On Independence Day UNESCO declares Israel has no connection to Jerusalem

If there remained any doubt of the anti-Israel bias of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), today that doubt has been dispelled in the passing of the “resolution on Occupied Palestine“.

UNESCO voted today (Tuesday May 2 2017), on Israel Independence Day (Yom HaAtzmaut) – the holiday commemorating 69 years since the re-birth of the state of Israel, to pass a resolution declaring that Israel has no legal or historical right to any part of Jerusalem. It also declares that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where the Jewish Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are buried are “Palestinian sites”, as is Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem.

The resolution on “Occupied Palestine” was submitted to UNESCO by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan and refers to Israel throughout the document as the “occupying power” in Jerusalem – and by doing so, indicates that Israel has no historical connection or right to any part of Jerusalem.

In passing this resolution, UNESCO ignores the archaeological evidence that the First Temple (Solomon’s Temple) stood on the Temple Mount  from when it was completed in 827 BCE until it was destroyed by the Babylonians 470 years later. It also ignores the archaeological evidence that the Second Temple, constructed under Zerubbabel and that was completed in 349 BCE  stood on the Temple Mount until it was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans.

UNESCO’s resolution ignores the fact that the first time an Arab government ruled in that region was in the sixth century CE700 years after the (Jewish) Hasmonean Dynasty ruled. Putting Israel’s ties to the Temple Mount into context, the Jewish people built the First Temple on the Temple Mount almost 1500 years before the Arabs first arrived in Jerusalem!

Despite these facts, today 22 countries voted in favour of the “Occupied Palestine” resolution – denying Israel’s historical connection to Jerusalem, 23 countries abstained and only 10 countries stood on the side of objective, historical archaeological evidence; the US, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Paraguay, Ukraine, Togo, and Germany.

What “educational” or “scientific” facts did the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) uphold in passing this resolution?

 

Paris Peace Summit – response to the Final Declaration

INTRODUCTION:  Sunday, January 15 2017 representatives from more than 70 Nations met in Paris, France for the Paris Peace Summit – one which neither Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were invited. In Israel, this conference was described as “a wedding with neither bride nor groom”. While the final declaration was considerably more restrained than the draft summary statement, there are serious issues with Paris Conference Declaration.  Some of the issues are a carry over from the previous post, but there are some new issues (highlighted in red).

The full text for the final Paris Conference Declaration appears below this article.

Paris Peace Summit – highlights from Final Conference Declaration

Here are some key highlights from that summary which affirmed and reiterated that;

  1. a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security is the only way to achieve enduring peace
  2. reiterated that a negotiated two-state solution should meet the legitimate aspirations of both sides
  3. a negotiated two-state solution should including the Palestinians’ right to statehood and sovereignty
  4. a negotiated two-state solution should fully end the occupation that began in 1967
  5. resolve all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and also recalled relevant Security Council resolutions
  6. the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as a comprehensive framework for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict
  7. adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016
  8. advance the two-state solution on the recommendations of the Quartet on 1 July 2016
  9. advance the two-state solution on the recommendations of the United States Secretary of State’s principles on the two-state solution of 28 December 2016
  10. addressing the dire humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift steps to improve the situation
  11. for Israelis and Palestinians to comply with international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law

Final Conference Declaration – a closer look

Re 1: a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security is the only way to achieve enduring peace

Israel wants to exist as a Jewish state and to live in peace.

The problem is that many Arab nations do not even recognize the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist and the Palestinian’s recognition of Israel is so tenuous, that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is threatening to reverse their recognition of Israel US President-elect Donald Trump moves America’s Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


Re 2: reiterated that a negotiated two-state solution should meet the legitimate aspirations of both sides

The problem is, the ‘legitimate aspirations’ of the Palestinians is not to live in peace with the Jews – but to live in peace without Jews.

Arabs of this region have demonstrated that they have never wanted to live in peace with the Jews. When  Trans Jordan (renamed Jordan) was created from 3/4 of the land under the British Mandate for Palestine, it was excluded from Jewish settlement. When the State of Israel was created from the remaining 1/4 of the land, the very next day the armies of all of the neighboring Arab states of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Trans-Jordan and Egypt attacked the newly-created State of Israel, in an attempt to destroy it.

Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 in exchange for peace with the Palestinians, more than 11,000 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza and the “knife-intifada” and vehicle-rammings continue are regular occurrences in Israel.

In this case, the aspirations of one side is the eradication of the other.


Re 3: a negotiated two-state solution should including the Palestinians’ right to statehood and sovereignty

The issue here is that the Palestinian’s “state” is to have as its capital the capital of Israel, Jerusalem.

The “land” of this Palestinian “state” is to include all of Judea and Samaria, on the “west bank” of the Jordan River – the heartland of the Jewish people for millennia.

The concept of a two-state solution is often proposed as a means to resolve the ongoing tensions between Israel and the ‘Palestinians’, however few people are aware that there have already been two “two-state solutions“.

The first two-state solution was when the Arab-Palestinian state of Transjordan (later renamed Jordan) allocated 75% of the land that was to be part of the reconstituted homeland for the Jewish people to the Arabs, and excluded it from Jewish settlement – leaving only 25% for a Jewish homeland.  Jordan is Arab Palestine.

The second two-state solution was created under UN Resolution 181 in November 1947 – where the remaining 25% of the land of the former British Mandate for Palestine was partitioned into two states (again) — with 43% of the land remaining for the Jewish homeland being given to this second Arab state under the Partition Plan – which Israel accepted in exchange for peace with the Arabs, but the Arabs rejected.

Jordan is Arab-Palestine, created from 3/4 of the land under the British Mandate for Palestine.


Re 4: a negotiated two-state solution should fully end the occupation that began in 1967

There is no “Israeli occupation”.

During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel re-took control of its own land (East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria on the “west bank” of the Jordan River) that Jordan had taken by force in 1948 after the creation of the state of Israel, later illegally annexing it in 1950.

Since 1967, the international community has referred to this land as “disputed territory” and Israelis as ‘occupiers’ and ‘settlers’ of their own land.

The only “occupation” that took place was from 1948 until 1967 when Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.


Re 5: resolve all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and also recalled relevant Security Council resolutions

This refers to the so-called “pre-1967 borders, however there is no such thing as “pre-1967 borders” — at least not in the way they think

The “Green Line” running through Judea and Samaria (on the west bank of the Jordan River) is the 1949 Armistice Line and the 1949 Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan states that the Armistice Line “did not compromise any future territorial claims of the two parties” since it had been “dictated by exclusively by military considerations”.  The Armistice Line was never intended to be a border.

Furthermore, UN Security Council’s Resolution 242, which was passed 5 months after the Six-Day War stated that the 1949 Armistice line was not supposed to designate final Israeli borders. 

UN Security Council’s Resolution 338, passed after the Yom Kippur war stated immediately after the ceasefire, the implementation of Security Council resolution 242 (1967) in all of its parts. This resolution stated that the 1949 Armistice line was not supposed to designate final Israeli borders. 

This part of the Final Declaration does not affirm what they think it does as both resolution state that the 1949 Armistice line does not designate final Israeli borders, so “pre-1967 borders” would be the ones that existed at the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.


Re 6: the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as a comprehensive framework for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict

The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 stated that if Israel recognized a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and based on so-called 1967 lines (giving the “West Bank” to this state), territorial adjustments for the Golan Heights then all the Arab nations would sign peace accords with Israel and establish full diplomatic relations.

“If the Arab nations grasp the fact that they need to revise the Arab League proposal according to the changes Israel demands, then we can talk. But if they bring the proposal from 2002 and define it as ‘take it or leave it’ – we’ll choose to leave it.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, June 13, 2016


Re 7: adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016

UN Security Council’s Resolution #2334  of December 23, 2016 declared that the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple (the Kotel) and all of Jerusalem the capital of Israel, the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world on the Mount of Olives, as well as all of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) is “illegally occupied Palestinian territory”. 

Re: Jerusalem being “occupied territory”:

The only time Jerusalem was “occupied territory” was from the end of the War of Independence in 1948 until 1967, when Jordan occupied it – after having seized it by force.

Jordan’s decision to join the Arab allegiance with Egypt and Syria to destroy Israel, despite a request from Israel that they do not, ended by Israel taking control of its own land that Jordan had occupied in 1948 and illegally annexed in 1950— specifically East Jerusalem and the land on the “west bank” of the Jordan River, Judea and Samaria — freeing it from illegal occupation by Jordan.

Re: The Temple Mount belonging to the Jews and the Jewish state of Israel:

Under the Temple Mount are the remains of two Jewish Temples;

Solomon’s Temple stood on the Temple Mount from 827 BCE until it was destroyed by the Babylonians 470 years later.

The Second Temple stood on the Temple Mount from 349 BCE until it was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans. The Western Wall (the Kotel) is the remains of the wall of the Second Temple.

Throughout history, different people including the Arabs, Persians and Christians captured Jerusalem – just as Jordan did in 1967, but Jerusalem from its foundation is Jewish, as is the Temple Mount.

Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people since ~1000 BCE.

More information on the ancient and modern history of Jerusalem:   http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/27/jerusalem-modern-and-historic-capital-of-the-jewish-people/

 


Re 8: advance the two-state solution on the recommendations of the Quartet on 1 July 2016

The so-called “Quartet countries”; United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations stated called for Israel turn over all areas of “Area C” in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank), including the majority of agricultural lands, natural resources and land reserves.

To understand the issues with regards to Jewish inhabitants in outpost towns in Judea and Samaria requires some knowledge of the modern history of region.  This article provides that brief history: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/13/judea-samaria-west-bank-jordan/


Re 9: advance the two-state solution on the recommendations of the United States Secretary of State’s principles on the two-state solution of 28 December 2016

So much can be said about the infamous speech by US Secretary of State John Kerry on December 28 2016, including his famous line

“Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both”

Most of what Kerry called for in his speech was embodied in the draft summary for this conference, elaborate on in the previous post.


Re 10: addressing the dire humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift steps to improve the situation

The situation in Gaza is a result of a 10-year conflict between Hama, a terrorist organization and offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood which seized power from Fatah in a coup in June 2007, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) which represents Fatah.

The PA pays for power supplied by Israel and Egypt and normally transfers it to Gaza, exempting it from most taxes but due to its own financial constraints, the PA is no longer offsetting all the tax, angering Hamas.

Residents in Gaza are currently receiving just 3-4 hours of electricity per day – shortages which are resulting from this ongoing feud between Hamas and the PA.


Re 11: for Israelis and Palestinians to comply with international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law

Israel has been accused by the UN of not adhering to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 — a statute which outlines the obligations of an “occupying power” in times of war.

The Fourth Geneva Convention cannot be applied to Israel as it cannot be an “occupying power” in its own land — land it reclaimed from illegal annexation by Jordan.

The only “occupying power” in East Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria was Jordan, from the years 1948 – 1967.

Final thoughts…

While no new UN declaration will follow this conference, the reiteration and emphasis of the creation of a state of Palestine that has Jerusalem, the capital of Israel as its capital, remains.

The plan is to implement UN Security Council’s Resolution #2334  of December 23, 2016 which declared the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple (the Kotel) and all of Jerusalem, the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world on the Mount of Olives, as well as all of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) as “illegally occupied Palestinian territory”. 

If all of Judea and Samaria is turned over to this ‘Palestinian state’, Israel’s

While we can breathe an immediate collective sigh of relief, that relief is temporary.

The problem remains.

Such a “two-state solution” would be a political “final solution” — forcing Israel to turn over of our capital Jerusalem, access to the holiest site in Judaism, all the agricultural lands, natural resources and land reserves of Judea and Samaria in exchange for a promise of peace that we still have not experienced when we turned over Gaza in 2005.

When the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians for a state includes the destruction of Israel, the answer is “no”.

 


MIDDLE EAST PEACE CONFERENCE JOINT DECLARATION

I) Following the Ministerial meeting held in Paris on 3 June 2016, the Participants met in Paris on 15 January 2017 to reaffirm their support for a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They reaffirmed that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace.

They emphasized the importance for the parties to restate their commitment to this solution, to take urgent steps in order to reverse the current negative trends on the ground, including continued acts of violence and ongoing settlement activity, and to start meaningful direct negotiations.

They reiterated that a negotiated two-state solution should meet the legitimate aspirations of both sides, including the Palestinians’ right to statehood and sovereignty, fully end the occupation that began in 1967, satisfy Israel’s security needs and resolve all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and also recalled relevant Security Council resolutions.

They underscored the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as a comprehensive framework for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, thus contributing to regional peace and security.

They welcomed international efforts to advance Middle East peace, including the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016 which clearly condemned settlement activity, incitement and all acts of violence and terror, and called on both sides to take steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground ; the recommendations of the Quartet on 1 July 2016; and the United States Secretary of State’s principles on the two-state solution on 28 December 2016.

They noted the importance of addressing the dire humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift steps to improve the situation.

They emphasized the importance for Israelis and Palestinians to comply with international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law.

II) The Participants highlighted the potential for security, stability and prosperity for both parties that could result from a peace agreement. They expressed their readiness to exert necessary efforts toward the achievement of the two-state solution and to contribute substantially to arrangements for ensuring the sustainability of a negotiated peace agreement, in particular in the areas of political and economic incentives, the consolidation of Palestinian state capacities, and civil society dialogue.

Those could include, inter alia:

– a European special privileged partnership; other political and economic incentives and increased private sector involvement; support to further efforts by the parties to improve economic cooperation; continued financial support to the Palestinian authority in building the infrastructure for a viable Palestinian economy;

– supporting and strengthening Palestinian steps to exercise their responsibilities of statehood through consolidating their institutions and institutional capacities, including for service delivery;

– convening Israeli and Palestinian civil society fora, in order to enhance dialogue between the parties, rekindle the public debate and strengthen the role of civil society on both sides.

III) Looking ahead, the Participants:

– call upon both sides to officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution, thus disassociating themselves from voices that reject this solution;

– call on each side to independently demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution and refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of negotiations on final status issues, including, inter alia, on Jerusalem, borders, security, refugees and which they will not recognize;

– welcome the prospect of closer cooperation between the Quartet and Arab League members and other relevant actors to further the objectives of this Declaration.

As follow-up to the Conference, interested Participants, expressing their readiness to review progress, resolved to meet again before the end of the year in order to support both sides in advancing the two-state solution through negotiations.

France will inform the parties about the international community’s collective support and concrete contribution to the two-State solution contained in this joint declaration.

Paris Peace Summit – responding to the draft summary

INTRODUCTION: This coming Sunday, January 15 2017 representatives from 70 Nations will gather in Paris, France for the ironically named Paris Peace Summit – with the sole purpose of implementing their vision for a “two-state solution”.  Neither Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will be present at the meeting. Haaretz news, a left-wing news outlet obtained and published (Barak Ravid Jan 09, 2017 7:40 PM) a draft summary statement for this conference and the full text appears below this article.

[Special acknowledgement to israellycool.com for highlighting Haaretz’s publication of the draft summary.]

Paris Peace Summit – highlights from the draft summary

Here are some key highlights from that summary;

1. a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security

2. a negotiated two-state outcome should end the occupation that began in 1967

3. call on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to publicly renew their commitment to the two state solution

4. call on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to disavow official voices on their side that reject the two state solution

5. the 70 nations gathered in Paris will not recognize any future changes to the 4 June 1967 lines other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations

6. welcome the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 of the 23 December 2016, which condemned ‘settlement activity’, and which declared that all of Jerusalem is ‘occupied territory’ (i.e. the Western Wall (Kotel), the Temple Mount do not belong to Israel)

7. welcome the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 of the 23 December 2016, which declared that the “West Bank” (Judea and Samaria) is ‘occupied territory’

8. for both sides to comply with international humanitarian law and international human rights law

Text and Terms – a closer examination

Let’s look at each of the above terms individually; 

RE: 1. “a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security”

Israel wants to exist as a Jewish state and to live in peace. The problem, however, is that Palestinians and many other Muslim and Arab nations do not recognize the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist.

To have two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security” will require;

(a) the Palestinians, Arab and Muslim nations to formally recognize the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist, which they have refused to do up until this point.

(b) the Palestinians and Arab states to renounced the three “No’s” of the Kartoum conference of 1967 — no recognition, no peace and no negotiations.


Re: 2. a negotiated two-state outcome should end the occupation that began in 1967

There is no “Israeli occupation”.

During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel re-took control of its own land (East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria on the “west bank” of the Jordan River) that Jordan had taken by force in 1948 after the creation of the state of Israel, later illegally annexing it in 1950.

Since 1967, the international community has referred to this land as “disputed territory” and Israelis as ‘occupiers’ and ‘settlers’ of their own land.

The only “occupation” that took place was from 1948 until 1967 when Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.


Re: 3. call on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to publicly renew their commitment to the two state solution

‘Palestinian’ leaders can’t “renew” their commitment to a two state solution as they and many other Muslim and Arab nations do not even recognize the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist.

The concept of a two-state solution is often proposed as a means to resolve the ongoing tensions between Israel and the ‘Palestinians’, however few people are aware that there have already been two “two-state solutions“.

The first two-state solution was when the Arab-Palestinian state of Transjordan (later renamed Jordan) allocated 75% of the land that was to be part of the reconstituted homeland for the Jewish people to the Arabs, and excluded it from Jewish settlement – leaving only 25% for a Jewish homeland.  Jordan is Arab Palestine.

The second two-state solution was created under UN Resolution 181 in November 1947 – where the remaining 25% of the land of the former British Mandate for Palestine was partitioned into two states (again) — with 43% of the land set aside by the British for the Jewish homeland being given to this second Arab state under the Partition Plan – which Israel accepted in exchange for peace with the Arabs, but the Arabs rejected.


Re: 4. call on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to disavow official voices on their side that reject the two state solution

If ‘Palestinian’ leaders renounce their officials that do not support a two-state solution, they would have no leadership.

The Arabs that live in this area have never wanted to live in peace with the Jews – but rather to live in peace without Jews.

When Trans Jordan (renamed Jordan) was created from 3/4 of the land under the British Mandate for Palestine, it was excluded from Jewish settlement.

When the State of Israel was created from the remaining 1/4 of the land, the very next day the armies of all of the neighboring Arab states of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Trans-Jordan (now Jordan) and Egypt attacked the newly-created State of Israel, in an attempt to destroy it.


Re: 5. the 70 nations gathered in Paris will not recognize any future changes to the 4 June 1967 lines other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations

Just to be clear, there is no such thing as “pre-1967 borders”. The Green Line running through the “West Bank” is the 1949 Armistice Line, and this line was never intended to be a border;

(a) According to the 1949 Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan, the Armistice Line “did not compromise any future territorial claims of the two parties” since it had been “dictated by exclusively by military considerations.

(b) UN Security Council’s Resolution 242 which was passed 5 months after the Six-Day War recognizes that the 1949 Armistice line was not supposed to designate final Israeli borders.

Both the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016 (which called for Israel to stop building communities outside the 1949 Armistice Lines) and the text of the upcoming Paris Conference, contradict UN Security Council Resolution 242 as well as the Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement. 


Re: 6. welcome the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 of the 23 December 2016, which condemned ‘settlement activity’, and which declared that all of Jerusalem is ‘occupied territory’ (i.e. the Western Wall, the Temple Mount do not belong to Israel)

Re: Jerusalem being “occupied territory”:

The only time Jerusalem was “occupied territory” was from the end of the War of Independence in 1948 until 1967, when Jordan occupied it – after having seized it by force.

Jordan’s decision to join the Arab allegiance with Egypt and Syria to destroy Israel, despite a request from Israel that they do not, ended by Israel taking control of its own land that Jordan had occupied in 1948 and illegally annexed in 1950— specifically East Jerusalem and the land on the “west bank” of the Jordan River, Judea and Samaria — freeing it from illegal occupation by Jordan.

Re: The Temple Mount belonging to the Jews and the Jewish state of Israel:

Under the Temple Mount are the remains of two Jewish Temples;

Solomon’s Temple stood on the Temple Mount from 827 BCE until it was destroyed by the Babylonians 470 years later.

The Second Temple stood on the Temple Mount from 349 BCE until it was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans. The Western Wall (the Kotel) is the remains of the wall of the Second Temple.

Throughout history, different people including the Arabs, Persians and Christians captured Jerusalem – just as Jordan did in 1967, but Jerusalem from its foundation is Jewish, as is the Temple Mount.

Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people since ~1000 BCE.

Archaeologists at the summit of the City of David have unearthed what is believed to be the palace of King David (who ruled from ~1005 to 965 BCE).

More information on the ancient and modern history of Jerusalem:  

http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/27/jerusalem-modern-and-historic-capital-of-the-jewish-people/

Re: 7. welcome the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 of the 23 December 2016, which declared that the “West Bank” (Judea and Samaria) is ‘occupied territory’

The very term “Jew” is derived from the region from which they originated, Judea – on the “west bank” of the Jordan River.

Hebron, on the “west bank” of the Jordan River is where the Jewish Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are buried and where the Jewish Matriarchs, the wives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – Sarah, Rebecca and Leah are buried. Hebron is where David was first crowned King of Israel.

Christians should be outraged the UN seeks to declare Bethlehem, the birthplace of the one they call “King of the Jews” as not being from the land of the Jews.


Re: 8. for both sides to comply with international humanitarian law and international human rights law

Israel has been accused by the UN of not adhering to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 — a statute which outlines the obligations of an “occupying power” in times of war.

The Fourth Geneva Convention cannot be applied to Israel as it cannot be an “occupying power” in its own land — land it reclaimed from illegal annexation by Jordan.

The only “occupying power” in East Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria was Jordan, from the years 1948 – 1967.

Final thoughts…

UN Security Council Resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016 declared, among other things that the Kotel, the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple and all of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel are “illegally occupied Palestinian territory”.  This did not make it so. Neither will the Paris Conference.

If the 70 Nations gathering on January 15 2017 in Paris were to declare that the Great Wall of China wasn’t Chinese, would that make it so? Neither will their declarations concerning Jerusalem, the Temple Mount or Judea and Samaria.


Draft Summary Statement –  Paris Peace Summit 

[credit: Haaretz news | Barak Ravid | Jan 09, 2017 7:40 PM]

I) Following the Ministerial meeting held in Paris on 3 June 2016, the Participants met in Paris on 15 January 2017 to reaffirm their support for a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They reaffirmed that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace.

They emphasized the importance for the parties to restate their commitment to this solution, to take urgent steps in order to reverse the current negative trends on the ground and to start meaningful direct negotiations.

They reiterated that a negotiated two-state outcome should [meet Israeli security needs and the rights of Palestinians to statehood and sovereignty, end the occupation that began in 1967], and resolve all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), 1850 (2008), the Madrid principles (1991) and the Quartet Roadmap (2003). They also underscored the Arab Peace Initiative as a vision for a comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, thus contributing to regional peace and security. They welcomed the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016, which clearly condemned settlement activity, incitement and violence, and called both sides to take steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground.

They took note of the report of the Quartet of 1 July 2016 and its recommendations for both sides to take concrete steps to preserve the two-state solution and to create the conditions for final status negotiations.

They noted with particular interest United States Secretary of State’s remarks on 28 December 2016, in which he stressed that no solution could be imposed and outlined his vision of principles for a final status agreement.

They further emphasized the importance for both sides of complying with international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including accountability.

II) The Participants highlighted the potential for security, stability and prosperity for both parties that could result from a peace agreement. They expressed their readiness to exert necessary efforts toward the achievement of the two-state solution and to contribute substantially to arrangements for ensuring the sustainability of a negotiated peace agreement, in particular in the areas of economic incentives, the consolidation of Palestinian state capacities, and civil society dialogue. Those could include, inter alia:

  • a European special privileged partnership; other economic incentives and increased private sector involvement; support to further efforts by the parties to streamline economic cooperation;
  • concrete support to the implementation of the Palestinian Statehood Strategy, including further meetings between international partners and the Palestinian side to that effect;
  • convening Israeli and Palestinian civil society fora, and rekindling the public debate.

They called for these different strands of work to be pursued diligently.

III) Looking ahead, the Participants:

  • expect both sides to restate their commitment to the two-state solution, and to disavow official voices on their side that reject this solution;
  • call on each side to independently demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution and refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations, in order to rebuild trust and create a path back to meaningful direct negotiations, in line with the recommendations of the Quartet report of 1 July 2016;
  • restate the validity of the Arab Peace Initiative and highlight its potential for stability in the region;
  • reaffirm that they will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations; also reaffirm that they will distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967;
  • welcome the prospect of closer cooperation between the Quartet and Arab League members to further the objectives of this Declaration and enhance, if necessary, existing mechanisms;
  • welcome the readiness of interested Participants to review progress and further the set of incentives; their findings could be conveyed to the United Nations for the reporting under 0P12 of UNSCR 2334.

France will inform the parties about the international community’s collective support and concrete contribution to the two-State solution contained in this joint declaration.

Jerusalem – modern and historic capital of the Jewish people

INTRODUCTION: UN Security Council’s Resolution 2334 (December 23, 2016) declared among other things that the Kotel, the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple and all of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel are “illegally occupied Palestinian territory”.  Many people don’t understand the issues concerning this Resolution because they do not have an overall knowledge of the history of Jerusalem itself. This article provides a succinct dated account of Jewish ties to Jerusalem, the date of when the Arabs first arrived (as well as subsequent Muslim conquests), as well as the Modern History of Israel from just after WWI.

A Brief History of Jerusalem

For the purposes of this article, the history of Jerusalem will be divided into its I – Historic / Biblical History and its II – Modern History (post WWI).

I – Jewish Historic ties to Jerusalem

Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people since ~1000 BCE.

Archaeologists at the summit of the City of David have unearthed what is believed to be the palace of King David (who ruled from ~1005 to 965 BCE).

Davids Palace escavation inside
inside David’s Palace excavation site

Excavation have uncovered monumental structures, including a city gate, towers and a royal structure believed to be part of the city wall of Jerusalem, built during the 10th century BCE by King Solomon.

Inside Solomons Temple Gate - large clay jars for grain
Inside Solomons Temple Gate – large clay jars for grain
Eilat Mazar dig site outside Herods Temple
The Ophel excavations at the foot of the southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

In March 2016, a 2500 year old Jewish seal was found in Jerusalem, dating from the first Jewish Temple Period, clearly establishing that there was an established Jewish presence at that time.

[see http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/05/21/king-solomons-wall-discovered-outside-2nd-temple-wall/].

The First Temple (also called Solomon’s Temple) stood on the Temple Mount from 827 BCE until it was destroyed by the Babylonians 470 years later. The Second Temple stood on the Temple Mount from 349 BCE, until it was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans.

Prior to the arrival of the Romans, the Jewish people were politically independent and were governed by self-rule for ~80 years under the Hasmonean Dynasty beginning in ~167 BCE — after the Maccabee brothers defeated the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV (Antiochus Ephipanes) ~165 BCE), after he had plundered the Jewish Temple of its gold objects of worship then and desecrated it by sacrificing a pig on its alter (what is celebrated as Hanukah).

The first time an Arab government ruled in Jerusalem was in the sixth century CE with the rise of Islam, ~700 years after the Hasmonean Dynasty.

The Romans conquered the Seleucids and in 37 BCE and appointed Herod King of Judea. Ten years after Herod’s death in 4 BCE, Judea came under direct Roman administration.

Roman suppression of Jewish life and increased taxation escalated into a full-scale revolt in 66 CE and culminating in the razing of Jerusalem and distruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. In 73 CE, the last Jewish outpost at Masada was destroyed. The Romans merged Roman Syria and Roman Judaea and renamed the geographical area Syria Palaestina in 135 CE. They chose the name as an insult to the Jewish inhabitants they displaced* because the ancient adversary of the Jews, were the Philistines.

* the inhabitants they displaced were Jews, not Arabs.

The founding of the Byzantine Empire in ~325 CE followed Constantine’s adoption of Christianity as the national religion. The Byzantines renamed the geographical area Palestina Secunda or Palestina II and ruled the area until 629 CE. 

In 614 CE, after a brief siege the Persians, with the assistance of Jewish forces captured Jerusalem.

In 636-637 CE, the Arabs under Caliph Umar conquered Jerusalem, claiming it as part of the Arab Caliphate.  Umar was the second Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate who succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634 CE). In 687–691 CE, Caliph Abd el Malik of Syria had the Dome of the Rock built on top of the ruins of the First and Second Jewish Temples — as a means of demonstrating Islam’s superiority over the Christians and Jews that they had driven from Jerusalem. The al-Aqsa mosque was built ~20 years after the Dome of the Rock.

NOTE: Jerusalem was the Jewish capital >1500 years before the Arabs arrived.

The Arab Muslims ruled the area until the First Crusades, when Jerusalem was captured by the Christians in 1099 CE.

In 1187 CE, Saladin, a Sunni Muslim of Kurdish descent and the founder of the Ayyubid Dynasty conquered Jerusalem from the First Crusader Kingdom. The Christians failed to recapture Jerusalem during the Second Crusader Kingdom (1192–1291 CE) and Third Crusader Kingdom (1192 CE).

As a result of a 1229 CE treaty between the Roman Catholic Emperor and the Ayyubid Sultan, Jerusalem was under Christian control until 1244 CE, when Muslims failed to recapture it and the city was destroyed. A failed attempt to recapture the Jerusalem during the Seventh Crusades 1248–50 CE fails and the Muslim Ayyubids retain rule then relocate to Damascus, where they continue to rule the area, including Jerusalem for 10 more years.

In 1260 CE, the Mongol Empire raids the Land, and turns over Jerusalem to the Christians, under Louis IX of France.

From 1516 – 1917, the Ottoman Empire rules the Land, including Jerusalem. The Ottomans were defeated during World War I (WWI) — a month after the Balfour Declaration was issued.


Where is “Palestine”?

The term “Palestine” is a geographical term used to designate the region at the above points in history, none of them belonging to Arabs;

(1) belonging to the Romans (Syria Palaestina, 135-390 CE),

(2) a province belonging to the Byzantine empire (called Palestina Secunda or Palestina II – 390 CE),

(3) a geopolitical entity under British administration, after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire after WWI.

When did the Arabs arrive in the Land?

The Arabs arrived in the Land during the Muslim conquest, when they besieged Gaza in 634 CE and defeated the Byzantines (636 CE). Two years later, in 638 CE, the Arabs conquered Jerusalem .

The Arabs first came to the Land > 1500 years after King David established his palace there in ~1000 BCE.

The Arabs first ruled Jerusalem 1465 CE years after the First Temple was built in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount in ~827 BCE.

Modern Jewish ties to Jerusalem

The Balfour Declaration in was issued by the British government in November 1917, where it announced its intention to facilitate the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.  The was the beginning of concrete plans for a modern state of Israel.

In 1920, the Mandate system was instituted by the League of Nations (forerunner of the United Nations) in order to administer non-self-governing territories. A nation granted mandatory powers by the League of Nations was to consider the mandated territory a temporary trust and to see to the well-being and advancement of its population.

In 1922, following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI, the British were granted mandatory powers by the League of Nations to administer the geographic region of Palestine. The area included all of the area of present-day Israel and Jordan.

The British Mandate for Palestine included provisions calling for the establishment of a Jewish homeland, facilitating Jewish immigration and encouraging Jewish settlement on the land all of which built on the foundation of the Balfour Declaration.

 

In 1923, under Article 25 of the British Mandate for PalestineBritish Mandate - Israel and TransJordan the first Arab-Palestinian state of Transjordan (later renamed Jordan) was created by the British, which allocated 78% of the land that had been set aside to be part of the reconstituted homeland for the Jewish people under the Balfour Declaration to an Arab state  and the British excluded it from Jewish settlement.

This left only 22% of the land for a Jewish state.

After the partition, Transjordan remained part of the British Mandate for Palestine, and Britain continued to be responsible for administering the land on both sides of the Jordan River.

The Arabs that remained living on the small piece of land earmarked for the Jewish state after the creation of the Arab-Palestinian state of Transjordan, attacked and killed Jews living there in an effort to drive them out and claim all of British Mandate of Palestine as Arab land. The Hebron Massacres of 1929 and the 1936-39 Arab Revolt are the most notable of these attacks.

In 1936, the British appointed the Peel Commission to find a solution to the violence, the outcome of which was a recommendation to partition the land under the British Mandate for Palestine, between Arabs and Jews.

In 1939, WWII began and shortly afterwards, the British issued a White Paper restricting Jewish immigration to British Mandated Palestine   just as thousands of Jews wanted to flee the escalating Nazi violence in Europe.  The British set a limit that a maximum of 75,000 immigration certificates would be authorized by the mandatory power to incoming Jews. The British hoped to appease the local Arab population by limiting the number of Jews coming into the region and with the US having also limited immigration of Jews, those being hunted by the Nazis had no place of escape.

Under the British Mandate for Palestine, the Jewish community that was already in the land, formed political, social and economic institutions that governed daily life and served as a infrastructure for the community. David Ben-Gurion served as its head.

In 1946, Britain unilaterally granted Transjordan independencecreating an independent Palestine-Arab state. This was the first “two-state solution“. In doing so, however, Britain failed to live up to its responsibility under the Mandate system to see the well-being and advancement of all of its population, Jews included. Shortly afterwards, the British government, unable to manage Arab tensions and ongoing violent attacks against the Jews in the land, handed control over to the United Nations.

After much debate and discussion, in November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted on Resolution 181, which allocated half of the land that the British had set aside for the Jewish homeland under the Balfour Declaration for creation of a second Arab state — with the remaining half (mostly of which was in the barren Negev desert) for a the Jewish state. This became known as the “Partition Plan“. The Jews accepted the Partition Plan that would have given the Arabs all of Gaza and all of Judea and Samaria  — in exchange for peace with a Jewish state, but the Arabs rejected it.

Foundation of the State of Israel

At 4:00 PM on May 14, 1948, just 8 hours before the British Mandate for Palestine officially terminated, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the creation of the State of Israel and became its first prime minister. The very next day the armies of all of the neighboring Arab states of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Trans-Jordan (now Jordan) and Egypt attacked the newly-created State of Israel, in an attempt to destroy it. This became known as the “War of Independence“.

By March 1949, at the end of the 10-month long War of Independence, Gaza was occupied by Egypt, and Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem were occupied by Jordan.

On April 24, 1950, Jordan annexed both East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria — areas it had seized from Israel by military force in 1948. The annexation of East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria was viewed as illegal by most of the international community, including all of the Arab states. 

The Six Day War

In May of 1967, Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt announced his plans “to destroy Israel”. Nasser placed Egypt’s troops on Israel’s border and after signing a treaty with Syria, placed the Syrian military under an Egyptian general. The armies of Egypt and Syria were mobilized to attack Israel. Israel preemptively attacked Egypt and Syria but did not attack Jordan — asking instead for King Hussein of Jordan not to join the war. Kind Hussein did not have a good relationship with Egypt’s President Nasser (Nasser’s intelligence service had tried to assassinate the King multiple times), but when the rest of the Arab world lined up behind Nasser’s promise to destroy Israel, King Hussein of Jordan joined the attack.

Jordan’s decision to join this Arab allegiance to destroy Israel, despite a request from Israel that they do not, ended by Israel taking control of its own land that Jordan had occupied in 1948 and illegally annexed in 1950— specifically East Jerusalem and the land on the “west bank” of the Jordan River; Judea and Samaria.

 “Pre-1967 Borders”

The UN Security Council’s Resolution 2334 of this past Friday (December 23, 2016) declares, among other things, that the Kotel (the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple) and all of Jerusalem are “illegally occupied Palestinian territory”  trying to enforce what “Palestinians” call “pre-1967 borders”.

A recent article in Arutz Sheva (Israel National News, Jeff Dunetz, 26/12/16 12:30) was a good reminder that;

there is no such thing as pre-1967 borders. That “green line” running through the West Bank is the 1949 Armistice Line.

At the end of the War of Independence, the Armistice Line (the so-called “green line”) was created where Israeli and Arab forces stopped fighting. It was not a border, but a cease-fire line. In fact, the 1949 Armistice Agreement with Jordan explicitly states that the Armistice Line did not compromise any future territorial claims of the two parties  since it had been

“dictated by exclusively by military considerations.”

Given that “pre-1967 borders” have been explicitly established in international law to not be the 1949 Armistice Line, the only “pre-1967 border” are the borders which existed on May 14, 1948, the day the modern state of Israel was created.

UN Security Council Resolution 242

Five months after the Six-Day War, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 242 which recognized that the 1949 Armistice Line was not to designate final Israeli borders.

During the negotiations to create UN Resolution 242, Arab governments tried three times to have the article “the” inserted in the resolution which would have changed the wording from;

“Israel should withdraw from territories taken during the war”

to

“Israel should withdraw from the territories taken during the war”

The addition of the article “the” would have changed Resolution 242 to mean that Israel should withdraw from all territories taken during the war — however their request for addition of a “the” in UN Resolution 242 was rejected.

Final thoughts…

During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel re-took control of its own land (i.e. East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria on the “west bank” of the Jordan River) that Jordan had taken by force in 1948 after the creation of the state of Israel, later  illegally annexing it in 1950. Since 1967, the international community has referred to this land as “disputed territory” and Israelis as ‘occupiers’ and ‘settlers’ of their own land — yet at no point from 1948 until 1967 did the international community ever view Jordan as “occupiers” of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem. The double standard is striking.

Israel is accused by the international community of not adhering to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 — a statute which outlines the obligations of an “occupying power” in times of war.  The Fourth Geneva Convention cannot be applied to Israel as it cannot be an occupying powerin its own land — land it reclaimed from illegal annexation by Jordan. The only “occupying power” in East Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria was Jordan, from the years 1948 – 1967.

While the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2334 of last Friday (December 23, 2016) effectively calls for Israel to stop building communities outside the 1949 Armistice Lines — those lines were never intended to “compromise any territorial claims” (1949 Armistice Agreement).

Furthermore, the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016 contradicts its own declaration (UN Security Council Resolution 242) which was passed 5 months after the Six-Day War and which recognizes that the 1949 Armistice line was not supposed to designate final Israeli borders.

“Palestinians” and the UN assert that Israel should return to “pre-1967 borders” Given that the 1949 Armistice Lines were specifically excluded from forming Israel’s borders, the only “pre-1967 borders” are those that existed in 1948, when the State of Israel was created.

Ultimatum in Amona – rejected by residents

featured photo from Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) - by Tomer Neuberg/flash 90

The 42 families of Amona faced an excruciating decision  yesterday (Israel time); to accept the “offer” agreed upon by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud), Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit or face evacuation and the destruction of their homes and livelihoods within 2 weeks. According to Israel National News (Arutz Sheva), they’ve made their decision.

They rejected the “offer”.

This is the what the government coalition proposed:

(1) to begin work on setting up trailers (what Israelis call “caravans”) for 12 of the 42 families on Lot 38 (seen circled in red, map below), which has an area of six dunams (6,000 sq. meters / 7176 sq. yards).

and

(2) for the residents to accept to have the other 30 families relocate one kilometer to the west, to the town of Ofra to wait for the Israeli government to build four portable buildings in the lots adjacent to Amona (see circled in blue), giving them permits to live there for only two years.  During this period, the government said it was their intention to petition the courts to remove owners’ names from the property in question under Amona, as they have not been present and have not paid taxes on the land for decades.

The residents of Amona were to accept the offer — with no guarantees.

ultimatum-map2-amona
screen capture of relocation map (photo by Ari Fuld)

For the last 19 years, the Arabs who held deed to the this land have been absent —expressing no interest in the land, while these Jewish families have tilled it and caused it to become productive.  According to Israeli National News (Arutz Sheva), the court case objecting to the presence of the Jewish residents of Amona was launched by a left wing organization, and not by the Arabs who hold deed to the land. In fact, only one of the absentee landlords was located and none of the “deed-holders” were named in the case.  The case was a political move to further the purposes of the political organization whose end-result was that the High Court of Israel ruled that because there is a “deed” for only four of the plots of land under which the entire community is built, the entire community must either be relocated or destroyed.

Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) reported (Uzi Baruch, 15/12/16 00:40) that residents explained in a statement on Wednesday night, why they chose to reject the offer;

“We were willing to accept the destruction of our private homes, and a move from place to place, if only a Jewish community would remain on the hill. But the proposed arrangement does not provide any guarantee or commitment that we will indeed receive an alternative home. In light of this and in view of the uncertainty in the proposal, the residents of Amona decided tonight, after ten hours of debate, to reject the proposed layout.”

The residents of Amona will be evacuated — their homes and businesses demolished and their lives left in shambles — for what?

Residents of Amona — not squatters

The residents of Amona are not “squatters” living in tents — they live in furnished homes equipped with all the amenities; running water, heat, electricity, fridges, stoves, etc.

Below are some screenshots of one home in Amona, taken from a video shot by Ari Fuld, earlier today:

inside-of-house-in-amona
Inside of a home in Amona

Here are a few more screen captures of a home located on one of the wineries of Amona:

more-insides-of-homes-in-amona
home of a winery of Amona – photo by Ari Fuld

Amona has a school, playgroundroads, vineyards and as posted in the previous article about Amona, sheep and lamb barns (see Brian John Thomas’ video, below.)

Here are some photos of Amona, from the Wine4Amona website hosted by דפיכתוֹם, courtesy of Avi Abelow:

slide1

slide2

slide3

Amona is a productive community that is known for producing award-winning wine

award-winning-wine
2009 & 2011 awards for Amona wine (photos by Ari Fuld)

Amona also raises sheep and lamb

Sheep and lamb farm in Amona (photo by Brian John Thomas)
Sheep and lamb farm in Amona (photo by Brian John Thomas)

The residents of Amona are ordinary people, with ordinary lives who work and raise their families on the land given to the tribe of Benjamin — land which that was set aside for the Jewish homeland since 1917* and which has been part of Israel since its modern foundation on May 14, 1948.

*see Struggle for Amona - Struggle for National Sovereignty for a brief history http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/13/struggle-amona-struggle-national-sovereignty/] 

and 

Judea and Samaria - the West Bank of the Jordan http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/13/judea-samaria-west-bank-jordan/ for a brief history.

The land on which Amona is built was gifted by King Hussein of Jordan to a close associate during the period in which Jordan illegally occupied Judea and Samaria (1948-1967)

This land was not the King of Jordan’s to give.

It was seized by military force when Egypt, Syria and Jordan invaded the newly-created state of Israel, just one day after it was created.

[see Struggle for Amona – Struggle for National Sovereignty, link above].

The Jordanian king having given a parcel of land to colleagues during a time that Jordan illegally occupied and annexed the land from Israel does not make that land the possession of 
(1) those families 
(2) their descendants nor 
(3) anyone that may have subsequently purchased it from them.

This land has always been Israel.

To “give’ the residents of Amona such a “choice” for nothing more than the political gain of an organization is obscene. 

A court’s role is to uphold the law as it is written, which is the High Court of Israel’s justification for having ruled in a case brought by others on behalf of an unnamed, absentee “deed holder”, who never took the case to court and was not present for the proceedings.

Such a case should not have been heard until the courts ruled on the issue as to whether a deed issued for land illegally seized from Israel is legally binding.

Until that is resolved, the residents of Amona must be allowed to stay.

 


For those wishing to help the people of Amona and get some of their award-winning wine at the same time, here is a link: http://www.dkatom.co.il/wine4amona


Here is a link to the video from Ari Fuld from which some of the above photos and information was taken:

Here is the link a video of Brian John Thomas’ visit to Amona, just prior to the residents’s decision.

Judea and Samaria — the West Bank of the Jordan

INTRODUCTION: To understand the present issues with regards to Jewish inhabitants in outpost towns in Judea and Samaria*, in the so-called “disputed territories”, requires some knowledge of the modern history of region.  This article provides that brief history.

*Judea and Samaria is know as "the West Bank" as it is on the west bank of the Jordan River.

The ancient and biblical history of Jews in the land is beyond the scope of this article — suffice to say that the very term “Jew” is derived from the region from which they originated, Judea.

In terms of timeline, this article begins towards the end of World War I (WWI) with British involvement in the geographic area known as Palestine.

[For information regarding where the term "Palestine" came from, please see Where is Ancient Palestine and Who are the Palestinians: http://www.morehasbara.com/2015/10/11/where-is-ancient-palestine-who-are-the-palestinians/]

Balfour Declaration and the Mandate System

Towards the end of WWI, in November 1917, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration in which it announced its intention to facilitate the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.  The was the beginning of concrete plans for a modern state of Israel.

In 1920, the Mandate system was instituted by the League of Nations (forerunner of the United Nations) in order to administer non-self-governing territories. A nation granted mandatory powers by the League of Nations was to consider the mandated territory a temporary trust and to see to the well-being and advancement of its population.

In 1922, following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI, the British were granted mandatory powers by the League of Nations to administer the geographic region of Palestine.  The British Mandate for Palestine included provisions calling for the establishment of a Jewish homeland, facilitating Jewish immigration and encouraging Jewish settlement on the land all of which built on the foundation of the Balfour Declaration.

However just a few months later, the League of Nations and Britain arrived at the decision that the provisions for setting up a Jewish national home would not apply to the area east of the Jordan River.

In 1923, under Article 25 of the British Mandate for PalestineBritish Mandate - Israel and TransJordan the first Arab-Palestinian state of Transjordan (later renamed Jordan) was created by the British, which allocated 78% of the land that had been set aside to be part of the reconstituted homeland for the Jewish people under the Balfour Declaration to an Arab state  and the British excluded it from Jewish settlement.

This left only 22% of the land for a Jewish state.

Judea and Samaria was included in this small piece of land destined for the Jewish State.

After the partition, Transjordan remained part of the British Mandate for Palestine, and Britain continued to be responsible for administering the land on both sides of the Jordan River.

The Arabs that remained living on the small piece of land earmarked for the Jewish state after the creation of the Arab-Palestinian state of Transjordan, attacked and killed Jews living there in an effort to drive them out and claim all of British Mandate of Palestine as Arab land. The Hebron Massacres of 1929 and the 1936-39 Arab Revolt are the most notable of these attacks.

In 1936, the British appointed the Peel Commission to find a solution to the violence, the outcome of which was a recommendation to partition the land under the British Mandate for Palestine, between Arabs and Jews.

In 1939, WWII began and shortly afterwards, the British issued a White Paper restricting Jewish immigration to British Mandated Palestine   just as thousands of Jews wanted to flee the escalating Nazi violence in Europe.  The British set a limit that a maximum of 75,000 immigration certificates would be authorized by the mandatory power to incoming Jews. The British hoped to appease the local Arab population by limiting the number of Jews coming into the region and with the US having also limited immigration of Jews, those being hunted by the Nazis had no place of escape.

The role of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his 1941 meeting with Adolph Hitler certainly factors into the “big picture” as does al-Husseini’s role in the Middle East after WWII and leading up to the Six Day War, including President Abdel Nasser of Egypt’s intent to “destroy Israel”.

For more information, please see;

The Mufti and the Fuhrer (http://www.morehasbara.com/2015/10/22/the-mufti-and-the-fuhrer-background-to-nazi-influence-in-the-middle-east/) 

and 

Nazi Influence in the Middle East (http://www.morehasbara.com/2015/10/24/nazi-influence-in-the-middle-east-haj-amin-al-husseini/) for more information]

Under the British Mandate for Palestine, the Jewish community that was already in the land, formed political, social and economic institutions that governed daily life and served as a infrastructure for the community. David Ben-Gurion served as its head.

In 1946, Britain unilaterally granted Transjordan independencecreating an independent Palestine-Arab state. This was the first “two-state solution“. In doing so, however, Britain failed to live up to its responsibility under the Mandate system to see the well-being and advancement of all of its population, Jews included.

Shortly afterwards, the British government, unable to manage Arab tensions and ongoing violent attacks against the Jews in the land, handed control over to the United Nations.

Partition-Plan-1947-235x300After much debate and discussion, in November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted on Resolution 181, which allocated half of the land that the British had set aside for the Jewish homeland under the Balfour Declaration for creation of a second Arab state — with the remaining half (mostly of which was in the barren Negev desert) for a the Jewish state.

This became known as the “Partition Plan“.

The Jews accepted the Partition Plan that would have given the Arabs all of Gaza and all of Judea and Samaria  — in exchange for peace with a Jewish state, but the Arabs rejected it. As little as 1/4 of the original land allocated to a Jewish state was still considered too much

Birth of the State of Israel

At 4:00 PM on May 14, 1948, just 8 hours before the British Mandate for Palestine officially terminated, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the creation of the State of Israel and became its first prime minister.

The very next day the armies of all of the neighboring Arab states of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Trans-Jordan (now Jordan) and Egypt attacked the newly-created State of Israel, in an attempt to destroy it. This became known as the “War of Independence“.

By March 1949, at the end of the 10-month long War of Independence, Gaza was occupied by Egypt, and Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem  were occupied by Jordan

On April 24, 1950, Jordan annexed both East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria — areas it had seized from Israel by military force in 1948. The annexation of East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria was viewed as illegal by most of the international community, including all of the Arab states.

In May of 1967, Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt announced his plans “to destroy Israel”. Given his documented, past affiliation with the Nazis during WWII, this should come as no surprise [see Nazi Influence in the Middle East, link above].

Nasser placed Egypt’s troops on Israel’s border, and after signing a treaty with Syria, placed the Syrian military under an Egyptian general. The armies of Egypt and Syria were mobilized to attack Israel.

Israel preemptively attacked Egypt and Syria but did not attack Jordan — asking instead for King Hussein of Jordan not to join the war. King Hussein did not have a good relationship with Egypt’s President Nasser (Nasser’s intelligence service had tried to assassinate the King multiple times), but when the rest of the Arab world lined up behind Nasser’s promise to destroy Israel, King Hussein of Jordan joined the attack.

Jordan’s decision to join this Arab allegiance to destroy Israel, despite a request from Israel that they do not, ended by Israel taking control of its own land that Jordan had occupied in 1948 and illegally annexed in 1950— specifically East Jerusalem and the land on the “west bank” of the Jordan River; Judea and Samaria

It was after the Six-Day War in 1967, when Israel reclaimed land that Jordan had seized from Israel, that East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (since dubbed “the West Bank”) became so-called “disputed territory” in the eyes for the International community, and Israel came to be called ‘occupiers’ and ‘settlers’ of their own land.

It should be noted that at no point from 1948 until 1967 did the international community ever view Jordan as "occupiers" of Judea and Samaria. 

The double standard is striking.

Israel is accused by the international community of not adhering to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 with respect to Judea and Samaria — a statute which outlines the obligations of an “occupying power” in times of war.  The Fourth Geneva Convention cannot be applied to Israel, as it cannot be an occupying powerin its own land — land it reclaimed from illegal annexation by Jordan.

The only “occupying power” in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention in Judea and Samaria was Jordan, from the years 1948 – 1967.

Final Thoughts…

Most obvious, Jewish inhabitants of outpost towns in Judea and Samaria cannot be “settlers” or “occupiers“. Judea and Samaria has always been part of Israel, both in ancient times (beyond the scope of this article) and in modern times.  The Arabs rejected the Partition Plan which would have given them all of Gaza and all of Judea and Samaria, in exchange for peace and rejected a similar offer in 2000. It seems apparent that any amount of land for a Jewish state is too much.

The Jews of Judea and Samaria have always been willing to live in peace with its non-Jewish inhabitants.

All the Arab inhabitants have ever needed to do is;

(1) recognize Israel as a Jewish state

and

(2) promise to live in peace with it.

It seems apparent from modern history that the Arabs do not want a Jewish state of any size that they need to recognize.

UNESCO Adopts ‘Occupied Palestine’ Resolution

Following Mexico’s withdrawal of its intention yesterday to force a re-vote one day before the close of proceedings, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has adopted its controversial “Occupied PalestineResolution (Tuesday, October 18 2016).

Under pressure from Western states, Mexico backed away from its initial intention to call for a re-vote, after having taken issue with the resolution referring to Jerusalem holy sites only by their Islamic names. Western states were concerned that Mexico taking such action could lead to future calls for re-votes on future resolutions already voted on and passed by consensus. Instead, Mexico noted for the record that its position on the matter was one of abstention, but its revised position does not change the vote’s count.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry posted a statement on its web site that it had abstained in recognition of the “undeniable Jewish cultural heritage that is located in east Jerusalem.

In a surprising move today, Brazil spoke at the final board session, indicating that it was unlikely to support such resolutions in the future.

After ratification of the resolution, the Jerusalem Post reports that Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen said:

“We have moved forward a step-and-a-half toward dismantling the automatic majority that the Palestinians and the Arab states have against Israel.

The best surprise of the morning is Brazil’s notification that while it did not change its vote this time, it will find it difficult not to do, if there is a resolution with another text that disregards the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.”

UNESCO’s Denial of the Jewish Connection to the Temple Mount

The “Occupied PalestineResolution is the latest of such measures taken by UNESCO – where Israel and its allies are far outnumbered by Arab countries and their supporters, and a body that admitted the ‘Palestinians’ as members in 2011.

This latest resolution was put forth by the ‘Palestinians‘, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Sudan and was passed with 24 votes in favour, six against and 26 abstentions. It follows close on the heels of a similar one passed by UNESCO April 16 2016, which condemned “Israeli aggressions and illegal measures against the freedom of worship and Muslim access to the al-Aqsa Mosque” and which referred to the Temple Mount site by only its Arabic names.

Like the UNESCO resolution passed in April, the “Occupied PalestineResolution also refers to the Temple Mount site only by the site’s Muslim name, al-Haram al Sharif (Arabic for “the Noble Sanctuary”) and to the Western Wall (the remaining outer wall of the Second Temple) only as al-Buraq Plaza and by doing so, effectively denies the Jewish connection to both the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

Last Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said;

“To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China and that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids. With this absurd decision, UNESCO lost the little legitimization it had left.”

‘Palestinian Demands’

Today, ‘Palestinians’ deputy ambassador to UNESCO, Mounir Anastas told Al-Jazeera that the resolution;

“reminds Israel that they are the occupying power in East Jerusalem and it asks them to stop all their violations, including archaeological excavations around religious sites.

The ‘Palestinians’ want excavations halted outside Temple Mount  complex, where monumental structures including the city gate, towers and part of the city wall of Jerusalem built by King Solomon during the 10th century BC have been uncovered.

[For more on this important archaeological dig, please see: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/05/21/king-solomons-wall-discovered-outside-2nd-temple-wall/]

Historic Facts and Dates

The Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site is where the First and Second Jewish Temples once stood, and is located in the Old City section of Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel.

The First Temple (also called Solomon’s Temple) stood on the Temple Mount from 827 BC until it was destroyed by the Babylonians 470 years later. The Second Temple stood on the Temple Mount from 349 BC, until it was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. Prior to the arrival of the Romans, the Jewish people were politically independent and were governed by self-rule for ~80 years under the Hasmonean (Maccabean) Dynasty, beginning in ~167 BCE.

The first time an Arab government ruled in Jerusalem was in the sixth century AD with the rise of Islam, ~700 years after the Hasmonean Dynasty.

The Temple Mount complex (called ‘al-Haram al Sharif’, in Arabic) is considered the third holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The golden topped Dome of the Rock mosque was built in 691 CE, with the smaller al-Aqsa mosque built ~20 years later. 

The Jewish Temples stood on the Temple Mount ~1500 years before the Arabs first arrived in Jerusalem in the 6th century AD with the advent of Islam.

Final Thoughts…

UNESCO’s “Occupied PalestineResolution denies history, but does not change history.

 

 

Vote on UNESCO’s Temple Mount Resolution to be Reopened?

UNESCO’s executive board may now be required to reopen voting on last week’s controversial resolution which effectively denied the Jewish connection to both the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, as the Mexican government now seeks to change its vote.

Last week, Mexico voted in favor of the resolution, but is seeking to trigger a special clause requiring a re-vote in order to change its decision.  A senior official in Jerusalem said Mexico’s changed position can mainly be attributed to the strong protests from Mexico’s Jewish community. Senior officials in the Jewish community said that Mexican President Ennrique Pena Nieto promised them, as well as Israeli government officials, during his visit to Israel for former President Shimon Peres’ funeral that Mexico would not support the UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem. However, last week Mexico’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Andreas Roemer‎ received a directive from Mexico’s Foreign Ministry to vote in favor, which he did.

Mexico’s dramatic decision would require that UNESCO hold a new vote on the Jerusalem resolution, which will be held at 11 A.M. on Tuesday.

Even though a new vote would be expected to be approved by a large majority, it may still allow countries to revisit their vote.

Israel hopes that other states besides Mexico will move to vote against the resolution.


IMPORTANT UPDATE (October 18 2016):  UNESCO Adopts ‘Occupied Palestine’ Resolution – find out about Mexico and Brazil’s new position on future anti-Israel resolutions, as well as Palestinian’s demands concerning archaeological sites: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/10/18/unesco-adopts-occupied-palestine-resolution/

UNESCO denies Jewish connection to Temple Mount again

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution today (October 13, 2016) denying the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. The resolution put forth by the ‘Palestinians‘, along with Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Sudan condemns Israel on several issues related to Jerusalem and its holy sites. 24 UNESCO member states voted in favor of the resolution, 26 abstained (including France which supported a similar resolution in April) — with only six countries voting against it (US, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Estonia).

While today’s UNESCO resolution acknowledges that the city of Jerusalem is holy to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, it refers to the Temple Mount only as being sacred to Muslims – ignoring its significance to Jews.

The resolution refers to the Temple Mount only by the site’s Muslim names (al-Aqsa Mosque / al-Haram al Sharif and omits any mention of its Hebrew or English names (Har HaBayit or Temple Mount). As well, the resolution refers to the Western Wall (the outer wall of the Second Temple) as al-Buraq Plaza – only mentioning its Hebrew name (Hakotel Hama’aravi) later in quotation marks.

The Temple Mount is considered Judaism’s holiest site as it was once the site of both the First Temple (Solomon’s Temple) and Second Temple (built by Zerubbabel upon return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon). The complex, on which the al-aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock Mosque were later built is only considered the third holiest site to Muslims.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said that UNESCO’s resolution nullifying Jewish ties to Temple Mount is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall or that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids.

“To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China and that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids. With this absurd decision, UNESCO lost the little legitimization it had left.”

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister

To deny Israel’s and the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall requires

(1) ignoring abundant archaeological evidence

[see http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/05/21/king-solomons-wall-discovered-outside-2nd-temple-wall/]

(2) ignoring written history – both from secular sources (e.g. Josephus) and Biblical sources.

and even ignoring

(3) the Supreme Muslim Council which oversaw the Temple Mount (1924 – 1960).

A brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif – Jerusalem” was published by the Supreme Muslim Council, headed by Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and was available for purchase by visitors to the Temple Mount and from its first edition published in 1924 until 1953.

The booklet made three irrefutable references to Solomon’s Temple (the First Temple) having stood on the Temple Mount (see below).

In 1954, the content of the booklet was revised,  with references to Solomon’s Temple removed and replaced with references to Herod’s Temple (the Second Temple), instead. In any case, the Supreme Muslim Council affirmed in their publication “A brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif – Jerusalem”, widely available between 1924 and 1960, that the Temple Mount was the site of the Jewish Temples.

Page 4 of the 1924-1953 guide:

“The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.

Page 10 of the 1924-1953 guide:

“On the east side of the Dome of the Rock, facing the Bab Daub or gate of David, stands an elegant little edifice, also surmounted by a dome, which look at first sight like a miniature representation of its larger brother…The edifice is variously known as Mahkamat Daud (i.e. Tribunal of David)it was the practice in Solomon’s time to appeal in cases of conflicting evidence.

Page 16 of the 1924-1953 guide:

“In the west wall of the chamber, a door opens into a staircase descending to Solomon’s Stables. This is a vast subterranean chamber, of roughly rectangular shape, of which the chief feature is the imposing size of the piers. Of these, there are fifteen rows of varying size and height supporting the vaults on which rests the roof. Little is known for certain of the early history of the chamber itself. It dates probably as far back as the construction of Solomon’s Temple. According to Josephus, it was in existence and was used as a place of refuge by the Jews at the time of the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70 A.D.”

[for more information see http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/08/19/supreme-muslim-authority-contradicts-palestinian-authoritys-claims/]

Fact and Fiction

    • UNESCO’s denial of historical fact does not change history.
    • UNESCO’s resolution does not change that fact that the First Temple, (Solomon’s Temple) stood on the Temple Mount from when it was completed in 827 BCE until it was destroyed by the Babylonians 470 years later.
    • UNESCO’s resolution does not change that fact that the Second Temple, constructed under Zerubbabel was completed in 349 BCE and stood on the Temple Mount until it was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans.
    • UNESCO’s resolution does not change that fact that prior to the arrival of the Romans, the Jews enjoyed political independence and self-rule under for ~80 years under the Hasmonean (Maccabean) Dynasty, beginning in ~167 BCE.
    • UNESCO’s resolution does not change the fact that the first time an Arab government ruled in that region was in the sixth century CE700 years after the Hasmonean Dynasty.
    • UNESCO’s resolution does not change the fact that the Dome of the Rock Mosque was only built on the Temple Mount in 691 CE and the al-Aqsa Mosque was only built ~20 years later.
  • UNESCO’s resolution does not change the fact that the Jewish people built the First Temple on the Temple Mount almost 1500 years before the Arabs first arrived in Jerusalem!

[for more information, please see: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/05/05/is-the-temple-mount-really-islams-3rd-holiest-site/ from more information]


IMPORTANT UPDATE (October 18 2016):  UNESCO Adopts ‘Occupied Palestine’ Resolution – find out about Mexico and Brazil’s new position on future anti-Israel resolutions, as well as Palestinian’s demands concerning archaeological sites: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/10/18/unesco-adopts-occupied-palestine-resolution/

Supreme Muslim Authority Contradicts Palestinian Authority’s Claims

INTRODUCTION: Adnan al-Husayni, the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs for the Palestinian Authority (PA) government, said on Thursday, August 18, 2016, that Jewish organizations are preparing plans to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and to build a Jewish Temple in its place.  This is one version of the “al-Aqsa Libel” outlined in an previous blog.

The al-Aqsa Libel is the lie that Israel is planning to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque and this lie has been used to incite violence against Israelis since the days of Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization (late 1960’s), and included such false claims that Israel was behind a mosque fire there in 1969. Current renditions of the al-Aqsa libel include that Israel is digging under the mosque in order to topple it, or using chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse, as well as the rendition that al-Husayni retold today: that Israel plans to demolish the al-Aqsa mosque and replace it with the 3rd Temple. None of these claims are true.

Since most ‘Palestinians’ identify themselves as practicing Muslims and the al-Aqsa mosque is considered Islam’s 3rd holiest site, this lie is highly inflammatory and is often combined with the call to Palestinians to “defend al-Aqsa” from the Jews.

Since 1967, when Israel regained control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount after the Six-Day War, there has been a concerted effort on the part of the ‘Palestinian’ authorities to (a) promote the al-Aqsa libel while at the same time (b) creating and promoting a ‘Palestinian’ version of “history” that creates an alleged Arab connection to the Temple Mount that predates the Jewish oneThe goal is to stir up religious fervor, with the hope that it will lead to a violent confrontation and the ‘Palestinians’ taking the Temple Mount by force.

In recent years and right up to the present day, Palestinian Authority (PA) propaganda has focused on denying the Jewish link to the Temple Mount and claiming that the entire site, including the Dome of the Rock Mosque and the Kotel (the Western Wall of the 2nd Temple), as well as the al-Aqsa Mosque have “always been Muslim holy sites”.  This is what Adnan al-Husayni, the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs for the Palestinian Authority (PA) government tried to do today.

Ironically, a direct challenge to the Palestinian Authority’s version of “history” comes from Muslim documents from Jerusalem, which state that the Temple Mount was the site of Solomon’s Temple, before Islam ever existed.


Al-Aqsa Libel – current rendition

Adnan al-Husayni, the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs for the Palestinian Authority (PA) government, claimed on Thursday, August 18, 2016, that Jewish organizations of preparing plans to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and to build a Jewish Temple in its place.

Speaking with the Hamas-affiliated “Palestine” newspaper, al-Husayni claimed that while Israel is aware that the “demolition of the Al-Aqsa mosque” will result in violence that would spread to all parts of the country, Israel’s policy “is meant to deliberately expel the “original” inhabitants of Jerusalem“. Al-Husayni called on UNESCO, the UN’s educational and cultural organization, to;

“act immediately against the excavations carried out by Israel in the Old City of Jerusalem”

claiming that;

“Israel is digging tunnels in the area in an attempt to find historical evidence of Jewish existence in the region, but that they failed to do so despite all their attempts to falsify the history and the Palestinian historical sites.”

There it is – (a) the al-Aqsa libel combined with (b) the creating and promoting of a ‘Palestinian’ version of “history” that seeks to create an Arab connection to the Temple Mount that predates the Jewish one

Even if the ‘Palestinians’ want to discredit archaeological evidence from Solomon’s wall (see a earlier article) or discount the ancient coins that have been found in Israel, irrefutable proof from the Supreme Muslim Council itself documents that they believed that the Temple Mount is the site where Solomon’s Temple once stood, before Islam ever existed.

The Mufti and the Supreme Muslim Council

The Supreme Muslim Council (Arabic المجلس الإسلامي الاعلى) was the highest body in charge of Muslim community affairs for British Mandated Palestine after WWI. The High Commissioner of the British Mandate for Palestine, Herbert Samuel, issued an order in December 1921 establishing the Supreme Muslim Council with authority over all the Muslim waqf and sharia courts in Palestine. It consisted of five members – a president and four members.

al-Husseini-president-World-Islamic-Congress-1931-300x152
Haj Amin al Husseini – World Islamic Congress 1931

Haj Amin al-Husseini had previously been made Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by Samuel following the death of his half-brother Kamil al-Husayni in March 1921.  Haj Amin al-Husseini became President of the Supreme Muslim Council.

800px-Al-Husseini-1929head-150x150

Haj Amin al-Husseini’s name should be very familiar.  As covered in previous posts, al-Husseini met with with Adolf Hitler in Berlin in November 1941 to discuss their shared goal to exterminate the Jews and who went on to form the Hanzar Division of Nazi Muslim Soldiers in Bosnia, one of the largest divisions of the Third Reich military force, through which he gained the moniker “the Arab Fuhrer“.

[for more information, please read “The Mufti and the Fuhrer”: http://www.morehasbara.com/2015/10/22/the-mufti-and-the-fuhrer-background-to-nazi-influence-in-the-middle-east/ and “Nazi Influence in the Middle East” http://www.morehasbara.com/2015/10/24/nazi-influence-in-the-middle-east-haj-amin-al-husseini/]


The Mufti and the Temple Mount

A brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif – Jerusalem” was published by the Supreme Muslim Council headed by Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and was available for purchase by visitors to the Temple Mount. From its first edition published in 1924 until 1953, the content remained unchanged, however in 1954, the documentation for the link between the Temple Mount and Solomon’s First Temple was removed and replaced with a reference to Herod’s Temple (the Second Temple), instead.

The guide helped direct visitors around the site, and served as a souvenir of their visit.

For the Supreme Muslim Council’s accounting purposes, the upper left-hand corner of the back cover of the guide would be marked with the official Supreme Muslim Council stamp and then torn off and the guide returned to the visitor who purchased it.

A brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif 1924

Three References to the Jewishness of the Temple Mount

In “A brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif – Jerusalem”, there are three irrefutable references to the Jewishness of the Temple Mount, which are outlined below, but let’s walk through the entire booklet, page by page.

Page 1 is the cover (above) and page 2 is a picture of the Temple Mount from north to west. Page 3 of the guide contains a notice that the area is considered a sacred site to Muslims;

“IMPORTANT NOTICE – Visitors should bear in mind that the whole of the Haram Area, and not only it’s edifices, is scared to Muslims; and that they will be expected to pay due regard to its sanctity. In particular, they must abstain from smoking anywhere in the Area, and from bringing dogs with them. The visiting-hours are from 7.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. daily, (Fridays excepted) and visitors are particularly requested to leave punctually at 11.30 so as not to hinder the observance of the midday-prayer.”

Page 4 contains a “historical sketch” of the Temple Mount, referred to by its Arabic name “al-Haram al-Sharif”.  The 1925 guide mentions the two mosques but nothing related to either the al-Aqsa Mosque (silver domed structure on the southwest corner of the complex) or the Dome of the Rock Mosque (gold domed structure built over the site of the First and Second Temple) having any place of prominence in Islam;

“The two principal edifices are the Dome of the Rock, on a raised platform in the middle, and the mosque of al-Aqsa against the south wall.”

On Page 4 of the guide is the first of three clear acknowledgements that the Temple Mount site was where Solomon’s Temple once stood and that this fact “is beyond dispute”;

“The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.

Page 5 of the guide contains a photo of the fountain on the Temple Mount site and page 6 provides some history as to when the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque were built;

“With the reign of Abdul-Malek ibn Marwan, the Umayyad, 685-705 A.D., the history of the present buildings begins. He collected large sums of money, amounting (say the Arab historians) to “seven times the revenue of Egypt”; and with that he built the Dome (691 A.D.) and the mosque of al-Aqsa (693 A.D.), both of which, according to medieval Arab travelers and chroniclers, were of unsurpassed magnificence.”

Page 7 has a photo of the southern Arcades and page 8 contains a description of the Dome of the Rock;

“The Dome of the Rock stands on an irregular platform whose
level is some 12 feet above that of the Area. It is approached
from every side by flights of broad steps surmounted at the landing by graceful arcades (Fig. 3) known as Mawazin, that is to say ‘scales’, because of the traditional belief that on the Day of Judgment the scales of good and evil will be suspended there. Having ascended the steps on the raised platform, you should, before entering the edifice, walk around it and examine it from the outside first. Its plan is that of a regular octagon inscribed in a circle of 177 ft. diameter. It has four entrances, each of which faces one of the points of the compass: on the West…”

Page 8 – 12 of the guide are dedicated to the detailed description of the Dome of the Rock, with page 9 containing a photo of it and page 11 containing a photo of the rock on which the mosque is built.

dome of the rock wnload

[One can see how much the site had been restored from the neglect and disrepair that had occurred during the (MuslimOttoman Empire. It is apparent that the Temple Mount was not viewed by the Muslim Ottoman Turks as the holy site it is today.]

dome-of-the-rock-1875-300x232
Dome of the Rock 1875

Page 10 of the 1925 guide to the Temple Mount (al-Haram al-Sharif) contains the second of three clear references to the Temple Mount (al-Haram al-Sharif) having been the site of Solomon’s Temple!

“On the east side of the Dome of the Rock, facing the Bab Daub or gate of David, stands an elegant little edifice, also surmounted by a dome, which look at first sight like a miniature representation of its larger brother…The edifice is variously known as Mahkamat Daud (i.e. Tribunal of David)it was the practice in Solomon’s time to appeal in cases of conflicting evidence.

Tribunal of David

On page 12 of the guide begins the description of the al-Asqa mosque and that it was built in commemoration of the prophet’s ascension;

Leaving the Dome of the Rock by the west gate, the visitor will notice, some 50 yards away on the right, a small octagonal domed edifice of semi-oriental and semi-Gothic appearance. This is the Qubbal al-Mi’raj or Dome of the Ascension. It was originally built in commemoration of the Prophet’s miraculous ascension, and rebuilt in its present form about the year 1200 A.D., that is to say some thirteen years after the capture of the Holy City by Saladin and at a time when Gothic influence in building, which had been imported by the Crusaders, was still at its height.

Page 12 is a photo of the al-Aqsa Mosque from the front and then on page 14, there is a very telling reference to the disrepair the al-Aqsa mosque that had occurred under the Ottoman Turks. While the Ottomans were Muslim, it is evident that neither the Temple Mount site nor the al-Aqsa mosque (claimed now to be Islam’s 3rd holiest site) were viewed as such by the Ottomans;

“The interior of the mosque is unfortunately only partly accessible to visitors at the present time, on account of the considerable repairs which have to be carried out to that part of the buildings which supports the dome.”

The guide describes the porch of al-Aqsa mosque (pg. 13), the interior (pg 14) and page 15 contains a photo of the interior of the al-Aqsa mosque.

Page 16 of the guide contains descriptions of The Substructures around the al-Aqsa mosque (pg. 16) and contains the third clear reference to the Temple Mount (al-Haram al-Sharif) having been the site of Solomon’s Temple;

“In the west wall of the chamber, a door opens into a staircase descending to Solomon’s Stables. This is a vast subterranean chamber, of roughly rectangular shape, of which the chief feature is the imposing size of the piers. Of these, there are fifteen rows of varying size and height supporting the vaults on which rests the roof. Little is known for certain of the early history of the chamber itself. It dates probably as far back as the construction of Solomon’s Temple. According to Josephus, it was in existence and was used as a place of refuge by the Jews at the time of the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70 A.D.”

Final thoughts…

From 1924 until the 1953 edition of the “A brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif – Jerusalem”, the Supreme Muslim Council and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj amin al-Husseini clearly acknowledge that the Temple Mount was the site of Solomon’s First Temple. That the ‘Palestinians’ continue to claim that the site was never the location of the Jewish Temples is ludicrous – and that the UN and UNESCO continue to support such claims, is nothing short of reprehensible.

It is only since 1967, when Israel regained control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount for the first time in 2000 years that the the promotion of the ‘Palestinians’ as the alleged ‘indigenous people’ of the Land who have been “occupied” by the Israelis since 1948, began. This movement began with Yasser Arafat (the Egyptian-born self-proclaimed leader of the ‘Palestinian Liberation Organization’) who was also the first to begin recirculating the al-Aqsa Libel – claiming in 1969 that the Israelis were behind the fire at the al-Aqsa mosque.

To this day, the ‘Palestinians” seek to (1) create an Arab connection to the Temple Mount which predates the Jewish one and  (2) incite violence with the goal of forcibly removing the Temple Mount from Israeli control.

The ‘Palestinian’s’ claims that there never was a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount (al-Haram al-Sharif) is not only ludicrous, it is entirely contradictory to documentation from the supreme Arab-Muslim source from 1924-1953.

Promotion of a pseudo “Palestinian history” that creates an alleged Arab connection to the Temple Mount that predates the Jewish one, is the means by which the ‘Palestinians’ seek to garner public sympathy – however such a connection does not exist.

‘Palestinian’ claims are not rooted in history or archaeological evidence, nor are they religious in nature, but political.

The goal is to incite violence so as to forcibly remove the Temple Mount from Israeli control.

Is the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem the one mentioned in the Qu’uran?

INTRODUCTION: Since 1967, when Israel regained control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount after the Six-Day War, there has been a concerted effort on the part of the ‘Palestinian’ authorities to stir up religious fervor, using the false claim that Israel is intending to destroy the al-Asqa Mosque while simultaneously advancing their claim that the entire Temple Mount is sacred to Islam. By creating and promoting their own version of “Palestinian history“, they seek to (1) create an Arab connection to the Temple Mount which predates the Jewish one and  (2) incite violence to forcibly remove the Temple Mount from Israeli control.

A lecturer with the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University and expert in military intelligence, Arab political discourse and Arab mass media recently raised some doubt as to whether the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is same al-Aqsa Mosque mentioned in the Qu’uran. If it is not, that would shed a very different light on ‘Palestinian’ claims that the Temple Mount is the 3rd holiest site in Islam.

Jordanian Tourist Map from 1965

Jordanian Tourist Map - only al-asqaLast week, an official Jordanian tourist map from 1965 that is part of a large collection of maps of Israel owned by Chaim Steinberger of New York City was seen, photocopied and written about by Dr. Mordechai Kedar this past Thursday, (August 11, 2016) in the Israeli national news, Arutz Sheva.

At first glance, it seems like an ordinary tourist map of Jerusalem – but this map was drawn by a Jordanian, Abd al-Rahman Rassas who worked as an official surveyor for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the map bears the words:

recommended and approved by the official Jordanian Tourist Authority“.

To understand the significance, it is important to understand the political context under which it was made. It was drawn and published two years before the 1967 Six Day War – when East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were still being illegally occupied by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.  This map produced by Jordanians shows the Temple Mount (by its Arabic name al-Haram al-Sharif) as being located on Mount Moriah and indicates the “al Aqsa Mosque” as a building on the southern end of al-Haram al-Sharif – with no notable significance to Islam;

“In other words, thirty years before the peace agreement between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan, the Jordanians identified al Aqsa as no more than an edifice on the southern end of al-Haram al-Sharif, which in turn is built on Mount Moriah.”

– Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, August 11, 2016

Dr. Kedar sheds further light by mentioning that the al-Aqsa mosque is only mentioned once in the Qu’uran in Surah 17:1, about the al-Isra – the “night journey” that the prophet was to have taken from Mecca;

Exalted is he who took his servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings we have blessed, to show him of our signs. Indeed, he is the hearing, the seeing.

Surah Al-Isra 17:1, Qu’uran

There were many mosques in and around Ji’Irrana, Saudi Arabia but there are two in particular; one called al-Masjid al-Adna, meaning the “closer mosque” and the other called al-Masjid al-Aqsa, meaning the “farther mosque” and while later commentaries such as the al-Jallalayn maintain that “the furthest mosque” (al-masgid al-aqsa) is in Jerusalem, Dr. Kedar says that according to the Islamic source Kitab al-Maghazi, ibn Umar Wāqidī states that the al-Aqsa mosque mentioned in the Qu’uran is near Mecca on the Arabian peninsula   between Taaf and Mecca, and not on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Furthermore, Dr. Kedar provides an explanation as to how and when the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem came into prominence.

The first Islamic Empire, the Umayyad Empire (661-750 CE) was Sunni  and mercilessly persecuted the Shias.  In 651 CE, Abd allah ibn al-Zubayr was named Caliph (Islamic leader of the Islamic Empire) and inʿ682 CE he prevented the Sunni Umayyads who ruled Damascus from fulfilling the required annual Haj pilgrimage to Mecca. Since the Haj is one of the five basic Islamic commandments, Abd al-Malik, the Sunni Umayyad Caliph, needed an alternative site for the pilgrimage and settled on Jerusalem, which was then under his control. 

According to Dr. Kedar, in order to establish a basis for the “holiness” of Jerusalem in Islam, the Caliphs of the Ummayad dynasty invented many ‘traditions’ (known as fadha’il bayt al-Maqdis), upholding the value of Jerusalem, which would justify pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the faithful Muslims. Thus was al-Masjid al-Aqsa was “transported” to Jerusalem.

It is apparent when looking at the 1965 Jordanian tourist map, the  al-Aqsa Mosque on the southern end of Temple Mount is hardly mentioned and is certainly was not highlighted as an Islamic holy site. Further support that this was not historically considered an Islamic holy site can be found in an earlier post on this site, titled “Is the Temple Mount Really Islam’s Holiest Site?” Photographs of the Temple Mount taken in the late 1900’s by Felix Bonfils (1831-1885) clearly show the Temple Mount complex (where the al-Aqsa Mosque is) as having been very neglected under Ottoman (Muslim) rule.  

Both of these lend support to the Dr. Kedar’s assertion that the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is not the al-Aqsa Mosque of the Qu’uran.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University and served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena.

Final Thoughts…

It was only after the Six Day War in June 1967 that Arab claims to the Temple Mount began – after East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were in Jewish hands for the first time in 2000 years. Since that time, ‘Palestinian’ authorities have sought to (1) create an Arab connection to the Temple Mount which predates the Jewish one and  (2) incite violence with the goal of forcibly removing the Temple Mount from Israeli control.

If the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount is not the same al-Aqsa Mosque mentioned in the Qu’uran, then it is just another mosque like many throughout the Middle East and the Temple Mount is not Islam’s 3rd holiest site.

This 1956 map produced by Jordanians which shows labels the Temple Mount (by its Arabic name al-Haram al-Sharif) on Mount Moriah and indicates the “al Aqsa Mosque” simply as a building on the southern end of al-Haram al-Sharif – with no notable significance to Islam, seems to support the idea that the al-Aqsa Mosque only became of importance to the ‘Palestinians’ after 1967.

Furthermore, it would account for the tremendous disrepair [see earlier post] of the entire Temple Mount complex under the Ottoman Turks (who were Muslims) – as it was of no special significance to Islam.


UPDATE: Be sure to read our most recent article about how a historic Arab-Muslim document from the supreme authority in Jerusalem blatantly contradicts the Palestinian Authority’s claim that the Temple Mount was never a Jewish site: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/08/19/muslim-challenge-to-the-palestinian-authoritys-claims/

 

 

 

Taqiyya – the Deliberate Deception of Islam

Introduction

Taqiyya (also spelled taqiya, taqiyah or taqiyyah) is deliberate deception that is not only permitted in Islam, but encouraged in order to protect the Muslim community and is a form of defensive jihad*.  Sunnis are permitted to practice taqiyya in dealings with non-Muslims and with Muslims if  being  forced, coerced or threatened. Shias are permitted the practice taqiyya with Muslims, non-Muslims and “in all necessary matters”.  Muslims are encouraged to practice taqiyya when they form a minority of the population (i.e. are outnumbered by non-believers); and are told that they ‘need to guard themselves‘, ‘taking a “security“. The word for “security” is taqiyya and includes pretending to be friendly to non-Muslims. 

*Note: Both defensive jihad and offensive jihad were covered in the previous article, “A Difference of Interpretation – what separates moderates from Jihadis”. [see http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/06/14/ja-difference-of-interpretation-what-separates-moderates-from-jihadis/]

Origins of the Doctrine of Taqiyya

After the prophet Mohammed’s death in 632 AD (C.E.), Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, one of Mohammed’s closest friends was named Caliph (leader of the Islamic community). Some felt that title of Caliph belonged to Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad’s cousin (and adopted son), who was husband of his daughter, Fatima. Supporters of Abu Bakr became the Sunnis and those that supported Ibn Abi became the Shias (Shiites)Abu Bakr was the first Caliph and after his death and the death of his predecessor, Ibn Abi finally did became Caliph, but was murdered in 661 AD. Conflict between the two groups continues until this day.

Since Shia Islam was a minority sect to Sunni Islam, the practice of taqiyya enabled Shias to protect themselves from Sunnis and was not only permitted by the Twelve Imams of Shia Islam but elevated to the level of faith and prayer;

“He who has no taqiyya has no faith”

“he who forsakes taqiyya is like him who forsakes prayer”

taqiyya is the believers shield, but for taqiyya, God would not have been worshipped”

Medoff,L.,"TAQIYA i. In Shiʿism,"  Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2015, available at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/taqiya-i-shiism

Taqiyya – always permissable with Non-Muslims

Sunnis

Sunni scholars permit the practice of taqiyya in dealings with nonMuslims and when under compulsion and compulsion is defined as protecting one’s belief during extreme circumstances (Arabic: idtirar إضطرار), such as being forced or coerced or threatened and is not limited to concealing one’s faith.

Iqbal, Javid; 'Umar, Muhammad Suhail (2000). The concept of state in Islam: a reassessment (Volume 13 of Iqbal Academy brochure series). Iqbal Academy Pakistan, original from the University of Michigan. p. 12.

SHIAS

Shia scholars permit the practice of taqiyya in interactions with Muslims, non-Muslims and in all necessary matters.

Medoff,L.,"TAQIYA i. In Shiʿism,"  Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2015, available at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/taqiya-i-shiism

When is Taqiyya Permitted?

Sunnis permit the practice of taqiyya in dealings with non-Muslims and with Muslims if being forced, coerced or threatened (under compulsion). Shias permit the practice with Muslims, non-Muslims and in all necessary matters. 

Most religions encourage their adherents to choose their friends from their own community but the Qur’an goes beyond encouragement and prohibits Muslims from being friends with unbelievers instead of believers. It it doesn’t stop there, however.

The Qur’an instructs Muslims that when they form a minority of the population (such as they do in the West) and are outnumbered by non-Muslims that they are to ‘guard themselves‘, ‘taking a “security  (the word for “security” is taqiyya) against non-Muslims, including pretending to be friendly to them.

“Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security. Allah biddeth you beware (only) of Himself. Unto Allah is the journeying.”

Qur’an – Surah 3:28

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, which is based on the Hadith (words and actions of Muhammad) explains Surah 3:28 as follows;

“Allah prohibited His believing servants from becoming supporters of the disbelievers, or to take them as comrades with whom they develop friendships, rather than the believers. Allah warned against such behavior when He said, “And whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way,” meaning, whoever commits this act that Allah has prohibited, then Allah will discard him. Similarly, Allah said, “O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies as friends, showing affection towards them” until, “And whosoever of you does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the straight path.” 60:1

Ibn Kathir 

Who is Defined as “the Enemies of Allah”?

The enemies of Allah are defined in many Surahs (verses) of the Qur’an, ain the Hadiths and in the Tafsirs (Islamic commentaries). In the Tafsirs pertaining to Surah 3:28 above, the “enemies of Allah” are defined as Jews and Christians;

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends, they are but friends of each other. And whoever befriends them, then surely, he is one of them” 5:51

Ibn Kathir 

When is Taqiyya Used?

Protection of the Muslim community is a major priority in both Shia and Sunni Islam and forms the basis for defensive jihad (practiced by both).  Moderate Muslims use non-violent means of defensive jihad to order to protect the Muslim community, including writing, speaking and through education and when necessary – through the practice of taqiyya. Defense of the Islamic community permits Muslims to deliberately lie to the non-Muslim community around them.

Muslims are instructed to act as if they are friends with non-Muslimsto show friendship outwardly, but never inwardly – to “smile in the face” and “curse in the heart”.

“Allah said next, (unless you indeed fear a danger from them) meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda’ said, “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.” Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, “The Tuqyah is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.”

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

from Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Parts 3,4, & 5 (Surat al-Baqarah, verse 253 to Surat an-Nisa, verse 147), pg 142

The same interpretation as that found in Tafsir Ibn Kathir (above) is found in Tafsir al-Jalalayn on Surah 3:28;

Let not the believers take the disbelievers as patrons, rather than, that is, instead of, the believers — for whoever does that, that is, [whoever] takes them as patrons, does not belong to, the religion of, God in anyway — unless you protect yourselves against them, as a safeguard (tuqātan, ‘as a safeguard’, is the verbal noun from taqiyyatan), that is to say, [unless] you fear something, in which case you may show patronage to them through words, but not in your hearts: this was before the hegemony of Islam and [the dispensation] applies to any individual residing in a land with no say in it. God warns you, He instills fear in you, of His Self, [warning] that He may be wrathful with you if you take them as patrons; and to God is the journey’s end, the return, and He will requite you.

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

from Tafsir al-Jalalayn -Volume 1, As-Suyuti Jalaludeen , Al-Mahall Jalaludeen, 2014 translation

The Tafsir explains the word for “safeguard” as the verbal noun from taqiyyatan – which is taqiyya (Arabic: تقیة ).

Tafir Ibn Abbas instructs Muslims not to take as hypocrites and disbelievers such as Jews as friends and to speak to them in a friendly way towards them while your hearts dislikes it;

“(Let not the believers take) the believers ought not to take [the hypocrites:] ‘Abdullah Ibn Ubayy and his companions and [disbelievers] the Jews (for their friends) so as to become mighty and honourable (in preference to believers) who are sincere. (Whoso doeth that) seeking might and honour [by taking the hypocrites and disbelievers as friends] (hath no connection with Allah) has no honour, mercy or protection from Allah (unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them) save yourselves from them, taking (as it were) security, saving yourselves from them by speaking in a friendly way towards them with, while your hearts dislikes this. (Allah bideth you beware (only) of Himself) regarding the shunning of unlawful killing, unlawful sex, unlawful property, consuming intoxicants, false testimony and associating partners with Allah. (Unto Allah is the journeying) the return after death.”

Tafir Ibn Abbas

Some final thoughts…

Moderate Muslims will often deny that taqiyya has any role in their religion today, and that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’. The very nature of taqiyya allows for the real possibility that such claims themselves maybe be deliberate deception. Knowing about this practice should cause us (and others) to consider the things we are told very carefully.  We should become in the habit of reflecting on questions such as: ‘what benefit would it be, or what protection would it offer the Islamic community if what we were being told was not true’

Understanding the difference between how Jihadis interpret their holy texts and how moderate Muslims do, is essential. Click here to read the second in this series of 3 articles: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/06/14/ja-difference-of-interpretation-what-separates-moderates-from-jihadis/

People say “most Muslims are peaceful”, so what if we assumed 99% of Muslims really are peaceful; how many is 1%?  The number is staggering! Click here to read the first of this series of 3 articles on this topic: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/06/13/assuming-99-of-muslims-are-peaceful-how-man-is-1-percent/

This post called “Putting the Pieces Together” does just that. If you don’t have time to read the other two articles right now, please read this one: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/06/16/putting-the-pieces-together/

UPDATE: Please read this follow-up article titled “Terrorism – what delineates radical Islamists from moderate Muslims” http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/07/15/terrorism-what-delineates-radical-islamists-from-moderate-muslims/

Content without references was adapted from David Wood, www.answeringmuslims.com

Hamas – Radical Islamist Roots in the Muslim Brotherhood

Introduction:

To understand the current situation in Israel one needs to understand the two main contrasting factions amongst the Arab Palestinians; the (1) secular nationalists and the (2) Islamist / Jihadists, such as Hamas.

1. The secular nationalist Palestinian groups in Israel include Fatah, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) and their founder Yasser Arafat and current chairman, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).

2. The Islamist Jihadi factions in Israel are fundamentally opposed to the very existence of Israel and seek its annihilation.  The main Islamists group in Israel is Hamas, which is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and which rules the Gaza Strip. Other groups in operation in the ‘West Bank’ include Islamic Jihad, and the al-asqa Martyrs Brigade.

In this article we trace the modern radical Islamist movement to its roots in a group known as The Muslim Brotherhood, as well elaborate on the ideology of this group. We then tie this into Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which rules in Gaza.

In a later article on the Palestinian’s claim to be descended from the Philistines, we begin to trace the secular nationalists / Pan-Arabists.


In Israel, as elsewhere in the world, each Islamist / Jihadi group has their own ‘flavour’ of radical Islam but what they have in common is roots in the parent group called the Muslim Brotherhood (founded in the 1920’s). To understand radical Islam in any of its manifestations worldwide, including Hamas in Israel, necessitates understanding the origins of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Sheikh Hassan al-Banna and is a revolutionary fundamentalist movement that exists to restore the caliphate (which had ceased to exist under the Ottoman Turks) and impose strict shariah (Islamist) law in Muslim lands . If a land is not Islamic, the goal of the Brotherhood is to conquer it and make it Islamic . The larger goal is to do so throughout the world — country by country. Their goal is nothing less than world domination of Islam by the restored caliphate.

The Muslim Brotherhood is without a doubt, the most important Islamic organization in the world.

The Muslim Brotherhood slogan is:

“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!”

[source: Lorenzo Vidino, “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Conquest of Europe,” Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2005]

What is the Caliphate?

The caliphate (Arabic: خِلافة khilāfa) is a form of Islamic government led by a caliph who is considered to be the political and religious successor to the prophet Muhammad and leader of the entire Muslim community. The caliphate administer everything according to the teachings of Mohammed under Sharia law.

Here is a quote by its founder, Hassan al-Banna:

“It is in the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.”

~Hassan al-Banna, Muslim Brotherhood founder

[source: The Muslim Brotherhood,” The Investigative Project on Terrorism, http://www.investigativeproject.org/profile/173]

Sharia Law

Sharia ( meaning “way” and “road”) developed early on in Islamic conquests of lands as a means to oversee their rule. It is important to understand that in Islam, there is no distinction between politics and religion. Courts in Islamic ruled lands were all conducted  according to Sharia dictates.

The Caliph, according to Sharia was obligated to wage war, or jihad, on his non-Muslim neighbors.

Al-Banna’s Egypt

The Egypt that al-Banna lived in, while Muslim in its roots, had for two hundred years become very westernized. Most Egyptians knew little more about Islam than the five pillars (faith, prayer, giving charity, fasting during Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime).

Al-Banna and his followers realized that at least at first their message needed to mobilize Muslims and as such involved  both activism and propaganda.   This combined role resulted in a complex, multi-layered organization attracting members from all walks of life — from the poor labourer to the most educated professional. The Muslim Brotherhood involved themselves in existing organizations; politicized them, Islamized them and finally mobilized them but no matter how humanitarian or social the group, Banna’s message and that of the Muslim Brotherhood’s, always used Islamic terms. Health-related issues, education and nationalism were all articulated through an Islamic framework. It was in this way that the Muslim Brotherhood very subtly Islamized the local worldview — starting initially in Egypt.

One of the early leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood, was none other than Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who in 1941 aligned himself with the Nazis during the war (see 2 previous posts on al-Husseini, as well as upcoming articles).  The Mufti became known as the Arab Fuhrer, leading ~ 30,000 Muslim Nazis during WWII, and was closely affiliated with infamous Nazi, Heinrich Himmler.  Al-Husseini’s experience in heading Arabic Nazi propaganda during WWII became very helpful to the Muslim Brotherhood.

It was Al-Banna’s ultimate goal to restore the caliphate and so major themes of his talks included reference to the loss of the caliphate, the weakness of the fragmented Islamic world, and the need to restore the caliphate and enforce Sharia law, as this was the Islamic “way,”.  In all of their activities, this was always portrayed as the basis to justice. In impassioned speeches directed at Muslims, al-Banna described the fate expected for heretics and the need for Muslims to return to their purest religious roots, to re-establish the caliphate and resume the great and final holy war, or jihad against the non-Muslim world.

Al-Banna is credited with restoring some traditional practices and terminology. For example, the word jihad which embodied the idea of aspiration, self-strengthening, or making an effort — a form of ‘striving’ to be a better Muslim had come to be thought of as an intellectual and personal pursuit, not necessarily a violent activity. Al-Banna, however insisted that ‘jihad is an instrument in order to battle against the enemy‘ and defined the enemy as non-Muslims who were occupying Muslim lands — such as the British in Egypt and the Jews in ‘Palestine’. Thus, al-Banna insisted that Muslims were duty-bound to help the Palestinians fight the Jews and prevent them from usurping Muslim territory.

Creation of the Islamic Martyr

Al-Banna claimed that if a Muslim were to die in the ‘holy cause’ of liberating Muslim land from occupiers (i.e. jihad) such as the Jews in Palestine, that it would be considered the death of a martyr (Arabic, ‘shaheed’) and they would be rewarded by going straight to Paradise.

Believing al-Banna, the people volunteered for the Muslim Brotherhood and were not afraid to die — in fact, were eager to martyr themselves for the cause of Islam and take the short cut from this tormenting life to Paradise.

The Marriage of Nazism and Radical Islam in Egypt

In the early 1950’s, a blend of Nazi ideology and Muslim-based hatred of Jews, inspired by the preaching of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and former Nazi and Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini (who died in 1974) began to grow in influence, most notably under a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sayyid Qutb. More on Qutb, below.

Qutb wrote Our Struggle Against the Jews, putting the blame for the root of all evil on the Jewish people. The Jews, Qutb maintained, were responsible for moral decay, materialism and democratic individualism and as such were the perpetual enemies of Islam. The essay was distributed in millions of copies throughout the Islamic world and forms a central part of Islamist Anti-Jewish ideology, today.

After completing some study in the US, Qutb returned to Egypt, joined the Muslim Brotherhood and became editor-in-chief of its weekly publication called al-ikhwan al-Muslimin and later headed its propaganda section. He soon rose to the highest levels of leadership in the Muslim Brotherhood, continuing to spread Islamic hatred of Jews to others.

Qutb – Father of the Islamist / Jihadi Movement

Sayyid Qutb is often viewed as the “father of modern Islamism” and the one who popularized “the jihadi movement“.

Qutb wrote prolifically and voluminously producing two Islamist classics still in wide circulation in Islamist / jihadi groups.
His large multi-volume work translated in English would be called “In the Shade of the Quran” and the second is a short book which translates as “Sign Posts” and captures the step by step or ‘stage’ approach of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While Qutb stressed the need for ‘stages’ on one hand, he argued strongly that the Islamic world was not Islamic enough and that ultimately only jihad could overthrow “jahiliyya” — which is the state of unbelief and ignorance used to describes the non-Muslim world. This same term is used for the period of ignorance prior to the revelations given to the prophet Mohammed.

Three basic themes emerge from Qutb’s writings which are very important to understand if one is to understand radical Islam / Jihadism.

Three Fundamentals of Islamism / Jihadism

[source: National Commission on Terror Attacks Against the United States; http://www.911commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch2.htm]

According to Qutb and adopted by Islamist / Jihadi groups are the following three fundamentals;

1.The world is beset with barbarism, licentiousness and unbelief (“jahiliyya”) and that humans can only choose only between Islam and jahiliyya.

2. More people, including Muslims, are attracted to jahiliyya and its material comforts than to ‘true’ Islam and as a result jahiliyya could triumph over Islam.

3. There is no middle ground in the struggle between jahilyya and true Islam and all Muslims must take up arms in this fight. Any Muslim who rejects these ideas is to be considered no different than any other nonbeliever and is worthy of destruction.

Goal of Islamist / Jihadi Groups

The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist / Jihadi groups are preparing the way for the coming of the Caliphate; which judging from history is much more problematic than any single Islamic state or terrorist organization.

History stands as evidence that all Islamic conquests of non-Muslim, lands occurred under caliphates, including the Umayyad, Abbasid and the Turkish Ottoman Empire.

Fundamental Ideology of Islamist / Jihadi Groups- problematic for Westerners
  1. There is no distinction between religion and politics; this is very difficult for people in the West who for centuries have separated religion from politics. The Muslim Brotherhood (and its offshoots, such as Hamas in Gaza) are both a political group and a religious group.

Historically and doctrinally, Islam is politics.

The idea of sharia law is the Islamic way of conducting one’s affairs and governs every aspect of the believer’s life (including the Islamic five categories: obligatory, recommended, permissible, not recommended,  forbidden).

2. Muslim authorities are either ‘legitimate’ or ‘illegitimate’ based on whether they enforce Sharia law on society or not.

The importance of this should not be overlooked as this has historically been what motivates various Islamist and jihadi group, including the Muslim Brotherhood to support or oppose ruling governments or regimes of even so-called Muslim nations.  If those ruling parties are not enforcing Sharia law in their society, they are deemed to be ‘illegitimate’.

3. The primary goal of all Islamist and jihadi groups the world over is the establishment of “Allah’s rule” on earth.

This has been the Muslim Brotherhood’s goal from it’s inception and is the goal of all Islamist and jihadi groups from al-Qaida, Boko Haram, Islamic Jihad, Hamas — you name it.

The Only Difference is Tactics

The primary difference between the more violent Islamists and jihadists with the more ‘moderate’ Muslim Brotherhood has only to do with tactics. That is not to say, the Muslim Brotherhood is not a terrorist organization.  The Muslim Brotherhood most definitely advocates violent jihad:

“The change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life

~Muhammed Badi, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide, September 2010 sermon.

As for their view of Israel;

“as far as the movement is concerned, Israel is a Zionist entity occupying holy Arab and Islamic lands…and we will get rid of it no matter how long it takes.

~Muhammed Mahdi Akef, 2005 & 2007, former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide

As evidence of there direct role, the Muslim Brotherhood claims responsibility for the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981 for making peace with Israel (which it calls the “Zionist entity“).

They also sent troops to support Hezbollah’s war against the Jews and in 2006 Brotherhood leader Mahdi Akef pledged 10,000 jihadi fighters to fight at the side of Hezbollah’s war against Israel.

During the second intifada, the Muslim Brotherhood sanctioned “martyrdom operations” against Israel saying;

“they do not have bombs, so they turn themselves into bombs. This is a necessity.”

~ Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Dec. 17, 2010, Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual leader

All Islamist and jihadi groups share the primary vision of the establishment, enforcement and spread of Sharia law the world over.

The only difference is how they go about it.

But…Most Muslims are Peaceful

We’ve heard people say that Islam is a ‘peaceful religion” and that it is only a handful of radicals that are Islamists / Jihadist.  As we elaborated on in a previous article, assuming that 90% of the world’s Muslims are peaceful (against armed Jihad), how may Muslims make up the remaining 10% (Jihadi / Islamists)?

Current estimates are that there are 1.57 billion Muslims worldwide of which 80 – 85% are Sunni.  Sunnis are divided into 3 streams; Political, Missionary and Jihadi.  Assuming that 90% of Sunnis are non-Jihadi leaves 10% of Sunnis as Jihadi, although many experts say that number is on the rise. If only 10% of Muslims are Jihadi and looking at only Sunnis (which represent 80 – 85% of Muslims), the number of Jihadis Sunnis totals 125,600,000 – 133,450,000 people…125.6 million – 133.5 million people.  Let’s round that number off to 130 million Muslims who believe and support armed Jihad.

To envision how many 130 million Jihadis are, it is 35 times the number of individuals in the entire US Armed Forces (including the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard) or 3 1/2 times bigger than the entire population of Canada! Remember, that is assuming 90% of the world’s Muslims are peaceful.

It is important to know that just because a Muslim says they are peaceful, does not make it so because intrinsic to Islam is the doctrine of lying to non-Muslims.  Yes, you read that right.  It is called ‘taqiya‘.

Taqiya – Mandate to Lie to non-Muslims

Many people do not realize that entrenched in Islam itself is the concept or ‘taqiyya‘ which is an Islamic legal term  under Sharia law which defines when a Muslim should lie.  

This need for a Muslim to lie comes from Sura 3:28 in the Quaran which says;

“Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully“.

The word for ‘guard‘ or ‘guarding‘ in this passage is defined in al-Bukhari (a hadith ) that ‘believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly” and “we smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them“.

The practice of taqiya falls under a section of Islamic law with regards to dealing with unbelievers.  For Sunnis (that represent 90% of all Muslims, a person who feels their faith may be jeopardized in any way they can lie to “conceal their faith” / what they believe.


Consider this: in the face of those that say 90% of Muslims say they are peaceful, 100% of those are permitted to lie to “conceal their faith”.


The Muslim Brotherhood in Israel

Hamas, is a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot, founded during the first Intifada in 1987.  Consistent with the tactics of the Muslim Brotherhood, it became popular with the Arab Palestinians initially because of its charitable activities in Gaza — and like its parent organization, used its charitable works to indoctrinate the Arab Palestinian Muslims by means of its propaganda.

Hamas took over leadership in Gaza after Fatah lost the parliamentary elections of 2006. Hamas fighters took control of the Gaza Strip and violently removed Fatah officials by throwing them off buildings and executing them in front of their wives and children, by means of a bullet to the head. The result was the de facto division of Gaza governed by Hamas and the ‘West Bank’ governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Hamas, like its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated to the establishment of the caliphate, which ultimately involves conquest of the entire Middle East (including Muslim countries that do not impose Sharia law) as well as the eradication of the state of Israel, replacing it with Muslim rule and Sharia law.  For Hamas, their role entails the elimination of the state of Israel.

Interestingly, according to many Muslim Brotherhood leaders, the very seat of the caliphate must be Jerusalem (which leads many evangelical Christians to postulate a link to end-time events and the rise of the anti-Christ).

To Islamists / Jihadists, the very idea of a Jewish state, no matter how small is considered a sacrilege and as a result, a so-called “two state solution” is not even an option.  So as far as Hamas is concerned, they do not want a two-state solution, they want the final solution.

Eradication of Israel is their primary goal.

Other Jihadi Groups operating in Israel

There are also other Jihadi groups operating in the ‘West Bank” area under the ignoring eye of the Palestinian Authority, including the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (‘resistance fighters’ of Fatah) and Islamic Jihad.


Islamists / Jihadi Groups and Islamic Doctrine

We’ve heard people assert that the teachings of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Jihadi / Islamist groups such as Hamas lie outside the doctrines of Islamic authoritative texts (Quran, Hadiths), so we would like to highlight just a few here.

1. The highest calling a Muslim can engage in is armed jihad:

According to the Hadith (authoritative Islamic book accompanying the Quran) “Muhammad once was asked: ‘What is the best deed for the Muslim next to believing in Allah and his messenger?’ His answer was: ‘To participate in jihad in Allah’s cause’” (al-Bukhari 1:25).

2. Martyrdom in jihad is considered the highest of goals

“So narrated Anas bin Malik, ‘The prophet said, “Nobody who dies and finds good from Allah …would wish to come back to this world even if he were given the whole world and whatever is in it except the martyr who, on seeing the superiority of martyrdom, would like to come back to the world and get killed again” (al-Bukhari 51:6).

3. Decapitating unbelievers is totally acceptable in jihad

“When you meet the unbelievers (in battle), strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives. Afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates” (Surah 47:4).

4. Terror is a necessary psychological weapon to intimidate and crush non-Muslims

Allah says, “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every one of their fingertips . . . Strike terror (into the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies” (Surah 8:12, 60).

5. Jihad continues until full world conquest

“Make war on them until idolatry does not exist any longer and Allah’s religion reigns universally” (Surah 8:39).

5. Martyrdom is what mujahidin look forward to

“(For) the believers …theirs (in return) is Paradise. They fight in his cause, so they kill (others) and are killed … (al-Bukhari 51:1). “So narrated Al-Mughira bin Shu’ba, ‘Our prophet told us about the message of Allah that “… whoever amongst us is killed will go to Paradise” (al-Bukhari 51:2).

[source: Avner Boskey, David’s Tent www.davidstent.org]