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?

 

Israel’s Right to Build in Judea & Samaria upheld by French Court?

INTRODUCTION: According to a blog article published on January 13 2017 that has been getting circulated widely on social media, the High Court of Versailles has ruled that Israel has the right to ensure order and public life in “the West Bank”, which includes building infrastructure such as the light rail system and dwellings. This article examines the court records and exactly what the French Court ruled.

Claims According to a Blog Writer

According to a blog article published on January 13 2017, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) denounced the deportation of the Palestinian population and the destruction of properties in order to build the light rail system, in violation of international regulations and filed a case in French court, relying on both the Geneva Convention and Hague Convention.

According to the article, the PLO claimed that;

“the State of Israel was illegally occupying Palestinian territory and was pursuing illegal Jewish colonization”.

According to this blog, the Palestinians claimed that ‘the construction of the light rail itself was illegal as it resulted in the destruction of Palestinian buildings and houses, the almost-complete destruction of Highway 60 which they asserted was vital for the Palestinian population as well as for transport of their goods’ and has resulted in many “illegal dispossessions”.

The article states that the PLO’s case rested on several clauses of the annexed Regulations to the October 18, 1907 Fourth Hague Convention and alleged that Israel violated the provisions relating to the ‘protection of cultural property’ provided for in Article 4 of the Hague Convention of May 14, 1954, Article 27 of the Hague Convention of 1907, Article 5 of the Hague Convention of 1907, and Article 53 of Additional Protocol No. 1 to the Geneva Convention of 1949.

It maintains that according to the High Court, Israel is entitled to ensure order and public life in the West Bank including building a light rail system,  infrastructure and dwellings in accordance with Article 43 of the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907 which states:

The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety.

Furthermore, the article states that the court ruled that the Palestinian Authority “misinterpreted the text” of the Hague and Geneva Conventions:

“The Palestinian Authority misread the documents, they do not apply to the occupation”

…and that the High Court of Versailles ruled that:

1. all the International Documents on which the PLO and the PA cases rested are acts signed between “States” i.e. Hague Convention of 1907 (Article 5, Article 27), Hague Convention of May 14, 1954 (Article 4), Geneva Convention (Article 53 of Additional Protocol No. 1).

…and the obligations or prohibitions contained in those International Documents are relevant only to “States” and since neither the PLO nor the Palestinian Authority are “States”, the Hague Convention of 1907, Hague Convention of 1954 and Geneva Convention (1949) do not apply.


2. the Hague Convention of 1907, Hague Convention of 1954 and Geneva Convention (1949) are binding only on those who signed them – namely the “contracting parties” and since neither the PLO nor the Palestinian Authority ever signed these texts, the Hague Convention of 1907 & 1954 and Geneva Convention of 1949 do not apply to them.

The French Case

The original lawsuit was brought against the French companies, Veolia Transport, Alstom and Alstom Transport that built Jerusalem’s light rail system and was filed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) claimed that since the trains crossed into East Jerusalem which Israel ‘captured in 1967′  and ‘annexed in 1980′, the French firms were complicit in Israeli violations of international law.

On April 15, 2009, the Tribunal de Grande Instance Court ruled that the the PLO’s petition was inadmissible on the grounds that it had not been submitted that the PLO was competent to act in the case, and the action brought by AFPS was a wrongful third-party action brought on grounds of an improper clause in the contract, but ruled that the AFPS was admissible in terms of its capacity and interest in bringing proceedings. In other words, the case was dismissed on technicality. The court rejected the petition to compel the presentation of additional exhibits, referred investigation of the matter to the presiding magistrate’s preliminary hearing and deferred its ruling on all other petitions, including the counter-claims against the PLO. The parties could re-file.

In Appeal, the Versailles Court of Appeal upheld the April 15, 2009 ruling on December 17, 2009 on the basis that the Nanterre Tribunal de Grande Instance was competent to rule in the dispute.

On March 10, 2010, AFPS lodged a petition before the Paris Administrative Tribunal, claiming liability on the part of the French State due to its support for the French firms taking part in the construction and operation of the Jerusalem tramway, and was dismissed October 28, 2011. They appealed to the Cour de Cassation, the matter was heard in a public hearing on September 12, 2012 before the 2nd and 7th sub-sections of the Council of State and in a ruling handed down on October 3, 2012, they rejected the appeal.

In a ruling handed down on May 30, 2011, the Nanterre Tribunal de Grande Instance, the Court declared the PLO’s intervention dated March 1, 2010 inadmissible and rejected the petitions and counter-claims, declaring there were no grounds for provisional execution, nor for the application of the provisions of Article 700 of the French Code of Civil Procedure and ordered AFPS and the PLO jointly to pay costs. That is, the French Court could not rule on the basis of the PLO’s case as the Hague Conventions and Geneva Conventions, the basis for its case, did not fall under French Law.

The Court ruled that;

  1. the legislation invoked in article 49 (6) and 53 of the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention, the Regulations of the 1907 Fourth Hague Convention, article 4 of the Hague Convention of 1954 and article 53 of Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, did not establish direct obligations on private-sector companiesIn other words, these International Documents had no bearing on the obligations of private-sector companies, such as those that built the light rail train system in Jerusalem.

  2. even if it were assumed that conclusion by Israel of the disputed concession contract constituted a breach of its international commitments in the light of said conventions, it had not been proven that this breach had deprived this contract of purpose, the latter being subject to Israeli law and not the French Civil Code (more specifically articles 6, 1131 and 1133). That is, even if were assumed that the contract broke International Law, the case would be subject to Israeli law, not French Civil law.

  3. Construction of the tramway had not been proven to constitute a breach of human rights or humanitarian law in the broadest sense of the term. This was good news in that the court did not find that the building of the light rail system constituted a breach of Palestinian human rights or “humanitarian law”.

The magistrates did not find AFPS responsible for any wrongdoing and dismissed calls for compensation payment.

The AFPS and the PLO formally appealed this ruling on July 7, 2011, asking the Court of Appeal to overturn the decision and declare that the basis of the PLO’s case (Hague Convention and Geneva Convention) was admissible in French Court.

A third Appeal was brought and was filed in the Versailles Court of Appeal by the Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) represented by Mr Mahmoud Abbas*, President of the Executive Committee, and represented by Mr Hael Al Fahoum, Head of the Palestinian Mission to France and of the PLO.

[*Mahmoud Abbas is head of the Palestinian Authority.]

Court of Appeal’s Ruling on Third Appeal – on March 22, 2013

The Court of Appeal in Versailles ruled that;

The evidence presented does not prove that the transport companies breached International Law;

“In the final analysis, the evidence heard does not prove that by taking part in construction of the tramway across the city of Jerusalem, the defending companies have breached international law“:

The transport companies that bid on the contract were not signatories to the concession contract and therefore cannot answer for it;

“The transport companies (Alstom, Alstom Transport and Veolia Transport) were not signatories to the concession contract signed on September 22, 2004 and cannot answer for its legitimacy in place of the State of Israel, which initiated and established this contract.”

The international humanitarian norms that the PLO and AFPS claimed were breached are not binding on the transport companies;

“The international humanitarian norms that it is claimed have been breached by the shareholder pact signed with CityPass by Alstom Transport and Veolia Transport, and the engineering, supply and construction contract signed with CityPass by Alstom Transport, are not binding on the companies on conventional or customary grounds, or in any capacity of international public order.”

The PLO nor the AFPS have not proven that the transport companies breached international law;

“It has not been proven that the companies have breached international law in the light of their commitments arising from their agreement to the Global Compact (2000) and the contents of their codes of ethics.”

The Appeal Court of Versailles rule that “there are no grounds to rule on the other aspects of liability”; the ruling of the initial magistrates who dismissed the petitions established against these companies is therefore upheld.

The case was dismissed and both the AFPS and the PLO were required to bear both the costs of the appeal and to pay the costs of the original case. 

On 22 March 2013, judges Maître Emmanuel Jullien, Maître Fabrice Hongre-Boyeldieu, Maître Anne-Laure Dumea of the Court of Appeal, threw out the case and according to a 2013 Times of Israel article, ordered the two Palestinian groups to pay a total of 90,000 Euros to the French firms.

A Difference in Facts or Interpretation?

The Versailles Court of Appeal judge’s decisions centered around whether the transport companies were signatories on the concession contract to build the light rail system in Jerusalem and not on whether the PLO or the Palestinian Authority (PA) were “States” or “contracting parties” on the Hague Conventions (1907 and 1954) or the Geneva Convention (1949).

As well, a reading of the Versailles Court of Appeal transcript does not indicate that the court made any ruling with respect to whether Israel has the right to ensure order and public life in the West Bank including building a light rail system and other infrastructure and dwellings in the occupied territories of the West Bank.

The blog writer concludes that this case is the first in which a non-Israeli court has ruled on Israel’s right under the Hague and Geneva Conventions to build infrastructure and dwellings in East Jerusalem and “the West Bank”.

A review of the court transcripts does not indicate that any such ruling took place.

Final thoughts…

Checking facts and tracing references back to their original source is the only way to remain credible in writing articles or in sharing posts on social media.

If is sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

It is each person’s responsibility to find out.

 


Sources

Times of Israel, Raphael Ahren, April 29, 2013, http://www.timesofisrael.com/french-ruling-on-jerusalems-light-rail-adds-nothing-new-scholars-say/

Blog of January 13 2017 http://www.dreuz.info/2017/01/13/israel-is-the-legal-occupant-of-the-west-bank-says-the-court-of-appeal-of-versailles-france/

The transcript of the Court Documents (Versailles Court of Appeals, ruling in English): http://www.intjewishlawyers.org/main/files/Versailles%20Court%20of%20Appeals%20ruling%20doc%20English%20.pdf

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.

Security Forces Ready to Evict Amona Residents – pending vote on new proposal

According to an Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) report by Eliran Aharon, made on Sunday morning (December 18 2016, 06:43, Israel time), the residents of Amona have been offered a “new proposal”, following an overnight meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), who met with a representative for the residents of Amona, Yossi Dagan (head of Samaria Regional Council).

This “new offer” looks very much like the “old offer”  except 24 families, instead of 12 families will be crammed into trailers (what Israelis call “caravans”) on a piece of land with an area of six dunams (6,000 sq. meters / 7176 sq. yards). This small piece of land, called “Lot 38” is circled in red, on the map below.

For information on the previous proposal and why Amona residents rejected it, please see: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/15/ultimatum-in-amona-update-dec-15-2016/

To understand how the Struggle for Amona is a struggle for National Sovereignty, please see: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/13/struggle-amona-struggle-national-sovereignty/

In addition, the state will ask the Supreme Court to postpone the eviction by 30 days to allow for the above preparation.

ultimatum-map2-amona

The remaining 18 families will be relocated one kilometer to the west, to the town of Ofra to wait for the Israeli government to build portable buildings on lots adjacent to Amona (in the area circled in blue), at which time the residents will be provided with permits to live on that land for only two years.  During those two years, the Israeli government intends to petition the courts to remove the absentee Arab owners’ names from the plots of land.

It was on the basis of only 4 plots of land (out of the ~ 30 plots on which Amona is built) that the High Court of Israel’s ruled that the entire community of Amona must be relocated or destroyed — even though the Arabs that hold “deeds” to these plots have not been present and have not paid taxes on it for decades.

Furthermore, the land in question was gifted to local area Arabs by the King of Jordan during a period in history in which Jordan illegally occupied and annexed Judea and Samaria from Israel (1948-1967) [see previous posts].

The residents of Amona originally had to decide whether they will accept the “new offer” by 8:00 AM Sunday morning which has been pushed 12:00 PM, in order to allow time for the Israeli government to request the Israeli Supreme Court delay the demolition (Israel National News, Arutz Sheva, Eliran Aharon, Amona, 18/12/16 10:41)

This “new” proposal, like the previous one rejected by the Amona residents was made without any guarantees on the part of the Israeli government. If the residents of Amona reject it, they will face immediate eviction.

15622339_10154264219483403_4851526594833845071_nSaturday night Israel time, it was reported on the Amona English feed on Twitter that security forces were preparing for the eviction of Amona residents and were closing nearby roads.

 

 

The following was reported to have been written by Naftali Bennett, following the meeting on Sunday morning and was posted on Facebook shortly afterward (account of Joshua Wander, Public Relations and Security Officer at the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeitim (ICPHH):

בשורות טובות.
כרגע סיימנו מרתון מומ עם רהמ ונציגי עמונה.
המטרה היתה להפוך כל אבן על מנת למנוע פינוי בכפייה של רכס עמונה.

הגענו למתווה מסוכם, שעכשיו יובא להצבעה אצל התושבים.
עיקרי השינוי מקודם:
1. הכפלת מספר המשפחות ל24 על חלקה 38. במקום 12
2. יותר מרכיבי מחויבות של המדינה למימוש ההסכם (מינוי פרויקטור מיוחד, לוזים, התחייבות ראש ממשלה ועוד)

כעת, המתווה יובא בשעה 8:00 להצבעה באסיפת תושבים.
אם יאשרו, נעלה מיד קראוונים לחלקה 38 ונבקש דחייה של 30 יום.
כמו בפעם שעברה אשמח שתפעילו השפעתכם על מנת לשכנעם להצביע בעד.

זהו, הולך לישון עכשיו☺ נפתלי בנט

[translation by Google Translate]

“Good morning, friends.
Good news.
Just finished a marathon meeting with Amona representatives.
Target was to prevent the forced evacuation of Amona ridge.

Reached a proposal, now will be voted on by the residents:
1. Multiplied several families to 24 on plot 38. Instead of 12
2. More elements of the state towards commitment agreement

8:00 vote for gathering residents.
If you approve, immediately trailers for lot 38, and will ask for a 30-day delay in eviction.
I’d love to persuade them to vote “for”.
That’s it, going to sleep now ☺. Naftali Bennett”

Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) reported (Uzi Baruch, 15/12/16 00:40) that residents rejected the previous offer because:

“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…to reject the proposed layout.”

Given that the state has offered no guarantees and the same uncertainly that resulted in the residents of Amona rejecting the previous proposal remains, why would one expect the vote on Sunday morning to be any different?

The only thing that has changed is that with this “new proposal” is that 24 families would be living in trailers on Lot 38, instead of 12.

Who could blame the residents of Amona for rejecting a “new” offer that addresses none of their reasons for rejecting the previous one?

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Amona (photo credits: Miriamm Alster / Flash 90) – Israel National News

 

 

 

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.

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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:

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Inside of a home in Amona

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

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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:

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

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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.

Struggle for Amona – the struggle for national sovereignty

Amona is an Israeli outpost village founded in 1997 in central Samaria (Benyamin region). Amona lies on a steep ridge, 70 meters above the closest neighboring village of Ofra, which is one kilometer to the west. Benyamin Region (where the Tribe of Benjamin originate from) is a mountainous area, 850–900 meters above sea level and has relatively dry and mild summers and cold winters — even seeing snow for several days each year.

Amona has a current population of 42 families, with a total of several hundred residents — most of whom farm the land.

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

Some in Amona  raise sheep and lamb…

 

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baby lamb under heat lamp (photo by Brian John Thomas)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Amona Vineyard (photo by Joshua Wander)

…while others farm for fruit, including grapes and olives.

Amona is known for producing award-winning wine.

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Award winning wine (photo by Joshua Wander)

In August 2016, the High Court of Israel ruled that the houses and vineyards of Amona had been mistakenly built on ‘private land’ and the ruling has slated Amona for evacuation by December 24 2016 – a little more than a week and a half away followed by bulldozing of the entire community — ending the livelihoods of the 42 families and their employees that live in Amona.

To understand the struggle for Amona requires understanding of the modern history of Judea and Samaria and whether it is even possible that Amona is built on ‘private Arab land’ 

We’ll touch on that history here.

Please see Judea and Samaria - the West Bank of the Jordan, our next article for more detail. http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/13/judea-samaria-west-bank-jordan/

The land on which Amona is built was gifted by King Hussein of Jordan to a close associate of his during the period in which Jordan illegally occupied Judea and Samaria (1948-1967). That period began on May 15, 1948, when the surrounding Arab nations of Jordan, Syria and Egypt attacked the one-day old State of Israel in an attempt to destroy it — beginning the 10-month-long War of Independence. 

At the end of that war (March 1949), Egypt occupied Gaza and Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria as well as East Jerusalem — having seized them from Israel, by military force. On April 24, 1950, Jordan annexed  both East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria which was considered illegal by most of the international community, including all of the Arab states.  At no point from 1948 until 1967 was Judea and Samaria ever considered by the international community as being “Jordan”.  This area on the west bank of the Jordan River was referred to as “the west bank” so as to distinguish it from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which lay on “the east bank” of the Jordan River.

In 1923, when Britain created Jordan (then called Transjordan) giving 75% of the land that had been set aside by the Balfour Declaration for a “national Jewish homeland” to this first Arab-Palestinian state — it left only 25% of the land on the “west bank of the Jordan” for the Jewish state. That is, the tiny remaining piece of land included Judea and Samaria something Jordan knew since 1923.

In 1948, when Jordan illegally seized Judea and Samaria, it had known for the previous 25 years (1923-1948), that it belonged to the future Jewish state and it knew that Judea and Samaria belonged to Israel when the State of Israel was created on May 14, 1948.

It was only after the Six-Day War in 1967, when Israel reclaimed its own land that had been illegally annexed by Jordan from Israel, that Judea and Samaria (“West Bank”) and East Jerusalem became “disputed territory” to the international community — and Israel came to be called “occupiers” and “settlers” of their own land.

Judea and Samaria has been part of Israel since biblical times and even in modern history, it was included in the land earmarked for the Jewish national homeland since the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Even after the first Arab-Palestinian state of TransJordan was created in 1923, Judea and Samaria was included in the remaining 25% of the the land that was for the establishment of the Jewish state.

partition-plan-jewish-virtual-libraryThat said, the Jewish people were willing as part of the 1947 Partition Plan to retain the small region of Galilee in the north and the large Negev desert area in the south, with the remainder going to a second Palestinian Arab-state — something the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected.

The Arabs refused the 4,500 square miles that was offered to them, including Judea and Samaria and Gaza because the 5,500 square miles that would remain for the Jewish state was considered “too much”.

Even as recently as the year 2000, when Israel proposed trading land for peace by agreeing to give the Arabs of the region a sovereign state in more than 95% Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza —the Palestinian leadership responded by sending waves of suicide terrorists into Israel.  

Any amount of Israel remaining in Jewish hands is still “too much”.

The international community believes that Israeli towns and villages in Judea and Samaria  fall under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 — which outlines the obligations of an “occupying power” in times of war. Israel maintains that the Geneva Convention cannot possibly be applied to Israel with respect to Judea and Samaria, as it can’t be an occupying powerin its own land — land reclaimed from illegal annexation during the Six-Day War which Egypt, Syria and Jordan, started.

Struggle for Amona – Struggle for National Sovereignty

amona5

For the last 19 years, whoever has held “deed” to this land has been absent —expressing no interest in the land whatsoever, while these Jewish families have tilled it and caused it to become productive.

The struggle for Amona is a struggle for the rights of these 42 Jewish families who have built their lives and earn their livelihood (and the livelihoods of those they employee) from their labour.

The struggle for Amona is also the struggle for national sovereignty of Israel over her own land.

That land in Judea and Samaria was gifted by the King of Jordan to colleagues during the period that Jordan illegally occupied it, does not make the land the possession of those to whom he gave it. It was not the King of Jordan’s to give!

In almost any civilized nation, the recipient of stolen property does not become the “owner” of it — it remains the possession of its rightful owner.

Likewise, if stolen property is later sold, those who purchase it do not become the “owner of it” — it continues to remain the possession of its rightful owner. A person or people who buy stolen property anticipate that when it is returned to its rightful owner, that they will lose the money they paid for it, as well as lose the property itself.

The Jordanian king having given parcels of land in Judea and Samaria to Arab Hashemites colleagues that his Kingdom had illegally occupied and annexed from Israel does not make that land the possession of (1) these families (2) their descendants nor (3) anyone that may have subsequently purchased it from them.

While local Arabs may hold a “deed” to this, is about as significant as a having a “receipt” for purchase of a stolen car.

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ruins of Amona (photo by Joshua Wander)

It expected that when stolen property is returned to its rightful owner, that the purchaser lose the money paid for it, as well as lose the property itself. While Israel owes them nothing, how would it be anything other generous for the Israeli government to pay fair market value to those hold “deed” to a land they have been absent from for almost 20 years, and on which the Jewish residents of Amona live?

 

UPDATE: Please see Ultimatum in Amona – rejected by residents! http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/15/ultimatum-in-amona-update-dec-15-2016/

 

 


Here is a short video created by Joshua Wander on Amona:

The Middle-East Situation (Illustrated)

INTRODUCTION: The situation in the Middle East is said to be one of the most complex problems in the world, but it’s very simple. This post was compiled from a transcript of Dennis Prager’s video “The Middle East Problem” with photos captured from that video. Prager explains how and when the modern state of Israel was founded and how, since that day in 1948, its neighbors have tried to destroy it, again and again.


“When I did my graduate studies at the Middle East Institute at Columbia University’s School of International Affairs, I took many courses on the question of the Middle East conflict. Semester after semester, we studied the Middle East conflict as if it was the most complex conflict in the world — when in fact, it is probably the easiest conflict in the world to explain. It may be the hardest to solve, but it is the easiest to explain. In a nutshell, it’s this: one side wants the other side dead. “

— Dennis Prager

Israel wants to exist as a Jewish state and to live in peace. Israel also recognizes the right of Palestinians to have their own state and to live in peace. The problem, however, is that most Palestinians and many other Muslims and Arabs, do not recognize the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist.

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This has been true since 1947, when the United Nations voted to divide the land under the British Mandate for Palestine — into a Jewish state and an Arab state.

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The Jews accepted the United Nations partition but no Arab nor any other Muslim country accepted it.

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When British rule ended on May 15, 1948, the armies of all the neighboring Arab states —Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Trans-Jordan and Egypt — attacked the one-day old state of Israel in order to destroy it.

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But, to the world’s surprise, the little Jewish state survived.

Then it happened again. In 1967, the dictator of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser announced his plan, in his words, “to destroy Israel.”

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He placed Egyptian troops on Israel’s border…

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… and armies of surrounding Arab countries were also mobilized to attack.

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However, Israel preemptively attacked Egypt and Syria.

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Israel did not attack Jordan, and begged Jordan’s king not to join the war.

But he did.

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And only because of that did Israel take control of Jordanian land, specifically the “West Bank” of the Jordan River.

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Shortly after the war, the Arab states went to Khartoum, Sudan and announced their famous three “No’s”:

No recognition, no peace, and no negotiations”

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What was Israel supposed to do?

Well, one thing Israel did, a little more than a decade later, in 1978, was to give the entire Sinai Peninsula — an area of land bigger than Israel itself…

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and with oil — back to Egypt…

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… because Egypt, under new leadership, signed a peace agreement with Israel.

So, Israel gave land for the promise of peace with Egypt…

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…and it has always been willing to do the same thing with the Palestinians.

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All the Palestinians have ever had to do is:

(1) recognize Israel as a Jewish state

and

(2) promise to live in peace with it.

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But when Israel has proposed trading land for peace — as it did in 2000 when it agreed to give the Palestinians a sovereign state in more than 95% of the “West Bank” and all of Gaza —the Palestinian leadership responded by sending waves of suicide terrorists into Israel. 

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Meanwhile, Palestinian radio, television and school curricula remain filled with glorification of terrorists

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… the demonization of Jews

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… and the daily repeated message that Israel should cease to exist.

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So it’s not hard to explain the Middle-East dispute:

One side wants the other dead.

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The motto of Hamas, the Palestinian rulers of Gaza, is:

“We love death as much as the Jews love life.”

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There are 22 Arab states in the world — stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean…

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There is 1 “Jewish State” in the world.

It’s about the size of New Jersey; in fact, tiny El Salvador is larger than Israel.

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Finally, think about these two questions:

“If, tomorrow, Israel laid down its arms and announced, “We will fight no more,” what would happen? And if the Arab countries around Israel laid down their arms and announced “We will fight no more,” what would happen?”

 

(1) In the first case, there would be an immediate destruction of the state of Israel and the mass murder of its Jewish population.

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(2) In the second case, there would be peace the next day.

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“As I said at the outset, it is a simple problem to describe: one side wants the other dead — and if it didn’t, there would be peace.”

— Dennis Prager

 

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“Please remember this; there has never been a state in the geographic area known as Palestine that was not Jewish.”

 

(1) Israel is the third Jewish state to exist in that area

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(2) There was NEVER an Arab state

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(3) There was NEVER a Palestinian state

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(4) there was NEVER a Muslim state

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(5) There was NEVER any other state…

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That’s the issue. 

 

Why can’t the one Jewish state the size of El Salvador be allowed to exist?

 

“That is the Middle-East problem.”

– Dennis Prager, April 28, 2014

 

 

 


Sponsorship of the video from the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation.

The Map of Israel’s Fires

no-active-fires-27-11-2006-israel-national-news

UPDATE (November 27 2016, 10:44 PM, Israel time):

According to a report in the Israeli National News, Arutz Sheva, firefighters have extinguished the blazes that have ravaged Israel over the past five days – causing close to 100,000 Israelis to flee their homes.

Approximately 700 homes were damaged or destroyed as the flames were fed by high winds.

“There are no active sites left. Since last night (Saturday) it’s pretty calm. We have no new activity.”

– Yoram Levy, fire and rescue service spokesman

Levy said firefighters dealt with about 2,000 fires across Israel, 20 of them major. He noted forces were still “on high alert” because of dry conditions and high winds not expected to change before rain expected on Wednesday.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday that 17 of 110 fires in Judea and Samaria were so far determined to have been arson and Israeli authorities suspect some of the worst blazes were set deliberately Arab arsonists looking to kill civilians.


capture_2016-11-27-12-24-422A video has surfaced reportedly showing Arabs in the Palestinian Authority holding torches and dancing to celebrate the success of new arson terror attacks against Israel — most of which were started by terrorists.


November 24 2016

There are several maps being circulated on social media showing the locations of the current fires in Israel, however by clearly marking Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) and Gaza on such a map, it becomes abundantly clear where the fires are burning, and where they are not. Updating the map daily, with a different colour for each day is also quite revealing.

The map below was updated November 27 2:45 AM, Israel time.

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Updated November 27, 2016 2: 45 AM Israel time
To the west of Israel is Mediterranean Sea. 

The dark blue area in the east is Judea and Samaria (referred to in the press as the "West Bank", as it is on the west bank of the Jordan river).  

The green area in the south-west is the Gaza Strip.

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These are notwildfires” as much of the international media has been reporting.  Such terms infer they are a result of the dry weather.

Yes, they have been made worse by the dry weather, but these fires have been deliberately set, which makes them arson. Some have called it pyro-terrorism.

We’ve come to expect biased headlines like these…

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… but 3 days after it became clear these were not “wildfires” and that the vast majority of them were in Israel, the Guardian posts this:

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Seriously?

A closer look at the location of the fires in the so-called “occupied West Bank” (i.e. Judea and Samaria) are in what “Palestinians” consider Israeli “settlements”.

These are not random, and wildfires are random. These are not “wildfires”.

gas-canisters-with-detonators-israel-24_11_2016Incendiary devices made with gas canisters and detonators have been found in Israeli forests tied to trees, approximately 5-6 meters apart.

As you can see from the map above, Lachish Forest in the South and Segev Forest in the North are on fire – a result of arson.

“Arson fire caused by incendiary or sedition is terrorism for all intents and purposes.”

Benjamin Netanyahu

Significance of these Fires

These fires being deliberately set by those calling themselves “Palestinians” stands as irrefutable evidence that the Land is not, and never was theirs.

People don’t set fire to their homeland.

The “Palestinians” do not consider this land as their own.

They just don’t want Jews living on it.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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/

UN Demands Release of Worker Arrested for Aiding Hamas and Calls Beersheva by Arabic Name

The United Nation’s has demanded that Israel release Waheed Abd Allah Bossh, 38, an engineer in the UN’s Development Program, according to Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon. Bossh was arrested by the Shin Bet (security service) last month, suspected of funneling funds to Hamas — the terrorist organization in Gaza.

Waheed Abd Allah Bossh
Waheed Abd Allah Bossh

Most grievously, the official letter sent by the UN to the Israeli delegation earlier this week, referred to Beersheva (meaning “seven wells” in Hebrew) by its Arabic name Ber asaabeaa – completely overlooking the Jewish roots of this ancient city!  

This is not unlike the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) resolution from April which referred to the Temple Mount by its Arabic term al-Haram al-Sharif and also to the al-Aqsa Mosque on the al-Haram al-Sharif, rather than to the First and Second Jewish  Temples on the Temple Mount, over which the mosque was built. 

Beersheva (called Beersheba, in English) is where the Patriarch Abraham and his son, Isaac (also a Jewish Patriarch), dug seven wells after which the city is named. The most ancient remains of Beersheva are from the 12th and 11th centuries BCE.

In the 8th century Beersheva had become a regional capital and in present-day Israel, Beersheva is referred to as the ‘Capital of the Negev’; a reference to it being the largest city in the southern Negev (desert). With over 200,000 residents living on 45 square miles (117.5 sq km), Beersheva is the 8th largest city in Israel in terms of population and 2nd largest, in terms of size.

Beersheva

Worth noting, Beersheva is located well inside the sovereign borders of the state of Israel; borders that have been recognized by the United Nations itself, since 1948

It is striking that the UN’s anti-Israel bias now leads them to contradict their own declarations.

This article was based on articles published in The Times of Israel, August 25, 2016.

 

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/

 

 

 

Is Palestinian Terrorism Driven by Poverty or the Need to Defend the al-Aqsa Mosque?

We often hear that ‘Palestinians’ are driven to terrorism by poverty and deprivation or a necessity to defend Islamic holy sites such as the al-Aqsa mosque from Israelis.  Is this true?


Are Palestinian terrorists driven by poverty and deprivation?

The terrorist who murdered 13 1/2 year old Hallel Yaffa Ariel, stabbing her repeatedly in the back while she slept in her bed was not living in misery and deprivation. This is his family’s home located in Beni Naim, east of Hebron.

home of murderer of Hallel Ariel

No, Mohammed Tarayra didn’t murder 13 1/2 year old Hallel Yaffa Ariel because he was driven by poverty and desperation. He acted on what he had been taught by his leaders, encouraged by his parents and motivated by the media to do – to hate Jews.

In writing an article for the Gatestone Institute this past October, Bassam Tawil, an Arab scholar living in the Middle East had the opportunity to visit the homes of some of the Palestinian terrorists and had this to say;

“What I saw — what you or anyone could see during these visits — was that none of these Palestinians had suffered harsh lives. Their living conditions were anything but miserable. In fact, these murderers had been leading comfortable lives, with unlimited access to education and work.

Bassam Tawil noted;

Four of the terrorists came from Jerusalem and held Israeli ID cards that allowed them to travel freely inside Israel and own and drive vehicles with Israeli license plates. They were also entitled to the social welfare benefits and free healthcare granted to all Israeli citizens. They all lived in houses owned by their familiescarried smartphone and had unlimited access to the internet.


Tawil elaborated on a few of the terrorists;

Muhannad Halabi
Muhannad Halabi

He said that the father of Muhannad Halabi who murdered two Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem last October;

“is a businessman who deals in air-conditioning systems and has his own business in Ramallah. The family’s house, in the village of Surda on the northern outskirts of Ramallah, looks as if it came out of a movie filmed in San Diego.”

Muhannad Halabi’s relatives said that he was “a spoiled boy who had gotten everything he asked for“. He had been studying law at Al-Quds University near Jerusalem.


“The case of Shuruq Dweyat, an 18-year-old female student from the Tsur Baher village in Jerusalem is not really different from that of Muhannad Halabi.”

“She was studying history and geography at Bethlehem University, to which she travelled four times a week from her home.”

Shuruq Dweyat
Shuruq Dweyat

“Photos Shuruq posted on social media show a happy woman who never stopped smiling and posing for “selfies.” She has her own smartphone. Her family, like those of all the other terrorists, own their own house and lead an extremely comfortable life. The Israeli ID card Shuruq holds allows her to go to any place inside Israel at any time.”


 

Fadi Alloun
Fadi Alloun

“If you had met 19-year-old Fadi Alloun, you would have seen possibly the most handsome man in Jerusalem. Fadi, who came from Issawiyeh in Jerusalem, had also been enjoying a good life under Israel’s administration. He too had an Israeli ID card and was able to travel freely throughout the country. His family told me that he had loved going to shopping malls in Israel to buy clothes from chain stores such as Zara, Renuar, Castro. With his snazzy clothes and sunglasses, he looked like more like an Italian fashion model than your average terrorist. He, too, had unlimited access to the Internet and his family owned their own house.”


Of the others, Tawil says;

“The other young men and women who have carried out the current wave of terror attacks were also leading good lives; some had jobs inside Israel, in part thanks to their Israeli ID cards. Those who came from the West Bank were able to bypass checkpoints and the security barrier, just as thousands of other Palestinian laborers do, who cross into Israel every day in search of work and better lives.”

Still, their luxuries did not stop them from setting out to murder Jews.”

No, 17 year old Mohammed Tarayra did not murder Hallel-Yaffa because of poverty and deprivation but because by killing a Jew, he would be labelled a “Shahid” — a martyr, for doing so.

In a video clip posted on Palestinian social media pages, the mother of Mohammed Tarayra, Hallel Ariel’s murderer said:

My son died as a martyr defending Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque. Praise be to God, he is united with the martyrs before him, and he is not better than them. God willing, all of them will follow this path, all the youth of Palestine.”

mother of Hallel's murderer

Murdering a 13 1/2 year old girl while she sleeps in her bed or mowing down a father of 10 in front of his wife and children (which occurred a day after Hallel’s murder) has nothing to do with Islamic holy sites, such as the al-Aqsa mosque.  It has to do with hatred of Jews – fed to children like Pablum.

Note: The Dome of the Rock is the gold domed structure located on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque, also called "the furthest mosque", is a different structure. The al-Aqsa Mosque* was completed in 705 CE, completely destroyed by an earthquake in 746 CE and rebuilt in 754 CE and is considered the 3rd holiest site in Islam because it is believed the Islamic prophet was transported there from Mecca in a night journey. It is however, not the "al-Asqa mosque" mentioned in the Qu'uran. 

*The "al-Aqsa Mosque" is mentioned only once in the Qu'uran (al-Israa, Chapter 17,verse 1) and Early Islamic sources state that it is one of two mosques located near Ji'irrana, a village located between Mecca and Taaf in the Arabian Peninsula (now Saudi Arabia).  One of the two mosques was called "al-Masjid al-Adna" - meaning the "closer mosque" and the other mosque was called " al-Masjid al-Aqsa" - or the "farther mosque." When the Qu'uran refers to the al Aqsa mosque while telling the story of the prophet night time journey from the "holy mosque" of Mecca to al Aqsa, it is the "farther mosque" in Ji'irrana that it is referring to.

[The real al Aqsa Mosque is not in Jerusalem http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/19315]

The al-Aqsa Libel

This lie that Israel is attempting to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque (sometimes referred to as “the al-Aqsa libel”) has been used to incite violence against Israelis since the days of Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization and included such false claims that Israel was behind a mosque fire there in 1969. Current renditions of this lie include that Israel is currently digging under the mosque in order to topple it, that Israel plans to demolish the al-Aqsa mosque and replace it with the 3rd Temple, and others. None of these are true.

Both Fatah and Hamas have generated and sustained religious hatred of Jews by continuing to spread the lie that Israel is attempting to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque. Since most ‘Palestinians’ identify themselves as practicing Muslims and the al-Aqsa mosque is Islam’s 3rd holiest site, this lie is highly inflammatory and is often combined with the call to “defend al-Aqsa” from the Jews.

It ought to be clearly understood that Jews cannot possibly “defile” the al-Aqsa mosque as they are not allowed in it, or even near it.  In fact, many Orthodox Jews will avoid the Temple Mount complex entirely, lest they accidentally set foot over where the Holy of Holies once stood.  Jews do not enter either the Dome of the Rock or al-Aqsa mosque and are forbidden by the Jordanian Wafq who control the Temple Mount from praying anywhere on the Temple Mount complex. Jews are frequently arrested if they are seen moving their lips in what looks like it may be a prayer and men have been arrested while ‘swaying’, even when it’s to comfort a crying baby.  Nevertheless, the ‘Palestinian’ authorities continue to spread lies that Jews and Israeli “settlers” are defiling the al-Aqsa mosque.

Just before the start of Ramadan in June, the PLO Department for Jerusalem Affairs warned Israel against the consequences of “the continued invasion of the al-Aqsa mosque by ‘gangs of settlers’” and encouraged Palestinians to carry out “ribat” (religious conflict / war over land claimed to be Islamic) on the Temple Mount. This is incitement.

“The PLO Department of Jerusalem Affairs warned against the consequences of the continued invasion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza by gangs of settlers…The department called on citizens of all the homeland’s districts and everyone who can to visit the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque during the blessed month of Ramadan in order to pray there, to carry out Ribat in its plaza, and to stand against the settlers’ invasions.

Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 13, 2016

Days later, the same department said;

Israel is taking “daily steps… against the [Al-Aqsa] mosque, which will lead to the ignition of a religious war… by its allowing herds of extreme settlers to defile its pure plaza”.

Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 16, 2016

“the [PA] government called to visit Jerusalem, and for every one of our people who can, to come to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray and carry out Ribat there. Likewise, it called on the Arab and Islamic world to fulfill their responsibility and support the resolve of the [Arab] citizens of Jerusalem who are the defenders of Jerusalem and guardians of its honorable [al-Aqsa] Mosque.

Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 8, 2016

The truth is, there is no threat to the al-Aqsa mosque by Israel and even if there were such a threat (and there isn’t), murdering children in their bed or parents in front of their families has nothing to do with the al-Aqsa mosque or Jerusalem. It has to do with hatred of Jews fueled by the lies that they have been told.

In his article written for the Gatestone Institute, Bassam Tawil wrote;

“For the terrorists, all Jews are “settlers” and Israel is one big settlement. This is not an intifada — it is just another killing-spree aimed at terrorizing the Jews and forcing them out of this part of the world. It already succeeded in the rest of the Middle East and is now being done there to the Christians as well.

What was his conclusion?

Our conflict with Israel is not about “occupation” or Jerusalem or holy sites or borders. Nor is it about poverty and poor living conditions or walls and fences and checkpoints.This conflict is really about Israel’s very existence in this part of the world. ”

“The terrorists and their supporters are not struggling against a checkpoint or a wall. They want to see Israel destroyed, Jews slaughtered, and the streets of Israel running with Jewish blood.”

This conflict is not about Islamic holy sites or Jerusalem, but about murdering Jews whenever possible.” ~Bassam Tawil

 

Quotes from Bassam Tawil are from his Gatestone Institute article "What Do Palestinian Terrorists Want?" http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6669/palestinian-terrorists