The “Temple Mount” does not exist and neither Jews nor Christians should be allowed to pray on the site referred to by that name, Dimitri Diliani, the spokesman for Fatah in Jerusalem, told this column in an interview.
“Don’t use the term Temple Mount,” Diliani said. “It doesn’t exist. I don’t know where it is. I cannot see any Temple. Can you? No one can find any trace of it. The area you refer to is only a Muslim holy site.”
Diliani’s comments came just hours after Fatah and PA officials were accused of inciting a riot on the Temple Mount, claiming Jews were threatening the site.
Diliani did not deny the PA’s and Fatah’s involvement in the riots. “Palestinian political factions, including Fatah, are firm on defending the political, national and religious rights of the Palestinian people,” Diliani said, “and it’s evident now we will continue defending the Al Aksa Mosque as well as our rights in Jerusalem as a whole.”
Israeli security officials speculate that the PA may be trying to deflect Palestinian outcry over PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to call for a delay of the UN Human Rights Council’s vote regarding the UN’s Goldstone report that accused Israel of war crimes during the Jewish state’s defensive war in Gaza in December and January.
A Video The Public Won’t See
The Los Angeles Times does not plan to release a video it claims to have obtained of Barack Obama attending an anti-Israel event in which he delivered a glowing testimonial for Rashid Khalidi, a pro-Palestinian professor who justifies terrorism.
At the 2003 event, poetry reportedly was read comparing Israelis to Osama bin Laden and accusing the Jewish state of terrorism.
“The story ran in 2008 and we pretty much said everything we are going to say about that event,” Peter Wallsten, the Times reporter who reportedly obtained the video, told this column.
Asked for details of the footage captured in the video, Wallsten replied, “I wrote an extensive article that described the event.”
Wallsten referred to a previous statement from the newspaper’s editor, Russ Stanton, explaining, “The Los Angeles Times did not publish the videotape because it was provided to us by a confidential source who did so on the condition that we not release it.”
The video apparently captures Obama delivering an in-person testimonial for Khalidi, who at the time was departing the University of Chicago for a new teaching position at Columbia University in New York.
Khalidi’s farewell dinner was replete with anti-Israel speakers.
One, a young Palestinian American, recited a poem in Obama’s presence that accused the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticized U.S. support of Israel, the Times reported.
Surprise Abbas Move Inspired
By Fatherly Love
Financial corruption involving a cellular phone company and two children of PA President Abbas may be at the center of an unexpected request by Abbas to delay a United Nations vote on a report accusing Israel of war crimes.
According to Israeli diplomatic sources, Abbas’s decision was made under heavy pressure from the Obama administration, which feared a UN vote could delay the resumption of negotiations to create a Palestinian state.
Palestinian diplomatic sources, however, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Abbas was also under a different kind of pressure relating to the finances of his two sons, Yasser and Tareq.
Through a third party, the sons are major shareholders in Al Wataniya, a new national Palestinian cellular phone company attempting to get necessary permits from Israel.
Palestinian diplomatic sources said Israel warned Abbas it would not approve Wataniya’s licensing requests if the PA continued to press war crimes charges at the UN.
Immediately after Abbas made public his objection to the UN vote, Bassem Khoury, the PA’s economic minister, resigned.
Sources close to Khoury told this column the minister did not resign to protest Abbas’s political move. Rather, he received signals that if the Wataniya matter became known, Khoury would be publicly blamed for pressuring the PA into opposing the UN vote.
Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “The Late Great State of Israel.” Follow Klein on Twitter under the name “AaronKleinWND.”