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Al Aqsa mosque is closed off for first time in 47 years as tensions flare

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For the first time since 1967 the Israeli military has closed off Haram al-Sharif – the Noble Sanctuary and Al Aqsa Mosque to worshipers. A spokesperson for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas described the closure of the holy site as a “declaration of war“. The Israeli army is currently attacking protesters in Old City of Jerusalem. But protests are expected to continue all over Palestine in a “Day of Rage“.

Late today, Israeli police said that the mosque had been reopened. “After police security assessments made, Temple Mount open again after being closed today. Police units still in Jerusalem this evening.”

News accounts say that Al Aqsa will be open for prayer tomorrow.

Yehuda Glick (Photo by Emil Salman)

Yehuda Glick (Photo by Emil Salman)

The closure followed an attack on a prominent U.S- born hardline rightwing Jewish Temple activist, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a major proponent of expanding Jewish worship and access to the Mosque compound, the holy site also referenced as the Temple Mount. Glick was shot by a gunman outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem and is listed in critical condition in Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Haaretz reports the attack was witnessed by rightwing member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin after both men attended a conference about increasing Jewish presence on the Temple Mount. The Washington Post says that Glick was banned from the area by police in years past due to his provocative actions.

Police hunted down Muataz Hijazi, the suspected gunman, and killed him on the roof of his house at 5:30 am in a burst of gunfire that rang through the neighborhood. They then proceeded to arrest Hijazi’s family members.

The Israeli government is not doing much to calm the situation. Netanyahu accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of inciting the latest tension. And in New York the Israeli ambassador to the U.N. showed a photograph of an ISIS-style flag found on the Temple Mount, suggesting that radical Islamists are at the root of the problem.

Fundamentalist settlers seem to be thrilled by the confrontation. Dan Cohen reports:

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is a mom, a human rights activist, and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area and likes to garden. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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87 Responses

  1. just on October 30, 2014, 2:56 pm

    I knew that you would give us the latest in this outrage/provocation, Annie.

    Is the Third Intifada just about to erupt?

    Moshe Feiglin, who keeps company with extremist settler & previously banned, Yehuda Glick…..

    • just on October 30, 2014, 3:05 pm

      that top photo made me cry…

      the video made my skin crawl… another hunt for a human, followed by assassination and collective familial punishment.

      the situation fills me with fear for the near future…

      settlers dancing???

      (why the deafening silence from world ‘leaders’? only screed from Prosor?)

      • just on October 30, 2014, 3:42 pm

        just to clarify to folks, the top picture is different now…the former one that brought me to tears was of a deserted compound…

        THIS top photo enrages me.

      • Walid on October 30, 2014, 4:12 pm

        “… why the deafening silence from world ‘leaders’? ”

        They are still in shock at Sweden’s formal recognition this afternoon of the Palestinian State.

        Reaction coming only from Israel where the brilliant Lieberman threw an IKEA-oriented insult at Sweden for having done so.

      • just on October 30, 2014, 4:16 pm

        He called back the ambassador…

        Israel is nothing but insulting.

      • adele on October 30, 2014, 4:23 pm

        Sweden FM Wallstrom’s brilliant response to the bouncer:

        Sweden responds after Israel’s anger over recognition of Palestinian state. #TheWorldRightNow starts in 30 minutes.— Hala Gorani (@HalaGorani) October 30, 2014

      • adele on October 30, 2014, 4:28 pm

        having trouble embedding the entire tweet.

        This was FM Wallstrom’s response:

        “I’ll happily send an IKEA flat pack for Avigdor Lieberman to assemble. He’ll discover you need a partner, cooperation and a good manual”


      • just on October 30, 2014, 4:57 pm

        I’m still howling with pleasure over her response.

        Tremendous & diplomatic. Steadfast.

        No quarter given to his ridiculous histrionics.

      • Stone on October 30, 2014, 6:34 pm

        A most excellent response from the foreign minister. I would have just repeated the name “Folke Bernadotte” to the odious bouncer should he have any complaints about the actions of the Swedish government.

    • annie on October 30, 2014, 3:15 pm

      it’s scary just. i’ve been following this since last night (here), reading tweets of the lastest eruption since it began right after the glick attack. radical collective punishment and using the attack to close the holy site. another intifada is guaranteed if they keep f’ing w/ Haram al-Sharif and the settlers/temple activists (embedded in the knesset) don’t seem to be letting up.

      • just on October 30, 2014, 3:28 pm

        That’s why I think that Netanyahu’s comment is deliberately inflammatory:

        “our supreme interests, first and foremost security and the unity of Jerusalem, are not the top priority of those same anonymous sources that attack us and me personally.”

        and, from the Guardian:

        “Addressing a security meeting Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu appeared to call for calm. “First of all, the flames must be lowered,” Netanyahu said. “No one on either side should take the law into his own hands. We need to act now with cool heads, responsibility and determination, and that is what we shall do.””

        Note the use of the word “appeared”…

      • Abierno on October 30, 2014, 6:32 pm

        Annie – I can’t embed links from this computer, but you might want to look at the article in Electronic Intifada – by Albunimah, “Who Killed Yehuda Glick?” Just as there were major
        questions about the kidnapping of the three rabinnical students, there seem to be major
        questions about the accuracy of Knesset Member Feiglen’s comments as well as prior commentary that only an act of violence would set forth a situation wherein Palestinians could be banned from Al Aqsa and the temple rebuilt. Also, when I read comments from bystanders about the “terrorist” whose car spun out of control and hit bystanders at the light rail station, I was reminded of comments made by Richard Clark, security guru, about the strange accident of journalist Michael Hastings, that the computers in any late model car can be easily hacked and the steering system taken over remotely. Not surprisingly, all of the alleged perpetrators of these acts – the kidnappers, the driver whose car spun out of control and now the alleged drive by motorcyclist – were all immediately killed by IDF.
        Perhaps more astute readers can help me with this, Palestinian terrorism does not appear to involve drive by shootings; however, Palestinians have accused Israeli forces of drive by
        shootings and assassinations. Just wondering.

      • MRW on October 30, 2014, 6:40 pm

        BBC asked an Israeli police or military spokesman “How do you know the man you killed was actually guilty?” Well, he said, people saw a motorbike flee the scene and the area is known to harbor a known terrorist. According to a freelance Israeli journalist reporting on the line 15 minutes later, he was a waiter at the center where Glick was shot. Known terrorist is a waiter?

      • gracie fr on October 30, 2014, 7:53 pm

      • annie on October 31, 2014, 1:08 am

        abierno, yes i read (and retweeted) ali’s article near the time it was published. also, the haaretz article he quoted (which i also linked to in this article) was the first article i read about glick’s shooting (or alleged shooting i should say, because i don’t really know what’s happened) right after its publication and i read about this ‘prediction’ of Feiglen’s (a person i believe is vile and capable of any deceit) at that time and have had ideas such as these since i first heard about this since even before the assassination of the suspected/alleged gunman. (which btw i referenced as an assassination in my original text). anyway, i’m glad ali wrote what he wrote and believe any normal person (such as myself) would have such suspicions reading about this turn of events.

        i also have other ideas/suspicions about goings on/plans for this coming year… but i rarely write or speculate certain things in main posts unless i have a wider body of evidence, and if i did i am not sure it would get published anyway. however, someone there on the ground able to investigate or witness what was going on there, would fall into a different category. i think as events unfold and the more we put together pieces of this puzzle a clearer vision of reality will become more and more transparent.

        a few things i always consider when filtering information from the israel msm; the government, police and military lie with impunity so i don’t assume anything they say is truthful. and settlers? pff.

      • seafoid on October 31, 2014, 4:34 am

        Gush shalom sent me this yesterday

        “Over the past weeked, the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem have been under siege and collective punishment. The main roads to the neighborhoods have been blocked completely, the police has been firing gas canisters, flashbang grenades and rubber bullets, in the streets and into the houses. The inhabitants of East Jerusalem are undergoing a cruel treatment by the police and the municipality, which includes a selective enforcement of fines and debt collection, in order to harass and terrorize them.

        All this comes on top of a long-standing tradition of oppression and willful neglect, abstention from granting building permits, house demolitions, a shortage of classes, disconnection from the power and water grids, and a general attempt to make life in East Jerusalem unbearable.

        At this time, as racism is running high on the streets of Jerusalem, we will not keep silent in the face of institutional manifestation of oppression and discrimination.

        Today, Wed. Oct. 29 at 21:00 we will hold a protest in front of Mayor Nir Barkat’s house ,(5 Hameyasdim Street, Jerusalem). We will demand an end to the policy of collective punishment towards the residents of East Jerusalem.”

      • seafoid on October 31, 2014, 4:50 am


        That photo of another dead Palestinian nigger reminds me of GWTW by Hilton Als which is a foreword to the book “Without sanctuary”

        “these pictures are documents of America’s/Israel’s obsession with niggers/Palestinian’s the experience of being watched and seeing the harm in people’s eyes that is the prelude to becoming a dead nigger. And according to these pictures I shouldn’t be talking to you right now . I’m a little on the nigger side , meant to be seen and not heard, my tongue hanged and with it my mind”

        All for Yossi fucking Israeli

    • gracie fr on October 30, 2014, 4:35 pm

      Tomorrow (Friday) will be telling…….

      The Fatah movement in Jerusalem called for a day of rage against Israeli authorities on Friday following the killing of Mutaz Hijazi, in what many have compared to an extrajudicial assassination by Israeli security forces.

      Shot on the rooftop of his family home, Hijazi was still alive when Israeli soldiers entered the premises. Eyewitnesses say that instead of arresting him, the soldiers dropped a water tank on his injured body, killing him, and later stole his body from a Red Crescent ambulance that tried to take him away.

      The secretary-general of the Fatah movement in Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, told Ma’an that the killing Mutaz Hijazi without giving him a chance to defend himself and without definitive proof that he was responsible for the shooting, was an “act of terrorism” by Israel.

      “Israeli crimes are systematically increasing to target Jerusalem through killing, detentions, assaults, demolishing houses, and preventing worshipers from praying inside the compounds of the Al-Aqsa mosque [ although Israeli authorities on Thursday evening decided to reopen Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound after ordering its closure and following Arab and US calls for Muslim worshippers to be allowed in]..”

      • annie on October 30, 2014, 5:34 pm

        thanks gracie, i found it really suspicious they executed him on the spot. there’s no evidence i know if he committed the crime. and like the person who ran into the settler baby, he too was gunned down and threatened execution style before he was killed and not allowed questioning in the hospital leaving no opportunity for his side of the story.

        but this is even more suspicious. i don’t buy it frankly.

      • Kay24 on October 30, 2014, 5:54 pm

        It is strange that Palestinian “suspects” for murders are killed instantly, with no chance for a fair trial, whereas Israeli criminals, like the brutal ones that killed that poor Kdheir kid are given lengthy trials that go nowhere.

      • adele on October 30, 2014, 6:12 pm

        Witnesses to Moataz Hijazi’s execution attest that he wasn’t armed….and yet he was killed in cold blood. Wouldn’t Israel want him alive to question him on the attempted murder of Glick and to investigate further on who else was involved in this murder attempt? Too many coincidences, too little evidence and a lot of unanswered questions. Unfortunately, we’ll never know the truth.

      • annie on October 30, 2014, 6:27 pm

        any photos of a wounded and bloodied glick from the scene of the crime?

      • just on October 30, 2014, 6:32 pm

        It’s ‘sacred’, Annie.

      • adele on October 30, 2014, 6:40 pm

        I haven’t seen any photos in the English-language media, nor any postings on twitter. And in the reports I have seen only Feiglin has been cited and quoted as a witness to the Glick attempted-murder event. Perhaps in the Hebrew-language media there is more extensive coverage?

    • catporn on October 30, 2014, 4:36 pm

      I think Netanyahu & Co are gagging for an escalation, they love it when Palestinians fight back, giving them an excuse for even more excessive violence and repression.

      • gracie fr on October 30, 2014, 5:42 pm

        So who are the Temple Mount Faithful and what do associated Rabbis believe…..????

        Though the arrests may suggest otherwise, the Temple Mount Faithful movement has recently made a giant leap towards the mainstream. Just last year, their activists were firmly planted in the far-right messianic fringes of Orthodox Judaism and were shunned by most religious Jews. This has ceased to be the case [2012] was also the first time activists for repealing the ban on Jewish ritual on the Temple Mount have managed to translate their predominantly theological campaign into a concrete political program. MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) has tabled a bill, and MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) made a public statement, both calling for changing the legal status of the Temple Mount for the first time since 1967, the year Israel occupied the Old City of Jerusalem and barred Jews from entering the compound, as well as allocating prayer times for Jews. One of the main impediments to changing the status quo at Temple Mount has been the stern halakhic ban on Jews visiting the site, for reasons of religious purity. But that prohibition has worn off in recent years, as more and more Zionist rabbis have permitted visits to the site, and even gone themselves.

        “The messianic tension surrounding the Temple Mount could ferment Jerusalem and the whole region,” warns Dr. Gadi Gvaryahu, among the founders of the Tag Meir forum, which is acting against religious extremism. “The attempts by the ‘price tag’ people to mount to Temple Mount and pray there, together with acts of arson and vandalism of mosques, might end up in some fanatic group damaging the mosques on Temple Mount, in a similar manner to the Jewish underground that operated in the 1980s,” he said.

        Yehuda Glick, spokesman for the Temple movements’ coalition, says his goal for[2013] is for “Jews to become part of the scenery at Temple Mount.” But the Rosh Hashanah cards the joint staff sent to their followers spell out a far more radical aspiration: “May this be a year of redemption… A year in which the disgrace is lifted from us, a year in which the Temple is rebuilt and the Kingdom of Judah takes back the reins.”

      • annie on October 31, 2014, 1:41 am

        gracie, i’ve written about these temple zealots in the past, here’s one from last year:

        “‘NYT’ offers cloak to religious zealots storming Al Aqsa– ‘mainstream Jews’

        there are several videos, including this one demonstrating the outrageous, violent and provocative way Israeli forces/police secure the area, making way for the jewish temple zealots during Rosh Hashanah 2013:

  2. a blah chick on October 30, 2014, 3:37 pm

    Concerning the “Isis Flag” someone on Twitter said

    “Mohamed Hamdouni ‏@HamdouniMohamed 23h23 hours ago
    [email protected] @IsraelinUN how come a place forbidden to Palestinians can have someone supposed to be 1 of them posing in front of camera?

    Good point.

    Also the only people I have seen waving Black Flags were those cretins demonstrating against the African refugees. Then there is this:

    Dan Cohen @dancohen3000
    Settlers held a demonstration demanding access to Haram al-Sharif. They danced to a medley of the C & C Music Factory – Everybody Dance Now

    Another crime against humanity.

  3. W.Jones on October 30, 2014, 3:41 pm

    “They danced to a medley of the C & C Music Factory – Everybody Dance Now”

    Is that a reference to some Muslim ban on modern dance?

  4. Brewer on October 30, 2014, 3:54 pm

    From Avnery:

    Last Tuesday, reading Haaretz, I noticed that a whole page – page 4 – consisted of news concerning Jewish-Arab relations.

    Item 1: Tens of Jewish settlers invaded the Arab neighborhood of Silwan, next to the Temple Mount, in the middle of the night. Silwan, the biblical Shiloah, is an Arab village that was joined to Jerusalem when East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel after the Six-day War. For years now an association of settlers called Elad has been trying to Judaize this neighborhood by secretly buying properties from poor Arabs, using Arab traitors as straw-men. Now the association has decided to fill these houses, arriving like thieves in the night.

    (The president of Elad is Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust writer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

  5. Walid on October 30, 2014, 3:54 pm

    Here, it’s 47 years since the mosque was last closed to worshippers.

    This afternoon, CNN said it was 14 years since it was last closed after Sharon’s promenade there that kicked-off the Second Intifada.

    Later this afternoon, an Abbas official said it was the first time the mosque has been closed since the Crusades.

    Which is it?

  6. bilal a on October 30, 2014, 4:11 pm

    G_d is laughing

    “Professor Finkelstein, who is known as “the father of biblical archaeology”, told the Jerusalem Post that Jewish archaeologists have found no historical or archaeological evidence to back the biblical narrative on the Exodus, the Jews’ wandering in Sinai or Joshua’s conquest of Canaan. On the alleged Temple of Solomon, Finkelstein said that there is no archaeological evidence to prove it ”

    • MHughes976 on October 30, 2014, 5:47 pm

      ‘The Quest for the Historical Israel’ (Finkelstein and Mazar, 2007) is pretty good and exposes the current differences of opinion within respectable Israeli academia. There’s a rather more ‘conservative’ view of the Temple in Galor and Bloedhorn ‘Archaeology of Jerusalem’ 2013. This book is praised for its ‘neutrality’ by an archaeologist from Birzeit.
      We can’t deny that there was an ancient kingdom in Jerusalem, getting into trouble with the Assyrians around 700 BCE, or that that kingdom would, like all its counterparts, have had a temple or at least some kind of centre where the king would take part in sacrifice, though whether it would have had the magnificence described in the Books of Kings and important in royal (and later Christian) ideology is quite doubtful. Finkelstein is of the opinion, which others question, that the Jerusalem of those days was also the literary centre that produced the main substance of the prose and poetry on which the ‘Abrahamic’ religions are founded, which would have been enough to make it an important place.

      • annie on October 30, 2014, 6:34 pm

        we who? everyone?

      • Walid on October 31, 2014, 12:46 am

        “… was also the literary centre that produced the main substance of the prose and poetry on which the ‘Abrahamic’ religions are founded, which would have been enough to make it an important place. ”

        MHughes, it wasn’t really an important place, but was actually “fabricated” into being one by myths from all 3 Abrahamic religions. You can’t have a serious historical discussion about this without pissing-off people from all 3 religions.

      • RoHa on October 31, 2014, 1:21 am

        Baha’i is Abrahamic. There are probably only about eight hold-out Azali Babis left, but counting them gives us five Abrahamic religions.

        Any advance on five?

      • seafoid on October 31, 2014, 5:02 am


        It had significance before Judaism got organized initially and the significance was transferred to Judaism. When Christianity got going the significance was claimed by the new religion and Islam needed the credibility too and took it.

        There was nothing predestined about the survival of the 3 major monotheistic religions. Each started out as a fragile cult with theologies that might not have made it- lots of other iterations fell by the wayside or were relegated to outlying mountainous regions.

        Bringing in the kudos of Jerusalem was very important marketing.

        And all over the Christian world there are new Bethlehems and new Jerusalems, as if the local can not be sacred enough.

        Joyce Carol Oates has a great quote

        “Homo sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority, then forgets that symbols are inventions”

        Al quds al miskeen

      • Walid on October 31, 2014, 11:16 am

        “Baha’i is Abrahamic. There are probably only about eight hold-out Azali Babis left. Any advance on five?..”

        I’d go back to 3. Baha’ism is an offshoot of Babism and both are rooted in Shia Islam. It all started with the founder, Sayyid Alí-Muhammad of Shiraz, that claimed to be the “Bab” or the gate and the long awaited Mahdi, the 12th Imam. When Iran’s Shia didn’t buy into it, what he preached was flipped into a new religion. Shia Islam, that is somewhat what Protestantism is to orthodox Christianity spawned about 20 different sects among which are the Druze and the Alawites. I’d put the Baha’i in that category. Ironic how the Saudi Sunni view Iran’s Shia and other Shia as apostates while Iran views the Baha’i in the same way.

      • Walid on October 31, 2014, 12:02 pm

        “Al quds al miskeen”

        Seafoid, at the risk of sounding sacrilegious, when I hear everyone laying claim to it, I can help thinking of your Disneyland analogy. I guess they all wanted one; with the Muslims, it was the 5th Umayyad Caliph at Damascus, Abdel-Malik Ibn Marwan that wanted a splendorous mosque to rival those of Mecca and to match or surpass well the great Byzantine churches. He had the Dome of the Rock built in 691 with dimensions almost identical to those ofthe Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Both domes being only 21 meters high meant no space mountain.

      • RoHa on November 1, 2014, 7:51 am

        Baha’i and Babism count as separate religions, not branches of Islam, even though there are only about six to seven million of them. And they are Abrahamic.

        There are, roughly, only fourteen million Jews, so if we are to take Judaism seriously then it seems we should extend the same courtesy to Baha’i.

        Christianity has about 2200 million followers, and Islam about 1600 million, so the other Abrahamic religions are tiny by comparison.

        Of course, Sikhism, with about 23 million, is the number three monotheistic religion, but it is not Abrahamic.

      • MHughes976 on November 1, 2014, 1:04 pm

        I’d certainly hope that ‘we’ would include you, annie – who can deny that the Assyrian inscriptions show the existence of a small kingdom in Jerusalem around 700, in days when kingdoms had cult centres. Of course it’s equally true that there is no inscription or comparable record showing the existence two centuries earlier of the great Solomonic kingdom, rich enough to hire the craftsmen and draw on the timber of Lebanon for the building of a temple glinting with gold.
        Walid’s right that to discuss these things with any attempt at objectivity is to tread on many an Abrahamic toe. Finkelstein has been appealed to – he certainly thinks that monarchic Jerusalem was an important literary centre and thinks so for the (?inconclusive) reason that Jerusalem in the next active phase, that of Nehemiah under Persian rule, was too much of a one-camel town to have produced an active intellectual class.

      • MHughes976 on November 1, 2014, 1:16 pm

        I appreciate many of the comments made by MRW on this matter in the past. For my part, I think that there must be some historical elements within the Books of Kings but the main purpose of those books is to interpret history as the story of God’s wrath and forgiveness, not to recount events.

      • bilal a on November 2, 2014, 12:23 am

        There is an alternative minority view, inspired perhaps by the crusader maps showing jerusalem (meaning holy city) to be present day Istanbul, and that ancient rome is a much later fabrication.
        Any person who has inspected the medeival dated churches adjacent to the so called anceint roman coliseum in rome, notes immediately the identical construction methods and materials, a radical theory proposed by the russian historians in the New Chronology, eg:

        To repeat: the original Biblical Jerusalem (the city of Yoros) is situated on the eastern, Asiatic shore of Bosphorus, closer to the Black Sea, very near to the Beykoz mountain (Golgotha) [ЗИ] ([FJ] ‘Forgotten Jerusalem. Istanbul in the light of New Chronology’ G.B.Nosovskiy, A.T.Fomenko. – translator’s note)

        which would imply that the OT is Hellenistic restatement of Babylonian myths and histories in Judaized form:, with the Septugint the original, and the Masoretic text and late medeival rabbinic fabrication, see Lemke , copenhagen school, biblical minimalism

        Many of the Old Testament passages in the New Testament are either direct quotes or paraphrase from the Septuagint, not the Hebrew Masoretic text. Textual variations between the Hebrew and Greek Old Testament quotes are for the most part minor, but from time to time they will diverge; in that case which one should one prefer? I would suggest the older source text should be given preference. This makes sense in light of the fact that the Septuagint was produced about two to three centuries before the birth of Christ. The Masoretic text would not be compiled by Jewish scholars until the 600s to 900s. This makes the Greek Septuagint almost a thousand years older than the Hebrew Masoretic text!

    • MHughes976 on November 1, 2014, 2:01 pm

      I’m going on too much, but just to add that to my mind the real radicals do not think in terms of the Scriptures as originating substantially in the 600s BCE under a Davidic king in Jerusalem, as Finkelstein does, but as coming from around 200 in the era of Greek influence – like Givoanni Garbini ‘Myth and History in the Bible’ (2003). (I believe Garbini’s about to write a ‘Myth and History’ book about Jesus, which might well shake even us lib Christians in our shoes.) Garbini, unlike Finkelstein, is not in the academic mainstream (yet!)

    • MHughes976 on November 3, 2014, 5:03 am

      Niels Peter Lemche (not Lemke) to whom bilal refers, is at least a shade more sceptical, I think, about the Biblical account than is Finkelstein. It was Lemche who led me to realise that the only fully attested name for pre-Roman Palestine is ‘Palestine’ and he kindly found the time to send me a brief note of approval, with suggestions for further reading, of my article on Mondoweiss on that topic. I’ve often wished he would contribute to MW himself.
      The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that there were biblical texts both in Hebrew and Greek circulating in Palestine in ‘the time of Jesus’. The Christians very soon came to place exclusive reliance on the Greek text but in any case Greek versions are important evidence for the original sentiments of the writers – just as Latin and Syriac versions of the originally Greek New Testament are important.
      Timothy Law’s ‘When God spoke Greek’ seems to be the most authoritative study of the Greek version and their influence on Christianity at the moment. But we are miles away from a proof, or even a good reason, to think that the original composition was substantially in Greek. It’s very difficult to think, say, that the pious Greek version of Esther antedates the more harsh Hebrew one.
      However, the Assyrian records are proof that there was a small kingdom based on Jerusalem at least by 700 BCE, which may not have had a temple glittering with gold but must have had a cult centre because there were no secular societies then. Whether this kingdom had a real history anything like that recorded in the Bible is another matter, open to much debate. Let me just add that ancient Rome existed too and that its literary output needs some study in order to get a balanced view of the ancient world.
      We do need to remember the difficult and disputed nature of ancient history but in the end this should remind us that very little in the way of here-and-now right and wrong springs from events way back then.

      • Shmuel on November 3, 2014, 5:24 am

        We do need to remember the difficult and disputed nature of ancient history but in the end this should remind us that very little in the way of here-and-now right and wrong springs from events way back then.

        Well said. Nor more recent prayers and longings — whether for the land as a whole or its specific shrines and holy places.

  7. Kay24 on October 30, 2014, 4:37 pm

    The arrogance of the occupier. I wonder if they will all be dancing if a synagogue was closed this way, and they were prevented from praying. Or will they, as they always do well, whine that the world is against them, and they are once again treated so badly by every one in the world.

    What are the Arab nations doing here? Nothing as usual? Should they be offended that a historical Mosque has been deliberately closed and that Muslims are prevented from praying there? When it comes to Mosques and the rights of Muslims, the Israelis have shown nothing but disrespect. Mosques have been desecrated, vandalized, and hate messages painted on them, and the government of Israel does nothing, showing once again only their indifferent to anything non Jewish.
    Is this the time that Israel has decided to provoke a situation, so that they can now mow the lawn on the other side? Israel prods the wasps nest, then howls when they are stung.

    • Walid on October 30, 2014, 5:12 pm

      “What are the Arab nations doing here? Nothing as usual? Should they be offended that a historical Mosque has been deliberately closed and that Muslims are prevented from praying there? ”

      They care about the mosque as much as they care about Palestinians. While the Saudi monarchs are the guardians of the 2 holiest sanctuaries, it’s the Jordanian ones that are the guardians of the 3rd one, which is in Jerusalem, and you know where these stand in their relations with Israel and the treaty between them. Stop holding your breath.

      • MHughes976 on October 30, 2014, 5:27 pm

        There was a report recently that a bridge intended to facilitate non-Muslim entry to the area had been demolished on Netanyahu’s personal instruction following an explicit protest by the Jordanian royal family. I certainly don’t think that that would amount to real concern for the Palestinians, though!

      • Kay24 on October 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

        Walid and McHughes, I think the US aid that keeps going over to Jordan, buys that silence and with it any hopes of disagreement by Jordan. Queen Rania who is married to the King of Jordan is Palestinian, and has been mute about this even when her people were being slaughtered in Gaza. US money and power prevails, and Israel gets away with murder.

      • just on October 30, 2014, 6:42 pm

        I don’t know about that, but I knew about this:

        “RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said Monday that a new plan to allow Jewish Israelis to enter East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through a second gate was a “loud insult” to Muslims around the world.

        “Israel is creating a new reality at the expense of Palestinians, their religious rights, sites, and historical identity,” Ashrawi said in a statement.

        “They are violating the sanctity of religious sites without consequences, which completely terminates possibilities for peace and will ultimately drag the whole region into disastrous clashes.”

        Ashrawi, who is a Palestinian Christian, also said that Israel was using religion to control holy sites that do not belong to it.

        She called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for what she called “violations” against Muslim and Christian holy sites in East Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine.

        Army radio announced earlier that the Israeli ministry of tourism was working on a plan to allow Jews to enter the Al-Aqsa compound through the Cotton Merchants Gate, in addition to the Moroccan Gate which is already used as an entrance for non-Muslims.”

        Israel is responsible for all of this. It is deliberate.

      • just on October 30, 2014, 6:43 pm

        From last month.

      • gracie fr on October 30, 2014, 7:12 pm

        Under mounting religious tension (and housing takeovers in adjacent Silwan) there was bound to be “an Incident” which has more to do with steady disenfranchisement of traditional Waqf oversight of Muslim Holy places and displacement of Palestinians than outright “ethnic hatred” of Israelis;

        With East Jerusalem already smoldering, it emerged this week that the Israeli parliament is to consider a bill that could set the region ablaze. The measure would lift limitations on Jews visiting the al-Aqsa mosque compound, the most sensitive site in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

        Details of the measure have yet to be published. But one possibility is that it will overturn a prohibition in Israeli law on Jews praying at the site, ending also a rabbinical injunction against such activities. Other reports, however, suggested it would extend visiting times for Jews, possibly by forcing the Islamic authorities to divide the site and create a dedicated area for Jewish visitors.

        The bill that apparently has the backing of the Eli Ben Dahan – Israeli politican, Rabbi and the deputy religious services minister – would create arrangements similar to those already in place in Hebron where there are security procedures and restrictions on times of worship.

        Jewish settlers posing as tourists have been visiting al Aqsa in ever larger numbers. During the week-long Jewish holiday of Sukkot this month, hundreds of such “tourists” were escorted by armed police on to the esplanade, triggering a furious response from Muslim worshippers.

        Jordan, which is officially responsible for the site, protested to Israel. The Jordanian ambassador to Palestine, Khalid al-Shawabka, told Maan TV that “the al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem are red lines”.

      • annie on October 31, 2014, 2:50 am

        There was a report recently that a bridge intended to facilitate non-Muslim entry to the area had been demolished on Netanyahu’s personal instruction following an explicit protest by the Jordanian royal family. I certainly don’t think that that would amount to real concern for the Palestinians, though!

        yeah, how could we forget MHughes, and he did it from the bottom of his heart too, NOT. this was not so much ” following an explicit protest by the Jordanian royal family” as it was used as a trade off for appeasing the state department for annexing land or something. i can’t recall, but this wasn’t solely ad a result of a protest by the Jordanian royal family, so your usage of the word “explicit”, implying this was the cause of said bridge coming down, is inaccurate.

        allison covered the story as i recall.

  8. ritzl on October 30, 2014, 4:46 pm

    The Israelis aren’t even “tickling” the dragon’s tail anymore. They’re kicking it in the head.

  9. seafoid on October 30, 2014, 5:01 pm

    The Third Temple crowd with their red heifer breeding program are beyond the Zionist pale. Bibi is chickenshit over Iran but all the senior bots are ultra chickenshit over letting any of the Temple crowd implement their plans for a new Temple on the site of al aqsa.

    It would be worse than Ayodhya in the early 90s.

    And could even start WW3.

  10. Walid on October 30, 2014, 5:20 pm

    Maan News now saying that the mosque has been re-opened, in time for the Friday prayers and in time to avert a planned missive protest march.

    • Walid on October 30, 2014, 5:29 pm

      Most probably Israel had a change of heart about the mosque after President Abbas declared that the closing is a declaration of war. Must have spooked the hell out of the Israelis.

      From Maan:

      “Abbas: Closure of Aqsa ‘declaration of war’

      RAMALLAH (AFP) — Israel’s closure of the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to all visitors following the shooting of a Jewish hardliner is tantamount to a “declaration of war,” President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday.

      “This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation,” his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina quoted him as saying.

      “We hold the Israeli government responsible for this dangerous escalation in Jerusalem that has reached its peak through the closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque this morning,” he added…”

      • gracie fr on October 30, 2014, 6:28 pm

        ….with the restriction of ” Muslim men over 50″……..

      • annie on October 31, 2014, 2:36 am

        walid, i opened with the article with abbas’s ‘declaration of war’ statement (w/embed – see 2nd sentence). and we did updated right away with news of the announcement the mosque would be reopened (but didn’t mentioned that as an update since it was so soon after publication). but thank you for your diligence!

    • a blah chick on October 30, 2014, 7:54 pm

      Even with the age restriction they back tracked on this rather quickly. I think phone calls from some Very Important People put the bug in their ear.

  11. talknic on October 30, 2014, 5:42 pm

    GC IV is to protect ALL civilians, including those of the Occupying Power from the violent ramifications of occupying another people and their rightful territory.

    The Israeli military should have arrested poor Rabbi Yehuda Glick long ago, taken him back to Israel and helped him find treatment for his illness

  12. ckg on October 30, 2014, 7:12 pm

    One American adult was critically wounded and two American children were killed in Jerusalem in the past ten days. From Jen Psaki’s statements, guess which two were Jewish and which one was Palestinian:

    But let me say we condemn yesterday’s shooting of a U.S. citizen in Jerusalem. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. We’re in touch with authorities as we seek more information.


    The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem. We express our deepest condolences to the family…


    The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a U.S. citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24. Officials from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem are in contact with the family…

  13. wondering jew on October 30, 2014, 7:44 pm

    East jerusalem, including the old city, including the Jewish Quarter and including the Western Wall, is occupied territory and playing with the status quo or ripping up the status quo is a political act and should not be undertaken period, but certainly should not be undertaken with the assumption that everything is hunky-dory and Israel is merely interested in protecting the freedom of religious expression of those who jews who wish to pray on a holy site.

    Everything else being equal I would wish that the Muslims controlling the site would be more amenable to Jews who wish to pray there, but everything else is not equal, the site is a source of political tensions (in occupied territory) and quieting political tensions should be the priority rather than the freedom of religion aspect.

    • bryan on October 31, 2014, 3:52 am

      And that is why the UN in its wisdom decided that the Holy sites of Jerusalem had to remain under international control (in the 1947 partition proposal). This still remains the only solution that can provide peace and the access of all religions to their places of worship. Unfortunately such is the power of primitive fundamentalism that Israel with Tel Aviv as its capital could be a secular powerhouse; with Jerusalem as its “capital” it can only be a sick society and a lunatic asylum.

    • talknic on October 31, 2014, 10:21 am

      yonah fredman “East jerusalem, including the old city, including the Jewish Quarter and including the Western Wall, is occupied territory”

      Correct. States do not occupy their own territory …

      “…. I would wish that the Muslims controlling the site would be more amenable to Jews who wish to pray there”

      Jerusalem is occupied (hostile) territory. Israel’s Jews have no right to be there
      A) under 1948 Israeli law still current, forbidding Israeli citizens and residents from entering hostile territory.
      B) under the 1949 Armistice Agreements it is expressly forbidden for the civilian populations to cross Armistice Demarcation lines
      C) GC IV is to protect ALL civilians from the violent consequences of occupying another people and their territory

      From the Palestinian POV it is normal to forbid the entry of foreign nationals who are citizens of ones enemies and it is normal to arrest, gaol or deport them. It is also normal to intern possible 5th columnists and freeze their assets. It is also normal to release them and/or allow their return when hostilities end.

      Answer. End the occupation. Get out of al non-Israeli territories.

      The Arabs long ago (since at least 1922) agreed to freedom of religion.

      Let non- Palestinian Jews apply for a visa to visit and/or pray. Same as any other country with a sacred site, non citizens apply for a visa. Why should Jews have special illegal privileges not afforded anyone else anywhere else?

      • Mooser on October 31, 2014, 12:13 pm

        Tell us Yonah, what are Israel’s claims on Jerusalem?

      • just on October 31, 2014, 12:21 pm

        Oh boy, now you’ve done it, Mooser.

      • Mooser on October 31, 2014, 2:00 pm

        “Netanyahu will continue to uphold the security interests of Israel and the historical rights of the Jewish people in Jerusalem, and no amount of pressure will change that,”

        Yonah has powerful allies in his concern for Jerusalem!

      • Walid on November 1, 2014, 5:47 am

        “Tell us Yonah, what are Israel’s claims on Jerusalem? ”

        That’s any easy one, Mooser. Jerusalem is mentioned 999 times or so in the Bible, which makes it very Jewish but not even once in the Noble Quran. Had the Muslims known that in about 1400 years such an omission would have mattered so much, they would have taken steps.

      • wondering jew on November 4, 2014, 4:38 pm

        As if Jerusalem is the only place in the world where competing religions fight over a single site. This does not happen in India? between Hindus and Muslims? Of course it does.

        As far as claims on Jerusalem, as in legal claims in a court of law, I don’t know the law books of the court of law where these claims would be settled, so I don’t know what claims you are talking about.

        If a Jew or someone who was seeking to understand Judaism asked a question about Jerusalem and Judaism, I would answer the question. if some wise ass or not so wise asses, play games in the MW comment section, I will answer them thus.

  14. gracie fr on October 30, 2014, 7:49 pm
  15. undertoad on October 30, 2014, 7:51 pm

    I couldn’t help but notice that during NPR’s reporting of this story, they studiously avoided mentioning that Glick is a rabbi. His Wikipedia page also avoids mentioning it:

  16. a blah chick on October 30, 2014, 8:04 pm

    I just don’t understand the Israelis. They’re supposed to be these super duper secret agents but they keep killing their best sources of intelligence. IF the guy they took out was the shooter wouldn’t the smart thing be to arrest and interrogate him? Suppose this attack was part of a wider conspiracy? Not very smart. It’s just kill kill kill and kill some more. The whole country is completely off the rails.

  17. bopfromthedarkside on October 30, 2014, 9:33 pm

    Once again we see the dark brew of master race theory, violent religious superstition, and utter disregard for law or the value of human life. Via a craven US congress we Americans must pay for Israel’s moral depravity. This will some day end in nuclear holocaust .

  18. JLewisDickerson on October 30, 2014, 11:56 pm

    RE: “For the first time since 1967 the Israeli military has closed off Haram al-Sharif – the Noble Sanctuary and Al Aqsa Mosque to worshipers. A spokesperson for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas described the closure of the holy site as a ‘declaration of war’.” ~ Annie Robbins

    MY COMMENT: This is yet another reason that Jerusalem must be made an ‘international city’ pursuant to General Assembly resolution 181 (II) November 29, 1947, which provides for the full territorial internationalisation of Jerusalem: “The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations.”
    Netanyahu recently made it clear (albeit speaking only in Hebrew) that as far as he is concerned there will never be a sovereign nation-state of Palestine in the West Bank (with, or without, E. Jerusalem as its capital). Consequently, unless Jerusalem is protected by virtue of its being made an ‘international city’ administered by the UN, it is just a matter of time before the Dome of the Rock, the Al-Aqsa mosque and numerous other historic sites come under existential threat as Israel’s radical, extremist nationalists (like Yehuda Glick’s Temple Institute) become more and more determined to completely “Judeaize” the city.

  19. Kay24 on October 31, 2014, 6:47 am

    John Kerry has called for the Mosque to be opened. BBC reported that it will open today.

    “REUTERS – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday he was worried about the escalation of tensions across Jerusalem and urged leaders to reopen Temple Mount to Muslim worshippers.

    Kerry condemned the shooting of a U.S. citizen at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, saying the State Department was seeking more information from the authorities.”

    When is the US going to admit they are dealing with an out of control parasite in the ME, and that we have to constantly keep covering for them and ignoring their war crimes?
    If this was a Arab nation, we would have sanctioned them by now, and treated them like pariahs.

    • just on October 31, 2014, 10:16 am

      “If this was a Arab nation, we would have sanctioned them by now, and treated them like pariahs”

      Uh, no. We’d have already attacked/bombed them…

  20. American on October 31, 2014, 9:37 am

    Looks like since Israel cant get its Iran WWIII started they have decide to go for a apocalyptic showdown with all of Islam.
    I imagine the ME Arab street is watching this and getting hot.

    Is there anyone anywhere Israel hasnt pissed off?

    • just on October 31, 2014, 11:10 am

      “Is there anyone anywhere Israel hasnt pissed off?”

      Probably not.

      It’s just that the Anglosphere (lead by the US of A) and its ‘allies’ in the region will do nothing about it!!!

  21. PilgrimSoul on October 31, 2014, 4:25 pm

    It is very hard to make liberals and progressives understand the total danger of the attacks on the Noble Sanctuary (Harim al-Sharif) including both the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Most people in the West don’t even know about it. It has been building since 2010, at some times consisting of almost daily attacks by settlers on Al-Aqsa. The intent, of course, is to establish “sovereignty” over the esplanade, and then to destroy Al-Aqsa, setting off a worldwide religious war for the rest of the century.

    Progressives can’t take is seriously for the same reason they couldn’t take the rise of neo-fascist AM Hate Radio in the US seriously, and the Tutsi intellectuals in Rwanda couldn’t take the Hutu Power fascists seriously. Progressives live in a completely different mental universe than the fanatics that do such things. But AM Hate Radio morphed into Fox News, and the Hutu Power rantings on the radio turned into a genocide. The religious-nationalist settlers in Israel are aiming at an even more horrific outcome…but people in the US simply can’t believe that it’s happening.

    Of course, that is partly because there has been a press blackout on it in Israel, and the New York Times and Washington Post followed suit. Getting information out about this has been impossible. Good people react like robots, apparently thinking that there’s nothing anybody can do to stop this grisly invocation of pure religious hatred from playing out.

    The intent by the extremists is to create the maximum anxiety, pain and humiliation for the world’s Muslims: Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third-most holy site in Islam. The national-religious settlers say they want to build a ‘Third Temple’ on its ruins. But the real reason, of course, is that they are hoping to kick off a worldwide religious war between Islam and the West.

    Religious war is the scourge of humanity. It is the ultimate nightmare for me, since I have both a Jewish daughter and a Muslim daughter. The fact that Israelis would ignite such a disaster for humankind suggests profound destructive and self-destructive forces at work. It seems that among some of these fanatics there is an unconscious desire to punish the world for letting the Holocaust happen. Indeed, religious war would be the Holocaust by other means, in which all people of the world would suffer.

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