Jun 30, 2022
JERUSALEM WEATHER
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AJ+, the video branch of Qatar-based Al Jazeera, recently produced a video purporting to report on the recent violence on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Shockingly, the Al Jazeera report warned that the one-sided violence being carried out by the Palestinians was a plan by the Israeli government to stage a recreation of the tragic massacre carried out by Baruch Goldstein, a Jew, in the Machpelah (Cave of the Patriarchs) in 1994.

The video begins by showing scenes of Palestinians rioting inside the Aqsa Mosque, claiming they were “trapped inside” by IDF troops. This is, of course, inaccurate. Israeli security forces had vacated the holy site entirely for the last eleven days of Ramadan, and the Palestinians unilaterally rioted, endangering Jews worshipping at the Western Wall below. When the Israeli police entered the compound, the Palestinians barricaded themselves in the mosque, attacking the police with rocks and incendiary devices they had hidden in the mosque. 

Al Jazeera claimed the police actions aimed to allow Jews to take over the site.

“This is a city under occupation where Israelis have the ultimate power,” the presenter said. “And they often succeed in clearing the compound to let these Jewish Israelis in. On the surface, this might seem like just a religious rivalry, but there’s a lot more to this story. It’s about control, not just of the holy sites but of the land and the people who live on it. So we’re going to look at these people (Jewish Israelis), their goals, and how a 1994 massacre of Palestinians at another holy site by an Israeli American settler might shed light on where Jerusalem is headed today.”

While noting that Jerusalem is holy to three religions, Al Jazeera claimed the Israeli government aimed to create a Jewish majority in the city. Throughout history, it should be noted that Jerusalem has frequently had a majority Jewish population. From the time it was established by King David as his capital 3,000 years ago until its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE, it was entirely Jewish. The UN partition plan in 1947 intended for Jerusalem to be an international city. Still, after Jordan illegally occupied the eastern section of the city, Jews were barred from living there or visiting the holy sites.

The video claimed that the Palestinians in Jerusalem had been denied “equality for decades.” It should be noted that the Palestinians who live in eastern Jerusalem are classified as residents of Israel and have full rights except do not vote for the Knesset. 

The video claims, “Al Aqsa  isn’t just Islam’s third holiest site; it’s a symbol of their nationhood.”

It should be noted that the video was focused on the gold Dome of the Rock when this statement was made. Al Aqsa is, in fact, the grey-black domed mosque further to the south on the Temple Mount Compound.

Al Aqsa Mosque (the further mosque) is referred to in the Korab as the destination for Mohammad’s miraculous nighttime journey to a further mosque. Most Muslims believe that to have been in Al Juraana, Saudi Arabia, it is deeply insulting to claim otherwise.

It should also be noted that Islam is a religion and not a “nation.” Islamic nationalism is a concept advocated by movements within the religion, such as The Islamic State (ISIS), the Nation of Islam, and Pakistani nationalism.

Al Jazeera claimed that the ultimate goal of religious Jews was to demolish the mosque on the Temple Mount, which the video described as, the “symbol of Palestinian nationhood, this sacred site to Muslims worldwide.” 

The video then outlined the rising support among Jewish Israelis and the government for the Temple Mount and equal rights for Jews to pray at their holiest site.

“The worry is that things are going in one direction,” the presenter stated. “To a situation where Palestinian access is restricted even more The way it has been at another holy site in the wake of a bloody mass killing.”

The video then shifted to Hebron, referring to the Israeli “occupation” in 1967. Like Jerusalem, Jordan illegally occupied Hebron in 1948, and Jews were banned from living there or visiting the holy sites. The ethnic cleansing of Jews from Hebron actually began under the British Mandate in 1929 when the Palestinian residents waged murderous pogroms against their Jewish neighbors. 

The video then described the massacre carried out by Baruch Goldstein inside the Machpela in which, armed with an M-16, Goldstein murdered 29 Arabs and wounded 125. Goldstein was beaten to death following the massacre. 

The Israeli government condemned the massacre and responded by arresting followers of Meir Kahane, criminalizing the Kach movement and affiliated movements as terrorists, forbidding certain Israeli settlers to enter Palestinian towns, and demanding that those settlers turn in their army-issued rifles.

After lamenting that the site remains under Israeli control, the presenter claimed, “Palestinians fear that what happened in Hebron in 1994 could be repeated in Jerusalem. It’s not just about the possibility of another massacre but the fact that the people who share Baruch Goldstein’s beliefs have more power than ever in Israel.

Ironically, the video lamented that people who were formally in Kach are now in the government. It should be noted that the current ruling coalition is joined by the Arab parties, some of whose members have ties to Hamas and other anti-Israel Islamist movements.

Also, ironically, the video noted that many countries are calling for a peace deal that would include sharing Jerusalem, a solution the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected.