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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem Jewish’

Once Again, Muslims Seek To Steal Jerusalem

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Who said Arabs lack imagination? Take the one who is in charge of thinking up new ways to perpetuate anti-Jewish sentiment, especially regarding Jerusalem. Here’s what he came up with just last month: Accusing Israel of planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque atop the Temple Mount via artificial earthquakes.

The mouthpiece for this particular invention was the head of the Quds Supreme Court, apparently located in Iran, named Yusuf Ade’is. A quick Google search for both the Quds Supreme Court and Ade’is turns up nothing more than this very accusation itself, and so it is not clear what prominence they actually carry. However, this alleged warning of a Zionist plot to quake the mosque made headlines all over the world.

“[Creating artificial earthquakes] is not difficult for the Zionist regime,” Ade’is reportedly said, “since the drilling operations around the Mosque have worn away the foundations of the building.” He did not elaborate on precisely how the quakes would be executed. He did add that Israel’s Defense Ministry had coordinated meetings to “work out plans to destroy the mosque.”

Amusing as the accusations are, we once again must ask: Why? Why do the anti-Zionist Arabs aim their arrows specifically against Jerusalem? Why do they constantly blame Israel for striving to “Judaize” the holy city – the most natural thing for a Jewish state to do?

As we have written previously in this series, Jewish tenets such as the Sabbath, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and even monotheism have all been adapted by other religions as if they were their own – and Jerusalem is no different: The original Bible-mandated “place chosen by Gd,” the seat of the first national Jewish government, the site of the Holy of Holies, and the object of Jewish longing for nearly 2,000 years – is it any wonder that Islam ended up jumping on the bandwagon to discover Jerusalem’s inherent sanctity and claim it for itself?

The Muslims, in fact, maintain not only that Jerusalem is their third-holiest site, and that they will never abandon it, etc. – but also that it has no holiness or historic significance for Jews. Talk about chutzpah; the sole reason it was ever ascribed any Muslim holiness is because of its Jewish history, which they now seek to rebuff.

But it’s actually worse than just chutzpah. When the Muslim-Arab world claims “spiritual” bonds with Yerushalayim, it is downright dangerous – because it disguises a long-term, strategic, nationalist plot to take full control over Jerusalem and rid its Old City of Jewish presence.

We, and the world, must not be fooled: Historically, Muslim ties to Jerusalem have always been based on little more than political expediency disguised as religious fervor. We are now experiencing the fourth wave in Muslims’ aggrandizement of Jerusalem – at our expense – for their own political, not religious, purposes.

The first time Islam artificially enhanced Jerusalem was during Muhammad’s own lifetime. In a barefaced attempt to win over the Jews living near his hometown of Medina, he announced that prayers would be directed toward Jerusalem. When the Jews expressed no interest in his advances, he turned against them, slaughtering many and directing prayers toward Mecca instead.

Muhammad’s abandonment of Jerusalem was so total, writes Dr. Mordechai Kedar, that not only did he not mention the city even once in the Koran, but later, when Muslims conquered the Holy Land, they totally ignored Jerusalem and established their capital in Ramle.

Some decades after Muhammad’s death, Islam again felt the political need to aggrandize Jerusalem. Caliph Abdel Malik, who reigned among Umayyad Muslims from 684 to 705, lost Mecca and Medina to a rival Muslim leader – and he responded by renewing Jerusalem as “top holy city” in their stead. To cement his new policy, he built the impressive Dome of the Rock precisely on the site of the Beit HaMikdash. The number 1 recognized Muslim symbol around the world thus came about as a result of internal Muslim politics and interests.

Not surprisingly, therefore, for the Shiite Muslims – inheritors of those who captured Mecca and Medina, and championed today by Iran – Jerusalem was never an important issue. Even for the others, however, after Jerusalem was no longer needed to buttress the Muslim leaders, its importance once again waned proportionately.

The third Muslim infatuation with Jerusalem occurred during the 12th-century Crusades. Muslim leader Salah a-Din needed to inflame his warriors against the Christian Crusaders – and again, Jerusalem briefly became the focus of jihad and religious longing. Interestingly enough, the Arabic inscriptions that so impressively adorn the Dome of the Rock, written by Salah a-Din and other Islamic conquerors, make no mention of Jerusalem per se; only the triumphant refurbishing of the dome is described.

For centuries thereafter, Jerusalem remained well in the background for the Muslim world, which focused instead on Mecca and Medina as its holy cities.

Why Move The Embassy?

Friday, February 10th, 2012

While Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich vie with each other in expressing ever-stronger support for Israel, polls show Romney has a better chance of unseating President Obama in the November election. It is for this reason that many Israel supporters would like contender Rick Santorum to withdraw from the Republican race to ensure Romney is chosen over Gingrich.

Be that as it may, it would be enlightening to briefly review the main point on which the two leading candidates agree regarding Israel, the U.S., and Hamas-Fatah. Romney said, “The best way to have peace in the Middle East is not for us [the U.S.] to vacillate and to appease, but to say, we stand with our friend Israel…. I think [Obama] has time and time again shown distance from Israel, and that has created, in my view, a greater sense of aggression on the part of the Palestinians.”

Gingrich expressed it like this: “[W]e’re in a continuous state of war where Obama undermines the Israelis.” He also reiterated that the formation of a Palestinian people “was technically an invention of the late 1970s.… Prior to that, they were Arabs. Many of them were either Syrian, Lebanese, or Egyptian, or Jordanian…”

“On the first day that I’m president” Gingrich added, “I will sign an executive order directing the State Department to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.” Why would that be beneficial? “To send the signal we’re with Israel,” he concluded.

There are other, more substantial reasons why Israel deserves to have its capital recognized. The Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed by massive majorities in the 104th U.S. Congress in October 1995, states that every country has a right to designate its own capital – and that Israel has chosen Jerusalem. The law calls for the city, which it deems the “spiritual center of Judaism,” to remain undivided and recognized as the capital of the State of Israel – specifically, by relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999(!). It has repeatedly been “waived,” however, in accordance with its own provisions, by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama.

Despite 1,300 years of Muslim Arab rule in the Holy Land, Jerusalem was never the capital of an Arab entity, nor was it even built up in accordance with the importance Islam today ascribes to it. In 1867, Mark Twain described the city as “mournful, and dreary, and lifeless.” 100 years later, the PLO drafted its National Covenant – and did not even mention Jerusalem. (It added Jerusalem later, after Israel regained control of the site of the Holy Temple and the rest of the Old City in 1967).

It often has been claimed that by rights Jerusalem must actually be internationalized, and that the UN’s famous partition resolution of 1947 recommended doing just that. However, this resolution was non-binding, and required acceptance by all concerned parties. The Jews of what became the state of Israel were willing to accept it, but the Arab parties not only rejected it, but unlawfully took up arms against Israel in an effort to render it moot.

Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, founder of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the Law Faculty of Cambridge University, wrote back in 1968 why the plan to internationalize Jerusalem is no longer a legal option: “During the period 1948-1952, the [UN] General Assembly gradually came to accept that the plan for the territorial internationalization of Jerusalem had been quite overtaken by events.”

In addition to the active Arab opposition and attempt to forcibly expel all Jews from Jerusalem, Judge Lauterpacht noted that following Jordan’s denial of Jewish access to the city’s holy sites, in violation of the 1949 Armistice Agreement, “the UN accepted as tolerable the unsupervised control of the Old City of Jerusalem by Jordanian forces.” This not only showed the UN no longer supported internationalization but, Lauterpacht noted, “the presence of Jordanian forces west of the Jordan River was entirely lacking in any legal justification.”

Israel’s liberation of Yerushalayim in 1967 was clearly a miracle, in that Israel had no plans to do so – and even told Jordan it would not attack unless Jordan attacked first. However, the miracle also has significant legal implications, as the authoritative judge noted:

“On 5th June, 1967, Jordan deliberately overthrew the Armistice Agreement by attacking the Israeli-held part of Jerusalem. There was no question of this Jordanian action being a reaction to any Israeli attack. It took place notwithstanding explicit Israeli assurances, conveyed to King Hussein through the UN Commander, that if Jordan did not attack Israel, Israel would not attack Jordan. Although the charge of aggression is freely made against Israel in relation to the Six Day War, the fact remains that the two attempts made in the General Assembly in June-July 1967 to secure the condemnation of Israel as an aggressor failed. A clear and striking majority of the members of the UN voted against the proposition that Israel was an aggressor.”

Fire In Jerusalem

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Many unanswered questions remain surrounding the fire that broke out in the Jerusalem Forest on Sunday, burning 40 acres and sending four people to the hospital.

   The Jerusalem Forest, 1.2 square kilometers of lush, green pine trees on the west side of the capital, is surrounded by several Jerusalem neighborhoods, including Har Nof, Beit HaKerem, and Givat Sha’ul, as well as Moshav Beit Zayit. It was planted during the 1950s by the Jewish National Fund.
   The police originally reported that Sunday’s flames broke out simultaneously in three or four spots – generally a clear indication of arson. Despite this, a police spokesman said only, “This raises a lot of questions,” and that the fire was “perhaps an arson or something like that.”
   Among the locations reported as having been first to burn were a fuel installation on a side road behind Har Nof, and an area just outside the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. Some 150 dunams (37 acres) of the forest were burned – at first. But even after it was reported that the fire was under control, new, smaller fires continued to break out, keeping fire-fighters almost continually occupied. As of this writing, Tuesday afternoon, no word on an official end to the fire has been received.
   Suspicion was therefore rife that the fire was the result of Arab nationalist arson – even after the police reported that a Jewish man from Beit Zayit had been detained for carelessly losing control of his backyard fire. For one thing, it was asked, what happened to the “3-4″ places in which the fire broke out simultaneously? The police did not release an explanation.
   If, in the end, Arabs are indeed discovered to have started the fire, it will be far from the first time. In fact, Knesset Member Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz, head of the National Union party, noted on Sunday that “the vast majority of the arson cases throughout the country are perpetrated [by Arabs] with nationalist-terrorist motives.”
   Katz added that during the giant Carmel Forest fire last Chanukah, which was started accidentally and which killed over 40 people, Galilee Arabs were caught starting additional small fires even as fire-fighting teams were combating the main conflagration.
   One thing is certain: The Jerusalem Forest is not located in disputed territory. Not a square inch of it was liberated by Israel during the Six Day War, and it includes no former homes or fields of refugee Arabs. If Katz’s premonition is correct, it is simply additional confirmation of how our Arab enemies work to take all of Jerusalem, not just parts thereof.
   Even if we grant that they realize their takeover of western Jerusalem is not a realistic goal, one of their objectives is definitely the thinning out of the city’s Jewish population. They have done it before: In 1949, an estimated 25 percent of Jerusalem’s Jews fled in the face of random Arab Legion sniper fire from Jordan.
   As we face the ongoing, often below-the-radar threat to Jerusalem’s Jewish sovereignty, it is imperative that we remain alert to the fact that every Arab attack on Jerusalem is part of an all-encompassing strategy.
   Consider the Temple Mount, for example. For the past several years, Arabs led by the Muslim Wakf, which still runs the entire Mount, have been systematically ridding its lower floors of all vestiges and evidence of historic Jewish presence and sovereignty in the area. Dirt concealing a wealth of artifact remnants from the Holy Temples has been trucked out by the ton to nearby garbage dumps – all so that official Palestinian Authority spokesmen can continue to say, “This area was never Jewish.”
   Nearby, on the Mt. of Olives – another historic and religious location that keeps the Jewish People enduringly linked with the Holy City and Holy Land – Arab vandals continue their attempts to sabotage these ties. They throw rocks at Jewish visitors, desecrate Jewish graves, and generally act as if they know that weakening our ties with that ancient cemetery and Temple Mount lookout can only serve their own nationalist purposes.
   For yet another example, consider the Ir David neighborhood, just below and to the southeast of the Old City. Though much of what is recounted in the Bible regarding King David, his family and his warriors took place right there, Arab families that squatted there illegally over the past several decades now claim it as their own.
   They know full well the importance of our historic/national/religious bonds with the topographically-strange City of David – and this is why they periodically attempt lynchings of unsuspecting Jewish visitors to the area and threaten world crises whenever Israel attempts to enforce the law against them.
   We must permanently keep in mind that Muslims’ ties to Jerusalem have always been based on nothing more than political expediency, disguised as religious fervor. We are currently experiencing the fourth wave in Muslims’ aggrandizement of Jerusalem – at our expense – for their own political purposes. In fact, the Muslims’ artificial ties with Jerusalem are to be the subject of a future article in this series.

   For now, we ask that you continue to do what you can in this critical battle to keep Jerusalem Jewish. For more information on how to do so, via updates, bus tours of critical parts of Jerusalem, and more, send an e-mail to tours@keepjerusalem.org or visit the Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech website at www.keepjerusalem.org.

 

 

   Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development FundHe was formerly a senior adviser to Israel’s minister of tourism.  Hillel Fendel is past senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7 and an authorBoth have lived in Jerusalem and now reside in Beit El.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/keeping-jerusalem/fire-in-jerusalem/2011/07/20/

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