مع انتهاء صلاة الفجر في #الحرم_الشريف بدأ مئات المشاغبين الفلسطينيين القيام بأعمال شغب عنيفة في باحة الحرم شملت رشق الحجارة واطلاق المفرقعات على محيط حائط المبكى, مما أجبر الشرطة على التدخل I لتفريقهم.
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) April 29, 2022
Israeli Jews and their apologists have their knickers 6 6758258138 6 6758258138 5knot about “unruly mobs” and Muslims “rioters” (see foreign ministry hasbara above) throwing rocks from Haram al Sharif onto Jewish worshippers at the Kotel below. How dare they insult the holiest site in Judaism (that’s the claim anyway, though I prefer sacred values over stone ruins). How dare they let a mob desecrate a holy Jewish site. These Jews have done nothing to incite such violence. They are simply innocent Jews praying in peace to their God.
Well, not quite. Imagine this: you belong to a synagogue next door to a church. Both houses of worship don’t get along well with each other. Both claim the same strip of land for a renovation and expansion of their respective sanctuaries. Both have tried mediation of their claims. But it hasn’t worked.
So the church ups the ante by sending its worshippers to pray on the disputed spot they claim as their own. When the Jews confront the Christian worshippers, violence ensues. So the church calls in the local riot police who whale on the Jews, beating them to a pulp. They throw stun grenades and tear gas into the Jewish sanctuary. They arrest most of the worshippers, bind and gag them and force them to lie prone on the floor. They don’t even spare the rabbi and the chazan. One worshipper even dies from a rubber bullet fired at point-blank range.
After that horrifying event, the Jews return enraged to the contested spot and pelt the Christians who are praying there. The Christians are outraged. How dare these Jewish thugs and rioters pelt us with stones when we are in the midst of our sacred prayer?
You catch my drift? In other words, the Israeli Jews are not the innocent party. They don’t score any points for being innocent victims of the unruly Muslim mob.
The Israeli state has decided to wrest control of the third-holiest site in Islam. It has sent thousands of Border Police to enforce the Israeli claim to the site. The Muslim worshippers are defending their shrine from desecration.
The Jews at the Kotel are citizens of the same State which is defiling Haram al Sharif. The Israeli Police share the same religion with those at the Kotel. So why are we surprised at Muslims who say: if we don’t get to pray at our shrine in peace, then you don’t get to pray at yours.
To me there is symmetry in this. But for Israelis, what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine. That’s the law of the jungle. What Pirkey Avot called “evil.” But in the rest of the world, on the other hand, if you attack someone they will defend themselves and fight back. Only in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resistance impermissible for Palestinians, who are labeled hooligans or brutal thugs, for having the temerity to defend their religion and its holy sites.
Israelis are not innocent. They don’t earn special status simply by praying at the Kotel. If Israeli Jews want to claim the Noble Sanctuary for themselves (as the massive police invasion affirms), then Muslims sure are going to put the Kotel into play as well.
Two can play this game. If Israel wants to play, it can’t complain when Muslims join in the game. They are not about to let Israelis win uncontested.
NOTE: Concerning my reference to “religion” in the headline. Israel and its mass violence, war crimes and terrorism do not represent my Judaism. But clearly, there are Israelis and their apologists who believe that their version of Judaism entitles them to own Muslim sacred space. That’s why I used that term in the headline.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.