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FUTURE OF AL AQSA and AL QUDS
#11
A TIMELY REMINDER BELOW ON THE ONGOING DANGERS POSED BY AN EXTREMIST ZIONIST COALITION POST 2019 ISRAELI ELECTIONS. THE ZIONIST FANATICS HAVE ALWAYS POSED AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT TO THE PALESTINIAN PRESENCE AND ISLAMIC DOME OF THE ROCK.  THE DISARRAY IN PALESTINIAN RANKS AND DISUNITY OF THE ARABS BODES ILL FOR THEM WHEN FACING SUCH IMPLACABLE ENEMIES. IT IS CLEAR THAT THERE IS A NEED FOR OUTSIDE MOBILISATION OF THE NON ARAB MUSLIM WORLD AT ALL LEVELS TO PROTECT AND SAFEGUARD THE REMAINING ISLAMIC PRESENCE IN AL QUDS. AYATOLLAH KHOMEINI's CALL TO MUSLIMS GLOBALLY TO REMEMBER AND PROTECT AL QUDS WITH QUDS RALLIES GLOBALLY ON THE LAST FRIDAY OF THE FORTHCOMING MONTH OF RAMADAN SHOULD BE UTILISED TO INTENSIFY A GLOBAL MUSLIM FIGHT BACK. IT NEEDS TO BE BACKED UP BY SANCTIONS WHICH CAN ONLY BE DONE BY MUSLIM GOVERNMENTS. MUSLIMS NEED TO TURN THE PRESSURE ON THEIR GOVERNMENTS TO TALK THE TALK AND WALK THE WALK. THE LIBERATION OF AL QUDS WILL COME AT A PRICE AND MUSLIMS NEED TO PREPARE FOR SACRIFICES. MUSLIMS ESPECIALLY ARAB REGIMES NEED TO KNOW WHO THEIR REAL FRIENDS ARE AND WHO THEIR REAL ENEMIES ARE. ANY NATION WHICH IS IN DENIAL OF THIS WILL BE TAUGHT AN AWEFUL LESSON 


WILL NEW NETANYAHU COALITION AND KUSHNER’s “DEAL” BRING DESTRUCTION TO JERUSALEM’s GOLDEN DOME ? 

Unless action is taken swiftly — and Israel with its anti-Arab, anti-Islamic policies is forced to stop — the world risks losing the most iconic symbol of Jerusalem, and one of the oldest and most beautiful religious structures ever created.

Miko Peled
https://www.mintpressnews.com/will-new-n...ome/257880

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JERUSALEM — There is a story about the Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab, the Muslim leader who conquered Jerusalem in 637 C.E. It is said that upon entering the city he asked to see the site of the temple built by King Solomon, but could find no one who knew where it was. According to the story, he then came across a poor Jewish beggar sitting in the street. The beggar told the Kalifa that he could take him to the site where the temple once stood. When they arrived at the site Umar realized that the site had been used as the city trash dump. He then went down on his knees and, together with the Jewish beggar, cleaned the site and vowed to build a sanctuary that would for all eternity protect the holy site. This sanctuary is the Dome of the Rock and with its golden dome it has become the most iconic symbol of Jerusalem. Today, Zionists in Israel plan to destroy it and replace it with what amounts to no more than a slaughterhouse where Jewish fanatics will sacrifice animals in rituals whose time has long past.
 
The Zionist system of takeovers

If we observe what is happening at the Haram Al-Sharif — the Holy Sanctuary in Jerusalem, where the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock are situated — and compare it to the history of Zionist takeovers of land, towns, neighborhoods and homes elsewhere in Palestine, the only possible conclusion that can be reached is that Israel is intending to push Palestinians and Muslims out and allow more Zionist zealots in. In case it is not abundantly clear at the outset, all people should treat this issue with the gravest concern.   


From the earliest days of the Zionist takeover of Palestine, the method employed to take over land has been to send young zealots to confront the Arab population, while the establishment maintains a pretense that this is just a prank by youthful enthusiasts. Then the Zionist establishment allows these young zealots to create what they call “facts on the ground;” and then, gradually, services like water, electricity, roads, and of course security are provided, until this “youthful prank” becomes a Zionist settlement.

This was true in the pre-1948 years; then, after 1967, this system was revived, initially with settlements like the ones in Hebron and Sebastia. Today the system is used to take over areas that are slightly more controversial and in which the state officially does not want to get involved. These are what Israel calls “illegal outposts” — which eventually become “legal,” and then full-fledged settlements. According to Peace Now: “Under Netanyahu’s government, we have seen intensive activity to restore the widespread phenomenon of illegal outposts deep inside the West Bank.”

Peace Now goes on to say:


The history of the settlements shows that many times an agricultural farm is actually the basis of the establishment of a whole new settlement. At the beginning, the settlers receive an approval to farm the land, then to build a house, and then, with or without an approval, they establish a neighborhood.”
 
Haram Al-Sharif


Knesset member Yehuda Glick is an Israeli politician who made the building of a Jewish temple in place of the Islamic monuments that have existed in Jerusalem for over a thousand years his life’s mission. According to Glick, 30 years ago when zealots like himself began to enter the compound — which they call “[i]Har Habayit,[/i]” or the Temple Mount — there were about a hundred who went. In 2018 there were some 30,000 and this year they expect 50,000 Jewish zealots to enter the compound.  In an interview with an Israeli television program about the Temple Mount faithful, “Rabbi” Yoel Elitzur, another zealot leader of this group, states: “We will advance one step at a time, we will do what they allow us and we will advance. This has proven itself.” 


“You mean a slow confiscation?” the reporter asked him. “Yes.”

The Israeli provocations into the Haram Al-Sharif are very well organized and documented. They are done in coordination with the Israeli security forces and are more like a march of force than an innocent tour. From time to time the boys who give the tours and who go to the sanctuary to create a provocation will drop to the ground and prostrate themselves and get arrested. In a tweet by “Hozrim La’Har” (Returning to the Mount), one can see young men doing this on video.

 
It is not only about access
Over the years there has been a growing movement of messianic Jewish fanatics who have been holding seminars and practice sessions on how to build the temple and how to conduct animal sacrifices. Priests dressed in costume and all the paraphernalia required are present and hundreds of participants attend the events, which are growing in popularity. Classes and camps for children are also held so as to educate a new generation of Israelis who will want to eliminate all signs of Muslims from Jerusalem, a city that has been Muslim and tolerant of other religions for over a thousand years. Having listened to interviews with members of the Temple Mount Faithful, it seems they have an obsession with burning a red cow and slaughtering young goats and then covering the place with blood pouring from the ritual slaughter. A practice hardly compatible with the quiet spirituality one finds at the Holy Sanctuary today.


Ne’emani Har Ha’bait, or the Temple Mount Faithful, have been financing these events and for the past eight years have been financing an architect in order to make this maniacal, destructive hallucination into a reality. The architect, Yoram Ginzburg, is an Israeli secular Jew who seems to be as enthusiastic about this vision as are all the others. His plan includes creation of a “Greater Jerusalem” that includes the cities of Ramallah and Al-Bire in the north and Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Beit Jala in the south. “As for the Arabs” who live in these areas, he offers what he calls “two interesting options:” one is expulsion, or, as he calls it, “Evacuation-Compensation;” and the other mass conversion — that all the Palestinians will convert to Judaism. Non-Jews may remain as long as they are loyal to this “Jewish project.”



Yoram Ginzburg with heads of “Temple Mount Faithful” discussing plans for the third Jewish temple

 
A serious threat
Jared Kushner’s Deal of the Century is one in which Israel takes all and Palestinians are denied any rights. The Neo-Nazi thugs like Betsalel Smutritch and Michael Ben-Ari, with whom Netanyahu made a pact prior to the April 2019 elections, seem likely to be his coalition partners. Under these circumstances, the dream that the “Temple Mount” loyalists hope to see materialize no longer seems far-fetched. The history of the past seven decades shows that the masters of the land — the most vicious, violent and racist elements within Israel — always get their way. Unless action is taken swiftly — and Israel with its anti-Arab, anti-Islamic policies is forced to stop — the world risks losing the most iconic symbol of Jerusalem, and one of the oldest and most beautiful religious structures ever created. 
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#12
THE SCRAMBLE FOR JERUSALEM 
Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and Morocco are all vying for authority over Islam's third holiest place.
Adnan Abu Amer
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinio...33480.html

Recent foreign policy decisions by the United States have opened yet another chapter in the long history of the competition for the guardianship over Islam's holiest places. After the US recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved its embassy there, the question of who gets to control the holy sites in the city (the third holiest in Islam after Mecca and Medina) has come to the fore.

Currently, King Abdullah II of Jordan is the custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in occupied Jerusalem, but there are growing speculations that the "deal of the century", which the Trump administration has promised would offer a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, might usher in the transfer of guardianship to the House of Saud. 

In March, King Abdullah hinted at the ongoing tensions between Amman and Riyadh over the issue by saying that he had been put under pressure to change his position on occupied Jerusalem. Then in April, King Mohammed VI of Morocco also stepped into the fray by announcing a grant of an undisclosed amount to be made available for the restoration of Al-Aqsa Mosque and its compound - a first of its kind for the past many years.

Apart from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and now Morocco, Turkey is also seemingly vying for influence in Jerusalem. All four have historical claims to leadership in the Muslim world and all four seem intent on playing a major role in the future of the holy city.

 Old rivalries
It is not the first time that the House of Saud and the House of Hashim have clashed over Islam's holy sites. King Abdullah's ancestors, the Hashemites, who are considered to be descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, ruled Mecca for centuries before they were deposed by the Saudis. In the 1920s, Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, the father of Saudi King Salman, challenged the rule of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, the great-great-grandfather of King Abdullah in Mecca and the whole of the Hijaz region (the westernmost part of modern Saudi Arabia), eventually defeating his forces and expelling the Hashemites from the holy city.

Two of Sharif Hussein's sons established monarchies in Iraq and Transjordan with the help of Britain, but only the latter has survived to this day. The Jordanian monarchy acquired the custodianship over Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem in 1924 after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled over Palestine for centuries. Both the Hashemites and the Saudis also share historical animosity against the Ottomans. In 1517, the Ottoman Sultan Selim I took control of Mecca and Medina and solidified the Ottoman claim to the caliphate; the Hashemites were forced to pay him allegiance. Four centuries later, Sharif Hussein of Mecca led the Arab rebellion against the Ottomans, aided by the British Empire. The Saudis, too, clashed with Ottoman forces throughout the 19th century and early 20th century, as they tried to expand territories under their control. Although the caliphate was dissolved and the Ottoman Empire transformed into a secular republic in 1924, in recent years the Turkish government has sought to regain a leadership position within the Muslim world.


Despite the fact that the Moroccan Alaouite dynasty was a distant observer to this struggle between the Ottomans, the Saudis and the Hashemites over Islam's holiest sites, it, nevertheless, managed to develop and maintain a special relationship with Jerusalem, as well. The ancestors of King Mohammed VI who, like the Hashemites, traced their lineage to the Prophet Muhammad, supported the holy sites in the city and its inhabitants for centuries. Eventually, a Moroccan Quarter emerged in Jerusalem which hosted many Muslims from the Maghreb. When the Israeli government destroyed it after the 1967 war, many of its inhabitants were re-settled by King Hassan II (King Mohammed's grandfather) in Morocco. The historic role Rabat has played in supporting the holy city was recognised in 1975, when a summit of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) chose the Moroccan king to head the newly established Jerusalem Committee, which was tasked with addressing various challenges the city faced under Israeli occupation.


New realities
Today, some of these old rivalries and claims to historical legitimacy have resurfaced, although the geopolitical situation has changed significantly since the early 20th century. Thanks to its massive oil revenue, Saudi Arabia has emerged as one of the most powerful countries in the Arab world. In the late 1960s, Riyadh intensified its "chequebook diplomacy", supporting financially former foes like Egypt and Jordan to help them recover from the defeat in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. In recent years, Saudi funds have helped both Cairo and Amman stabilise their struggling economies amid political upheaval. While Jordan has been hard-pressed to accept the financial assistance, it has watched with ever-increasing anxiety Saudi efforts to gain more influence in Jerusalem over the past few years.


In December 2017, less than two weeks after the US officially recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the House of Saud made clear its intention to challenge Hashemite custodianship during a meeting of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, a body bringing together members of parliament from Arab countries. At the event, the Saudi delegation snubbed their Jordanian counterparts by objecting to the mention of Jordan's historical role vis-a-vis the holy city in draft documents.  A few months later, Saudi Arabia announced a grant of $150m to support the administration of Jerusalem's Islamic properties. Meanwhile, the Saudi crown prince has sought to intensify Saudi-Israeli rapprochement and has seemingly supported the US "deal of the century". 

Jordan now fears that the Trump administration, with Israel's approval and Saudi Arabia's encouragement, may propose to establish an administration under Saudi supervision over Jerusalem's Islamic holy places, which would not only diminish the Palestinian Authority is playing in Jerusalemite affairs, but also effectively cancel Jordanian custodianship.

In response, Jordan has sprung into action, getting more involved in Jerusalem issues and seeking regional support. In February, it announced a new Islamic Endowment Council made up of important Palestinian figures (including some who participated in the mass protests against the metal detectors Israel installed at Al-Aqsa Mosque in 2017) and tasked with tackling some of the most pressing issues occupied Jerusalem is facing. 

In March, King Abdullah travelled to Morocco and met King Mohammed VI, seeking his political backing. The Moroccan king obliged and affirmed officially that defending Jerusalem was a "top priority" for his country. A month later, he made the announcement about the special grant to help with restoration work on Al-Aqsa Mosque.

On the Jerusalem issue, Jordan has also sought support from another important regional player: Turkey. In February, King Abdullah visited the country to discuss the Palestinian issue, among other issues. Previously, the Jordanian king attended both meetings of the OIC Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called in order to discuss the status of Jerusalem and worrying developments in Palestine, despite reportedly being pressured by Saudi Arabia not to do so.

Turkey itself has been vying for a leadership position within the Islamic world for years now and Palestine has been a special focal point of these efforts. Turkish charities have become increasingly active in Gaza and the West Bank, as have various Islamic organisations with sizeable budgets. Ankara has encouraged religious tourism to Jerusalem and has funded various humanitarian initiatives, including the construction of a dormitory for Al-Quds University students, the provision of meals for Ramadan, the renovation of historical sites and houses, etc. It also gave Palestinians access to Ottoman archives which documented land ownership, which could help in the struggle against Israeli land expropriation. All these efforts and Turkey's rising popularity in Palestine are worrying Saudi Arabia, especially because the two countries are now part of two opposing axes in the Middle East. This rift was solidified further in 2017 when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a blockade on Qatar.


Ultimately, what happens next in the scramble for Jerusalem will be very much determined by the provisions of the "deal of the century", expected to be revealed next month. Whatever the US proposals are for the administration of the holy sites of Jerusalem, it would certainly fuel further the growing divisions between Arab countries, which just a decade ago were in full agreement on the status of Jerusalem and the prerequisites for peace with Israel. 


POPE IN MOROCCO : PROTECT MULTI-RELIGIOUS JERUSALEM 
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/p...52986.html
Reply
#13
AL-QUDS NEITHER AMERICA's TO GIVE AWAY NOR ISRAEL's TO TAKE, SAY IRAN's ZARIF
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/05/29/597249/AlQuds-neither-Americas-to-give-away-nor-Israels-to-take-Zarif-says 

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the holy occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds belongs to Palestine and the Palestinian nation, stressing that neither the United States nor the Israeli regime can make decisions about it.

“Al-Quds (Jerusalem) is neither America's to give away nor Israel's to take. And NOT for brutal accomplices to try to buy. Quds belongs to Palestine & Palestinians: history shows that whomever ignores this is condemned to ignominious failure,” the top Iranian diplomat said in a post published on his official Twitter page on Wednesday.

Zarif reaffirmed Tehran’s full support for the Palestinian cause, calling for mass participation in International Quds Day rallies on Friday.

International Quds Day is a legacy of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, who designated the day in solidarity with Palestinians.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, International Quds Day has been held worldwide on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has called upon Muslim heads of state and leaders participating in the upcoming 14th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi city of Mecca to support the Palestinian nation, and adopt appropriate and effective measures aimed at protecting al-Quds.

Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau, said in a statement on Wednesday that the OIC session comes at a time when “the Palestinian issue is facing challenges, which threaten its present, future and existence. It is being held when Israeli terrorism against Palestinian land and people is on the rise.”

He pointed out that the American team -- comprised of President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and US ambassador to the occupied territories David Friedman --“plays a suspicious role in supporting and promoting political and economic schemes aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause and undermining Palestinians’ rights.”

Haniyeh then stressed “the need for an effective and urgent Islamic action” that would protect the occupied city of al-Quds, al-Aqsa Mosque, stand against the Israeli regime’s policy of criminal and racist occupation, and would put an end to its plots of “Judaization, division and displacement.”

The senior Hamas official finally demanded the final communiqué of the OIC summit, which is scheduled to take place on May 31, to be a unified Muslim stance aimed at building a roadmap towards achieving the aspirations of the Palestinian nation, which is the liberation of their homeland and return to it.
Reply
#14
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE QUESTION OF JERUSALEM
PRESERVING THE CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF JERUSALEM
https://www.un.org/unispal/wp-content/up...9/02/2019-
Jerusalem-Conference-Provisional-Programme.pdf


IN ISRAEL THE PUSH TO DESTROY JERUSALEM’S ICONIC 
Al-AQSA MOSQUE GOES MAINSTREAM 
Whitney Webb
Global Research, June 26, 2019


https://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-push-destroy-jerusalems-iconic-al-aqsa-mosque-goes-mainstream/5681794


This ancient site that dates back to the year 705 C.E. is being targeted for destruction by extremist groups that seek to erase Jerusalem’s Muslim heritage in pursuit of colonial ambitions and the fulfillment of end-times prophecy.

The iconic golden dome of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque, located on the Temple Mount or Haram el-Sharif, is the third holiest site in Islam and is recognized throughout the world as a symbol of the city of Jerusalem. Yet, this ancient site that dates back to the year 705 C.E. is being targeted for destruction by increasingly influential extremist groups that seek to erase Jerusalem’s Muslim heritage in pursuit of colonial ambitions and the fulfillment of end-times prophecy.

Some observers may have noticed the growing effort by some Israeli government and religious officials to remove the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque from the Jerusalem skyline, not only erasing the holy site in official posters, banners and educational material but also physically removing the building itself. For instance, current Knesset member of the ruling Likud Party, American-born Yehuda Glick, was also the director of the government-funded Temple Institute, which has created relics and detailed architectural plans for a temple that they hope will soon replace Al-Aqsa. Glick is also close friends with Yehuda Etzion, who was part of a failed plot in 1984 to blow up Al-Aqsa mosque and served prison time as a result.

“In the end we’ll build the temple and it will be a house of prayer for all nations,” Glick told Israeli newspaper Maariv in 2012. A year later, Israel’s Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel stated that “[w]e’ve built many little, little temples…but we need to build a real Temple on the Temple Mount.” Ariel stated that the new Jewish Temple must be built on the site where Al-Aqsa currently sits “as it is at the forefront of Jewish salvation.” Since then, prominent Israeli politicians have become more and more overt in their support for the end of Jordanian-Palestinian sovereignty over the mosque compound, leading many prominent Palestinians to warn in recent years of plans to destroy the mosque.

In recent years, a centuries-old effort by what was once a small group of extremists has gone increasingly mainstream in Israel, with prominent politicians, religious figures and political parties advocating for the destruction of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque in order to fulfill a specific interpretation of an end-times prophecy that was once considered fringe among practitioners of Judaism.

As Miko Peled, Israeli author and human-rights activist, told MintPress, the movement to destroy Al-Aqsa and replace it with a reimagined Temple “became notable after the 1967 war,” and has since grown into “a massive colonial project that uses religious, biblical mythology and symbols to justify its actions” — a project now garnering support from both religious and secular Israelis.

While the push to destroy Al-Aqsa and replace it with a physical Third Temple has gained traction in Israel in recent years, this effort has advanced at a remarkably fast pace in just the past few weeks, owing to a confluence of factors. These factors, as this report will show, include the upcoming revelation of the so-called “Deal of the Century,” the push for a war with Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and the Trump administration’s dramatic lenience in regards to the activity of Jewish extremist groups and extremist settlements in Israel.

These factors correlate with a quickening of efforts to destroy Al-Aqsa and the very real danger the centuries-old holy site faces. While the U.S. press has occasionally mentioned the role of religious extremism in dictating the foreign policy of prominent U.S. politicians like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it has rarely shone a light on the role of Jewish extremism in directing Israel’s foreign policy — foreign policy that, in turn, is well-known to influence American policies. When taken together, the threats to Al-Aqsa are clearly revealed to be much greater than the loss of a physical building, though that itself would be a grave loss for the world’s Muslim community, which includes over 1.8 billion people. In addition, the site’s destruction would very likely result in a regional and perhaps even global war with clear religious dimensions. To prevent such an outcome, it is essential to highlight the role that extremist, apocalyptic interpretations of both the Jewish and Christian faiths are playing in trends that, if left unchecked, could have truly terrifying consequences. Both of these extremist groups are heavily influenced by colonial ambitions that often supersede their religious underpinning.

In Part I of this two-part series, MintPress examines the growth of extremist movements in Israel that openly promote the destruction of Al-Aqsa, from a relatively isolated fringe movement within Zionism to mainstream prominence in Israel today; as well as how threats to the historic mosque have grown precipitously in just the past month. MintPress interviewed Israeli author and activist Miko Peled; Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta in New York; Imam and scholar of Shia Islam, Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini, of the Islamic Institute of America; and Palestinian journalist and academic Ramzy Baroud for their perspectives on these extremist groups, their growing popularity, and the increasing threats to the current status quo at Haram El-Sharif/Temple Mount.

The second part of this series will detail the influence of this extremist movement in Israeli politics as well as American politics, particularly among Christian Zionist politicians in the United States. The ways in which this movement’s goal have also influenced Israeli and U.S. policy — particularly in relation to the so-called “Deal of the Century,” President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the push for war against Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah — will also be examined.

Two centuries in the cross-hairs
Though efforts to wrest the contested holy site from Jordanian and Palestinian control have picked up dramatically in recent weeks, the Al-Aqsa mosque compound had long been targeted prior to Israel’s founding and even prior to the formation of the modern Zionist movement. For instance, Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Kalisher — who promoted the European Jewish colonization of Palestine from a religious perspective well before Zionism became a movement — expounded on an early form of what would later be labeled “religious Zionism” and was particularly interested in the acquisition of Haram el-Sharif (i.e., the Temple Mount) as a means of fulfilling prophecy.

As noted in the essay “Proto-Zionism and its Proto-Herzl: The Philosophy and Efforts of Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalisher” by Sam Lehman-Wilzig, Professor of Israeli Politics and Judaic Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, Kalisher sought to court wealthy European Jews to finance the purchase of Israel for the purpose of resettlement, particularly the Temple Mount. In an 1836 letter to Baron Amschel Rothschild, Kalisher suggested that the eldest brother of the wealthy banker family use his abundant funds to bring Jewish sovereignty to Palestine, specifically Jerusalem and the Temple Mount:

[E]specially at a time like this, when the Land of Israel is under the dominion of the Pasha… perhaps if his most noble Excellency pays him a handsome sum and purchases for him some other country (in Africa) in exchange for the Holy Land, which is presently small in quantity but great in quality… this money would certainly not be wasted… for when the leaders of Israel are gathered from every corner of the world… and transform it into an inhabited country, the many G-d-fearing and charitable Jews will travel there to take up their residency in the Holy Land under Jewish sovereignty… and be worthy to take up their portion in the offering upon the altar. And if the master (Ibrahim Pasha) does not desire to sell the entire land, then at least he should sell Jerusalem and its environs… or at least the Temple Mount and surrounding areas.” (emphasis added)
Kalisher’s request was met with a noncommittal response from Baron Rothschild, leading Kalisher to pursue other wealthy European Jewish families, like the Montefiores, with the same goal in mind. And, though Kalisher was initially unsuccessful in winning the support of the Rothschild family, other notable members of the wealthy European banking dynasty eventually did become enthusiastic supporters of Zionism in the decades that followed.

Kalisher was also influential in another way, as he was arguably the first modern Rabbi to reject the idea of patiently waiting for God to fulfill prophecy and proposed instead that man should take concrete steps that would lead to the fulfillment of such prophecies, a belief that Kalisher described as “self help.” For Kalisher, settling European Jews in Palestine was but the first step, to be followed by other steps that would form an active as opposed to a passive approach towards Jewish Messianism. These subsequent steps included the construction of a Third Temple, to replace the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans around the year 70 C.E., and the reinitiation of ritual animal sacrifices in that Temple, which Kalisher believed could only be placed on the Temple Mount, where Al-Aqsa then sat and still sits.

Kalisher wasn’t alone in his views, as his contemporary, Rabbi Judah Alkalai, wrote the following in his book Shalom Yerushalayim:
It is obvious that the Mashiach ben David [Messiah of the House of David] will not appear out of thin air in a fiery chariot with fiery horses, but will come if the Children of Israel bend to the task of preparing themselves for him.”
Though Kalisher wasn’t the lone voice promoting these ideas, his beliefs — aside from promoting the physical settlement of European Jews in Palestine — remained relatively fringe for decades, if not more than a century, as secular Jews were hugely influential in the Zionist movement after its official formation. However, prominent religious Zionists did influence the Zionist movement in key ways prior to Israel’s founding. One such figure was Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, who sought to reconcile Zionism and Orthodox Judaism as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Palestine, a position he assumed in 1924.

Yet, Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group based in New York that opposes Zionism, told MintPress that many religious Zionists have since latched onto Kalisher’s ideas, which were widely rejected during his lifetime, in order to justify neocolonial actions sought by secular Zionists. “This rabbi, at the time, other rabbis ‘roared’ against him and his beliefs weren’t accepted,” Rabbi Weiss stated, “But now, the ones who are talking about building this Third Temple….these are Zionists and they have found some rabbi whose ideas benefit them that they have been using to justify Zionist acts” that are not aligned with Judaism “and make them kosher.”

Weiss further expanded on this point, noting that the participants of the modern religious Zionism movement that seek to build a new Jewish temple where Al-Aqsa currently stands are, at their core, Zionists who have used religious imagery and specific interpretations of religious texts as cover for neo-colonial acts, such as the complete re-making of the Temple Mount.
“It’s like a wolf in a sheepskin…These people who want to incorporate the teachings of this rabbi [Rabbi Kalisher] are proudly saying that they are Jewish, but are doing things Jews are forbidden from doing,” such as ascending to and standing upon the Temple Mount, which Rabbi Weiss stated was “a breach of Jewish law,” long forbidden by that law according to a consensus among Jewish scholars and rabbis around the world that continued well beyond the formation of the Zionist movement in the 19th century.

Weiss also told MintPress:
There are only a few sins in Judaism — which has many, many laws, that lead to a Jew being cut off from God — and to go up to the Temple Mount is one of them…This is because you need a certain level of holiness to ascend and… the process to attain that level of holiness and purity cannot be done today, because [aspects of and the items required by] the necessary purity rituals no longer exist today.”

Rabbi Weiss noted that, for this reason, the Muslim community that has historically governed the area where Al-Aqsa mosque stands never had any problems with the Jewish community in relation to the Temple Mount, as it has been known for centuries that Jews cannot ascend to the area where the mosque currently sits and instead prayed only at the Western Wall. He also stated that the prophetic idea of a Third Temple was, prior to Zionism, understood as indicating not a change in physical structures on the Temple Mount, but a metaphysical, spiritual change that would unite all of mankind to worship and serve God in unison.
Rabbi Weiss asserted that the conflict regarding Al-Aqsa mosque started only with the advent of Zionism and the associated neo-colonial ambition to fundamentally alter the status quo and structures present at the site as a means of erasing key parts (i.e., Palestinian parts) of its heritage. “This [the use of religion to justify ascending to and taking control of the Temple Mount] is a trap for conning other people into supporting them,” concluded the Rabbi.

Nonetheless, Kalisher’s impact can be seen in today’s Israel more than ever, thanks to the rise and mainstream acceptance within Israel of once-fringe elements of religious Zionism, which were deeply influenced by the ideas of rabbis like Kalisher and have served in recent decades as an incubator for some of Israel’s most radical political elements. Meanwhile, as the debate within Judaism over the Temple Mount has changed dramatically since the 19th century, its significance in Islam has remained steadfast. According to Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini, “Al-Aqsa is the third holiest mosque in Islam…it is considered to be the place where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven and has been mentioned in the Qoran, which glorifies that mosque and identifies it as a blessed mosque. All Muslims, whether they are Sunni or Shia, revere that mosque” — a fact that has remained unchanged for over a millennium and continues to today.

Religious Zionism gains political force
‘We Will Soon Pray There’: Israeli Minister Urges Jewish Settlers to Enter Al-Aqsa (The Temple Mount)
The modern rise of the religious Zionist movements that promote the destruction of Al-Aqsa mosque and its replacement with a Third Jewish Temple is most often traced back to the Six Day War of 1967. According to Miko Peled, who recently wrote a piece for MintPress Newsregarding the threats facing Al-Aqsa, “religious Zionism” as a political force became more noticeable following the 1967 war. Peled told MintPress:

After the ‘heartland’ of Biblical Israel came under Israeli control, the religious Zionists, who before then were marginalized, saw it as their mission to settle those newly conquered lands, and to be the new pioneers, so to speak. They took on the job that the socialist Zionist ideologues had in settling Palestine and ridding it of its native Arab population in the years leading up to Israel’s establishment and up to the early 1950s. They saw the “return” of Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, or Shchem and, of course, the Old City of Jerusalem as divine intervention and now it was their turn to make their mark.

It began with a small group of Messianic fanatics who forced the government – who at that point, after 1967, was still secular Zionist – to accept their existence in the highly populated areas within the West Bank. That was how the city of Kiryat Arba [illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank] was established. The government, it is worth noting, was happy to be forced into this. From a small group that people thought were fringe lunatics to a Jewish city in the heart of Hebron region.”
Peled further noted that this model, employed by the religious extremist groups that founded illegal West Bank settlements like Kiryat Arba, “has been used successfully since then and it is now used by the groups that are promoting the new Temple in place of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.” He continued, pointing out that “whereas 20-30 years ago they were considered a fringe group, this year they expect more than 50,000 people to enter the compound to support the group and their goals. Religious Israeli youth who opt out of military service and choose national service instead may work with the [Third] Temple building organizations.”

Extremist settlers escorted by Israeli after they stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on July 22, 2018. Mostafa Alkharouf | Anadolu
Dr. Ramzy Baroud — journalist, academic and founder of The Palestine Chronicle — agreed with Peled’s sense that the Third Temple movement or Temple Activist movement has grown dramatically in recent years and has become increasingly mainstream in Israel. Baroud told MintPress: 

There has been a massive increase in the number of Israeli Jews who force their way into the Al-Aqsa mosque compound to pray and practice various rituals…In 2017 alone, over 25,000 Jews who visited the compound — accompanied by thousands of soldiers and police officers and provoking many clashes that resulted in the death and wounding of many Palestinians. Since 2017, the increase in Jews visiting the compound has been very significant if compared to the previous year when around 14,000 Jews made that same journey.”

Baroud also noted:
[The Temple Activist movement] has achieved a great deal in appealing to mainstream Israeli Jewish society in recent years. At one point, it was a marginal movement, but with the rise of the far right in Israel, their ideas and ideologies and religious aspirations have also become part of the Israeli mainstream.”

As a result, Baroud asserted:

[There is] an increasing degree of enthusiasm among Israeli Jews that is definitely not happening at the margins [of society], but is very much a part of the mainstream, more so than at any time in the past, to take over the Al-Aqsa mosque, demolish the mosque in order to rebuild the so-called Third Temple.”

However, Rabbi Weiss disagreed with Peled and Baroud that this faction presents a real threat to the mosque, given that the mosque’s destruction is widely rejected by Diaspora Jewry (i.e., Jews living outside of Israel) and that destroying it would not only cause conflicts with the global Muslim community but also numerous Jewish communities outside of Israel.

As Rabbi Weiss told MintPress:
Some of the largest and most religious [i.e. ultra-orthodox] Jewish communities outside of Israel, like the second largest community of religious [ultra-orthodox] Jews in Williamsburg, Brooklyn [in New York], and also in Israel … are opposed to this concept of taking over the Temple Mount and other related ideas.”

Weiss argued that many of these religious Zionists in Israel that are pushing for a new Temple “do not follow Jewish law to the letter and don’t come from the very religious communities, including the settlers…They don’t go to expressly religious schools, they go to Zionist schools. Their whole view is built on Zionism and [secondarily] incorporates the religion,” as opposed to the reverse. As a result, the destruction of the Al-Aqsa mosque, in Weiss’ view, could greatly alienate the state of Israel from these more religious and ultra-orthodox communities.

In addition, Rabbi Weiss felt that many Jewish and secular Israelis would also reject such a move because it would create even more conflicts, which many Israelis do not want. He described the Temple Activists as “a vocal minority” that represented a “fringe” among adherents to Judaism and a group within Zionism that has tried to use the Temple Mount “in order to be able to excuse their occupation and to try to portray this [the occupation of Palestine] as a religious conflict,” with the conflict surrounding the Temple Mount being an extension of that.

Weiss believed that the push to take over the Temple Mount was a “scare tactic” aimed at securing the indefinite nature of the occupation, and noted that many Israelis did not want a spike in or renewal of conflict that would inevitably result if the mosque were to be destroyed. He also added that he did not think there was a “real threat” of the mosque being targeted because international rabbinical authorities have stood fast in their opposition to the project promoted by the Temple Activists.

“Tomorrow might be too late”

It is hardly a coincidence that the growth of Temple Activism and associated movements like “neo-Zionism” have paralleled the growth in threats to the Al-Aqsa mosque itself. Many of these threats can be understood through the doctrine developed by Rabbi Kalisher and others in the mid-19th century — the idea that “active” steps must be taken to bring about the reconstruction of a Jewish Temple at Haram El-Sharif in order to bring about the Messianic Age.

Indeed, during the 1967 war, General Shlomo Goren, the chief rabbi of the IDF, had told Chief of Central Command Uzi Narkiss that, shortly after Israel’s conquest of Jerusalem’s Old City, the moment had come to blow up the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. “Do this and you will go down in history,” Goren told Narkiss. According to Tom Segev’s book 1967, Goren felt that the site’s destruction could only be done under the cover of war: “Tomorrow might be too late.”

Goren was among the first Israelis to arrive at the then-recently conquered Old City in Jerusalem and was joined at the newly “liberated” Al-Aqsa compound by a young Yisrael Ariel, who now is a major leader in the Temple Activist movement and head of the Temple Institute, which is dedicated to constructing a Third Temple where Al-Asqa mosque currently stands. Narkiss rejected Goren’s request, but did approve the razing of Jerusalem’s Moroccan quarter. According to Mondoweiss, the destruction of the nearly seven centuries old Jerusalem neighborhood was done for the “holy purpose” of making the Western Wall more accessible to Jewish Israelis. Some 135 homes were flattened, along with several mosques, and over 700 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed as part of that operation.

Following the occupation of East Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa has come under increasing threat, just as extremist movements who seek to destroy the site have grown. In 1969, a Christian extremist from Australia, Daniel Rohan, set fire to the mosque. Rohan had been studying in Israel and, prior to committing arson, had told American theology student Arthur Jones, who was studying with Rohan, that he had become convinced that a new temple had to be built where Al-Aqsa stood. Then, in 1984, a group of messianic extremists known as the Jewish Underground was arrested for plotting to use explosives to destroy Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. Ehud Yatom, who was a security official and commander of the operation that foiled the plot, told Israel’s Channel 2 in 2004 that the planned destruction of the site would have been “horrible, terrible,” adding that it could provoke “the entire Muslim world [into a war] against the state of Israel and against the Western world, a war of religions.”

One of those arrested in 1984 in connection with the bomb plot, former Jewish Underground member Yehuda Etzion, subsequently wrote from prison that his group’s mistake was not in targeting the historic mosque, which he called an “abomination,” but in acting before Israeli society would accept such an act. “The generation was not ready,” Etzion wrote, adding that those sympathetic to the Jewish Underground movement “must build a new force that grows very slowly, moving its educational and social activity into a new leadership.”
“Of course I cannot predict whether the Dome of the Rock will be removed from the Mount while the new body is developing or after it actually leads the people,” Etzion stated, “but the clear fact is that the Mount will be purified [from Islamic shrines] with certainty…”

Upon his release from prison, Etzion founded the Chai Vekayam (Alive and Existing) movement, a group that Al Jazeera’s Mersiha Gadzo described as aimed at “shaping public opinion as a prerequisite for building a Third Temple in the religious complex in Jerusalem’s Old City where Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are located.” Gadzo also notes that “according to messianic belief, building the Third Temple at the Al Aqsa compound — where the First and Second Temples stood some 2,000 years ago — would usher the coming of the Messiah.”

Six years later, another group called the Temple Mount Faithful, which is dedicated to building the Third Temple, provoked what became known as the Al-Aqsa massacre in 1990 after its members attempted to place a cornerstone for the Third Temple on the Temple Mount / Haram El-Sharif, leading to riots that saw Israeli police shoot and kill over 20 Palestinians and wound an estimated 150 more.

This was followed by the riots in 1996 after Israel opened up a series of tunnels that had been dug under Al-Aqsa mosque that many Palestinians worried would be used to damage or destroy the mosque. Those concerns may have been well-founded, given the involvement of then- and current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Third Temple activist groups in creating the tunnels and in subsequent excavations near the holy site, which were and continue to be officially described as “archaeological” in nature. During the 1996 incident, 80 Palestinians and 14 Israeli police officers were killed.

Some Israeli archaeologists have argued that these tunnels have not been built for archaeological or scientific purposes and are highly unlikely to result in any new discoveries. One such Israeli archaeologist, Yoram Tseverir, told Middle East Monitor in 2014 that “the claims that these excavations aim at finding scientific information are marginal” and called the still-ongoing government-sponsored excavations under Al-Aqsa “wrong.” When those “archaeological” excavations at Al-Aqsa resulted in damage to the Western Wall near Al-Aqsa last year, a chorus of prominent Palestinians, including the spokesman for the Fatah Party, claimed that Israel’s government had devised a plan to destroy the mosque.

Since 2000, Al-Aqsa mosque has been the site of incidents that have resulted in new state crackdowns by Israel against Palestinians both within and well outside of Jerusalem. Indeed, the Second Intifada was largely provoked by the visit of the then-Likud candidate for prime minister, Ariel Sharon, who entered Al-Aqsa mosque under heavy guard. Then-spokesman for Likud, Ofir Akounis, was later quoted by CNN as saying that the reason for Sharon’s visit was “to show that under a Likud government it [the Temple Mount] will remain under Israeli sovereignty.”

That single visit by Sharon led to five years of heightened tensions, more than three thousand dead Palestinians and an estimated thousand dead Israelis, as well as a massive and still continuing crackdown on Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Dr. Ramzy Baroud told MintPress that Sharon’s provocation in particular, and subsequent provocations, are often planned and used by Israeli politicians in order to justify crackdowns and restrictions on Palestinians. 

He argued: [Some powerful Israeli politicians] use these regular provocations at Al Aqsa to create the kind of tensions that increase violence in the West Bank and to [then] carry out whatever policies they have in mind. They know exaclty how to provoke Palestinians and there is no other issue that is as sensitive and unifying in the Palestinian psyche as Al-Aqsa mosque.
Not only do we need to be aware of the fact that [provocations at] Al-Aqsa mosque are being used to implement archaic, destructive plans [i.e., destruction of Al-Aqsa and construction of a Third Temple] by certain elements that are now very much at the core of Israeli politics, but also the fact that this type of provocation is also used to implement broader policies pertaining to Palestinians elsewhere.”

Drums beating loud
While there have long been efforts to destroy the historic Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, recent weeks have seen a disturbing and dramatic uptick in incidents that suggest that the influential groups in Israel that have long pushed for the mosque’ s destruction may soon get their way. This reflects what Ramzy Baroud described to MintPress as how support for the construction of the Third Temple where Al-Aqsa currently sits is now “greater than at any time in the past” within Israeli society.
Earlier this month on June 2, a religious adviser to the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Al-Habbash, took to social media to warn of an “Israeli plot against the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” adding that “If the Muslims don’t act now [to save the site]… the entire world will pay dearly.”

Al-Habbash’s statement was likely influenced by a disturbing event that occurred that same day at the revered compound when Israeli police provided cover for extremist Israeli settlers who illegally entered the compound during the final days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Israeli police used pepper spray and rubber bullets to disperse Palestinian worshippers who had gathered at the mosque during one of Islam’s most important holidays while allowing over a thousand Israeli Jews to enter the compound. Forty-five Palestinians were wounded and several were arrested.

Though such provocative visits by Jewish Israelis to Al-Aqsa have occurred with increasing frequency in recent years, this event was different because it up-ended a long-standing agreement between Jordan’s government, which manages the site, and Israel that no such visits take place during important Islamic holidays. As a consequence, Jordan accused Israel’s government of “flagrant violations” of that agreement by allowing visits from religious nationalists, which Jordan described as “provocative intrusions by extremists.”

Less than a week after the incident, Israel’s Culture and Sports Minister, Miri Regev, a member of the Netanyahu-led Likud Party, called for more settler extremists to storm the compound, stating: “We should do everything to keep ascending to the Temple Mount … And hopefully, soon we will pray in the Temple Mount, our sacred place.” In addition, Regev also thanked Israel’s Interior Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, and Jerusalem’s police chief for guarding the settler extremists who had entered the compound.

In 2013, then-member of the Likud Party Moshe Feiglin told the Knesset that allowing Jewish Israelis to enter the compound is “not about prayer.” “Arabs don’t mind that Jews pray to God. Why should they care? We all believe in God,” Feiglin — who now heads the Zehut, or Identity, Party — stated, adding, “The struggle is about sovereignty. That’s the true story here. The story is about one thing only: sovereignty.”

In other words, Likud and its ideological allies view granting Jewish Israelis entrance to “pray” at the site of the mosque as a strategy aimed at reducing Palestinian-Jordanian control over the site. Feiglin’s past comments give credibility to Rabbi Weiss’ claim, referenced earlier on in this report, that the religious underpinnings and religious appeals of the Temple Activists are secondary to the settler-colonial (i.e., Zionist) aspect of the movement, which seeks to remove Palestinian and Muslim heritage from the Temple Mount as part of the ongoing Zionist project. Feiglin, earlier this year in April, called for the immediate construction of the Third Temple, telling a Tel Aviv conference, “I don’t want to build a [Third] Temple in one or two years, I want to build it now.” The Times of Israel, reporting on Feiglin’s comments, noted that the Israeli politician is “enjoying growing popularity.”

Earlier this month, and not long after Miri Regev’s controversial comments, an event attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon, used a banner that depicted the Jerusalem skyline with the Dome of the Rock noticeably absent. Though some may write off such creative photo editing as a fluke, it is but the latest in a series of similar incidents where official events or materials have edited out the iconic building and, in some cases, have replaced it with a reconstructed Jewish temple.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman poses with a picture of the ‘Third Temple,’ May 22, 2018. Israel Cohen | Kikar Hashabat
The day before that event, Israeli police had arrested three members of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound’s Reconstruction Committee, which is overseen by the government of Jordan. Those arrested included the committee’s head and its deputy head, and the three men were arrested while performing minor restoration work in an Al-Aqsa courtyard. The Jordan-run authority condemned the arrests, for which no official reason was given, and called the move by Israeli police “an intervention in their [the men’s] reconstruction work.” According to Palestinian news agency Safa, Israeli police have also prevented the entry of tools necessary for restoration work to the site and have restricted members of the authority from performing critical maintenance work.

In addition, another important figure at Al-Aqsa, Hanadi Al-Halawani, who teaches at the mosque school and has long watched over the site to prevent its occupation by Israeli forces, was arrested late last month. Arrests of other key Al-Aqsa personnel have continued in recent days, such as the arrest of seven Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, including guards of the mosque, and their subsequent ban from entering the site. The Palestinians were arrested at their homes last Sunday night in early morning raids and the official reason for their arrest remains unclear. So many arrests in such a short period have raised concerns that, should the spate of arrests of important Al-Aqsa personnel continue, future incidents at the site, such as the mysterious firethat broke out last April at Al-Aqsa while France’s Notre Dame was also ablaze, may not be handled as effectively owing to staff shortages.

Soon after those arrests, 60 members of a settler extremist group entered the al-Aqsa compound under heavy guard from Israeli police. Safa news agency reported that these settlers have recently been accompanied by Israeli intelligence officials in their incursions at the site. All of these recent provocations and arrests in connection with the mosque come soon after the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, publicly stated in late March that he had recently come under great pressure to relinquish Jordan’s custodianship of the mosque and the contested holy site upon which it is built. Abdullah II vowed to continue custodianship over Christian and Muslim sites in Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa, and declined to say who was pressuring him over the site. However, his comments about this pressure to cede control over the mosque came just days after he had visited the U.S. and met with American Vice President Mike Pence, a Christian Zionist who believes that a Jewish Temple must replace Al-Aqsa to fulfill an end times prophecy.

In May, an Israeli government-linked research institute, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, wrote that Abdullah II had nearly been toppled in mid-April, just weeks after publicly discussing external pressure to relinquish control over Al-Aqsa. The report stated that Abdullah II had been a target of a “plot undermining his rule,” which led him to replace several senior members of his government. That report further claimed that the plot had been aimed at removing obstacles to the Trump administration’s “Deal of the Century,” which is supported by Israel’s government.

Last year, some Israeli politicians sought to push for a transfer of the site’s custodianship to Saudi Arabia, sparking concern that this could be connected to plans by some Third Temple activists to remove Al-Aqsa from Jerusalem and transfer it piece-by-piece to the Saudi city of Mecca. On Thursday, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs published an article asserting that “tectonic shifts” were taking place in relation to who controls Al-Aqsa, with a Saudi-funded political group making dramatic inroads that could soon alter which country controls the historic mosque compound.

Sayyed Hassan Al-Qazwini told MintPress that, in his view, the current custodianship involving Jordan’s government is not ideal, as control over the Al-Aqsa mosque “should in the hands of its people, [and] Al-Aqsa mosque belongs Palestine;” if not, at the very least, a committee of Muslim majority nations should be formed to govern the holy site because of its importance. As for Saudi Arabia potentially receiving control over the site, Al-Qazwini told MintPress that “the Saudis are not qualified as they are not even capable of running the holy sites in Saudi Arabia itself. Every year, there has been a tragedy and many pilgrims have died during hajj time [annual Islamic pilgrimage].”

Once fringe, now approaching consensus
The threat to Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock compound, the third holiest site in Islam and of key importance to three major world religions, is the result of the dramatic growth of what was once a fringe movement of extremists. After the Six Day War, these fringe elements have fought to become more mainstream within Israel and have sought to gain international support for their religious-colonialist vision, particularly in the United States. As this article has shown, the threats to Al-Aqsa have grown significantly in the past decades, spiking in just the past few weeks.

As former Jewish Underground member Yehuda Etzion had called for decades ago, an educational and social movement aimed at gaining influence with Israeli government leadership has been hugely successful in its goal of engineering consent for a Third Temple among many religious and secular Israelis. So successful has this movement been that numerous powerful and influential Israeli politicians, particularly since the 1990s, have not only openly promoted these beliefs, and the destruction of Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, but have also diverted significant amounts of government funding to organizations dedicated to replacing the historic mosque with a new temple.

As the second and final installment of this series will show, this movement has gained powerful allies, not just in Israel’s government, but among many evangelical Christians in the United States, including top figures in the Trump administration who also feel that the destruction of Al-Aqsa and the reconstruction of a Jewish Temple are prerequisites for the fulfillment of prophecy, albeit a different one. Furthermore, given the influence of such movements on the Israeli and U.S. governments, these beliefs of active Messianism are also informing key policies of these same governments and, in doing so, are pushing the world towards a dangerous war.
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#15
JERUSALEM :  RED LINE FOR MUSLIMS 

https://www.globalresearch.ca/jerusalem-...ms/5622230

To Netanyahu it is Yerushalayim (city of peace) in Yiddish; to Muslims it is Bayt Al-Maqdis (the house of peace). To Google and now to Trump Jerusalem (city of peace) is the capital of Israel.



On December 7, 2017 Yeni Safak, a conservative Turkish daily newspaper and strong supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reported Erdogan as saying that Trump’s Jerusalem step ‘will throw the region into a ring of fire’, ‘Trump’s declaration aims to stir up the region, not to bring peace,’ and that “Jerusalem, Mr. Trump, is the red line for Muslims”. No empty words from a NATO partner and a country that has recognized Israel.



“It is not possible to understand what Trump wants to achieve,” Erdogan said in the capital Ankara before leaving for a visit to Greece.



“The (US) announcement has the potential to send us backwards to even darker times than the ones we are already living in” Federika Mogherini, EU Foreign Policy chief added.



She shared German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s sentiments that the European Union had a “clear and united position” on the issue:



“We believe that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states and with Jerusalem as the capital of both.”



On December 7, 2017 Newsweek reported Iran says Arabs and Muslims must defend Jerusalem as rockets target Israel. Like Turkey, Iran has demonstrated its resolve on several occasions that it is a country with a leadership that is not impotent. Iran’s military chief of staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri stated on Press TV



“The world of arrogance, and foremost the criminal U.S., should know that the unity of the Muslim world will obstruct this desperate move and will be defeated with the vigilance of the Muslim world.”



Unity? Is that possible?



A statement from nuclear Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s office stated



“It is deeply regrettable that pleas from states across the globe not to alter the legal and historical status of Al Quds Al Sharif have been ignored, more out of choice than necessity.”



Even Trump’s closest Middle East ally Saudi Arabia has ostracized President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, calling the move “unjustified and irresponsible”. The statement added that “The kingdom has already warned of the serious consequences of such an unjustified and irresponsible move.”



But Saudi agenda is to block Iran, not Israel.



Probably the strongest message that the Islamic countries should send is voiced by the Chairman of Indonesia’s Youth Association of Nahdlatul Ulama (IPNU), Irfan Mujahid: “Expel the US ambassador (to Indonesia) if he ignores this demand.”



Indonesian President Joko Widodo also called on Muslim countries to unite and reject the US move. So there are four strong Muslim nations Turkey, Iran, Indonesia and Pakistan (I’m always wary of Egyptian intentions) with formidable militaries and a collective population of over 600 million voicing their opposition designating Jerusalem as Israel’s capital against the UN resolution 478 of August 20, 1980.



The OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) comprising 57 nations will be convening an extraordinary summit for Muslim leaders on December 12-13 in Istanbul to “discuss the repercussions of the American decision, and to formulate a unified Islamic position on this dangerous escalation.” Is a unified Islamic position possible?



The key question that needs to be addressed is one posed by Erdogan: what does Trump want to achieve by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? Only then can the consequences of Trump’s decision be taken for discussion and whether it’ll result in Erdogan’s ring of fire in the region.



I posed a question on my recent article on Oriental Review if Trump is unpredictable, senile or juvenile?  It seems from opinions of several political and media analysts who know him enough that he truly is all three. His decision to recognize Jerusalem therefore comes as no surprise. But behind these attributes may lay a cunning plot which may well be the genius of Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump wants to make America great and therein is his genius for an irrational war.



As the sun begins to set on any empire, and the most classical ones have been the Roman and British, there develops desperation to somehow keep the sun from setting. The empire’s leadership starts fragmenting and the rationale that made a nation an empire starts to crumble.



America has witnessed no threat from its Muslims citizens as the vast majority have contributed their professional and business talents towards making it great. However, Trump is not willing to accept the contributions of all immigrants including Muslims, Chinese, and Mexicans or even the contributions of his predecessor of Afro-American origin. He favors the alt-Right group as the true contributors. He sees the Muslims, most specifically, within its borders as well as outside as the threat to America in a manner similar to the Germanic tribes that threatened the Roman Empire under the able leadership of Emperor Marcus Aurelius till his son Commodus began the Roman descent. Trump shares the fear of Muslims with Netanyahu.



Trump has thus far failed to drive a wedge between the Shias and Sunnis or between Arabs. The rationale of Trump to making America great is a war-the ring of fire in the region. Trump is not going to backtrack his decision so what responses can be expected from the Islamic leaders following the OIC summit?



If Jerusalem is the red line for Muslims, how do they intend to address it? Will they blink and open up the opportunity for Trump to enforce his decision leading other nations to follow in recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel?



Or will the Muslims unite on the Jerusalem platform? Trump is expecting the Muslims to capitulate and his hopes are pinned among the weaker ones Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Jordan who are fully capable of upsetting the proverbial apple cart and dissent with the stronger nations Turkey, Pakistan and Iran whose actions are needed for Palestinians (including Hezbollah) to continue their struggle.



OIC countries may demonstrate at the Istanbul summit they’re united but historically they’ve always been splintered. It is something that Netanyahu is aware of. They cannot speak with one voice and there is no leadership except venom within their ranks. Most importantly the OIC summit must not show any willingness to negotiate on the position of Jerusalem within the framework of UN resolution 478 because that would be seen as weakness which can easily be exploited by Trump and Netanyahu. In fact the only solution that should be a part of the final OIC communique is the member countries are willing to be prepared for the ring of fire in the region if the US will not retract its decision. If the OIC leaders proffer that unity then Trump and Netanyahu are doomed.





The outcome of the OIC summit will be carefully watched by both Russia and China whose support is critical for Muslims.



AL QUDS & BENEFITS OF DONALD TRUMP’s IGNORANCE 

https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articl...-ignorance

[b]Just like most things done by Donald Trump (DT), it appears that his decision of declaring Al-Quds, as the capital of the Zionist entity was an impulsive decision with no clear strategy in place. Trump’s illegitimate decree has no legal or political benefit for the imperial designs of US imperialism. In fact, DT shot the US imperialism in the foot and exposed the US vassals in the Muslim world. Something justice seeking people worldwide should be thankful about. Washington backed corrupt regimes in the MENA region,will no longer be able to peddle the well-known lie that the US is some kind of a “peace” broker, which it never was.

As pointed out by a prominent Lebanese academic, Dr. Amaal Saad on her Facebook page, “Trump's Jerusalem [CI- Al Quds] declaration will help shatter the myth of Israel's invincibility; it exposes how dependent Israel's existence is on the US: one declaration & the world acts as if Jerusalem really *is* Israel's capital as if US discourse has a constitutive effect on Israel's very being.”

Prominent British Palestinian academic and political activist,Azzam Tamimi, also pointed out that Trump’s decision has changed nothing, the occupation remains as it was. DT’s ignorant decision will further inflame Palestinian resistance, which is always a positive thing.

DT’s decision is a blessing in disguise as it has unmasked the US stance on the Palestinian question. As the regional US vassals are openly surrendering to Israel on the political front, the Islamic resistance axis led by Iran, which includes Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Palestinian resistance factions,manifests itself as the only real alternative to subjugation and occupation.

Islamic Iran has no border disputes with the Zionist entity, Israel. By opposing the Zionist entity, Islamic Iran made some powerful enemies. Iran’s unconditional support for the Palestinians as publicly acknowledged by a senior Palestinian political leader Mahmoud al-Zahar and others, is solely due to its strategic Islamic political identity and humanism. Iran derives no economic or political benefits from backing the Palestinians. Thus, DT’s decision further strengthens the soft-power of the resistance axis led by Iran.

The Trump regime managed to reduce the US into a second tier global player. DT’s ignorance should not be disappointing, but utilized intelligently. Washington has thrown its most dedicated servants like Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qadhafi, Ali Abdallah Saleh, Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak under the bus, thus creating an atmosphere of distrust amongst Washington’s regional vassals. United they stand, divided they fall, DT is dividing, let him do the job, hopefully for two terms.

[/b]
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#16
JERUSALEM AL QUDS  ISLAMIC UNITY CONFERENCE TEHERAN

MUSLIM WORLD NEEDS ANOTHER INITIFADA IN DEFENSE OF QUDS




Senior Muslim figures attending the international Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran have slammed a US decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital,” calling for a new intifada (uprising) against the scheme targeting the occupied Palestinian city. In their final statement, the participants in the 31 International Islamic Unity Conference condemned US President Donald Trump’s Wednesday remarks about al-Quds and his order to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

The three-day event attended by around 520 dignitaries, ministers, scholars, university professors, and representatives from various associations concluded in Tehran on Thursday. The statement emphasized the need to counter "the new US policy of Judaizing the Noble al-Quds and dominating sacred places of the Muslims."   “Accordingly, the Muslim world needs a new Palestinian intifada, which is supported by all the countries favoring freedom and human rights as well as all political powers.”

Washington’s al-Qud move has raised a chorus of outcry across the international community. The Muslim world, the United Nations and even US allies in the West have warned against its realization, saying it would plunge the already tumultuous region into new upheaval.  Palestinian leaders have declared Friday as the “day of rage” against Israel and the US.

IRAN PALESTINE AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/12/06...h-Khamenei





TURKEY PRESIDENT JORDAN KING UNITE AGAINST US PRESIDENT JERUSALEM MOVE

https://www.voanews.com/a/turkey-preside...52024.html


JERUSALEM QUINTESSENTIAL NETANYAHU TRUMP
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion...52149.html



TRUMPS's 'CRIMINAL' JERUSALEM MOVE COULD BACKFIRE 
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20649

Rami Khouri is a Senior Public Policy Fellow and adjunct professor of journalism at American University of Beirut. He is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School.

AARON MATÉ: It's The Real News, I'm Aaron Mate. President Trump has formally announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the American embassy there.

DONALD TRUMP: I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today I am delivering. I've judged this course of action to be in the best interest of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.



AARON MATÉ: Protests have already begun in the occupied territories where Palestinian factions have declared three days of rage. Well, to discuss this I spoke earlier to Rami Khouri, senior public policy fellow, and professor of journalism at American University of Beirut. Also, a non-resident senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School. I begin by asking Rami Khouri, his response to Trump's announcement.

RAMI KHOURI: Well, I think President Trump showed that he is engaging in dangerous, reckless behavior, which he's been doing all along in his last 10, 11 months in office. But he's dealing in a level of incoherence and recklessness, now that is really unprecedented because he's taking a position, which the entire world, virtually the entire world, rejects. Not just Arabs are angry and Palestinians, the whole world. Then there's United Nations resolutions on the status of Jerusalem and he's just thrown this out the window.

So we're dealing with a level of intellectual and political arrogance by the American president that is really dangerous for the region and I think for the United States. Because what this does is it puts the United States in a position where it is the only country, on a serious level, in the world that is going against established international law and U.N. resolutions on the status of Jerusalem. And it's essentially sending the message that, don't worry about international law, and conventions, and treaties, and U.N. Council Resolutions. You can ignore all that stuff. Do what you want. So this is a recipe for the law of the jungle.

And it further hurts the United States because it basically is sending the message that you can't trust the United States to keep its word or to do the right thing. That the U.S. will do whatever if it wants if it thinks it's good for its own domestic, political purposes, or to raise campaign funding from extremists and Las Vegas and other places in the United States. That's the message that the world gets. It's a combination of political, and moral, corruption and criminality, which is frightening because it's done out of the White House. This is totally un-American. Totally unprecedented and very dangerous.

AARON MATÉ: But in terms of this being un-American and unprecedented, it's true that this is a formal decision that carries some huge symbolic weight for the U.S. to do this. But how much is it an actual departure from existing U.S. policy? In the sense that the U.S. has supported Israel's de facto annexation of East Jerusalem by continuing to provide billions of dollars in aid and also providing plenty of diplomatic cover at the U.N. when other countries tried to hold Israel to account for its takeover of East Jerusalem.

RAMI KHOURI: Well, those are important points that you make and it is really at the symbolic level that this is important. But this is symbolism that is more important than anything that's done at the practical level. Because it's the last arena where Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, and even many Jews of good conscience, hold out the hope that there can be a negotiated, peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that is fair to Israelis and Palestinians. And this was the last thread linking the condition of the peace negotiations, which have been more open for 20 years under American tutelage. But this was this last thread that possibly gave people some hope that maybe a two-state solution could be negotiated.

Because everything else that Israel wants, the extremist right-wing government under Netanyahu wants. Settlements. Militarism. Siege of Gaza. Putting thousands of people in jail. Expropriating land. Bombing and killing people at will. Arresting people. Torturing people. Everything that Israel has done, the United States, as you said, has either acquiesced in or explicitly supported. But this was the last thread of decency, legality, and good conscience behavior and the United States just threw it in the garbage can.

AARON MATÉ: Can you talk about the Saudi context here because one other thing that makes this different from previous U.S., Israeli policies towards Palestinians, is now Israel appears to have the open cooperation of the Saudi government.

RAMI KHOURI: One of the big issues that's going to become clear in the next couple of weeks, or couple of months if this continues, is that you will see a big gap emerging in some Arab countries between the leaderships and the people. Between the government and the citizens. Because the Arab governments historically have done whatever they need to do, like most governments in the world do. Like Trump is doing now. Do anything that they need to do, to get support politically to stay in power. And Trump is doing this, essentially, for political support of pro-Israeli right-wing extremists, including Evangelical Christian extremists and donors.

And Arab governments are the same. They'll do anything that they feel is going to keep them in power and they will try to figure out a way to be friends with Israel, while the vast majority of their people are critical of Israel in the current situation of Palestinian-Israeli relations. The vast majority of Arabs have made it clear that they're willing to negotiate a permanent, peaceful resolution of the conflict. But in the current situation of Israel continuing to annex and build settlements in Arab, East Jerusalem, the public in the Arab world is extremely hostile to what Israel does. And if the Arab governments try to get closer to Israel, this is going to open a huge wedge between citizen and state, and we may find significant problems within Arab countries.

Not necessarily hostility against Israel or the U.S, which has been expressed before and has achieved virtually nothing, but you will find Arab citizens finally turning against their government and saying, what in the world are you people doing? You can't make war. You can't make peace. You let us be humiliated. You've turned the Arab world into a trash heap of morality, and dignity, and legality and this is the final indignity that the American President imposes on us. Basically telling us that we, the Arabs, the Palestinians, the Muslims, the people of the Middle East, that we have no rights. We have no voice. We have no place in the world. That what we feel, or what we think is our rights, doesn't count and the U.S. can do anything it wants. Even on the most sacred, sensitive, important political issue in our universe, which is Jerusalem.

And the Arab leaders are going to be told, if you can't do anything about this, then maybe you shouldn't be there. So we don't know how it's going to play out, but clearly, this is an issue where leaders and citizens of the Arab world, have very different perspectives.

AARON MATÉ: Robby Khouri, senior public policy fellow and professor of journalism at American University of Beirut. Also, a non-resident senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School. Thank you.

UNLIKE US EMBASSY PALESTINIANS WILL NOT BE MOVED 
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20662:Un...t-Be-Moved

Mustafa Barghouti was born in Jerusalem, 1954. He is a leader of the Palestinian National Initiative, founded in 2002 and a member of Palestinian Legislative Council, former Minister of Information, unity government, March-June 2007.

AARON MATÉ: It's The Real News. I'm Aaron Maté. President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has sparked the uproar that many predicted. Protests and a general strike are underway across the occupied territories.

PROTESTER: Trump, Trump you will see.
PROTESTER: Palestine will be free.
PROTESTER: Palestine will be free.

AARON MATÉ: Dozens of Palestinians have been wounded after Israeli forces open fire in both the West Bank and Gaza. Israel has now bombed and shelled Gaza after Palestinian militants fire rockets earlier today. Joining me from Ramallah is Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the Palestinian National Initiative. Dr. Barghouti, welcome. What is happening in the occupied territories today?

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: What happened is that we had demonstrations all over the occupied territories in protest to this reckless decision of President Trump, which made himself and his administration participant in a war crime, in my opinion; participant in violating international law, because by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he was accepting the annexation of unoccupied territory, and of course, he has shown not only complete biases but he has eliminated any future role of his administration in any so-called peace process. He has just aborted the same initiative he has been talking about before it was born.

But the most important thing is that we have demonstrations all over, unprecedented demonstrations all over the occupied territories and there will be tomorrow probably much larger demonstrations. These demonstrations were peaceful, were non-violent. The Israeli Army responded using every possible amount of violence including heavy bombardment with teargas bombs, including using these metallic bullets that are covered with 10-piece of rubber pulling them rubber bullets but they were very heavy and very serious. They broke the legs and arms of many young people. They also used high-velocity bullet. The outcome is that we had at least 180 people injured in Bethlehem, in Ramallah, in Tulkarem, in Qalqilya and in many other places. Also, around Jerusalem and inside Jerusalem, several young people have been arrested, especially in Jerusalem itself. These are things that reflect the Israeli behavior of severe violence against peaceful number of demonstrations.

Unfortunately, as usual, the mainstream American media does not report the non-violent nature of the Palestinian protests, and does not report the severe violence that is used by the Israeli Army and does not indicate how many Palestinians were injured today by the Israeli Army.

AARON MATÉ: Dr. Barghouti, you'd been a longtime advocate of mass non-violent resistance. But I'm wondering if you could reflect on the difficulties of that when you have an outpouring violence from Israeli occupation forces like we're seeing today. Talk to me about the history of this when Palestinians try to be non-violent, the kind of force that they're met with in response and how hard that makes it for Palestine to stay non-violent.

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: It's very hard. I've been in this for more than 38 years now. I've been in hundreds if not thousands of demonstrations. I was injured myself nine times including once with two high-velocity bullets while I was trying to stop the bleeding of an injured man. What we saw in July is a very good example of that. It was a crystal example because in July, in Jerusalem, we had pure, pure, totally non-violent peaceful demonstrations. Much of the demonstrations were praying in the streets. We had tens of thousands of people participating and huge amount of discipline. Even when the Israeli Army was attacking people, did not responded with violence. Still they killed five young people and they injured 1,500 people including myself as well. They didn't care.

When they throw sand grenades at you, they don't care where it hits. It can hit the eye and take it away. It can hit the head and kill the person. When they shoot these bullets, the bullets can be also very dangerous. Sometimes they even use tear gas bombs as bullets and we have lost one person who had a teargas bomb in his chest and his heart stopped and he died. We've lost people who suffocated from tear gas, but they also use high-velocity bullets. And if they catch anybody, the level of beating and violence that is used is also beyond description. This is a very violent Israeli Army and they use this violence thinking that they have full and total impunity in front of the international law.

AARON MATÉ: That protest in Jerusalem that you're talking about in July, for just to explain for those who don't know it, that was when Israel imposed all sorts of crackdowns on Palestinian access to the Al-Aqsa Compound in Jerusalem. Palestinians responded with the type of mass non-violent resistance that Dr. Barghouti is describing and ultimately won.

Let me ask you though, Dr. Barghouti, in terms of the symbolism and the importance of Trump's decision here. Why it so angered Palestinians? I actually want to get your response to what Trump said in his speech. When he said that Israel has the right to recognize, to establish whatever capital it wants. This is what he said:

DONALD TRUMP: Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this is a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.

AARON MATÉ: Dr. Barghouti, that's President Trump saying that Israel has the right to establish its own capital. So, we're just going with what Israel says is its capital. What do you take issue with there?

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: Because it doesn't concern only West Jerusalem, which is part of Israel per se. Jerusalem is now unified and enlarged, and it has annexed East Jerusalem, which is part of the occupied Palestinian West Bank and supposed to be part of the Palestinian future state. With annexing East Jerusalem, they have already annexed also the northern part of Bethlehem, the northern part of Beit Jala and the northern part of Beit Sahour. Beit Jala has already lost 48% of its land to Jerusalem. So, when you speak about Jerusalem, you speak about an entity that has annexed already huge parts of the West Bank as well.

When Mr. Trump recognized Jerusalem as a capital of Israel, he recognized and accepted the annexation by force of an occupied territory of another country and that is considered by law, a war crime. That is considered a violation. The International Court of Justice, which is the highest court in the world, believe that annexing East Jerusalem is illegal and should be reversed. That settlement building inside East Jerusalem is illegal and should be reversed. That's why the issue here is not about a sovereign Israeli decision. It's about Israel taking away our Jerusalem and making it part of Jerusalem, and making it a capital of Israel as well, which means preventing us as Palestinians from having the right to our own territory and to our own seat in the long run. That's one thing.

But there is another thing that even in West Jerusalem, itself, there are 10,000 Palestinian families who used to live in West Jerusalem, who were displaced, ethnically cleansed in 1948. Many of these families live now in the States. Many live in Britain. They are refugees that are not allowed to come back to their homes, which were confiscated by Israel and given to Jewish population. Practically, you are talking about a city where apartheid is practiced in a much worse form than what prevailed in South Africa.

I heard them also say, "All I'm doing is recognizing the existing reality." Well, let me ask a question. Would a recognition of German occupation of Poland in 2nd World War make that occupation legitimate? Is it acceptable? Is it acceptable to legitimize the occupation of one country of another country and then say just because it's a reality I will recognize it? That makes no sense.

AARON MATÉ: Let me just add that what's interesting to me about Trump's decision is that the US has effectively tacitly endorsed, although not officially endorsed, Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem for years by giving it diplomatic cover when Palestinians tried to oppose it at the UN and also supplying billions of dollars in aid. But this is the first time that Trump is actually coming out...and coming out and saying through Trump that we are formally recognize it.

Dr. Barghouti, you mentioned East Jerusalem being the capital of our future Palestinian states. Let me ask you about that. Saeb Erekat, who has been the top Palestinian authority negotiator for years, he said that the quest for a two-state solution is over, and now the struggle is for a democratic one-state across all of historic Palestine, which is quite a rhetorical departure for the Palestinian authority. Do you take that statement seriously? Do you think he's being genuine? And what do you think the Palestinian strategy should be at this point?

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: I don't mind. I think it's a good idea. But he cannot just say it as a statement. He is the secretary of the PLO and the PLO must make that officially as its decision. We'll meet in Gaza on Saturday. I hope they would agree that we'd decide that from now on we will struggle for one-state solution and go back to the borders of the whole of Palestine,one democratic state for everybody with equal rights. But this is just a statement. It's not a program of the PLO yet. What we need, I've spoken about this in the last reconciliation meeting in Cairo, where I detailed in front of everybody how Israel has already destroyed tension for a two-state solution. But I said I cannot declare it on my own that now we have to change to one-state solution unless there is a joint Palestinian decision, which makes that declaration a unified Palestinian decision.

But in my opinion, in general, in principle, this is the only alternative of Israel continues with the help of the United States killing the two-states option. The only alternative is one democratic state and not the system of apartheid that Israel is trying to impose on us. But people have to understand what does one-state solution mean? It means it's not going to be a Jewish state. It means I can run to be the prime minister of that state. And a Palestinian could become the head of that state. And we would have more than half of the... There will be equal rights, which means Palestinian refugees will have the chance and right to come back whenever they want like Jewish people do. It means full equality.

Of course Israel is not only adamant against one-state solution. It's even much more adamant than even opposing the two-state solution. In reality, Israel does not want neither two-state solution nor one-state solution. They want us out of our land. They want us out of our homes. But that will never happen. We're here to stay. We're here to struggle. And we're here to succeed. One day, we will get our freedom.

AARON MATÉ: Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the Palestinian National Initiative, thank you.

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: Thank you so much

MUSLIM WORLD CONDEMNS ISRAEL'S CLOSURE OF AL AQSA MOSQUE   
http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/07/15/...stine-Aqsa

The Muslim world has denounced Israel’s recent move to shut down the al-Aqsa Mosque after a deadly shooting at the holy mosque’s compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds. The Friday gunfight took place just outside the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) and left three Palestinians and two Israeli police officers dead.


Following the incident, Israeli police closed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, briefly detained Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem al-Quds, and cancelled Muslim Friday prayers at the site. “We insist on reaching al-Aqsa mosque and performing prayers there. The occupation preventing us from praying marks an assault against our right to worship in this pure Islamic mosque,” Sheikh Muhammad said.

The measures taken by the Tel Aviv regime drew condemnations from the Muslim world. Arab League, Jordan demand al-Aqsa reopening. The Arab League warned against the consequences of Israel’s “dangerous” closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque and ban on Friday prayers. In a statement released on Friday, the 22-member pan-Arab organization said the move would adversely affect the so-called peace process in the region and fuel conflict, terrorism and extremism.

Israeli policemen check the body of a Palestinian after he was shot dead by Israeli police at the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem. 

It further called on Israel to the immediately reopen al-Aqsa and avoid any attempt to change the historic status of the mosque, demanding the international community protect the Islamic and Christian sacred sites. Additionally, Jordan, which serves as the custodian of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, urged the reopening of the site and advised Israel to “refrain from taking any step aimed at changing” the status quo of Jerusalem al-Quds or the mosque compound.

“Jordan rejects any attack on the rights of Muslims,” Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad Momani said in a statement carried by the official Petra news agency on Friday.

Qatar wants global action

In a similar development, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry censured the Israeli closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque, prevention of prayers there and declaration of the area as a closed military zone as a severe violation of the sanctity of Islamic sites and a provocation to millions of Muslims around the world. Israeli forces stand guard as Muslim worshippers pray outside the Damascus Gate, a main entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds, on July 14, 2017, after the al-Aqsa Mosque was closed for Friday prayers by Israeli authorities following a shootout. 

In a statement, the ministry called on the international community to assume its responsibility in halting these violations.

‘Aqsa’s historical status must be respected’

Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed regret over Friday’s incident, saying, “It is a humanitarian and legal obligation to respect the sanctity and historical status of the religious sites in the Israeli occupied East Jerusalem [al-Quds], especially the Haram al-Sharif.”



[size=undefined][size=undefined][size=undefined]The Haram al-Sharif should be opened to worshippers “via the immediate lifting of the entry ban imposed by Israel and calm should be attained as soon as possible,” it added. 

Dozens arrested after shooting

In the immediate aftermath Friday’s shootout, Israeli forces detained dozens of employees of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, an Islamic religious trust that manages the current Islamic edifices on and around the Haram al-Sharif. Firas Dibs, head of the Waqf public relations,

told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that Israeli forces had detained 58 staff of the organization, and interrogated them over the gunfight. The occupied lands have witnessed tensions ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound two years ago.
[/size][/size][/size]

The Tel Aviv regime has been trying to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population. More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October 2015, when the tensions intensified. Tel Aviv has come under fire for using violence against Palestinians and adopting a policy of shoot-to-kill.





PALESTINIANS REJECT ISRAEL SECURITY MEASURES IN AL AQSA
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/07/is...48094.html

Dozens of worshippers gathered to pray at an entrance to the compound after new measures introduced at holy site.  
Worshippers say the new security measures are an imposition of Israeli sovereignty over Al-Aqsa [Reuters]

Al-Aqsa mosque officials have rejected new security measures put in place by Israel as it reopened the holy site following a deadly gun battle that prompted a two-day closure.
Muslim religious authorities, who administer the compound, are refusing to pray there on Sunday after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors and additional close-circuit television cameras.


"The closure of al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the occupation in itself and the prevention of the call for prayers are all unfair and unjust and constitute a violation to the United Nations resolutions and the international agreements," Omar Kiswani, director of al-Aqsa mosque, told reporters outside the site.


"We hold the Israeli government responsible for the changes they have made in the al-Aqsa Mosque and taking its control away from us. We will stay outside the mosque until we get back the way it was taken from us." 

Israel shuts down Al-Aqsa Mosque after gun attack 


Dozens of worshippers gathered to pray at an entrance to the compound next to the Lions' Gate entry to the Old City, as Israeli security officials look on. Some women wailed and cried, calling on worshippers not to enter. The site was shut down during Friday prayers when five people were killed in a shootout - the first time the compound had been closed for prayers in 48 years.


"What happened does not justify this," Abu Mohammed, who works at a small medical clinic inside the compound, told Al Jazeera. "This is our mosque and we refuse to enter through any electronic gate, this can never be imposed on us." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the additional security measures on Saturday, saying they gave Israel "almost complete control over what goes on" in the compound, to prevent future attacks. 


Earlier in the day, Kiswani told Voice of Palestine radio station the additional security measures were part of a "dangerous and unprecedented move" by Israeli authorities "to impose control over al-Aqsa Mosque".


Israel's decision also triggered anger from authorities in Jordan, the custodian of the holy site. The Jordanian goverment released a statement on Friday demanding Israel immediately open the mosque and warning against steps that could "change the historic status quo in Jerusalem and the mosque". 


Proposals to change security measures at the compound have sparked controversy in the past. Palestinians have long feared what they see as Israeli moves to change the status quo at the holy site.

Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from East Jerusalem, said as the standoff continues as of 1400 GMT, because of the installation of the new security measures. "As far as they [worshippers] are concerned, this is an imposition of Israeli sovereignty on an area, which there should be none, and they are opposing this very strongly," he said. After Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, Israeli authorities have maintained an agreement with the Islamic Endowment that runs the mosque compound. Non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site, but are not allowed to pray. The mosque compound is known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif while Jews call it Temple Mount.




PROTEST CALLS GROW AS ISRAEL TIGHTENS GRIP ON AL AQSA
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/07/pr...29422.html
Fatah calls on Palestinians to boycott holy mosque as heightened security measures are feared to be signs of a takeover.

Clashes broke out on Tuesday evening outside Lion's Gate [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party has called for a "Day of Rage" to protest against new security measures introduced by Israel at a Jerusalem site which is holy to both Muslims and Jews. The call follows implementation of metal detectors and turnstiles at the entrance of al-Aqsa compound after a deadly shootout there on Friday. In that incident, two Israeli security officers died after an alleged attack by three Palestinians - who were themselves killed by Israeli police following the violence.Tensions have soared since Friday. 

READ MORE: Grand Mufti - Arrest of al-Aqsa guards 'unacceptable'

The Red Cross said on Tuesday that at least 50 Palestinians were wounded in overnight clashes with Israeli police remaining near the sacred site, known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims.  At least four paramedics were injured, and 15 others were hit by rubber bullets, the charity said.  Clashes also broke out on Tuesday evening after Israeli security forces used sound bombs and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of worshippers near Lion’s gate in occupied Jerusalem after evening prayers. A number of Palestinians suffered rubber bullet injuries, including former Jerusalem mufti Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, said Al Jazeera Arabic's correspondent. 

Metal detectors and turnstiles have been installed at the entrance of al-Aqsa Mosque 

[Ilia Yefimovich/Getty]
The Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements have also called for protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the new security measures.

The "Day of Rage" is set to take place on Wednesday. "For the third day now, the Islamic Waqf authority - which runs the al-Aqsa Mosque compound - is refusing to enter through the Israeli metal detectors," said Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from Jerusalem. "[The authority] and the many growing number of worshippers outside the mosque see [the security measures] as an imposition of Israeli sovereignty in a holy place, and more generally as an Israeli encroachment in occupied East Jerusalem. "The Israelis are saying that this is an important security measure after the deadly attack which took place on Friday."


READ MORE: What triggered the violence at al-Aqsa Mosque?

Fatah is calling for Friday prayers to be conducted in public squares in Palestinian cities to denounce what they described as "terrorist procedures" by Israel in occupied East JerusalemPalestinians have already been performing prayers outside the compound in protest, since it was reopened on Sunday after a two-day closure. Jerusalem Grand Mufti Mohammed Ahmed Hussein criticised the new measures as altering the status quo, which gives Muslims religious control over the site and permits Jews to visit but not pray there.

In a statement, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that Israeli forces removed worshippers at Lions' Gate for allegedly blocking the street while performing prayers. The Palestinians fear Israel is trying to retake control of the site by stealth. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed on Friday that he did not want to alter the status quo. The site houses the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine, Islam's third holiest site after Mecca and Medina, but also the ruins of the Biblical Jewish Temple.

Questions about control of the site frequently lead to outbursts of fighting. After Friday's alleged attack, Israel closed off the area, preventing Friday prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque for the first time in decades. Mahmoud Abbas, who was quick to condemn the shooting attacks in a telephone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is currently in Beijing on a three-day visit to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.



TIMELINE : Al-AQSA MOSQUE 
A review of the critical events that have marked the history of al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Dalia Hatuqa & Mohsin Ali
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast...67796.html

WHY IS AL AQSA MOSQUE COMPOUND A RECURRENT FLASHPOINT?

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2016/08/al-aqsa-mosque-compound-recurrent-flash-point-160816160536433.html

Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in east Jerusalem is one of the most sacred sites in Islam. The compound is also claimed by Jews. It has been central to years of political conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.  On Sunday, hundreds of Jewish settlers and far-right activists entered al-Aqsa Mosque compound under the protection of Israeli forces. They were there for a day of mourning to commemorate the destruction of two ancient Jewish temples. But 15 Palestinians were injured after fighting began over Jewish settlers trying to pray at the site, something they are not allowed to do.  Many Palestinians have spoken out against what they say is Israel's attempt to undermine Muslim control of the sacred site and allowing violence to escalate there.


Why is there so much tension around the sacred site?
Presenter: Sami Zeidan

Guests:
Azzam Tamimi - academic and political activist
Robbie Sabel   - professor of international law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Rodney Dixon  - international human rights lawyer



THE AL AQSA METAL DETECTORS AREN'T A SECURITY MEASURE 
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion...22756.html

Israel has been using the pretext of security to quietly continue the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land

Yesterday, thousands of Palestinians came to Jerusalem to perform the most simple, most peaceful act: prayer. Palestinians - Muslims and Christians, women and men, young and old - prayed in the streets after refusing to enter through the new metal detectors and barricades erected by Israel in front of the al-Aqsa compound. Israeli forces, armed with live ammunition, stun grenades, sound bombs, water cannon and tear gas, came prepared to kill. 

And they did: by the day's end Israeli forces and armed settlers had killed three young Palestinian men and injured more than 450 others, some of them very seriously. Israeli forces even raided a Palestinian hospital in an attempt to arrest those injured by their weaponry.
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#17
OIC LEADERS REJECT TRUMP DECISION ON JERUSALEM
OIC DECLARES EAST JERUSALEM AS PALESTINIAN CAPITAL 
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/oi...17995.html

NO LEGAL EFFECT : ARAB LEAGUE REBUFFS TRUMP'S RECOGNITION OF JERUSALEM AS ISRAELI CAPITAL  
https://www.rt.com/news/412596-arab-league-us-sanctions-jerusalem

MUSLIM LEADERS DISCUSS AL QUDS AT OIC EMERGENCY SUMMIT IN TURKEY 
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/12/13...uds-Turkey



JERUSALEM WILL NEVER BE THE CAPITAL OF A SETTLER COLONY 
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion...13811.html

MUSLIIM LEADERS CALL FOR  RECOGNITION OF EAST JERUSALEM AS PALESTINIAN CAPITAL 
https://www.rt.com/news/412942-erdogan-trump-jerusalem-decision


CITY OF DISCORD: HOW TRUMP’S DECISION ON JERUSALEM THROWS 70 YEARS OF CAUTION TO THE WIND
https://www.rt.com/news/412547-trump-jer...y-discord/

DONALD TRUMP: A PRESIDENT SWALLOWED BY HISTORY 
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion...24136.html

TRUMP JERUSALEM MOVE HINDERS US INTERESTS IN THE REGION
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion...39867.html

‘AFRAID OF US’: TURKEY SLAMS ‘WEAK’ RESPONSE OF SOME ARAB COUNTRIES TO TRUMP’S JERUSALEM MOVE 
https://www.rt.com/news/412892-turkey-je...k-reaction


IS JORDAN PAYING THE PRICE FOR JERUSALEM CRITICISM? 
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/jordan-paying-price-jerusalem-criticism-171212102011205.html

JERUSALEM ISSUE PROMPTS JORDANIAN ALLIANCE RETHINK
www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/jerusalem-issue-prompts-jordanian-alliance-rethink-171208135729391.html


JORDANIANS DEMAND CLOSURE OF US EMBASSY IN AMMAN
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/jordanians-demand-closure-embassy-amman-171207170857947.html


JORDAN HUMILIATED BY TRUMPS DECISION ON JERUSALEM
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/jo...19670.html

HOW SAUDI TRIED TO BULLY JORDAN AND FAILED 
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion...30867.html

TURKEY "TO SEEK UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY VOTE' ON  JERUSALEM
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/tu...49656.html

PALESTINIANS TURN TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY OVER JERUSALEM
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/palestinians-turn-general-assembly-jerusalem-171219083343945.html
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#18
US VETOES RESOLUTION ON TRUMP's JERUSALEM DECISION 
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/vetoes-resolution-trump-jerusalem-decision-171218153627200.html


‘WE'LL SAVE A LOT’: TRUMP THREATENS TO STOP AID TO UN MEMBER STATES OVER JERUSALEM VOTE
https://www.rt.com/usa/413783-trump-thre...un-members

TRUMP THREATENS TO CUT AID OVER UN JERUSALEM VOTE
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/tr...23324.html


The US has vetoed, as expected, a UN Security Council draft resolution rejecting President Donald Trump's recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and his plans to move the American embassy in Israel to the city. 

However, the proposed measure was backed on Monday by the 14 other Security Council members, including many US allies, highlighting Washington's increasing isolation over an issue that has triggered mass rallies in support of the Palestinians in major international cities.

"What is troublesome to some people […] is that the United States had the courage and honesty to recognise a fundamental reality," Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said. 

"Jerusalem has been the political, cultural, and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people for thousands of years - they have had no other capital city," she continued.

"The United States has the sovereignty to determine where and whether we establish an embassy," said Haley, describing the vote as an "insult" that "won't be forgotten".

Along with the UK, France, Russia, and China, the US is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, with the power to block any resolution from passing with the use of a veto. 

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, said: "It is paradoxical that while we were waiting for a peace plan from the US, the administration instead decided to further obstruct peace and delay its realisation.

"The US decision encourages Israel to persist in its crimes against the Palestinian people and to continue its occupation of our territory. No rhetoric will hide this complacency in prolonging the occupation," he added.

Draft resolution 

The Egyptian-drafted text reiterated the UN position on Jerusalem, affirming "that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council".

In an effort to keep Washington from exercising its veto power, the text did not mention the US by name, saying instead it "deeply regrets recent decisions regarding the status of Jerusalem".

Francois Delattre, France's ambassador to the UN, said his country regretted the US decision over Jerusalem. 

"This draft resolution confirms an international consensus on Jerusalem that has been built over decades," said Delattre. 

The vote came less than two weeks after Trump's controversial speech, which reversed decades of US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

The US and the international community have long maintained that the solution to the Middle East conflict would be the formation of a Palestinian state - alongside the Israeli one - with East Jerusalem as its capital. 

Trump's declaration unleashed widespread anger and rallies within Palestine and in major cities across the world. 

Since the decision, at least nine Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,900 injured in protests in the occupied territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip

General Assembly 

Anticipating the US veto, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank promised to take the issue to the UN General Assembly to seek the passing of a resolution there. 

Riyad al-Maliki, foreign minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA), said in a statement on Monday: "The member states of the General Assembly will be asked to vote on the same draft resolution that we presented to the Security Council, which the US has blocked with the veto. 

"In the General Assembly, the US will not be able to use this privilege," he added. 

Since the 1970s, when it first began exercising its veto power, the US has shot down some 42 Security Council resolutions relating to Israel and its actions in the occupied Palestinian territories. 

Turkey, a long-time ally of Palestine, is also leading efforts to pass a resolution through the UN's General Assembly. 

A vote in favour of the resolution in the 193-member UN General Assembly, however, is not legally binding. This means it would only serve as a recommendation and would act as an expression of the international community's stance on Jerusalem. 

Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna, reporting from the UN headquarters in New York, said although the vote would not be binding, it would "highlight what the Palestinians insist is the increasing isolation of the US on the status and issue of Jerusalem". 

PLO meeting 

Also on Monday, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an umbrella of Palestinian political parties, announced it would no longer accept the US as a partner in the peace process. 

"We will not allow the US to be a mediator or a partner in the peace process," said Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the PA, which is the Ramallah-based semi-governmental body that administers parts of the occupied West Bank. 

Abbas also promised to seek full membership for Palestine at the UN, despite a previous push failed to do so in 2011. 

Currently, Palestine is a "non-member observer state", meaning that it has the right to speak but not vote on resolutions. 

"We will take political, diplomatic, and legal actions against Trump's declaration regarding Jerusalem," said Abbas. 
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#19
UN SECURITY COUNCIL ISOLATES THE US ON JERUSALEM 

The US had to veto the UN Security Council vote to rebuke the US for moving its embassy to Jerusalem, which would have passed 14-1. All except the US agreed that the embassy's move will make a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine more difficult. Vijay Prashad analyzes the vote

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20749%27%20style=%27color:#000

WATCH LIVE: UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY VOTES ON JERUSALEM RESOLUTION


The United Nations is scheduled to vote on a resolution demanding the U.S. rescind its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20769:WA...ution#pop1

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY REJECTS TRUMP'S JERUSALEM MOVE
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/ge...06725.html


UN JERUSALEM RESOLUTION: HOW EACH COUNTRY VOTED
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/je...16873.html

PALESTINIANS IN JERUSALEM: UN VOTE 'POINTLESS EXERCISE'
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/pa...44668.html

ERDOGAN: MR TRUMP, TURKEY'S DEMOCRACY IS NOT FOR SALE 
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/er...40736.html

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the international community to teach the United States "a good lesson" in an upcoming UN General Assembly vote on Washington's controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Erdogan’s comments come after the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, warned on Wednesday that she would be "taking names" of the states voting against the decision and pass them to President Donald Trump, who has threatened to cut off aid to the countries in question.
The vote on Thursday is non-binding, but it is expected to pass easily in the 193-member UN body.

"Mr Trump, you cannot buy Turkey's democratic will with your dollars. Our decision is clear," Erdogan said at a cultural awards ceremony in Ankara on Thursday. "I call on the whole world: Don't you dare sell your democratic struggle and your will for petty dollars. "I hope and expect the US won't get the result it expects from there (the UN) and the world will give a very good lesson to the US," Erdogan added.

UN Security Council to weigh resolution on Jerusalem
Trump, on December 6, announced the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, deviating from decades-old policy and the international consensus that the city's status should be resolved through peace talks.

On Tuesday, the US vetoed an Egyptian-sponsored UN Security Council resolution that asked countries not to establish diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

The US, one of the five permanent members of the UN body with veto power, was outnumbered 14 to 1 when it vetoed that resolution. 

Ankara tough on US move
Turkey has been highly vocal in criticising the US administration over its Jerusalem decision, leading calls at last week's summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference in Istanbul last week to officially recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
Taha Ozhan, a ruling party MP and chair of the Turkish parliament's foreign affairs commission, told Al Jazeera earlier in the week that Ankara's efforts against Trump's move put pressure on regional countries to speak up.

"Turkey has triggered this, and regional actors are reacting," he said.

WATCH: Turkey plays major role against US Jerusalem move (2:28)


"A possible vote in the General Assembly will remind us of the scenes we saw a few years ago in the vote there for Palestine to be a non-member observer state, in which only the US, Israel and few more countries voted against the move, dominated by the rest of the members."

In the 2012 vote at the General Assembly, Palestine was given non-member observer status with 138 votes cast for the resolution and nine votes against it. 

Thousands of Turkish protesters marched in various parts of the country through the weekend, carrying anti-US and anti-Israel signs and shouting slogans against the two countries.






PALESTINE TO REMAIN TOP PRIORITY FOR MUSLIMS: IRAN
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/12/21...Quds-Trump

Palestine's freedom from the clutches of Israeli occupation remains the Islamic world's highest priority, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman says.

Bahram Qassemi made the remarks early on Friday, a day after Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifah tried to downplay as a “side issue” US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital.

"It is regrettable to see an Arab and Islamic country call a seven-decade-old scar on the Islamic world's wounded body a 'side issue' and so fatuously fail to realize the simplest of world affairs, thus embarrassing itself and its people... with such mean and baseless statements," he wrote in a statement.

"Despite all complex plots, manufactured crises and fictitious threats propagated by the US-Zionism axis, Palestine still is and will remain the Islamic world's number one priority until it is liberated, and no one... can distract Muslims from this serious issue," he added.


The United Nations General Assembly has voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli "capital."


While the Bahraini minister did not specifically mention the Jerusalem al-Quds issue, his statement came at the same time as Trump’s threats before a UN General Assembly vote about his decision on Thursday.

The American head of state said Washington would withdraw US aid to countries that were going to vote against the move.

The threat, however, failed to push back an overwhelming majority of the world body's members as 128 countries voted to adopt a resolution that calls on Trump to rescind the decision.


At the General Assembly session, nine countries voted in support of the Trump administration's policy. Thirty-five other nations abstained from voting.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in a tweet that the vote amounted to a "resounding global NO" to Trump's "thuggish intimidation."

Bahrain maintains close ties with the US and hosts two American military bases. 
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#20
THE HOLY LAND - AL JAZEERA's NEWS SPECIAL 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5nol4uYMd0


AL QUDS : HEART OF ISLAMIC UNITY 
Zionists of all stripes have unholy plans for the Holy Land
https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articl...amic-unity

At the heart of Islam’s mission is tawhid, the concept of absolute, indivisible divine Oneness. Before Allah’s (swt) revelation to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Jews and Christians had strayed from this teaching, which was at the core of all of the messages of all of the countless prophets sent to humanity. Jews fell into the error of seeing the one and only God as merely their own tribal idol — one god among many. They have stubbornly continued to confuse their tribal identity with the universal divine Creator. Christians, for their part, fell into the error of confusing the Prophet ‘Isa (a) with the one unique God. This led to such erroneous doctrines as the trinity and, later, secular humanism, the false worship of the merely human.

Just five years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Muslim armies defeated the Byzantines, and Khalifah ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab formally liberated al-Quds. The seemingly improbable Muslim liberation of Jerusalem/al-Quds was made possible by the sectarianism, mutual persecutions, and oppressions that had become endemic under the Byzantines. Christians persecuted Christians based on arcane sectarian dogmas. Christians persecuted Jews; Jews persecuted Christians (and slaughtered tens of thousands of them when Persian conquests gave them the chance). The Byzantine emperor who presided over all this strife, and indeed contributed to it, taxed his subjects into penury.

For these and other reasons, the Muslim liberation of al-Quds was welcomed or tolerated by a significant portion of the Byzantine population. These Jewish and Christian sympathizers, who viewed the coming of Islam as liberation from oppression, were proven right when the new Muslim rulers proceeded to live simply, lower taxes, and enforce religious toleration. The Muslims soon set to work rebuilding al-Masjid al-Aqsa, and a few short years later, the magnificent Dome of the Rock, which has stood as a symbol of divine unity — and as Islam’s greatest historical and architectural monument — ever since.

Muslim stewardship of Jerusalem/ al-Quds has existed almost as long as the religion of Islam itself. It is a symbol of tawhid in the realm of earthly affairs. Muslims, professing divine Oneness while tolerating and protecting other faiths, have for the most part proved just and able guardians of the holy city and its sacred sites.

Only two bloody historical interludes have interrupted Muslim stewardship of the Holy Land: the Medieval Christian crusades, and today’s ongoing Zionist genocide. Both of these two ill-fated ventures represent blasphemous betrayals of the perpetrators’ own core religious values. Christians claim to follow a prophet known as the Prince of Peace — a prophet who taught absolute non-attachment to worldly power and material goods. Yet the Crusaders took greed and indiscriminate mass murder to new levels of barbarism. The nominally Christian Crusaders, on their way to the Holy Land, massacred Jewish communities while sparing a few survivors from the banking elites, who (at swordpoint) taught the Crusaders the fine arts of usury. The result was the world’s first international “Christian” usury syndicate, the Knights Templar. Then when they arrived in Jerusalem/al-Quds, the Crusaders massacred all of the inhabitants they could find — men, women, and children alike. As Karen Armstrong writes in Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths, The streets literally ran with blood. “Piles of heads, hands, and feet were to be seen,” says the Provençal eyewitness Raymond of Aguiles. He felt no shame: the massacre was a sign of the triumph of Christianity, especially on the Haram, “If I tell the truth it will exceed your powers of belief. So let it suffice to say this much, at least, that in the Temple and the Porch of Solomon, men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed, it was a just and splendid judgment of God that this place should be filled with the blood of unbelievers since it had suffered so long from their blasphemies.”

In the wake of US President Trump’s announcement about the status of Jerusalem, a pro-justice protester holds a banner as he marches toward the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 12-8-2017. All across the Muslim world, in particular, protests decrying the new US policy spontaneously erupted. However, sadly, even weeks after the announcement was made, no majority Muslim country in an official capacity has severed diplomatic or economic ties with the US — just another indicator of the disconnect between the hearts of the people and the loyalties of their rulers.

Today’s even bloodier Jewish-Zionist conquest and ethnic cleansing of the Holy Land — which, like the Crusades, has been perpetrated with the help of an international usury syndicate — follows the Crusader example of betraying the invaders’ own core religious principles. Judaism has always taught that the Jewish “return” to the Holy Land would be accomplished by God, not man. Heretics like Shabtai Tsvi and Jacob Frank taught that Jews should make it happen themselves, rather than waiting for God; but they were satanists, not Jews, and their teachings were repudiated by a consensus of rabbinical authorities. This rejection of Zionism as a satanic heresy remained central to majoritarian Judaism until the 1940s. It was only after World War II that the shock effect of German crimes against Jews jolted the global Jewish community into relinquishing this central tenet of its religion and embracing the crimes of Zionism. Today, a small remnant of faithful Jews, Naturei Karta, upholds the traditional Jewish faith; while the vast majority of those who call themselves Jews have retreated from that faith, many of them embracing one variety or another of Zionist idolatry.

Today, the 9/11-instigated 32-million-Muslim genocide against Israel’s enemies, alongside recent attempts to secure total Zionist hegemony over Jerusalem/al-Quds, have brought us to a level of barbarism, division, and strife far beyond that of the medieval Crusades. The Holy City, long a symbol of unity-in-diversity under Muslim rule, has become an emblem of hatred and disunity under Zionism. Ironically, this is happening at a moment when communications technologies have brought the world together, allowing us all to witness the chaos as it unfolds.

How should Muslims react to this appalling situation? The key concept is unity. We must remain devoted to tawhid and work for unity on the pan-Islamic and human levels. We must make every effort to unite with all fellow Muslims — and with justice-loving non-Muslims as well — in defense of al-Quds. Differences of race, language, nationality, and religious school of thought should be de-emphasized and put on the back burner as we come together to defend the Holy Land.

Al-Masjid al-Aqsa is built on the site where the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ascended through the heavens during his night journey to the Divine Presence. On the way he had friendly meetings with the earlier prophets including Musa, considered by Jews the founder of Judaism, and ‘Isa (a), considered by Christians the founder of Christianity. Al-Masjid al-Aqsa thus represents the coming together, in peaceful self-submission to the one God, of the founding figures of the three main branches of Middle Eastern monotheism… and by extension, the coming together in friendship of all monotheists.

This is not the vision of Zionism. The Jewish Zionist movement openly professes its aim to destroy al-Masjid al-Aqsa and build a blood sacrifice temple in its place. The completion of their blood sacrifice temple, they believe, will coincide with the arrival of a Zionist Messiah to rule the world, imposing global Jewish-Zionist hegemony, from that site. The Christian Zionist movement has a slightly different aim. They believe that by building the blood sacrifice temple, Zionists will “force God’s hand” and compel Him to send Jesus(a) back to earth to wage nuclear war and kill all Jews along with the majority of the rest of the human race. Obviously both the Jewish Zionist and Christian Zionist plans for the Holy Land are unholy, indeed satanic. They aim at strife and division, not peace and unity. They will insha’Allah be defeated in our lifetime, and Jerusalem/al-Quds will reassume its place as a beautiful symbol of peace, friendship, and unity on earth under the One God.

Dr. Kevin Barrett is a US-based journalist, commentator, and radio broadcaster. He hosts the TruthJihad radio program as well as manages the VeteransToday website.


US RECOGNIZES JERUSALEM AS CAPITAL OF ZIONIST STATE
The December 6 announcement by US President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the “capital” of Israel is a major step forward for the Zionist project since the infamous Balfour declaration of 1917, whereby the British created Israel in historical Palestine from the rib of terrorism.  A primary objective of the Zionist Project, which emanated from Europe ,was to occupy and control Palestine, and to dominate the region as a bastion of Western civilization. This colonial project received the support of the white supremacist government in the US, and right-wing extremist parties in Europe.

The outcry by the aggrieved in the Arab and Muslim World and their pleas for justice will be of no effect. The rulers of the regional Arabian regimes are more concerned in salvaging and securing their illegitimate thrones and power base rather than worry about the fate of Jerusalem where al-Masjid al-Aqsa, the first qiblah of the Muslims is located.  Most of them have bought into the fraudulent US and Saudi-created “threat” that Iran allegedly poses, relegating the just cause of the hapless Palestinians to total irrelevance. The plan now is to form this grand alliance against the resistance movements and Iran, the only bulwark against their hegemony.

In this endeavour the US and Israel have bought the cooperation of the young, ambitious, murderous, and reckless Saudi crown prince, Bin Salman (BS). His profile fits neatly with the erratic and war-mongering nature of Trump and Netanyahu.  The complicity of the Palestinian Authority with Israel in pursuing the illusion of a “peace process” has come to a dead end. The fraud of a “two-state” solution is glaringly evident. There is no alternative but to return to the time-honored and internationally sanctioned armed resistance against the heinous oppression by Israel.

For the Zionists there will be no Israel without Jerusalem. And there will be no Jerusalem without the building of the Temple of Solomon inside the 35-acre al-Aqsa Masjid compound referred to as al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, by Muslims, and as the Temple Mount by Jews. Theodor Herzl, an Austrian Jew, developed in 1896 the ethnic-cleansing racist colonial ideology of Zionism. Its main goal was the establishment of the Greater Israel Project in the heart of the Arab and Muslim world, extending from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates River in Iraq, as a Jewish-only homeland for what is termed the “Jewish People.” The racism of political Zionism is a perfectly coherent system that inspires all the laws and practices of Israel. It encompasses all the odious characteristics of colonialism including ethnic cleansing, regular massacres, bombardment of entire civilian populations, wars of aggression, dispossession, exile, systematic ra-cism, apartheid, and destabilisation.

US fraudster-in-chief, Donald Trump (left), used to communicating in slogans and vituperations for his criminal overlords, said that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. What he meant to say is “We have the power to do whatever we want and see it however we want; and the rest of you can go and eat crow.”

With a massive infusion of financial, diplomatic and military help from the colonial powers the Zionists accomplished this project to establish the state of Israel on colonized Palestinian land after the genocide and ethnic-cleansing of a majority of Palestinian Arabs, both Christian and Muslim. Significantly for the Zionist Project, the disintegration of the Ottoman Sultanate fragmented Islam’s Arab heartland into some 40 weak and dependent territories and oil-rich protectorates.


Jerusalem, which houses the Aqsa compound, belonged to the international community under the administration of the UN. It was granted this special status for its importance to the three Abrahamic faiths.

The illegal Israeli control of East Jerusalem, including the Old City, which Israel occupied in 1967, violates several principles of international law, which outlines that an occupying power does not have sovereignty in the territory it occupies. In fact, Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Regulations (HR) states that a “territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.”

According to their common Article 2, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 apply to any territory occupied during international hostilities. They also apply in situations where the occupation of state territory meets with no armed resistance. The UN Charter and the law known as jus ad bellum regulate the legality of any particular occupation. Once a situation exists that factually amounts to an occupation the law of occupation applies — whether or not the occupation is considered lawful.

Therefore, for the applicability of the law of occupation, it makes no difference whether an occupation has received Security Council approval, what its aim is, or indeed whether it is called an “invasion,” “liberation,” “administration,” or “occupation.” As the law of occupation is primarily motivated by humanitarian considerations, it is solely the facts on the ground that determine its application. The Zionist entity claims to derive its legitimacy from the UN General Assembly vote of November 1947. Yet since its illegal implantation in Palestine, the Zionists have done everything to repudiate every law, every UN resolution, whether passed by the Security Council or the General Assembly, in their relentless drive of colonization. And this process involves the dispossession of Palestinians from their lands, including in Jerusalem.

Palestinians in the holy city (Jerusalem), who number around 400,000, hold only permanent residency status, not citizenship, despite being born there — in contrast with Jews who were not born in the city. And, since 1967, Israel has embarked on a quiet deportation of the city’s Palestinians by imposing virtually impossible conditions for them to fulfill so as to maintain their residency status. Israel has also built at least 12 fortified Jewish-only illegal colonies in East Jerusalem, housing some 200,000 Israelis, while rejecting Palestinian building permits and demolishing their homes as punishment when they build their homes to prevent their collapse. The Zionists dub them “illegal.”

The city of Jerusalem is very important to Muslims, with a rich history intimately linked with prophetic history. Al-Masjid al-Aqsa holds immense significance in Islamic religious tradition and Muslims maintained the sacredness of this city in the full sense of the word, including maintaining the tolerant multi-religious and multi-faith character of Jerusalem.

The Zionists have distorted and misrepresented the history of the region established by Islam over the past 1,300 years. They have overturned the demography of Palestine, controlling and Judaizing the Old City and East Jerusalem as a whole.  The Trump declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital shatters the illusion of the US as an “honest broker” interested in a just resolution of the illegal Israeli colonization of the Holy Land, the facade of an endless “peace process,” and the two-state solution.
 
The Zionist Project has taken a step forward in entrenching Israel as the forward base for Western imperialism intent on dominating the Muslim world. An intifa?ah (uprising) against the oppressors, not only in Colonized Palestine, but also against the illegitimate Arabian rulers, is inevitable.


Dr. Firoz Osman is the co-author of, WHY ISRAEL? The Anatomy of Zionist Apartheid — A South African Perspective. He is Executive Member of the Media Review Network, an advocacy group based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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