The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

On December 6, 2017, on the eve of President Donald Trump recognizing that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the New York Times decided to give its readers a primer on #FakeHistory.

The article entitled “The Current Conflict in Jerusalem Is Distinctly Modern,” gave a 100-year history that not only omitted important facts, it told a story that was an inversion of truth. Specifically:

  • The NYT led readers to believe that Jerusalem was an Arab city and that Jews recently began to immigrate there, when IN FACT, Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s
  • The NYT led readers to conclude that Jerusalem has never been important to Jews, and that it is just a recent phenomenon of right-wing Zionists, when IN FACT, Jerusalem has been central to Judaism for 3000 years for all Jews
  • The NYT will talk about the “corpus separatum” of the 1947 partition plan, but only refer to Jerusalem, when IN FACT, the Holy Basin referred to Greater Bethlehem and Greater Jerusalem, and Israel gave control of Bethlehem to the Palestinians 20 years ago

Below are some details highlighting the liberal rag’s distortions.

The Myth of Colonial Fingerprints

The lead-in to the article began to orient the reader about distinct 20th century aspects to the current conflict surrounding Jerusalem. It stated:

“the current one is a distinctly 20th century story, with roots in colonialism, nationalism and antisemitism.”

How was the story of Jerusalem remotely one of colonialism? Several international powers broke up the Ottoman Empire after its collapse; was Syria a French colonial enterprise? Read more in “Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies.

The article would go on to describe the nationalism of “religious settlers,” but never touch upon the deep antisemitism pervasive in Palestinian culture and actions.

Jewish Majority in Jerusalem for 150 Years

The article repeated long-standing #FakeNews by anti-Zionists that Jews were new-comers to Jerusalem, invading an Arab city:

“The three decades of British rule that followed Allenby’s march on Jerusalem saw an influx of Jewish settlers drawn by the Zionist vision of a Jewish homeland, while the local Arab population adjusted to the reality of the collapsed Ottoman Empire, which had ruled the city since 1517…. For Arabs, he said: ‘There was something of the shock at not being in the Ottoman Empire. There was a reordering of their society. The local Palestinian aristocracy, the big families of Jerusalem, emerged as leaders of the Palestinian national movement, which was suddenly being confronted by Jewish migration. Opposition to that migration fueled several deadly riots by Palestinians…‘”

This is an outrageous lie. The Times would have readers believe that there was an Arab majority in Jerusalem for 400 years. These “local Arabs” watched helplessly as the British allowed these foreigners to take over their city.

There were various demographic studies taken of Jerusalem for the past few centuries. They all agree that Jews have been a majority in the city since at least 1870, with the percentage growing well before the British took over in 1922.

Jerusalem population statistics from the JewishVirtualLibrary, which compiled statistics from a variety of places:

Year
Jews
Arabs/Muslims
Christians/Other
Total
1844
7,120
5,000
3,390
15,510
1876
12,000
7,560
5,470
25,030
1896
28,112
8,560
8,748
45,420
1922
33,971
13,411
4,699
52,081
1931
51,222
19,894
19,335
90,451
1948
100,000
40,000
25,000
165,000
1967
195,700
54,963
12,646
263,309
1987
340,000
121,000
14,000
475,000

From IsraelPalestinian.procon.org which also compiled data from various British censuses.

Year
Jews
Arabs/Muslims
Christians/Other
Total
1910
45,000
12,000
12,900
69,900
1922
34,000
13,500
14,600
62,500
1931
51,000
19,900
19,300
90,500
1946
99,300
33,700
31,400
164,400
1967
196,800
58,100
12,900
267,800
1972
261,100
74,400
11,800
347,300
1983
346,700
112,100
13,900
472,700
1995
486,600
171,700
13,900
672,2000

Jerusalem and Its Environs: Quarters, Neighborhoods, Villages, 1800-1948 by Ruth Kark, Michal Oren-Nordheim detailed the growth of Jews in Jerusalem after the Crimean War.

Year
Jews
Arabs/Muslims
Christians/Other
Total
1866
8,000
4,000
4,000
16,000
1887
28,000
7,560
7,070
42,630
1913
48,400
10,050
16,750
90,500
1931
51,222
19,894
19,335
90,503
1945
97,000
30,630
29,350
157,080

Regardless of the source of information, Jews were clearly the dominant religious group in Jerusalem for as much as 30 years before the first Zionist Congress, and 50 years before the Balfour Declaration. To state that the Jews were interlopers into an Arab city is patently false and a complete inversion of history and fact.

This is part of an ongoing false narrative that the New York Times gives its readers even regarding current events. For a despicable example, read “The New York Times will Keep on Telling You: Jews are not Native to Israel,” in which every Israeli – even those whose parents and grandparents were born in Israel – was described as a foreigner, while every Arab was described as a local.

The 1947 Partition Plan Included Bethlehem

The Times continued to go over history, touching upon the 1947 UN Partition Plan.

“After the war, in 1947, the United Nations approved a partition plan that provided for two states – one Jewish, one Arab – with Jerusalem governed by a ‘special international regime’ owing to its unique status. The Arabs rejected the partition plan,… Jerusalem was divided: The western half became part of the new state of Israel (and its capital under an Israeli law passed in 1950), while the eastern half, including the Old City, was occupied by Jordan.”

The Times will forever refuse to correctly state that the Holy Basin in the partition plan was much larger than just Jerusalem, and included Greater Bethlehem.


The “corpus separatum” of the 1947 UN Partition Plan

Israel handed control of Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority in December 1995 as part of launching the Oslo Accords with some tangible results. That concession of handing over half of the corpus separatum is never mentioned by the Times.

The Crimes of Jordan

The fact that Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank, the eastern half of Jerusalem and Bethlehem were not sanctioned by the international community is NEVER mentioned, while the world’s opinion about Israel’s taking of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem is ALWAYS mentioned.

The fact that Jordan evicted all of the Jews from the eastern half of Jerusalem and the West Bank is NEVER mentioned.

The fact that Jordan gave citizenship to all Arabs in the newly acquired territories but specifically excluded Jews is NEVER mentioned.

Because for the Times, the problem is the Jews.

The Lie that Israel Doesn’t Care about Jerusalem

Throughout the article, the Times sought to portray Israeli Jews as ambivalent about Jerusalem as a capital city:

  • It was the for the British that Jerusalem was so important – they are the ones who established Jerusalem as a capital… It was not anyone’s capital since the times of the First and Second Temple.”
  • “Paradoxically, Zionism recoiled from Jerusalem, particularly the Old City,.. first because Jerusalem was regarded as a symbol of the diaspora, and second because the holy sites to Christianity and Islam were seen as complications that would not enable the creation of a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
  • Jerusalem was something of a backwater, a regression to a conservative culture that they [early Zionists] were trying to move away from,”
  • “The early Israeli state was hesitant to focus too much on Jerusalem, given pressure from the United Nations and European powers,”
  • “Having accepted the idea of international control of Jerusalem, the early Israeli leadership sought alternatives for a capital, perhaps Herzliya or somewhere in the south,”

Get the message? Israel really was never focused on Jerusalem until the 1967 war, according the Times.

But how does that warped narrative fit into the following facts:

  • Jews moved to Jerusalem both before and after the British Mandate took effect in remarkable numbers, as detailed above
  • The Israeli national anthem, written in 1877, was focused completely on Jerusalem.
  • Israel made Jerusalem its capital shortly after the war of independence concluded, in 1950. It placed all of its governmental buildings there.

All of these facts about the early Zionists also doesn’t include the facts that Jews have always faced Jerusalem when they pray, regardless of where they are in the world. They pray for the return to Jerusalem and the reestablishment of the city to its former glory, several times a day.

How does the Times spew the absurd notion that Jerusalem is a novel idea to Israeli Jews?

Jerusalem is Important to All Jews, Not Jewish Extremists

The Times narrative continued that this once irrelevant city all of the sudden jumped into the minds of religious extremists after the Six Day War in 1967.

  • The turning points in 1967 were two: the great victory, including the fast shift from fears of defeat before the war to euphoria and the feeling that everything was possible, and the emotional impact of occupying the Old City…. Images of Israeli soldiers praying at the Western Wall… became seared into Israel’s national consciousness.”
  • “Jerusalem became the center of a cultlike devotion that had not really existed previously…. This has now been fetishized to an extraordinary degree as hard-line religious nationalism,”
  • “The victory of the right-leaning party Likud in 1977… helped solidify this new emphasis on Jerusalem as integral to Israel’s identity. Religious settlers became more prominent in political life in Israel,”
  • “As part of this shift, Jerusalem’s symbolic importance intensified,”

It is unquestionably true that many religious Jews flocked to Jerusalem. They have been doing so for thousands of years because it is the most holy city in Judaism. They are not “right-leaning” or “religious settlers.” They are people who came to live in their holiest city.

As further evidence of the long-standing importance of Jerusalem to the entire country – even the “secular European socialists” that the article highlighted – was Israel’s adoption of a particular menorah as its national emblem in 1949: the one that was pictured in the Arch of Titus in Rome. That menorah symbolized the ransacking and destruction of the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem 2000 years earlier. The deliberate selection of that menorah as the symbol of the Jewish State of Israel was to show that the Jews had returned from the diaspora, to its sacred land and holiest city, Jerusalem.

Today, the entire Jewish people continue to be engaged about Jerusalem. The current controversy surrounding creating a pluralistic place for prayer at the Western Wall is because of the strong interest of Reform and Conservative Jews for Jerusalem. The notion that the city is only important to “cultlike… religious settlers” is absurd.

Jews Belong in Eastern Jerusalem

The Times continued its horrific background by concluding that Jews have no rights to be in the eastern part of the city:

  • “Palestinians say that Jewish settlers have encroached on East Jerusalem,”
  • “‘The entire international community has been in accord that Israeli annexation and settlement of East Jerusalem since 1967 is illegal, and refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,'”

As the Times never explained to readers that all of the Jews were evicted by the Jordanians in 1949, it made their appearance in the eastern half of the city seem strange and foreign. It is not. Jews returned to parts of their holiest city where they lived for centuries.

The Times also did not give background to the international laws of 1920 (San Remo) and 1922 (Mandate of Palestine), which both clearly and explicitly stated that Jews could live throughout Palestine – including the Old City of Jerusalem – and that no person could be excluded from living anywhere in the land due to religious beliefs.

No matter. The paper chose to quote anti-Zionists. It is surprising that it did not state that Zionism is a form of Racism.

Oh, and for those keeping score that Israel limits Arabs in Jerusalem, look at the statistics above again. Under the British from 1922 to 1948, the number of Jews and Arabs BOTH went up by three times. From 1967 to 1995, the number of Arabs in Jerusalem under Israeli rule tripled again, while the number of Jews only went up by 2.5 times. How does the Times keep giving people the impression that Jews overran the Arabs during British rule (when both groups grew by the same percentage) and that Israel has been forcing out the Arabs from Jerusalem (even though the growth of Arab residents surpasses Jews!)


As the world waited for the United States to recognize the reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the New York Times fed its readers anti-Zionist red meat. It crafted an article that Jews never much cared for the Arab city of Jerusalem until 50 years ago, and that the only Jews who really care about it now are religious fanatics. The masters of #FakeNews are trying their best to instigate a jihad.


Related First.One.Through articles:

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

The Anger from the Zionist Center

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

The Arguments over Jerusalem

The Custodianship of a Child and Jerusalem

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Arabs in Jerusalem

Music video: The Anthem of Israel is Jerusalem

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Would You Rather Have Sovereignty or Control

The “Would you rather…” game has been played by young children, adults and seniors around the world. People in the game have a question poised between two seemingly comparable good or bad choices and must decide which is more appealing. The games can be funny or revealing about how people think. Examples include:

  • Would you rather be locked in a steam room for an hour or a walk-in refrigerator for 20 minutes?
  • Would you rather have to brush your teeth with peanut butter or wash your hair with prune juice?
  • Would you rather know the day you are going to die or the cause?
  • Would you rather give up your mobile phone for a day or drinking anything for two days?

The game can reveal something about an individual’s fears, preferences and priorities.

In February 2017, a group from the University of North Carolina, Florida State University and University of Queensland published a study in which they asked the study participants a series of “Would you rather…” questions to test how they valued their reputations. The study was entitled “Death Before Dishonor,” and produced interesting findings as to the lengths that people would go through (theoretically) to avoid being branded as a bad person. (A sample question was would you rather die immediately or live to 90 but be known as a pedophile?) The study concluded that people treated their reputations very seriously – to the point of death or dismemberment – or at least wanted the test-takers to believe that they were not terrible people.

Professional negotiators dabble with such “would you rather” tactics in particularly difficult negotiations, posing questions to the two parties which might reveal where they stand on seemingly intractable situations.

Consider the thorniest question in the long-running Arab-Israeli conflict: the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

How would the Israelis and Palestinian Authority each respond to the question: Would you rather have sovereignty over the Temple Mount/ Noble Sanctuary or have control over it?

One scenario would have the Temple Mount be under complete Israeli sovereignty, but the Palestinian Authority would have administrative control over the 35 acre compound. For example, the PA could decide to restrict access to the compound only to Muslims, but an Israeli flag would be flying over the Dome of the Rock.

The other scenario would have the Temple Mount be part of a new country of Palestine. However, Israel would administer the site, and could open the platform to daily Jewish prayer services.

Each party would need to decide the critical rationale as to why it wants the site. Is it about religion (which would argue to have administrative control), or about national pride (which would argue for sovereignty).

If each party arrives at the same answer for the Temple Mount, an extra level of complexity would be added: the two sides would have to live with the opposite conclusion for the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. So if the Temple Mount became part of Palestine, and the Jews had complete administrative control over the site, the Cave of the Patriarchs would therefore be part of Israel, but under Palestinian administration.

The two parties might still come to the same conclusions so the impasse remains. But even though the situation is unresolved, there is better clarity as to the motivations of the parties, which could, in turn, bring additional strategies to resolve the situation.

Something to consider on the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Partition Plan.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Joint Prayer: The Cave of the Patriarchs and the Temple Mount

Dignity for Israel: Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount

The UN’s Disinterest in Jewish Rights at Jewish Holy Places

The US State Department’s Selective Preference of “Status Quos”

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Al Jazeera’s Lies Call for Jihad Against the Jewish State

Al Jazeera is a media company owned by the government of Qatar. It has been actively fanning the flames of hatred and violence in the Israel-Arab conflict, most notably, during the July 2017 tensions around the Jewish Temple Mount/ al Aqsa Mosque Compound.

The quotes below are from Al Jazeera’s website covering the background and story, followed by comments by First.One.Through. In summary, it is a tale of revisionist history in which Jews are European colonialist who have been stealing Palestinian Arab land for 100 years, and are now poised to continue their illegal activity by taking over Islam’s third holiest site. Unless the Arab world does something.


“The last couple of weeks have seen daily demonstrations and confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“Tensions have risen in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City after Israel shut down al-Aqsa Mosque compound for the first time since 1969, after a deadly gun battle between Palestinian citizens of Israel and Israeli forces.”

  • occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.Israel reunified the city of Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed the eastern half of the city in 1980. It does not consider there to be an “East Jerusalem” which was an artifact of war waged by Arab countries in 1948.
  • al-Aqsa Mosque compound.” No mention that the site is the holiest location for Jews, the Jewish Temple Mount.
  • deadly gun battleDescribing the event as a gun battle between “Palestinian citizens” on one hand and “Israeli forces” on the other is a complete mischaracterization. This was an unprovoked attack by Israeli Arabs on Israeli policemen.
  • Palestinian citizens of IsraelRoughly 20% of Israelis are Arab, and are called Israeli Arabs. They are not “Palestinian citizens of Israel,” which would imply dual citizenship with a country called Palestine and Israel.

“The attack, which took place on July 14, ended in the deaths of two Israeli police officers and three Palestinian attackers. Israel subsequently closed the site for Friday prayers and reopened it the next Sunday with new measures of control, including metal detectors and additional cameras, at the compound’s entrances.”

  • ended in the deaths of two Israeli police officers and three Palestinian attackersAgain, there is no mention that the Israeli Arabs launched the unprovoked attack, and that the attackers were not Palestinian but Israeli Arabs.
  • measures of controlThe Israeli forces installed security measures, not of control. The choice of language of “control” is an attempt to enflame the ire of Palestinian Arabs.

“Palestinians have been refusing to enter the compound until Israel removes the new measures, which are being seen as the latest move by Israel to impose control and Judaise the city. They have been praying outside the gates in protest for more than a week.”

  • impose control and Judaise the cityAdding to the mischaracterization and seeking to inflame the passions of Muslims, Al Jazeera continued that not only was Israel seeking to “impose control,” but it was seeking to eliminate the Islamic presence at the compound. Al Jazeera turned the episode into a religious war, in which the Jewish State was trying to insert a false history on a purely Islamic holy place. Al Jazeera was both being completely deceitful and actively engaged in promoting a violent jihad.

“During Friday prayers on July 21, thousands of Palestinians came out to pray in the streets outside of Lion’s Gate, one of the entrances to the Old City. Tensions raged after peaceful demonstrations were violently suppressed by Israeli forces, resulting in hundreds of injuries. Four Palestinians have so far been shot dead in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, one of whom was shot by an Israeli settler.”

  • peaceful demonstrations were violently suppressed by Israeli forces As Al Jazeera did earlier in the article, it mischaracterized the Arabs as peaceful citizens confronted by Israeli forces. As before, there was no mention of horrific violence perpetrated by Palestinian Arabs, such as the murder of three Israeli Jews who were quietly having dinner in the town of Halamish on July 21.

“The following is a breakdown of why the al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a constant point of contention in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

1. What is al-Aqsa Mosque compound and why is it important?

Al-Aqsa is the name of the silver-domed mosque inside a 35-acre compound referred to as al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, by Muslims, and as Temple Mount by Jews. The compound lies in the Old City of Jerusalem, which has been designated a World Heritage site by the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, and is important to the three Abrahamic religions.

  • important to the three Abrahamic religionsbut the holiest location only for one: Judaism. Muslims venerate the cities of Mecca and Medina more than the Noble Sanctuary.

“The site has been the most contested piece of territory in the Holy Land since Israel occupied East Jerusalem, including the Old City, in 1967, along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip. However, the conflict dates even further back, to before the creation of Israel.

In 1947, the UN drew up a partition plan to separate historic Palestine, then under British control, into two states: one for Jews, mainly from Europe, and one for Palestinians. The Jewish state was designated as 55 percent of the land, and the remaining 45 percent was for a Palestinian state.”

  • mainly from Europe is a dog whistle for people to consider Jews as interlopers and colonialists from Europe. It is a farce. Jewish history in Jerusalem predates the birth of Mohammed by thousands of years. Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s. And most of the Jews in the world lived in Russia and the Arab world in 1947.
  • Palestinians in 1947 meant both Jews and Arabs. Palestinians co-opted the word to only mean Arabs when they created the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1964, to make the Arabs appear as the indigenous population of the land.

Jerusalem, which houses al-Aqsa compound, belonged to the international community under the administration of the UN. It was granted this special status for its importance to the three Abrahamic religions.”

  • Jerusalem was not the only area that was suggested by the UN to be a “corpus separatum,” a distinct entity to be administered by the UN. It was GREATER JERUSALEM AND GREATER BETHLEHEM that was proposed to be the international Holy Basin. Al Jazeera deliberately omitted mentioning Bethlehem, as Israel has handed it to the Palestinian Authority and does not want to make the PA’s administration of that city a question.
  • belonged to the international communityNothing belonged to the international community. The 1947 partition plan was a proposal – and it was roundly rejected by the Arab world. Al Jazeera omits the Arab world’s rejection completely.

“The first Arab-Israeli war broke out in 1948 after Israel declared statehood, capturing some 78 percent of the land, with the remaining areas of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza coming under Egyptian and Jordanian control.”

  • war broke out.” The 1948 war did not “break out” on its own; five armies from surrounding Arab countries invaded Israel with a stated goal of destroying the fledgling country.
  • capturing some 78 percent of the land.” Israel did not capture 78% of the land; it ended up with 78% of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. This was a small fraction of the land that was ascribed in international law in 1920 to be the homeland of the Jews. The vast majority of the land was given away by Great Britain to the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.

“Israel’s increasing encroachment on the land intensified in 1967, after the second Arab-Israeli war, which resulted in the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, and eventually the illegal Israeli annexation of Jerusalem, including the Old City and al-Aqsa.”

  • increasing encroachment on the land…. Illegal Israeli annexation of Jerusalem This is a complete distortion in multiple levels. First, the entirety of the land was proposed to be made as a homeland for Jews according to international law. Second, the incremental land beyond the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan that Israel took in 1948 and 1967 were both as a result of DEFENSIVE WARS. Israel was invaded by five countries in 1948 and took incremental land that did not belong to any nation, and in 1967 it responded to an attack by the Jordanian army and took the land that the Jordanians themselves had illegally annexed.
  • In recounting the history of Jerusalem, Al Jazeera omits that Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank of the Jordan River including eastern Jerusalem, and evicted all of the Jews.

“The illegal Israeli control of East Jerusalem, including the Old City, violates several principles of international law, which outlines that an occupying power does not have sovereignty in the territory it occupies.”

  • violates several principles of international law. As described above, Israel took land that had been allocated to it by international law, in a defensive battle. This does not run afoul of international law. However, the Jordanian action of expelling all Jews from the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem in 1949 is contrary to the Geneva Convention.

“Over the years, the Israeli government has taken further steps towards controlling and Judaising the Old City and East Jerusalem as a whole. In 1980, Israel passed a law that declared Jerusalem the “complete and united” capital of Israel, in violation of international law. Today, no country in the world recognises Israel’s ownership of Jerusalem or its attempts to change the geography and demographic makeup of the city.”

  • controlling and Judaising the Old City and East Jerusalem.” As detailed above, Al Jazeera seeks to inflame the Muslim world against the Jewish state by using language like “controlling and Judaising the Old City and East Jerusalem.” It does this by ignoring the 3700 year history of Jews in Jerusalem and the unique relationship that only Jews have towards the city, such as being the only people that pray towards Jerusalem and make pilgrimages three times a year to the city. Further, Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s.
  • no country in the world recognises Israel’s ownership of Jerusalem.The Oslo II accords between the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority recognized Israel’s control of Jerusalem, as did the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan.

“Palestinians in Jerusalem, who number around 400,000, hold only permanent residency status, not citizenship, despite being born there – in contrast with Jews who are born in the city. And since 1967, Israel has embarked on a quiet deportation of the city’s Palestinians by imposing difficult conditions for them to maintain their residency status.”

  • hold only permanent residency status, not citizenshipPalestinians in Jerusalem are free to apply for Israeli citizenship and thousands have already done so.
  • Israel has embarked on a quiet deportation of the city’s Palestinians.” The growth in the number of Arabs in Jerusalem surpasses the number of Jews and surpasses the growth of Arabs in almost the entire region.

“Israel has also built at least 12 fortified Jewish-only illegal settlements in East Jerusalem, housing some 200,000 Israelis, while rejecting Palestinian building permits and demolishing their homes as punishment for building illegally.”

  • Israel… built… Jewish-only illegal settlements…, while demolishing [Palestinian] homes as punishment for building illegally.” Al Jazeera played cute – and inconsistently – with the term “illegal.” It contended that Israel builds for Jews illegally but demolishes Arab illegal homes. In truth, Israel demolishes both Jewish and Arab homes that are built illegally according to Israeli law. It is Israel that is in charge with approving permits in its territories. The Jewish “illegal settlements” that Al Jazeera referenced are not illegal under Israeli law, but considered so by some countries.
  • The real racist laws related to living in Jerusalem are from the Palestinian Authority, which demands a country free of any and all Jews. Not mentioned by Al Jazeera.

“2. The compound’s religious significance

For Muslims, the Noble Sanctuary hosts Islam’s third holiest site, the al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Dome of the Rock, a seventh-century structure believed to be where the Islamic Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.

Jews believe the compound is where the Biblical Jewish temples once stood, but Jewish law and the Israeli Rabbinate forbid Jews from entering the compound and praying there, as it is considered too holy to tread upon.”

  • Islam’s third holiest site It is worth noting that Al Jazeera knows how to count and the importance of ranking as it wrote that compound is Muslims THIRD holiest site. However, it deliberately did not mention that it is the HOLIEST SITE FOR JEWS! No accident.
  • Jewish law and the Israeli Rabbinate forbid Jews from entering the compound and praying there Jews prayed on the Temple Mount until they were kicked off by Suleiman I around the year 1560. Almost all rabbis believe that it is permissible to ascend the Temple Mount, but should avoid entering the Dome of the Rock which was built on top of the location of the Temples. Did Al Jazeera mention that every Jew in the world prays in the direction of the Temple Mount while all Muslims pray in the direction of Medina? No, that would undermine its argument that the site is uniquely the holiest spot for Jews.

“The compound’s Western Wall, known as the Wailing Wall to Jews, is believed to be the last remnant of the Second Temple, while Muslims refer to it as al-Buraq Wall and believe it is where the Prophet Muhammad tied the Buraq, an animal upon which he ascended to the sky and spoke to God.”

  • believed to be the last remnant of the Second Temple The Western Wall is simply the retaining wall for the Temple Mount built by King Herod 2,000 years ago. It is NOT part of the Second Temple itself.

3. The site’s status quo

Since 1967,Jordan and Israel agreed that the Waqf, or the Islamic trust, would have control over matters inside the compound, while Israel would control external security. Non-Muslims would be allowed onto the site during visiting hours, but would not be allowed to pray there.

  • Waqf… would have control… inside, while Israel would control external security The agreement was that the Waqf would handle non-security matters while Israel would handle all security matters – inside and outside of the compound.

“But rising Temple movements, such as the Temple Mount Faithful and the Temple Institute, have challenged the Israeli government’s ban on allowing Jews to enter the compound, and they aim to rebuild the Third Jewish Temple in the compound.”

  • aim to rebuild the Third Jewish TempleThe goals of most of the Temple Mount activists are the basic ability to pray at their holiest site, not to rebuild the Temple nor destroy any Muslim sites. Al Jazeera’s statement is deliberately provocative.

“Such groups are funded by members of the Israeli government, though it claims a desire to maintain the status quo at the site.”

  • funded by members of the Israeli government The groups are NOT funded by the government but by individuals.

“Today, Israeli forces routinely allow groups, some in the hundreds, of Jewish settlers who live in the occupied Palestinian territories to descend on the al-Aqsa compound under police and army protection, stirring Palestinian fears of an Israeli takeover of the compound.”

  • Jewish settlers who live in the occupied Palestinian territories There are basic visiting hours established for non-Muslims to visit the Temple Mount, as has been the case for centuries. There is no BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against allowing visitors because of where they live – as it should be.
  • under police and army protectionThe police and army protection because the Waqf has allowed “Mouraboutin” gangs of men and women to harass and attack Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount.
  • stirring Palestinian fears of an Israeli takeoverAl Jazeera’s distorted narrative has led Palestinians to fear an Israeli destruction of al Aqsa, inverting the facts.

“In 1990, the Temple Mount Faithful declared it would lay a cornerstone for the Third Temple in place of the Dome of the Rock, leading to riots and a massacre in which 20 Palestinians were killed by Israeli police.

In 2000, Israeli politician Ariel Sharon entered the holy site accompanied by some 1,000 Israeli police, deliberately reiterating Israeli claims to the contested area in light of then Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s US-brokered peace negotiations with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, which included discussions on how the two sides could share Jerusalem. Sharon’s entrance to the compound unleashed the Second Intifada, in which more than 3,000 Palestinians and some 1,000 Israelis were killed.

And most recently in May, the Israeli cabinet held its weekly meeting in tunnels below al-Aqsa Mosque, on the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, “to mark the liberation and unification of Jerusalem” – a move that infuriated Palestinians.”

  • Al Jazeera cherry-picks three incidents over 27 years to lead people to believe that there is Israeli action to takeover the Temple Mount and build a Third Jewish Temple. It does not post any history of Israeli laws protecting Islamic holy sites. It does not mention that the Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount during regular visiting hours and never entered the al Aqsa Mosque and that the Second Intifada was launched by Arafat (fungus be upon him) because he could not bring himself to the necessary compromises to conclude a peace deal.

“Israel already restricts Palestinian entry into the compound through several methods, including the separation wall, built in the early 2000s, which restricts the entry of Palestinians from the West Bank into Israel.”

  • the separation wall, built in the early 2000s The Security Barrier was built by Israel in reaction to the horrific violence from Palestinians against Israeli citizens in the Second Intifada unleashed by Arafat (fungus be upon him). Al Jazeera called it a “separation wall” to make it appear that Israel is trying to cut off access to al Aqsa. Untrue.

“Of the three million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, only those over a certain age limit are allowed access to Jerusalem on Fridays, while others must apply for a hard-to-obtain permit from Israeli authorities. The restrictions already cause serious congestion and tension at checkpoints between the West Bank and Jerusalem, where tens of thousands must pass through security checks to enter Jerusalem to pray.”

  • pass through security checks As described above, it has long been established in agreements and law that Israel handles security. Added measures are taken when there is violence.

“The latest measures, including the new metal detectors, are seen by Palestinians as part of Israel’s efforts to impose further control on the site, and are a violation of the freedom to worship, protected under international law, according to experts.”

  • violation of the freedom to worship The only true violation to the freedom of worship and basic human rights is the denial of Jewish prayer at their holiest site.

“President Mahmoud Abbas recently announced that the Palestinian leadership had frozen all contact with Israel due to the growing tensions at al-Aqsa compound, saying relations would not resume until Israel removed all security measures.”

  • Israel removed all security measures Abbas wanted the INCREMENTAL security items removed, not ALL security measures. This is not a purge of Israeli security control over the Temple Mount which is the established agreed upon status quo.

4. Recent tensions

Tensions have been simmering near al-Aqsa for the past two years. In 2015, clashes broke out after hundreds of Jews tried to enter the mosque complex to commemorate a Jewish holiday.”

  • clashes broke outPalestinian Arabs rioted and went on a rampage to kill Jews; clashes didn’t simply break out of the thin air. Arab rioters attacked Jews at the Western Wall on the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av and the rioters retreated into the al Aqsa Mosque. Al Jazeera inverted the facts to make it appear that the Jews stormed the mosque as part of a holiday ritual. By September 2015, Israel labelled the Mourabitoun that continued to attack Jews on the Temple Mount an illegal organization.
  • Jews tried to enter the mosque complex Jews did not enter any mosque; they came to their holiest location during regular visiting hours, as they had every right to do. Visiting the site during Tisha B’Av has long been a Jewish tradition.

“A year later, protests also erupted after visits by Jewish settlers groups at the compound during the last 10 days of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, in contravention of tradition.”

  • contravention of tradition Israeli security forces had recently suspended the visitation rights of non-Muslims during the end of Ramadan because of Arab violence. This has not been a long-established tradition. It would appear that Al Jazeera likes some changes to the status quo if it impedes on the rights of non-Muslims.

“Most clashes in the compound have occurred because of Israeli settlers trying to pray within the compound, which directly violates the status quo.”

  • Israeli settlers Al Jazeera time-and-again refers to Jewish visitors as “settlers” to try to make their actions appear as illegal. They are ordinary Jews seeking a legal right to visit, and basic human right to pray at their holiest site. The clashes were precipitated by the illegal Mourabitoun, funded by Arab groups like the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, which Israel finally labelled an illegal group in November 2015.

“Over the last two weeks, Israeli forces fired live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians demonstrating against the imposed measures, including the barring of Muslim men under the age of 50 from the holy site.”

  • In recalling “recent tensions,” Al Jazeera neglects to mention Arab violence, even the attack of three Israeli Arabs that killed Israeli border policemen on the Temple Mount in an unprovoked attack which set the latest crisis afire.

“Following the recent events, Israel has deployed 3,000 Israeli police and border police units around the compound.”

  • Al Jazeera’s narrative continued to show Israelis amassing force to make the Israeli government appear as unleashing an assault as opposed to providing security in light of Arab violence.


The Western Wall and Temple Mount, October 2016

“5. The greater context

Al-Aqsa is just a small area within Palestine, but it is a symbolic part of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.”

  • symbolic part of the conflict Is Al Jazeera stating that the conflict is really a war over religions more than about land?

“Though the mosque itself is significant for Muslims especially, even Palestinian Christians have protested against Israeli encroachment on the compound, joining Muslims in prayer outside of Lion’s Gate on Friday.”

  • significant for Muslims especiallyNo, the site is especially significant only for Jews, which Al Jazeera doesn’t mention at all.

“The issue of al-Haram al-Sharif stands as a symbolic, but very strong catalyser of the routine of injustice and oppression that Palestinians in Jerusalem are facing, and that causes a continuous eruption of popular anger and uprisings,” Yara Jalajel, a former legal adviser to the Palestinian minister of foreign affairs, told Al Jazeera.

“Recent clashes near al-Aqsa compound have also led to protests and violence throughout the West Bank and Gaza.”

  • very strong catalyzer Al Jazeera knows that the Temple Mount is a “strong catalyzer” of Arabs and Muslims around the world, so it fans the flames to increase violence against the Jewish State while promoting its viewership.

“With more restrictions placed on Palestinian access to the compound and ongoing calls by Israeli religious groups to allow Jews to pray at the site, many Palestinians fear a possible division of the compound.

“The Waqf stated on Wednesday that the longer Israel delays the removal of the new measures, the worse the situation will become.”

  • Palestinians fear a possible division of the compound.” The reason why Palestinians might fear a division of the compound is due to the history of Cave of the Jewish Patriarchs in Hebron, which Al Jazeera never mentioned. That site – the second holiest for Jews – had banned Jewish prayer for centuries while under Ottoman and Jordanian control. When Israel took control of the site in 1967, it opened the site to Jewish prayer. Today, there are distinct time for Muslims and Jews to pray and visit the site. It has largely been a peaceful coexistence. That is seemingly a heretical solution for Jerusalem for the promoters of lies and Jihad at Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera not only lied about the history of Jerusalem, but it sought to incite a global jihad against the Jewish State as it tried to portray Israel as attacking al Aqsa. It actively contributed to murder and terrorism in its actions.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

The Arguments over Jerusalem

Al Jazeera (Qatar) Evicts Jews and Judaism from Jerusalem. Time to Return the Favor

An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

The United Nations’ Incitement to Violence

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The Invisible Flag in Judo and Jerusalem

They were not even supposed to be there.

Long marked for exclusion, their physical presence was repulsive to the locals. “Modern” society being slightly more “progressive” in the ancient Middle East as well as being more visible to a global audience because of the Internet, made it slightly more difficult to bar them. The vile creatures could stand there, but the rightful hosts would deny them space, honor or acknowledgement. These interlopers may be human, but their essence remained a problem.

They would sing no song, carry no flag, and represent no people.

In 2017.

In the United Arab Emirates Judo competition.

On the Jewish Temple Mount in the Jerusalem.

Judo Grand Slam

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) hosted the Judo Grand Slam in October 2017. The competition was nominally supposed to represent the best fighters in the judo martial arts from countries from around the world. Not simply from around the world, but from COUNTRIES from around the world.

The official website from the tournament listed 47 countries that participated in the event. Alphabetically, after Hungary at number 21 was “IFJ,” which stood for the International Judo Federation. Not normally considered a country, it was a name assigned to a country loathed by the host country. That despised country is Israel.

Israel is not a recognized country by the UAE. Not only does the country not have diplomatic relations with Israel, Israeli citizens are denied entry into the UAE.

That posed a problem for the UAE which was hosting the Judo tournament. Would the tournament be considered a farce if it excluded many of the best competitors? Israeli athletes had become champions in many global judo competitions and they qualified to compete at the IFJ event. How could the host country of the event deny entry to those people?

However strong their desire, the UAE could not bar the physical entry of the Israeli athletes. But that would be as far it would go.

  • The Israeli flag, national anthem and the name “Israel” would be banned from the entire program.
  • The Israeli athletes would be the only ones to not have a flag on their uniform.
  • The Israeli athletes would not have their national flag raised nor anthem played when they won medals.
  • And the name “Israel” would not even be listed anywhere among the 47 countries competing in the global event.

The “human rights” groups that monitor the Middle East would be silent. Human Rights Watch? Nothing T’ruah? Zero. OHCHR? Couldn’t be bothered. The Carter Center? You kidding me? Jimmy Carter?

Those “rights” organizations have no breath to support human decency if it means defending Israel or Israelis. For “progressive” groups, Israel is solely the object of scorn and condemnation.

The Jewish Temple Mount

For 3000 continuous years, there has been a single place which Jews have revered as their holiest location: the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Jews had two temples there, and after the Second Temple was destroyed, Jews continued to pray in the direction of their holy temples. Until this very day.

At Israel’s founding in 1948, the surrounding Arab countries invaded in the hopes of completely destroying the new Jewish state. At war’s end, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan took over the western side of the Jordan River through the eastern half of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount. The Jordanians promptly evicted every Jew from their illegally seized land.

The Jordanians annexed the region in 1950 in a move that was not recognized by virtually the entire world. In 1954, the Jordanians gave citizenship to every person that lived or had lived in these acquired lands, but deliberately excluded Jews to make sure that the Jews could not re-enter their land, including Jerusalem.

Israel reunited Jerusalem in 1967 after the Jordanians attacked Israel again. It reopened the Old City for Jews to live, visit and worship.

Well, not exactly.

The Israelis gave administrative control of the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf shortly after the 1967 war ended. The Waqf has denied Jews the right to pray at their holiest site. Jews cannot carry Jewish prayer books nor Israeli flags.

The Jews can be there physically as human beings, but nothing more.

Kotel Plaza, the closest an Israeli flag can come to the Jewish Temple Mount

And human rights organizations reacted: they were appalled that Jews were even visiting the Temple Mount.

Ir Amim, a radical left-wing organization had the following to say about Jews visiting the Temple Mount in October 2017:

Over the Sukkot holiday, the number of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif compound continued to rise: according to Temple activists, some 2,000 visitors ascended the Mount during the holiday. From Rosh Hashanah until the end of Sukkot, the number of Jewish visitors totaled about 3,000. These numbers, according to the estimates of the Temple Movements, represent an increase of 30%-40% in the number of visitors relative to last year.

More worrying than the increase in and of itself, however, is the evident change in policy by the police: Greater coordination and friendly relations have been witnessed between the police and Temple Movement activists. Larger and sometimes multiple groups of activists have been allowed to enter the compound, and restrictions on non-Muslim prayer on the Mount appear to have been relaxed. The police permitted a mass religious ceremony to be held, for the first time, near the Western Wall plaza, rather than within the Jewish Quarter as in previous years. Activists were also permitted to put up a sukkah, bearing the emblems of the Temple Movements, on the ramp leading to the Holy Esplanade.

These troubling changes in policy and relations between the police and the activists are undermining the spirit of the status quo on the Mount, if not eroding the status quo in practice.”

Ir Amim called it out: a small handful of Jews can be at Judaism’s most revered location, but they cannot be treated like everyone else.

Whether in Judo competitions or in Jerusalem, a small handful of Jews are reluctantly permitted to stand alongside every other human being on the planet. Still, they must be bleached of their Judaism and cleansed of their affiliations with the Jewish State. The racists, the anti-Semites and progressives know a good status quo when they see one.


Related First.One.Through Articles:

Israeli Olympians get their #IsraeliLivesMatter Moment

Dancing with the Asteroids

Dignity for Israel: Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount

It’s the Temple Mount, Not the Western Wall

Visitor Rights on the Temple Mount

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

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The Custodianship of a Child and Jerusalem

The moral and legal standing of men and women as it relates to abortion and custodianship have been debated for many years. The courts have typically sided with women regarding abortion, but have become more open to the desires of men in matters of custodianship. Is there any lesson here for the status of Jerusalem?

Abortion and Custodianship

US court rulings in abortion cases almost always side with the woman. Consider the two extreme cases of dispute: if a woman decides to have an abortion but the father of the fetus does not, the courts rule in favor of the woman and do not make her go to term with an unwanted pregnancy. Conversely, if the man wants the fetus to be aborted but the mother does not, the court will not force a woman to have an unwanted abortion.

The situation becomes more morally murky on the next level: financial support for the unwanted child or abortion. Men have argued that it is unreasonable and unfair to make them pay for an outcome that they didn’t desire. If they want to keep the baby but the woman does not, how cruel is it to make the man pay for the abortion? In the other extreme situation where the man wanted the fetus to be aborted, the courts not only ignore their wishes, but further compel the man to give financial support to a child that they never wanted.

In almost every situation of contention related to having and supporting a child, the US courts almost exclusively come down on the side of women. While the legal system may recognize that the rulings are unfair to men, it ultimately concluded that the woman is the more vested party: she’s the one who must carry the fetus to term.

But what about custodianship?

Once a child is born and both parents want to have custody, why should the mother’s desire outweigh those of the father? If the mother wants sole custody, should her wishes be automatically granted? Courts have begun to move away from such approach.

The US legal system has started to award custody based on the child’s best interests, not the desires of the warring parents. A mother is not considered to be inherently the better parent, nor to have greater love for the child. The court examines a range of matters regarding the child’s well-being.

Is there a basis of considering the custodianship of the city of Jerusalem using such rationale?

Jerusalem

The three monotheistic religions all consider the city of Jerusalem holy and have fought for centuries over every one of its stones. Each religion has fought on the battlefield to control the city’s holy places, and in modern times, each has also battled in international fora and the media.

If a city could have a mother, Jerusalem’s would be Judaism. Tradition states that Abraham bound the heir to the Jewish people, his son Isaac, as a sacrifice at the very location that Isaac’s descendants would use as a capital city and build two holy Temples. Over a thousand years after Abraham and Isaac, Christianity would see Jesus walk the city streets to his death. Hundreds of years later, Islamic tradition would consider that its prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven from the city.

The city was not born from a consensual union. Jerusalem was stripped from Judaism in a pagan fire. Over time, the pagans adopted Christianity and the city took on a Christian character. With the Arab invasion of the seventh century, the Christians and Muslims battled for the city on-and-off for 500 years, with the Muslims ultimately prevailing. Just fifty years ago, the Jewish State retook control of the city.

Since losing the city of Jerusalem in a war that it started, Arab Muslims have sought to sue for control over the city. Palestinian Arabs declare that they want a new state with Jerusalem as its capital. Jordanian Arabs argue that they are the custodians of the holiest site, as they have invested and managed the Temple Mount for a long time.

And the Jewish State has made its claim known: it has come home. Jerusalem and Judaism is a family reunited.

The United Nations has weighed in on the matter. It is not a logical, fair or legal arbiter, as the decisions at the UN are advanced by majority vote, and a single Jewish State doesn’t perform well against a phalanx of over 50 Islamic countries. And the results bear that out: UNESCO voted that Jerusalem is “in danger” because the Jewish State controls it.

What if Jerusalem were viewed from the prism of what is best for the city, as the US courts do now in considering the custodianship of a child?

  • Jerusalem was neglected under 400 years of Muslim Ottoman rule; it has flourished under Jewish rule
  • The Muslim population in Jerusalem declined under Ottoman rule, but under Jewish rule, both the Muslim and Jewish populations have grown
  • When Arab Muslims ruled the city from 1949-1967, it forbade Jews from living in the city, or even entering to visit Judaism’s holy places, but since Jews have ruled the city, all religions have been welcomed to live and pray§

Under Israeli sovereignty, Jerusalem has thrived. All “parents” have been able to visit and enjoy their “child.” This is in sharp contrast to a city besieged for centuries under competing custodianship.


People have suggested dividing the city as the most fair manner to resolve the competing claims between Jews and Muslims. But such a division is deadly, much like King Solomon’s proposed cutting of a baby in two to satisfy the claims of two mothers: the baby could not possibly survive.

US courts evaluate what’s in a child’s best interests in deciding custodianship; it does not award it based on avoiding a parent going on a violent bloodbath. Similarly Jerusalem’s sovereignty should be in the hands of the only party that has nurtured it: Israel.

The best interest for both the city itself and for all of those that love it is to see Jerusalem remain under the sole custodianship of its natural mother which has nurtured the city back to health, blossoming as it hasn’t in centuries. Israel.

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§ Israel has continued to maintain a ban on Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, to calm the Muslim world. Several Jewish activists are pushing to end the ban.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Arguments over Jerusalem

Arabs in Jerusalem

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

Jerusalem, and a review of the sad state of divided capitals in the world

Jordan’s Deceit and Hunger for Control of Jerusalem

Oh Abdullah, Jordan is Not So Special

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

The UN’s #Alternative Facts about the 1967 Six Day War

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Oh Abdullah, Jordan is Not So Special

The current leader of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a well-polished man named King Abdullah II, who has reigned since the passing of his father in 1999. In recent years, he has aggressively sought to claim “special” rights in the holy sites of Jerusalem, well beyond his reach.

King Abdullah II of Jordan

In May 2017, King Abdullah II addressed the United States President Donald Trump and said:

“the Hashemite Custodianship of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian Holy Sites is an unbreakable, historical responsibility and an honour to undertake on behalf of the Arab and Muslim nations.”

There were several problems with his claim:

  • Jordan has no custodianship over Christian sites
  • Jordan does not have exclusive custodianship
  • Jordan’s actions underscore that it is not “responsible” as it’s words are very “breakable”
  • Jordan’s basis for custodianship relates to its funds and efforts regarding improvements to the site, which Israel has in abundance regarding the Old City of Jerusalem, (which Jordan opts to ignore)
  • Jordan negotiated those custodian rights with Israel, yet has undermined Israel’s authority in Jerusalem

Here are some details.

Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem

In July 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement. Within that treaty was language that related to Jordan’s role at Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem (Article 9.2):

“In this regard, in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.”

There was no mention of any Christian sites.

Jordan’s Non-Exclusive Role

The Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty gave Jordan special rights for: 1) Muslim holy sites for 2) Arab and Muslim Nations. However, the treaty gave Jordan nothing as it related to 1) Jewish holy sites, for 2) the rest of the non-Arab and non-Muslim world.

While the al Aqsa Mosque that sits at the southern tip of the Temple Mount is an exclusively Islamic site, the rest of the Temple Mount – including the location of the Dome of the Rock – are Jewish holy sites. Jordan has no special rights over such Jewish holy sites and nor any authority over non-Arab and non-Muslim visitors.

Jordan’s Abrogation of Key Components of the Israel Peace Treaty

Jordan has violated the underlying spirit of the peace treaty with Israel in various manners. In August 2017 the Jordanian Foreign Minister and the Waqf were critical of the 1,000 Jews that went onto the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av saying “This is unprecedented, unacceptable and should stop.” But they have no rights to prohibit any Jew from ascending to the Temple Mount. Article 9.1 of the treaty underscored the point:

“Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.”

Additionally, King Abdullah’s July 2017 statement that Israel was trying to “Judaize” Judaism’s holiest space was an abrogation of Article 9.3 of the peace treaty which stated:

“The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.”

Jordan’s statements and actions were in direct violation of every sentiment of the peace treaty executed by his father and the Jewish State, as he sought to undermine Jewish history and rights on the Temple Mount.

The Deceit of the Jordanians and Palestinians

On March 31, 2013, King Abdullah II signed a treaty with the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas about Jordan’s role regarding the holy sites in Jerusalem. In that treaty, the parties asserted that the entirety of the Temple Mount was exclusively an Islamic site, and had no ties to other religions:

“Recalling the unique religious importance, to all Muslims, of Al Masjid Al Aqsa with its 144 dunums [the land size of the Temple Mount], which include the Qibli Mosque of Al Aqsa, the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock and all its mosques, buildings, walls, courtyards, attached areas over and beneath the ground and the Waqf properties tied-up to Al Masjid Al Aqsa, to its environs or to its pilgrims (hereinafter referred to as “Al Haram Al Sharif”);”

How do either the Jordanians or Palestinians believe that they are promoting “religious understanding, … tolerance and peace,” when they publicly step on Jewish history and faith?

It is also interesting to note that the Jordanian agreement with the PA also never discussed any Jordanian role with Christian holy sites.

“Historical responsibility” of Jordan and Israel

To this day, Jordan continues to state that the very presence of Israel in Jerusalem is a threat to Arabs and Muslim holy sites, and refuses to acknowledge that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount have been anchored in Jewish history for over 3000 years.

Consider language on King Abdullah’s website called  “Custodianship over Holy Sites.

“The Hashemites have stood up against Zionist claims to Jerusalem, which pose a direct threat to the Arab city and its cultural heritage.”

How does Abdullah make such a statement while also acknowledging Israel’s role in Jerusalem in its peace treaty? Is Jordan’s treaty with Israel only based on Israel’s de facto existence and presence in Jerusalem? If Jordan believes that Israel has no role or place in Jerusalem, why have sections in the peace treaty specifically discussing Jerusalem?

The website goes on to discuss the long history of Jordan in fixing up various parts of Jerusalem, including Christian and Muslim holy sites:

“His Majesty’s attention was not limited to Islamic holy sites; he personally helped put out a fire that nearly destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 1949. All throughout his reign (1921-1951), King Abdullah I was the guardian and custodian of Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.”

The “investments” made by Jordan in the Old City of Jerusalem, pale in comparison to the investments made by the government of Israel since it reunited the city in June 1967. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent in city improvements. By such measure alone, Israel’s rights throughout the city trumps any claim by Jordanians or Palestinians.

Whose “Illegal Occupation”

In July 2017, Jordan was effective in pushing forward a UNESCO decision that condemned Israel’s excavations in the Old City such as the City of David, and recommitted to the claim that Jerusalem’s Old City walls were in “danger.” The Jordanian embassy added that “The resolution stated that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem, and in particular, the “basic law” on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith…. He also said that the decision, which Jordan presented jointly with Palestine through the Arab group at the committee, emphasised that all Israeli procedures and violations in East Jerusalem are null and void under the international law.”

It is a strange hypocrisy that Jordan claims that Israel’s annexation and role in the Old City of Jerusalem is illegal and not recognized by the international community, when Jordan’s annexation of the eastern half of Jerusalem and the “West Bank” in 1950 was itself not recognized by any country (other than itself, the UK and Pakistan).


The King of Jordan claims that his country has a special role in the Old City of Jerusalem and that he advances peace even though:

  • Jordan’s “special role” does nothing to undermine the rights of Jews at its holiest site
  • Jordan’s investment in Jerusalem pales next to Israel’s investment
  • Jordan’s annexation of the Old City of Jerusalem was less legal than Israel’s annexation of the eastern part of the city in1980

The King of Jordan is eloquent but deceitful. He shrouds himself in words of peace as he stirs up a religious war at Judaism’s holy site.

Abdullah has begged both Israel and the Palestinian Authority for some special status in the Jerusalem’s Old City, and each party has agreed to give him some role as a neutered and neutral party. But as Abdullah stretches the meaning of his role and undermines the essence of the peace treaty, it is time for Israel to reconsider Jordan’s role and reassert the Jewish State’s rights and responsibilities at Judaism’s holiest spot.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Time for King Abdullah of Jordan to Denounce the Mourabitoun

Jordan’s Deceit and Hunger for Control of Jerusalem

Visitor Rights on the Temple Mount

The Waqf and the Temple Mount

The UN’s #Alternative Facts about the 1967 Six Day War

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

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Will Israel Also Remove an Umbrella from the Western Wall Plaza?

The latest spate of violence in Jerusalem during July 2017 has been described by the mainstream media as stemming from Israel’s erection of metal detectors on the Temple Mount in reaction to the shooting of Israeli security guards by Israeli Arabs. The explanation falls flat.

Metal detectors are found all around the world at mosques, churches and synagogues. Just a few hundred feet from the Temple Mount, metal detectors are in place at the entrance to the Western Wall Plaza. Security cameras  can be seen at the Vatican and Mecca. Metal detectors are found at the entrances to mosques throughout the Middle East.

So why the protest?

It is not about security. It is about control over the Temple Mount and the Al Aqsa Mosque that sits at its southern tip.

Many Arabs and Muslims strongly object to any Islamic holy site being under the control of non-Muslims (known as kafir, non-believers). Jews are supposed to have a lower secondary status (known as dhimmi) in lands that they consider as Islamic lands. As such, Jewish control over an Islamic holy site in a land that they view as Arab is considered extremely insulting to the honor and pride of many Muslims.

Muslims are not insulted by the presence of metal detectors to protect visitors from violence. They are outraged by anything that implies the authority and control of the Temple Mount by non-Muslims; even the placement of an umbrella to act as a protection from the sun.

That is neither a joke nor an exaggeration.

Arab states put forward a resolution at the United Nations in October 2016 condemning Israel for placing an umbrella in the Western Wall Plaza at the approach of a ramp that goes up to the Temple Mount (known as the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate).

“19. Deprecates the continuing Israeli unilateral measures and decisions regarding the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate, including the latest works conducted at the Mughrabi Gate entrance in February 2015, the instalment of an umbrella at that entrance as well as the enforced creation of a new Jewish prayer platform south of the Mughrabi Ascent in Al-Buraq Plaza “Western Wall Plaza”, and the removal of the Islamic remains at the site, and reaffirms that no Israeli unilateral measures, shall be taken in conformity with its status and obligations under the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict”

The authority of the Jewish State at the Temple Mount is repulsive to many devout Muslims, and they have taken to the United Nations resolutions and to violence to purge  such Jewish presence.

Will Israel remove an umbrella to keep the Muslim world from “resorting to violence,” the way it removed the metal detectors? Who is throwing shade on this topic?


The Western Wall and the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate
(photo: First.One.Through)


Related First.One.Through articles:

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

Arabs in Jerusalem

Jordan’s Deceit and Hunger for Control of Jerusalem

The Waqf and the Temple Mount

The Arguments over Jerusalem

Visitor Rights on the Temple Mount

Active and Reactive Provocations: Charlie Hebdo and the Temple Mount

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

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A Seder in Jerusalem with Liberal Friends

I am “right-of-center” when it comes to politics about Israel. I firmly believe that Israel has unquestioned legal, moral and historic right to live as a free, independent, democratic Jewish state, and that the borders of such state should include the holiest city for Jews, the united city of Jerusalem as its capital for the previous reasons, as well as based on fundamental security needs.

This year, I had the fortune of celebrating my Peach seder in Jerusalem. My hosts were liberal friends that believe that the eastern part of the city – a few hundred feet from where we ate the festive dinner – should become the capital of a new state of Palestine. I was not sure how this fact would impact the seder: how would the meal remain a celebration and educational for the dozen children, while not ignoring the momentous 50-year jubilee of the united city without a contentious debate?

The Community Obligation

I tried to stay on safe ground.

Before Pesach each year, I purchase a new Haggadah to share some new thoughts at the seder. Knowing of the attendees at this year’s meal, I decided to buy Erica Brown’s “Seder Talk,” as I considered that her essays would appeal to the more progressive crowd (compared to past year selections of R. Soloveitchik, R. Lamm, Lord Sachs, Sfas Emes among others).

One of Brown’s essays discussed the basis for the seder’s “Four Sons.” She considered that the bible wrote in four different places the need to educate one’s children about the exodus from Egypt, and each mention correlated to a different type of child:

  • Exodus 12:26-27: And when your children ask you “What is this service to you?” you will say, “It is a Pesach offering for the Lord, for He passed over the houses of the Children of Israel in Egypt while He struck the Egyptians, but saved those in our homes.”
  • Exodus 13:8: And you shall explain to your son on that day, “Because of this the Lord acted for me when I came out of Egypt.”
  • Exodus 13:14: And when, in time to come, your son asks you saying, “What is this?” you shall say to him, “With a string hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the grip of slavery.”
  • Deuteronomy 6:20-21: When in time your children ask you, “What re the testimonies, the statutes and laws, that the Lord our God commanded you?” you shall say to your children, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and the Lord our God brought us out of there with a strong hand.”

The four different types of children in the Haggadah are the hacham (wise son), the rasha (evil son), the tam (simple son), and the she’eino yo’dea lish’ol (the one that doesn’t know how to ask). Brown wrote that the rabbis believed that the role of the parent is to explain to each child according to that child’s abilities. There are “four different recipients, whose learning needs vary. All must be told the story. All must learn it and be able to transmit it.

Brown continued that the mission to tell the story of the Exodus actually extends beyond parental responsibility. The Jerusalem Talmud used an alternative term for the “tam,” the simpleton, instead calling that son a “tipesh,” a stupid child.  Brown said that “the child of the Jerusalem Talmud is the child with limited mental capacity…. This child is a child of not only the family but of our entire community.” It is not only the responsibility of the parent to educate their own children, but in certain circumstances, it is also the obligation to assist others raising those kids. To make an important adjustment to the words of Hillary Clinton – it does not “take a village” to raise children – it is the responsibility of each parent to rear their own. However, there may be extraordinary circumstances in which the broader community should be involved in educating and raising a child with special needs.

I opted to end my comments there, as the reception at the seder was lukewarm. I do not think I won fans with terms for children of “stupid” and “mentally challenged,” even though the remarks were from Erica Brown herself. Had I continued with some extended thoughts of my own about community, it would have surely gone downhill.

The Community Declaration

Shortly after the description of the four sons, the Haggadah quotes and analyzes a different selection from the bible.

  • Deuteronomy 26: 5-8: [Then you shall declare before the Lord your God:] “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, subjecting us to harsh labor.  Then we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.

The Haggadah uses many pages to expound on these biblical verses, however, it does not give the context for the long history leading up to the exodus.

This declaration in Deuteronomy is ordered by God at the time of bikurim, the bringing of the first fruits in Jerusalem.

  • Deuteronomy 26: 1-2: When you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it,  take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the Lord your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name

God demanded that the story of leaving Egypt be repeated in the chosen place of the chosen land for the chosen people: at the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, in the heart of the Jewish holy land.

Nachmanides (1194-1270), also known as the Ramban considered the rationale of the bikurim commandment. Why would an offering of first fruits in the Jewish Temple be accompanied with the history leaving Egypt?

The Ramban noted that bikurim is ONLY made in public in Jerusalem; such an offering cannot be made on an individual basis. The personal declaration of thanks for the riches of the holy land is made before the entire community. The acknowledgement of the gifts of the holy land began with the exodus from Egypt, and is something that each person must publicly declare: my gift of fruit is simply a portion of our collective gifts: we are a nation that was collectively brought from Egypt to Jerusalem. The offered fruit is really the nation’s fruit, just as the freedom from slavery was a national liberation.

The bible and Haggadah are clear in the command to educate one’s own children, and Erica Brown noted the need of the community to also educate other children in the community about our freedom from slavery. We stand as part of the community helping individuals learn the lesson of God’s gifts.

But we also have a need to stand before the community to acknowledge God’s gifts to that same community. Those gifts extend beyond our freedom from slavery, to the gift of the holy land and its produce. And that declaration is to be made in Jerusalem on the Jewish Temple Mount.

Being part of the community means helping those in the community that need assistance. And that same community is also a witness to our public declarations as we internalize the message that our freedom and fruits of the holy land are gifts from God.

When left-wing radicals like the New Israel Fund rewrite the Haggadah from “Next Year in Jerusalem” to “Next Year in Palestine and Israel,” they are rewriting the centrality of God’s gifts and the role of our community. In doing so, have they rejected God’s gift and being part of our community? Or must the community not give up, and teach this wayward son (or tipesh) as well?


Related First.One.Thrugh articles:

Here in United Jerusalem’s Jubilee Year

Squeezing Zionism

Today’s Inverted Chanukah: The Holiday of Rights in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria

Rick Jacobs’ Particular Reform Judaism

The Left-Wing’s Two State Solution: 1.5 States for Arabs, 0.5 for Jews

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Time for King Abdullah of Jordan to Denounce the Mourabitoun

King Abdullah II of Jordan came to Washington D.C. in February 2017 to attend the National Prayer Breakfast. We once again spoke eloquently about “tolerance, mercy, compassion for others, mutual respect.” He stated clearly his belief that people should be “equal in dignity” and that there should be “respect for the houses of God.” Welcome words, particularly from the leader of a country with a terrible history of treating Jews and Jewish holy places.

As reviewed in “Jordan’s Deceit and Hunger for Control of Jerusalem,” Jordan attacked Israel several times, banned Jews from their holy places and instituted an anti-Semitic nationality law that specifically excluded Jews from getting Jordanian citizenship.

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Jordanian King Abdullah II speaking at National Prayer Breakfast
February 2, 2017

But Jordan made peace with Israel in 1994 and perhaps King Abdullah may finally be ready to take the next step in recognizing Jewish rights in Jerusalem.

The Mourabitoun

After the Gaza War in 2014, the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank were looking for a way to express their anger at Israel. On the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem, dozens of Muslim women began to actively protest Jews coming onto the plaza. They would follow the visitors around the site ad yell “Allahu Akbar” in efforts to intimidate them to leave the area.

Men joined these protestors as well, sometimes throwing rocks at the Jewish visitors. These “Mourabitoun” were actively promoted by the terrorist group Hamas, and tacitly approved by the Waqf that administers the holy site. The Waqf is funded by the Jordanian government.

Because of the Mourabitoun, the number of Jews that get to visit the Jewish Temple Mount is a fraction of the tourists that ascend to the complex each day. Armed Israeli guards vet each Jews that goes up to ensure that they have no prayer books and do not pray during the visit. The soldiers surround these small groups of 10-15 people as they methodically go to discrete areas of the site.

Meanwhile, thousands of non-Jewish tourists get to visit Judaism’s holiest site unimpeded.

If Abdullah wants to be a man true to his word, it is time to denounce the Mourabitoun and give Jews the tolerance and mutual respect he says is necessary for a peaceful world. It is time for the Waqf to not stand in the way of Jewish visitors who used to pray freely on the Temple Mount 450 years ago, before Suleiman kicked them from the site and relegated a small section of the western retaining wall of the mount – the Kotel – for Jewish prayer.

Will Abdullah be a man of his word in advancing peace and respect as he advocated at a prayer breakfast? Or will he be a hypocrite and anti-Semite who cannot show mutual respect to Jews? It is time for action, not just words.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Waqf and the Temple Mount

Visitor Rights on the Temple Mount

It’s the Temple Mount, Not the Western Wall

It is Time to Insert “Jewish” into the Names of the Holy Sites

The UN’s Disinterest in Jewish Rights at Jewish Holy Places

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It’s the Temple Mount, Not the Western Wall

An October 2016 vote by UNESCO condemned Israeli activities around the Jewish Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted the farce of the resolution that distanced the Temple Mount from Judaism.  The UNESCO resolution even prompted the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General to read a prepared statement on two occasions, on October 14 and again on October 18:

“… the Secretary‑General reaffirms the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions and stresses the importance of the religious and historical link of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian peoples to the holy site.  The Al Aqsa Mosque/Al‑Haram al‑Sharif, the sacred shrine of Muslims, is also the Har HaBayit — or Temple Mount — whose Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism, a few steps away from the Saint Sepulchre church and the Mount of Olives, which is revered by Christians.  The Secretary‑General reiterates that any perceived undertaking to repudiate the undeniable common reverence for these sites does not serve the interests of peace and will only feed violence and radicalism.  He also calls on all sides to uphold the status quo in relation to the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem.”

The statements made many pro-Israel people happy, as it was a marked improvement from the UNESCO resolution.

However, the statement continued two terrible falsehoods.

First, the Temple Mount itself – and where the Dome of the Rock currently sits – is the holiest place in Judaism, not the Western Wall.  The Western Wall is simply the place where Suleiman I relegated Jews to pray after he kicked them off of the Temple Mount while he “improved” Jerusalem around the 1560s.  Before the edict, Jews had prayed on the Temple Mount for centuries.

Over the last 500-or-so years, Jews have come to venerate the Western Wall as holy, even though it has no more inherent holiness than the southern or eastern retaining walls of the mount.  For example, rabbis do not recommend a person visit a mikvah, a ritual bath, before visiting the Western Wall, as they insist for Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount.

Second, the status of the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem is akin to the Kaaba Stone in Mecca, Saudi Arabia for Muslims. It does not even have an equal in Christianity. Neither Islam nor Christianity have any sites in Jerusalem that are as holy to their religions, as the Jewish Temple Mount is to Judaism.

While it was appreciated that the spokesperson for the UNSG chose to politely distance himself from the horrible UNESCO resolution, it would have been far better to:

  • clearly condemn the UNESCO resolution
  • state that it is the Temple Mount, not the Western Wall that is the holiest spot for Jews
  • not try to equate the holiness and significance of the Temple Mount for Jews, with the other monotheistic religions’ holy places in Jerusalem

It is worthwhile to educate Jews about these basic facts as well.

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The Temple Mount in Jerusalem


Related First.One.Through articles:

It is Time to Insert “Jewish” into the Names of the Holy Sites

Visitor Rights on the Temple Mount

The Waqf and the Temple Mount

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

Losing the Temples, Knowledge and Caring

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Arguments over Jerusalem

The United Nations and Holy Sites in the Holy Land

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Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis