only Muslims but Christians too!) from visiting Jerusalem:
"Palestinians have the right to enter Jerusalem as they please, but in relation to the non-Palestinians, they may not gain entry to it." He explained "that the prohibition of visiting is so as to not legitimize the occupation; a visit would confer legitimacy to the cruel entity occupying of Muslim lands" by getting an Israeli visa.The PA was not happy with Qaradawi.
He stressed in remarks published yesterday in Doha, "We should feel that we are deprived of Jerusalem and fight for it so that Jerusalem is ours, and that the responsibility to defeat the Zionist aggression is the responsibility of the Islamic nation as a whole and not the responsibility of the Palestinian people alone," he said, adding: "It is not reasonable to leave the Palestinians alone in the face of the Zionist state with a large military capabilities."
He said that "Jerusalem will not return except through resistance and jihad, and the combined efforts of the Arab and Islamic nation."
Hamas, for their part, agreed with Qaradawi!
The Hamas movement has rejected a call by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for Arabs and Muslims to visit Jerusalem, and described any visit as a normalization and recognition of Israel. (see also here)Two years ago, the Egyptian Olympic soccer team planned to have a friendly match with an PalArab team near Jerusalem to show solidarity with them. A firestorm of fatwas and pressure resulted and the team canceled the trip.
Once again, the Arab world has a chance to show, in a very real way, that they support their Palestinian Arab brethren - and instead they choose not to. The reason is the same as it has been since 1948: their hate for Israel far outweighs their lip-service of love for Palestinian Arabs.