Israel and Its Media Enablers Deliberately Lie about UNESCO Jerusalem Resolution
There’s been an almost universal outcry in the Israeli media about a resolution passed by a UNESCO World Heritage committee concerning repeated Israeli violation of the status of the Haram al Sharif holy site. Headlines called the resolution “anti-Israel.” Haaretz claimed it “nullified Jewish claims to the Temple Mount.” i24 News claimed it “denies Jewish ties to Jerusalem holy sites.” Netanyahu called it “absurd” and “a moral farce.”
Compare this to the far more measured coverage by international media. The Wall Street Journal made no mention of nullifying Jewish rights. Instead it spoke of the resolution “raising Israeli ire.” The Guardian referred to “Israeli anger.” Interestingly, Haaretz’s Hebrew headline was more measured as well. It characterized Netanyahu’s views on the matter, but made no claims such as the ones in the English edition headline.
Bibi Netanyahu released this typically moronic statement which was meant to convey to foreigners the absurdity of the resolution, but which instead highlighted the absurdity of the prime minister’s powers of analogy:
“What’s next? A Unesco decision denying the connection between peanut butter and jelly? Batman and Robin? Rock and roll?”
Leader of the nominal Opposition, Issac Herzog also completely mischaracterized the text when he wrote it:
…Completely invent[s] the fantasy that the Western Wall and Temple Mount have no connection to the Jewish people.
Unlike all the reporters, editors and politicians who wrote this meretricious nonsense, I actually found the resolution (pdf) and read it. Suffice to say, it offers none of the things claimed above. It does “affirm the importance of Jerusalem’s Old City and its walls” for the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths. Nowhere in the text does it denigrate a Jewish bond to what Israel calls the Temple Mount. It simply doesn’t address the issue at all. Nor should it.
This committee is entrusted with preserving World Heritage sites. As such, it reports on threats to those sites which have received such designation. If Israel had submitted a claim that the Western Wall was under threat as a site sacred to Jews, then UNESCO would have investigated and made a finding on the matter. The truth is that Israel refuses to engage with UNESCO at all. So whose fault is that? The reason the resolution appears one-sided to pro-Israel advocates is that the Israeli side chooses to boycott everything to do with this process.
The resolution mentions a long list of Israeli violations of the sovereignty of Haram al Sharif, including police assaulting Al Aqsa mosque and trashing the holy site; pilgrimages to the site by settler activists who seek to destroy the mosques and replace them with a Jewish Temple; restrictions against full Muslim access to the Haram which last year precipitated a year-long Knife Intifada, which caused the deaths of over 200 Palestinians and nearly 40 Israelis.
The resolution requests that return of the status quo ante of 2000 (before Ariel Sharon’s assault which incited the 2nd Intifada) by which the Jordanian Waqf maintained the Haram. It calls on Israel to cease archaeological excavations which are designed to further Jewish claim to the Haram and encroach on the Muslim holy sites.
The absolute truth is that no Muslim authority is attempting to encroach upon Jewish access to the Western Wall, which is the traditional site where Jews have congregated and prayed since 1967. While the Israeli government is constantly provoking violence by imposing limitations on Muslim worship and permitting encroachment by settler groups led by provocateurs like MK Yehuda Glick. As I wrote in last night’s post, there is a powerful movement among settler Jews seeking to destroy these Muslim holy sites. Which means that both Muslims and UNESCO have excellent reason to be on their guard and alert the world to violations of the sites.
When I was last in Israel in 1980, I visited the Haram and it was a peaceful place of worship for all who visited, including Jews. In 1969, an Australian evangelical Christian attempted to bring the Second Coming by burning down Al Aqsa. Israel acted swiftly to lock him up and cool any tensions that arose. Today’s Israeli government would pin a medal on him and make him the Religious Affairs minister. So how much closer are we to the vision of this Christian lunatic than we were in 1969??
The current Israeli coverage continues the hasbara attack on international bodies deemed insufficiently pliant to Israel. It deliberately mischaracterizes their work in an attempt to undermine any independent oversight on these matters. We must push back against such journalistic hoaxing whether it comes from the pages of the supposedly liberal Haaretz or the pages of the right-wing media like Ynet, Jerusalem Post, or Arutz 7.
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Hi Richard. You haven’t been here since 1980!? You really ought to visit. Especially if you are going to write about the region. You’re welcome to stay with me.
@Arieh: If you can assure me I won’t be arrested by Shabak or expelled I’d be glad to.
Please refrase your title.
Haaretz is an irresponsible, dishonest and sensationalist rag. Editors and writers at Haaretz do not function in a journalistic capacity as much as they operate in sensationalist capacities and as unsanctioned security minded sources of misinformation for enemies of the state of Israel; who might, in the imaginations of the editors and writers at Haaretz, be looking for intelligence to use against the state.
You wrote: “When I was last in Israel in 1980, I visited the Haram and it was a peaceful place of worship for all who visited, including Jews.”
Forgive me if I am mistaken, but my understanding is that Jewish prayer was not permitted on the Haram as per the Israeli agreement with the Waqf in 1967. Peaceful worship for Muslims only I think, no?
In 2000, all non-Muslims were barred from entering Al Aksa and the Dome of the Rock.
Do you agree with UNESCO’s designation of the Wailing Wall as the al-Burak plaza? Do you feel that Israeli archaeological work there, near Robinson’s Arch and more recently in the Eastern part of the plaza, is wrong? How about the Waqf’s extensive construction of an underground Mosque on the Haram and their dumping of valuable archaeological material occasioned by the construction?
Thanks for your consideration.
The resolution which is drafted by Arab countries gives the Arabic/Muslim name al-Buraq Plaza AND The Western Wall (they also give the Muslim and the Jewish names for the two religious sites in Hebron and Bethlehem). Are you telling us that an Israeli drafted resolution should give the Arabic names too, let’s says al-Quds for Jerusalem ?
@ Deir Yassin: I’m also tickled by the pro-Israel sensitivity to place names when Israel systematically erases Arab/Palestinian place names throughout Israel-Palestine. Israel does this on a national scale, a form of cultural eradication. Yet they get pissed off when a resolution doesn’t acknowledge the Jews inalienable right to destroy the Haram al Sharif and turn it into a Holy Temple Disneyland.
I read the resolution twice, in English and in French (to see whether there are any problamatic translation issues like in the resolution 242 that Zionists can exploit), I simply don’t understand the reactions, or that is I do: they are pissed off that the UN is following what’s happening, which is a sign that the governement might have intentions to change the status quo. And then of course the fact that the resolution clearly points out that we’re dealibg with occupied territory.
France voted in favor of the first draft last year, and hell started here, CRIF (the local ADL or AIPAC now presided by a former member of Betar ..) and Zionist members of Parliament started their usual pressure and blackmailing, and Hollande as well as Prime Minister Valls declared that the French vote ‘was a mistake’ and that it wouldn’t happen again.
@ Arisa: Who needs Jewish prayer in the midst of two mosques when tens of thousands of Jews pray for hours every day only a few hundred yards away? Would you permit Muslims to worship in the Kotel plaza among these Jews? They why should Jews pray on the steps of the third holiest Muslim site in the world??
I don’t believe that non Muslims were barred from entering the Haram in 2000. That’s why I insist on people like you offering credible sources to support your claims.
Again, I don’t know that any of your claims of Muslim encroachment are true, since you offer nothing but your own word, which has no credibility. Remember, a credible source!
I never said that there MUST be Jewish prayer in the midst of one Mosque (Al Aksa) and one shrine (Dome of the Rock is not a mosque). I was just wondering about your turn of phrase when you stated that the Haram was a “peaceful place of worship for all who visited, including Jews.” Jews were not allowed into the Old City, including the Western Wall and the Haram, while it was controlled by the Jordanians from 1948 to 1967 and after 1967 they were allowed to visit the Haram but not to pray. Between 1967 and 2000 entry to the Dome of the Rock and Al Aksa was permitted to all but in 2000 entry to the shrine and the mosque was restricted to Muslims due to the Intifada. Israel restricted all access to the Temple Mount for non-Muslims between 2000-2003 see http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.663644 – it’s a premium article but I clicked on the link from Wikipedia article on the Haram and was able to see it all: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Mount#cite_note-85
It’s not up to me to decide who gets to pray at the Western Wall but it’s my understanding that anyone is allowed in. No one checks your religion and I have seen Muslim tourists at the Wall when I was in Israel 2 years ago. On the Haram, Waqf guards check to see if you are Muslim. A Turkish Muslim friend of mine had to utter a number of Islamic prayers before she was allowed into the Dome of the Rock. And she had to show her Turkish ID as well.
I’m happy to provide links for any of my assertions, but I wasn’t trying to make any points, I was more interested in the answers to my questions. For instance, one response to one of my questions is that the designation al-Burak Plaza is just as valid as the Kotel/Western Wall. I was just curious as to your opinions on that and on the archaeological work under the Mughrabi Gate, Robinson’s Arch and the Eastern part of the Kotel Plaza opposite the Wall/Al Burak Plaza and the construction work conducted by the Waqf in building the underground Mosque.
Richard this comment about the Western Wall makes no sense. The only reason why the Western Wall is used is because the Temple Mount (which you continuously refer to as the Haram) is the holiest site in the world for Jews. The Western Wall is merely an exterior supporting wall which supports the Temple Mount. The wall actually surrounds the entire Temple Mount, and this area developed into a prayer area because it was an open space that allowed Jews to pray near the Temple Mount itself. Again it’s the Temple Mount that is the holiest site for Jews, NOT the Western Wall. The wall is like the moon to the Temple’s sun; it merely reflects the holiness emanating from the Temple Mount. It is the Mount which is the holiest Jewish site. And why do you keep referring to it as Haram al-Sharif? Are you Muslim? As a Jew you should refer to it by default as the Temple Mount, the holiest Jewish site, and then say maybe in parenthetical fashion “which Muslims refer to as Haram al-Sharif, the third holiest site in Islam”.
To clarify: the third holiest site in Islam is actually the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is off to the side of the Temple Mount and which Jews don’t need to pay attention to. The center of the Temple Mount where the Dome of the Rock (as someone already pointed out to you this is not a mosque!!) sits is the holiest site in Judaism. That site is NOT the third holiest site in Islam; that is Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is off to the side of the Temple Mount (I forget which side at the moment) but it certainly would have nothing to do with Jews praying on the rest of the Temple Mount!!!
@ John F: You don’t know anything about the Temple Mount, which I noted earlier. There are TWO mosques on the area Israelis call the TEmple Mount. Neither is “off to the side.” There is absolutely no possibility to distinguish these two mosques from the overall area known as the TEmple Mount. Further, Al Aqsa, that 3rd holiest site in Islam as you acknowledged, is the one Israeli police routinely desecrate.
I’d like to see your reaction if Palestinian police desecrated the Kotel by beating praying Jews and trashing it as the police do at Al Aqsa.
That was your last comment in this thread. Move on.
@ John F.: You either don’t know anything about Judaism or you don’t know anything about the subject of the Temple Mount. The Kotel was not developed into a prayer are because it was an open space. It was a prayer area because Orthodox Jews are not allowed to ascend to the Temple Mount, by rabbinic decree which the vast majority of Orthodox Jews respect.
The Temple Mount is where the Temple stood. But Jews may not go there.
And don’t tell me as a Jew what I should or shouldn’t do. If I need your advice on the subject, I’ll ask. I don’t.
If yiu could permit this response to off to the side for Al-Aqsa, here is a picture of it, it is along the southern wall of the Temple Mount, so it is indeed off to the side. And it is this mosque specifically which is the 3rd holiest site in Islam, not the whole rest of the Temple Mount (including the dome of the rock which is not a mosque)
“this area developed into a prayer area because it was an open space ”
There we go again: It was not an open space. It was an open space only after Israel buldozered the Moroccan quarter. Wikipedia:
“On Saturday evening, 10 June 1967, three days after the Israeli army had captured the Old City of Jerusalem, on the last day of the Six Day War, 650 residents of the Moroccan Quarter were told to vacate their homes on short notice. Workers guarded by soldiers first demolished a public lavatory, and then the remaining buildings, which included 135 houses and the Bou Medyan zaouia. Some of the residents refused to leave until their homes were collapsing. An elderly woman discovered in the rubble died soon after.”
By open space I didn’t mean the plaza as it is now. There was an open space there for centuries just not as big. It was narrow and was a holy spot for Jews to pray there.
@ John F.: The fact that the space was open had little to do with why Jews didn’t pray or congregate on the Temple Mount. They didn’t because they were prohibited by rabbinic edict. Current settlers have their own twisted interpretation of Judaism & their own set of settler rabbis who’ve deliberately flouted the mainstream Orthodox tradition on this subject. But these individuals are a minority of Orthodox Jews, though they cause the vast majority of the hostility & violence (with the State aiding & abetting).
You are done in this thread. Move on.
““affirm the importance of Jerusalem’s Old City and its walls” for the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths ”
‘Jerusalem’s Old City and it’s walls’, could mean anything and nothing.
What the Resolution fails to do, is to affirm a Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. That’s the problem.
@ Lotta: The resolution has no obligation to affirm anything. It is a report on violations of World Heritage sites. Those who report violations have them investigated. Those who don’t, don’t. Israel has nothing to do with UNESCO & doesn’t report violations. If it did they would be investigated. As it doesn’t do so, it has no right to expect that UNESCO will use terms favorable to ultra-nationalist settler claims to the Temple Mount.
‘The absolute truth is that no Muslim authority is attempting to encroach upon Jewish access to the Western Wall’
@ tradition: The article to which you link does not indicate any Palestinian or Muslim encroachment. Encroachment indicates taking physical action. Words are not actions unless they’re turned into them. Here they haven’t been. While Israeli government/settler words & actions have led to mass killings on both sides.
“How about the Waqf’s extensive construction of an underground Mosque on the Haram and their dumping of valuable archaeological material occasioned by the construction? ”
Did UNESCO ever see this when they were drafting their Resolution of Lies?
BTW. I had the privilege of working for a day at the Temple Mount Sifting Project, and we found, among many other things, nails from the First Temple.
That’s King Solomon’s Temple, in case you didn’t know.
“nails from the First Temple. That’s King Solomon’s Temple, in case you didn’t know.”
Oh, get over the past will you. This is ridiculous.
How ironic it is that the Qatari government, a sponsor of this UNESCO resolution, financially backs ISIS, the group who destroyed the UNESCO cultural site at Palmyra, Syria.
Facts are stubborn things, especially when they are plucked out of the ground after 3,000 years.
Put that in your clay pipe and smoke it!
Many thanks to courageous Netherlands government for trying to vote down the resolution.
1) Facts? You don’t think you might imagine those nails to be from the first temple? Just as there are people in Israel, who imagine they descend from the priests of Solomon’s temple, and dress up as Druids?
2) “Dutch courage”. So typical: Even when Israel is supported, Israeli’s spit in the face of the countries that do so. Just ask Obama…
Soon, no friends will be left, Barbarella.
” You don’t think you might imagine those nails to be from the first temple? ”
We had no idea what we had found. The archeologists at the site told us that these were First Temple artifacts.
And BTW, Archeology is a science.
“Just as there are people in Israel, who imagine they descend from the priests of Solomon’s temple, and dress up as Druids?”
Actually, Elizabeth, there are people who are descended from the priests of Solomon’s Temple. They are called Kohanim.
If I’m not sure I know what I’m talking about, I feel it’s better to keep quiet.
@ Lotta: You are monopolizing the comment threads. You may not publish more than three comments in any 24 hour period. Do not abuse this rule or my hospitality.
Archaeology is not a “science.” It is as wide open to interpretation and as subject to ideological/nationalist distortion as political science or any other academic discipline. If you think Israeli archaelogy is a science then you’re precisely the hasbaroid we all know you to be. It is an academic discipline in service to Zionist narrative & myth.
You have no idea who the Kohanim are or who they descended from. Family traditions are not scientific or genetic fact.
I know very well what you are talking about: There is NO proof of any kind of connection between the old priest caste and present living persons. Totally imaginary nonsense.
So: Show me the records, dating from the temple (1st or 2nd) with the names and families of the men who were priests then, and the records of their descendants to this time.
(Most of them will be living in Palestinian refugee camps by now, but anyway…)
“There is NO proof of any kind of connection between the old priest caste and present living persons. ”
Oh for gods sake, that nonsense again. Dream on baby!
Elisabeth asked you for “proof of any kind of connection between the old priest caste and present living persons”, NOT proof that you can post links lacking any kind of connection to reality.
In fact, the idea that there is a genetic ‘Cohen marker’ das been debunked more than a decade ago. The Cohen modal haplotype is a genetic marker from the northern Middle East which is not unique to Jews. It exists among many Kurds and Armenians, as well as among Italians and Hungarians:
“The suggestion that the ‘Cohen modal haplotype’ is a signature haplotype for the ancient Hebrew population is also not supported by data from other populations.” (Zoossmann-Diskin 2000, page 156).
Avshalom Zoossmann- Diskin, “Are today’s Jewish priests descended from the old ones?” HOMO: Journal of Comparative Human Biology 51:2-3 (2000): 156-162
“The suggestion that the ‘Cohen modal haplotype’ is a signature haplotype for the ancient Hebrew population is also not supported by data from other populations.” (Zoossmann-Diskin 2000, page 156). ”
Dated and limited research by Zoosman-Diskin.
More thorough and exhaustive research proves Z &D were wrong and that the Cohen haplotype is genuine.
Lotta, you understand this article? Wow!!
These authors are believers, looking for the ‘lost tribes’ of Israel. How scientific. But even they cannot deny certain things:
“Support for a Near Eastern origin of this lineage comes from its high frequency in our sample of Bedouins, Yemenis (67%), and Jordanians (55%) and its precipitous drop in frequency as one moves away from Saudi Arabia and the Near East.”
They are all Cohanim?
You’ve already shown us your lack of manners, so now’s not really the time to show your ignorance as well.
They scientists who compiled the data, are not ‘true believers’. Don’t smear them.
They only left it to the last sentence of their research to say, “Genotyping a larger sample of Cohanim Y chromosomes from other divergent haplogroups may further elucidate the complex paternal history of Jewish priests, and aid in the identification of lost tribes claiming ancient Hebrew ancestry.”
How does that statement make them into ‘true believers’?
Be a classy lady and say your mea culpas.
@ Lotta: It’s very hard to maintain a set of “manners” when you’re dealing with hasbaroids like you who disrespect most conventions of reason, fact & argument.
These “scientists” claim they can/will/may identify the Lost Tribes? Really? Can they turn lead into gold as well?
Lotta/Barbarella/Ida Flemstein, I really do not know where to begin with you.
These people take the ‘lost tribes’ seriously… How about looking for King Solomon’s mines, or the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia. Puhlease…
And it seems the ‘temple mount’ can just as well be handed over to the Bedouins, Yemenis and Jordanians, based on your ‘evidence’ for the priestly caste.
The worst is, people like you think you can claim territory and religious monuments belonging to others, based on this nonsense, and expect the whole world to back you.
@ Elisabeth: Not to mention that she lives in Australia as well. Which means she claims some magical affinity for this piece of land 7,000 miles away from her, not to mention a few dusty nails allegedly from Solomon’s Stables–or was it Solomon’s Mines?
To be clear, I feel some sense of affinity for Israel as well. But it’s not magical and it doesn’t demand superiority for Jews over the indigenous inhabitants of the same land.
I can only dumb this down so far. The scientists, and they are scientists, unless you can better explain Y chromosomes, ended their several dense pages of research and said,
“Cohanim Y chromosomes from other divergent haplogroups may further elucidate the complex paternal history of Jewish priests, and aid in the identification of lost tribes claiming ancient Hebrew ancestry.”
The scientists are not claiming that ‘lost tribes’ exist. They are stating that DNA research can be used to address the claims but forth by people who are claiming ancient Hebrew ancestry. This is exactly what happened with the Lemba tribe in Africa. What’s the problem?
Their research made clear that some Cohanim come from ‘non-Aaron’ fathers. These ‘non-Aaron fathers’, may have come from other priestly families, and, they may have mixed with Saudi or Yemeni Arab women. So what?
@ Lotta: No, that’s not what it says. It says that there is likely scientific evidence which can genetically confirm the existence of the Lost Tribes. A pipe dream and quite meaningless as far as I’m concerned.
As for Kohanim, it’s all a bunch of hocus-pocus. Who cares? I don’t want or need priests in my Judaism. And I certainly don’t need or want Holy Temples.
Do not comment further in this thread. And do not ignore this.
How ironic that the Qatari government is one of the most sympathetic to Israel of all the Gulf States. You left out that little tidbit didn’t you. How ironic that Israel has forged an alliance with al-Qaeda’s pal in Syria, al-Nusra. So what’s the difference between what Qatar did & Israel did? They both support Islamist fundamentalist killers.
Facts? A nail is a “fact?” Since when?
Your comment is verges into grandstanding. If you want to cheer in the stands go to a soccer match. You don’t do that here.
I’m stepping back from my claim about the First Temple. The archeologist who spoke to us probably said that the nails were from King Solomon’s Stables, not King Solomon’s Temple.
Since the two sites sound alike, I probably misunderstood what she’d said.
@Lotta: Maybe you found some sacred horse poop on that nail from the stables Give it to one of those wonder rabbis. He’ll surely perform a miracle with it.
Hahaha, ‘Lotta’, if you are so interested in worshipping at a stable, walk into a nice Catholic church this Christmas, and leave Muslim holy sites alone, will you!
“@Lotta: Maybe you found some sacred horse poop on that nail from the stables”
I responsible enough that I admitted my error, and the two of you insult me?
You are vulgar.
@ Lotta: “Vulgar” for pointing out that Solomon’s Stables contained animals which defecated on the premises?
No, actually I was satirizing your belief that the nail you discovered was a sacred artifact which affirmed Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount.
Had you really been new here Lotta, it would have been different, but I have had so many of your childish insults thrown at me, in your many disguises, that I feel no compunction.
How do you know that they are/were nails from the first temple?And how do you know it was Solomons temple? Is there actual quantifiable evidence to back up either or both of these claims?
I will repeat myself.
Our archeologist/guide, ‘Frankie’ (aka Frankie Snyder), told us it was a First Temple find.
So, Doubting Tom, you need to direct your question(s) at Ms Snyder. She is the professional. I was a day-tripping amateur.
Facts are stubborn things. They stick in one’s craw.
@ Lotta: Who the hell is Frankie? What were his/her bona fides? Show us a picture of the nail. Let us be the judge of what you found. There are archaeologists among my readers who would love to have a look.
As for being an amateur, you are indeed. Which is why your claim has no credibility.
The story of the “Jewish nail” reminds me of another story: when Arna Mer (Juliano Mer-Khamis’ mother) was dying of cancer, she knew she would have difficulties being buried in Israel (in fact Juliano had to keep her corpse in his home for days before a kibbutz allowed her to be buried in their graveyard) and she in fact wanted to be buried in Jenine. Some Palestinian official person said he would be honored to bury her in Jenine but he was afraid that in the future, some Israeli archeologists would find “Jewish bones” there and use it as an excuse to annex Jenin ….. (I think Juliano told this story in some interview)
“BTW. I had the privilege of working for a day at the Temple Mount Sifting Project, and we found, among many other things, nails from the First Temple.
That’s King Solomon’s Temple, in case you didn’t know.”
Proof please that this nail of yours wasn’t an ancient 3000 year old Palestinian nail from King David’s palace.
For someone who claims to be non-Jewish, you sure have a keen interest on the topic ….
@ Lotta: Gee, I don’t know. Did Israel ever report this alleged violation to UNESCO? No it didn’t. In that you have no one to blame but your settler pals.
BTW, in Judaism we don’t worship relics whether they be the bones of saints or nails. My faith isn’t based on physical objects. I don’t venerate things. We worship ideas, values and a God who doesn’t care whether we worship him in a Holy Temple, or blacked out room in a Nazi ghetto. In fact, I think He prefers the latter.
The Director General of UNESCO, the person who heads UNESCO, condemns the Resolution.
And Richard Silverstein defends it? Unbelievable.
@ Lotta: The director general of UNESCO is a Bulgarian bean counter who knows that her agency faces defunding if she defends the resolution. She may face it even if she denounces it. She’s no dummy. BTW, there were 24 votes for the resolution & only 6 against. All those nations who abstained could’ve voted No but didn’t. Why couldn’t Bibi buy them off as he has Bulgaria, Ukraine, Rwanda & Uganda??
“Nowhere in the text does it denigrate a Jewish bond to what Israel calls the Temple Mount. It simply doesn’t address the issue at all. Nor should it.”
That’s exactly what the PA said (at least Haaretz published that);
“The Palestinian Authority welcomed the vote, adding that it regrets that “few countries succumbed to the PR bullying orchestrated by Israel, which shifted the focus from Israel’s illegal and colonial actions in occupied East Jerusalem to issues irrelevant to the content and objectives of the resolutions, which aims to put an end to Israel’s dangerous and illegal actions against holy sites in Jerusalem and Palestinian rights, including the right to worship.” “
This is such an unimportant footnote in the conflict. It is clear that the resolution will change nothing on the ground. The Palestinians tried to score some political and PR points, and they succeeded. Bibi is sour about it. Both sides use pseudo history and pseudoscience to “prove” their positions.
Personally I have never visited the site, I probably never will, similar to most Jewish Israelis.
It’s mostly a small minority of bearded wackos who want to go up there.
On the other hand, if the Palestinians use the mosque as a cache for stones to throw at people, or use it to plan other violence, the police have every right to storm to compound.
The Palestinians rejected a Jordanian proposal to mount cameras in the area to monitor Israeli and Palestinian activities, since they knew that the cameras would prove that they were lying and the Israeli government officials were telling the truth. Their supposed excuse was “privacy” and that the cameras would increase the “occupation”.
Unfortunately, this has been true throughout this conflict– the Palestinians engage in self-defeating behavior, in order to score points against Israel.
As is says in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the heavens.
Is that your narrative Yehuda?
That there is no occupation, only “occupation”?
@ Yehuda: so you’re saying if Palestinians were the dominant power instead of Israel it would be acceptable for them to storm Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue or Kotel if they were source of resistance to Palestinian forces? And even if you wouldn’t mind, you think the majority of Israeli Jews wouldn’t object vehemently?
Why should Palestinians agree to permit any Israeli presence on Haram al Sharif, whether caneras or anything else? Why should they trust Israelis in any way shape or form? Because Israel has behaved honorably & tolerantly tiward Muslims there?
As for self defeating behavior: Israelis never miss an opportunity to reject an opportunity. You included.
Mr Silverstein: Despite the many comments, I have only one and a half questions for you. You state (ask) why should Jews be allowed to pray at the 3rd holiest Moslem site. But it is the Jews 1st most holy sites. So why cannot they pray there?Also where in the Koran is Temple Mount cited as Islam’s 3rd holiest site?
Thanks very much.
@ Jonathan Prigard: Saying the Temple Mount is the “most holy site” in Judaism is not quite true. First, the Kotel is the site to which you’re really referring. It is not the same as the Temple Mount. The vast majority of Orthodox Jews are forbidden from entering the TEmple Mount by rabbinic decree. Second, the entire idea of venerating a building as sacred is an anomaly to Judaism. We worship God who is an idea, an unseen presence. We don’t worship Temples or High Priests.
If you knew anything about Islam, which you apparently don’t, you’d know that just as in Judaism, there are religious traditions that developed after the Quran was codified. One of them concerns the sacredness of the Haram. I want to know: do you dispute the notion that Haram al Sharif is the 3rd most holy site in Islam??
@Eliazabeth: I put quotes around “privacy” too. The quotes were put in to emphasize that the reason is an excuse for not having cameras, not that it doesn’t exist. The Palestinians (as do all people) lose more privacy every day by carrying a cellphone than they would if cameras were installed, as they are in almost every public place. What privacy are they concerned about by going into a mosque? Similarly, to use occupation (there, see, no quotes) as a reason for every misfortune or bad decision is a transparent cop out. They know they’ll be robbed of one of their most effective tools in stirring up Arab anger– they lie that Israel is “judaising” the Al Aqsa mosque.
It still puzzles me that a dispute in sovereignty around a religious site in Jerusalem deserves UNESCO’s intervention and attention. Their mission is outlined here
It is a scientific and cultural organization.
Nowhere else do they take a political stand and side with one side against another in a dispute. For example, as Syria has been pulverized and heritage sites destroyed, all they could do was deplore its destruction and call for “the parties” to safeguard the site.
Also, compare this to how the Palestinians have “preserved” the site of Joseph’s tomb, under their control. It has been burned to the ground, and people who go there endanger their lives.
Not that I care about that place, but it shows the contrast.
Yet in Jerusalem Israel is accused of and blamed unilaterally for all kinds of misdeeds, even though Israel has restored and preserved the site far more than any previous occupying power. Recall that much of the site was a trash dump when the area was controlled by Jordan.
This is why Israel expresses indignation at the resolution. It takes one side, is all political and motivated by anti-Israel bias, is hypocritical, and has not credibility whatsoever.
My comment directly addresses and attempts to argue the subject of the post. Of course you can dismiss it as “Hasbara” but that doesn’t change the facts.
@ Yehuda: You wonder why Muslims should be concerned about Israel cameras invading their privacy? Really? In the face, of Israel’s Unit 8200, which undertakes the most intrusive invasion upon Palestinian privacy and society of perhaps all spy agencies in the world?
Occupation is a word that is capitalized in standard discourse on this subject. Most Israelis who write in English capitalize it as well.
As for UNESCO, you have no idea what its mission is. One of its most important programs is the World Heritage Site project to protect the world’s most endangered historic sites. The Haram al Sharif being among them. Please don’t feign ignorance. Are you that stupid you couldn’t figure that out for yourself? Or did you figure you’d slip that one past us?
Indeed it did: it destroyed the Palestinian neighborhood in which thousands of people lived in order to create the Kotel Plaza. Then it undertook multiple excavations which threatened to physically undermine the Haram al Sharif. Further, it has regularly restricted access to the Haram for a large proportion of the Muslim population. I guess if you exclude worshippers from a site its a form of preservation…
Do not comment further in this thread.
There are a couple of assertions made in the comments that I’d appreciate clarification on.
1. “it destroyed the Palestinian neighborhood in which thousands of people lived in order to create the Kotel Plaza.” My understanding was that when this neighborhood was razed by the Israelis, 650 people lived there. And that they received compensation from the Israelis. If you have sources that say different, you may want to do the world a favor and update the Wikipedia entry on the Moroccan Quarter at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moroccan_Quarter – in fact, if you have different credible sources that you can point me to regarding the thousands of residents, I will gladly make the changes to Wikipedia myself.
2. You sated “There are TWO mosques on the area Israelis call the TEmple Mount.” – You keep asserting that the Dome of the Rock is a Mosque whereas every source I’ve read makes it a point to mention that it is a shrine. If you have sources that say otherwise, I’ll gladly fix the Wikipedia entry that states that it is a shrine – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dome_of_the_Rock
Thank you for your time and consideration.
How would you like it, Arisa, to be ordered to leave your house at once, by an invading army, and see it buldozered before your eyes? Or even over your head, as one old woman experienced, who was found in the rubble and died?
Enjoy your prayers there, if you can. I am sure God will hear you.
@ Elisabeth: Since Arisa is a Jew, she would never be expelled. As for Palestinians expelled–well, I guess they just had to make way for ‘progress,’ Israel-style. And Israel’s constant concern for the religious freedom of Muslims makes up for an temporary inconvenience.
I’m not a Jew. I don’t ever recall mentioning my religion or background.
@Elisabeth – I wouldn’t enjoy it at all! The destruction of the Mughrabi neighborhood was a terrible thing. There was the death of the elderly lady that you mentioned as well as the destruction of the last Saladin-era Mosque. I hope it didn’t sound like I was defending it! I was just wondering about the number of people affected. Richard mentioned “thousands” but all I could find was reference to 650. That’s all I was asking.
@ Arisa: So your argument is that because only 650 residents were ethnically cleansed rather than the “thousands” I mentioned, that this somehow mitigates the crime? If so, do explain to us and to the descendants of those expelled why the crime is somehow lessened.
Why don’t you explain to all of us what’s the difference between a holy shrine and a mosque. And how does the fact that you claim that one is a holy shrine rather than a mosque somehow reduces the validity of the Muslim claim? Or is your sole aim the furtherance of knowledge??
Since your goal is the furtherance of human knowledge without regard to ideology, I’m sure you’ll be interested in reading a Palestinian historical account of the Moroccan Quarter and the expuslion: http://www.palestine-studies.org/jq/fulltext/78159
As for “compensation,” here is what Israel offered:
200 dinars is roughly worth $350 today. Dollar inflation sites indicate that sum would be equivalent to $2,000 today. And this was the payment to the entire family. How much can you buy for $2,000 today, Arisa? A nice ethnically-cleansed condo in the Muslim Quarter? Or perhaps 1/2 of the entry hall closet?
I don’t recall ever mentioning or implying mitigation of any kind. I’m a grad student and I am doing research. In that respect I have an academic interest in accuracy. You seem very astute and knowledgeable, and so I attributed the discrepancy between what I read everywhere else and your assertions as my own failing in finding proper sources. My offer to correct Wikipedia was sincere. Thanks for linking me to Tom Abowd’s very thoroughly researched article which I had already read. He too mentions 650 people and 100 families.
“Why don’t you explain to all of us what’s the difference between a holy shrine and a mosque.”
Prayer by both sexes (in separate sections) does take place in the Dome of the Rock all week. On Fridays it is reserved for the exclusive use of women. However, it was built as a Shrine. Caliph Abd El-Malik built this shrine or monument if you will, in order to enshrine the sacred rock from which Mohammed made the Night Journey where he ascended to heaven to visit Allah and all the Prophets. It’s a shrine that is used as a praying area whereas Al Aksa is a Mosque exclusively. All references to it (that I have read) specify that it is primarily a shrine and not a Mosque, but again, if you or anyone else has a reputable source that says differently, I would sincerely appreciate being thus informed.
” And how does the fact that you claim that one is a holy shrine rather than a mosque somehow reduces the validity of the Muslim claim?”
I never cast any aspersions on the validity of the Muslim claim to the Haram.
I also hope my academic curiosity didn’t offend anyone. If so, I’ll just cease commenting and thank you for your time and consideration. Apologies if my awkward English bothered anyone. I sometimes lack nuance and I suppose I can be easily misunderstood.
@ Arisa: I’ll take you at your word & that your inquiries were honestly intended. But after fielding nearly 100,000 published comments here, there are patterns that emerge in the way people pose questions which betray their ideology. Your questions definitely seemed oriented toward what I call the “concern troll” type. That’s why I reacted the way I did. Apologies if I jumped to conclusions.
While I often publish information based on painstaking direct research, sometimes I publish information based on stories, facts or sources I read some time ago. My statement about “thousands” of evictees was based on my memory of such sources. I’m glad you corrected the record. I believe in accuracy too. And I acknowledge when I get facts wrong.
Not meaning to be out of line, but 200 Jordanian Dinars in 1967 were worth $560. Adjusted for US CPI/inflation that would be worth $4,009.05 today. Of course that does not change anything and it certainly seems like a pitiful amount of money, but my professors demand accuracy. This information was gleaned in 5 minutes. To satisfy my teachers I would have to research home prices in the area and in that quarter in order to determine actual value. I would also have to use Jordanian, rather than US CPI/Inflation figures and I would have to mention that half the families refused the compensation while half accepted it and even wrote a thank you note to the Mayor of Jerusalem. Here is the economic information:
@ Arisa: I actually sought to find the currency/inflation converter you did, but couldn’t. Good for you.
So your claim is that $4000 compensation, which was only accepted by half the victims, makes a significant difference compared to $2,000? If your professors demand accuracy, do they also demand moral judgment or empathy? Apparently not. Which means you should be studying numbers, not people.
You’re claiming half the families who accepted compensation wrote a thank you note? That would be 50 families. Did 50 families sign that thank you note? Can you prove it? Besides, the mayor then was Teddy Kollek who showed considerably more empathy for the evictees & Palestinian residents of the city than today’s municipal leadership does.
If your professors demand accuracy they’d have given you an F for mentioning compensation without ascertaining that the compensation offered essentially cheated the residents out of their homes & patrimony. You mentioned nothing about the compensation amount the first time around. Why is that? Perhaps your research, based solely on Wikipedia, was a bit thinly sourced?
Read the source to which I linked. You might learn even more about the matter.
Good grief. I clearly stated that 200 Dinars seems “pitiable.” I never said that $4000 was markedly more significant than $2000 – just more accurate.
41 families allegedly signed that note as follows, FWIW:
Yonah Alexander; Nicholas N. Kittrie (June 1973). Crescent and star: Arab & Israeli perspectives on the Middle East conflict. AMS Press. p. 275. ISBN 978-0-404-10522-8. Retrieved 29 May 2013. The following is the text of a letter dated 8 January 1968, addressed by forty-one heads of families to the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Kollek: We, the undersigned, who constitute part of the residents of the Jewish Quarter and of the Moroccan Quarter in the Old City, who were evacuated from our homes there as a result of the six-day-war, wish to thank His Honor, as well as Mr. Meron Benvenisti, in charge of East Jerusalem, and Mr. Faris Ayub, head of the public relations bureau in the eastern part of the city, for the financial aid and human care which was extended and is still being extended to us, which impressed us profoundly and which afforded us and our families more decent alternative accommodations. We pray God will grant you long life and a continuance of your good deeds.”
This was retrieved from note 23 on the Wikipedia article on the Moroccan Quarter https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moroccan_Quarter – the book was written in 1973
Please keep in mind that the thrust of your critique is totally acceptable IMHO even if you are fuzzy on specific details (Mosque/Shrine, number of people expelled, amount of compensation). I’m pretty much in agreement with you. Perhaps that will help dull your misplaced animosity – unless you just hate being corrected. I am now going to take myself out of the conversation rather than risk angering you further.
Well Arisa, it seems you had all your answers before you asked Richard. Funny way to conduct research, if you ask me. I’m sure your professors would agree. And don’t worry, your English is fine. Native, I think?
@Elisabeth: Not native. Good teachers, demanding parents and hard work. Not that it matters at all. My points stand.
Like i explained to Mr. Silverstein, there are things that I read prior to reading this post that did not correspond to his comments. His initial aggressive tone toward me was because he thought I was a “concern troll” (a new term to me!). But I tried to be as sincere and a-political as possible, and tried to contribute sources whenever I could in order to be a productive commenter and Mr. Silverstein graciously apologized.
I appreciate your concern, misplaced as it is. Are you a moderator on this site? I would think that if you are involved in an issue as contentious as the Israel Palestine conflict, you would appreciate the need to disseminate accurate information and not try to kill the messenger!
Did I mingle in the moderation of this site? As far as I see, I only expressed surprise at your methods of research.
I hope you will do the world a favor, and publish your results one day.
My methods? All I did was offer more accurate information and figures without calling into question or disputing Mr. Silverstein’s conclusions. I never heard a word about my research methodology which was never an issue. I it was totally understand the defensiveness here, but again -it was totally misplaced. In my line of work, you kind of have to publish, so we’ll see!
@ Arisa: You also offered incomplete information at certain key points as well & clearly hadn’t (until I pointed them out) delved into sources you could have that offered a Palestinian perspective. You also pointed me to a currency conversion/inflation index source I hadn’t been able to find. I’d like to think that we each pointed out lapses in each others arguments and statements, which made each of us stronger.
Yes, it is publish or perish, isn’t it? Good luck!
@ Arisa: You clearly spend time on the internet and yet you’ve never heard of a concern troll? Look it up. It’s a classic pose which is often used by hasbara commenters at this site.
BTW, no one is apolitical when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict. If you think you are, you are either naive, an exemplar, or a fool. It’s best to figure out what your views are about the conflict and express them candidly. That way everyone knows where you stand and can judge your opinions within a framework, ideological or otherwise. Having a viewpoint doesn’t mean you can’t engage or understand views different than your own. It just means that you have a set of core beliefs from which you arrive at your judgments.
I am pretty sure that I have never commented on a blog before. In my country, people don’t even know about the Holocaust let alone the nuances of the Israel / Palestine conflict. We do have about 1000 people a year who go to Israel to learn agricultural techniques in a program called MASHAV and also a number that varies from every year who go to work on farms for a few months at a time – but still the general knowledge about the region is very poor. I may have a higher than average command of some of the facts but my opinion is still being formulated. As such, I tried to keep my questions as a-political as possible. For instance, my sadness at the destruction of the Mughrabi quarter and the death of The old woman in the rubble was occasioned by my humanity and not by any pre-conceived political opinion. Sure the Israelis may have had their reasons and the death was clearly accidental but still, people lost their homes, an innocent woman died, an old neighborhood was destroyed. As a human possessed of bountiful empathy, the first thought I have is to the human toll.
@ Arisa: Human empathy, no matter how bountiful, only takes you so far regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict. There are many Israeli Jews who believe themselves terribly empathic about Palestinian suffering. But they’re not willing to do anything tangible to relieve it. They aren’t willing to make hard choices to compromise over territory or principles. Without taking action, all the empathy in the world won’t help.
Had Jews built a synagogue above the holiest site in Islam what do you believe the response would be?
Not that any religion should be held higher than the other, I believe this is more political strategizing by the Arabs than it is about religion when it comes to Jerusalem. Just interesting to think about an answer to such a question
@Sean: Actually there’s an entire settler movement that wants to go you one better. They don’t want to build a synagogue on a Muslim holy site. They want to build the Temple AND raze 2 Muslim holy sites. What do YOU think the response to that will be?? I think your answer to that question should be very interesting.