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Israeli occupation stoking ‘holy war’ in Jerusalem

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Relations between Israelis and Palestinians have descended into a dangerous melee of tit-for-tat attacks and killings, with the violence of the past few weeks centred on Jerusalem. The city, claimed by Israel as its “undivided capital”, has been torn apart by clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian residents since the summer, when 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burnt alive by Jewish extremists.

Subsequent attacks by Palestinians culminated last week in a shooting and stabbing spree by two cousins at a synagogue that killed four Jews and an Israeli policeman. In this atmosphere, both sides have warned that the political conflict is mutating into a religious one.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, cautioned that Israel’s intensified efforts to extend its control over the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, including by imposing severe restrictions on Muslim worship, risked plunging the region into “a detrimental religious war”.

Yoram Cohen, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence service, concurred. He warned last week that Israel was stoking religious discord by encouraging Jews to pray at the site over rabbinical objections.

But despite these warnings, the Israeli government announced it was drafting a law that would ban Muslim guards on the esplanade, making it yet easier for Jews to visit.

Government ministers, meanwhile, accused Abbas of religious “incitement” and masterminding the violence in Jerusalem.

Ari Shavit, an influential Israeli analyst, also blamed what he termed an emerging “holy war” not on oppressive Israeli policies, but on the spread of an Islamist extremism.

Shavit and other Israelis have preferred to overlook the obvious parallels between last week’s killings and an even graver incident 20 years ago. Then, Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish settler, entered the Ibrahimi mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron in his Israeli army captain’s uniform and opened fire on Muslim worshippers, killing 29 and wounding 125.

One can only wonder why the timeline for Shavit’s holy war did not extend back to Goldstein’s massacre, or include the waves of attacks, including arson, by settlers on Muslim and Christian places of worship ever since.

Israel’s responses to these two massacres are more helpful in illuminating the fundamental causes of the recent surge in violence.

In Hebron, Palestinians rather than the settlers paid the price for Goldstein’s slaughter. Israel divided the Ibrahimi mosque to create a Jewish prayer space and effectively shut down Hebron’s commercial centre, displacing thousands of Palestinian residents.

Instead of pulling out of the settlers from the occupied territories following the massacre, Israel allowed their numbers to grow at record pace.

Although the anti-Arab Kach group Goldstein belonged to was outlawed, it has continued to operate openly in the settlements, including in Jerusalem. Goldstein’s tomb, next to Hebron, is a site of pilgrimage for thousands of religious Jews.

Palestinians, not Israelis, are again the ones suffering, this time after last week’s synagogue attack.

Israel has begun demolishing the homes of those involved in recent attacks, and is drafting laws to jail stone-throwers for up to 20 years and harshly penalise the parents of those too young to be jailed themselves.

On Sunday the interior minister revoked the Jerusalem residency of a Palestinian convicted of driving a suicide bomber into Tel Aviv 13 years ago – a prelude, according to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to many more such revocations.

Israel is also preparing to relax gun controls to allow thousands more Israeli Jews to carry weapons at a time when Palestinian taxi and bus drivers in Jerusalem say they are being regularly assaulted. Last week a bus driver died in mysterious circumstances, which Palestinians suspect was a lynching.

It should be no surprise that Jerusalem is the eye of the storm. For more than a decade it has served as a laboratory for the Israeli right to experiment with a model of political despair designed to make Palestianians either submit or leave.

House demolitions for Palestinians and settlement building for Jews, brutal policing and the encouragement of crime as a way to recruit collaborators are happening faster and more aggressively in Jerusalem than anywhere else in the occupied territories.

Since the second intifada erupted in 2000, East Jerusalem has been a political orphan. Israel expelled the Palestinian Authority, and jailed or deported Hamas leaders as they tried to fill the vacuum. Since then, Palestinians in Jerusalem have been defenceless against Israel’s intrigues.

Netanyahu and the right have made little secret of their wish to export a similar model to the West Bank, gradually eroding what control the PA still enjoys. But the spiralling violence in Jerusalem has exposed the paradox at the heart of their strategy.

Palestinian anger in the West Bank is every bit as intense as in Jerusalem but Abbas’ security forces still have the will and, just barely, the upper hand to keep a lid on it.

In Jerusalem, on the other hand, protesters face off directly with Israeli police. Because the city lacks organised Palestinian groups, the security services have been unable to penetrate them with collaborators. Instead Israel has been caught off guard by unpredictable attacks as individual Palestinians reach their breaking point.

By refusing to recognise any Palestinian national claims in Jerusalem, Netanyahu has forced the population to recast the conflict in religious terms. Unable to identify politically with either Fatah or Hamas, Jerusalem’s Palestinians have found powerful consolation in a religious struggle to counter the mounting threats to Al-Aqsa.

From this perspective, Netanyahu’s continuing efforts to weaken and undermine Abbas and the PA appear strategically self-destructive. Without them, the West Bank will go the way of Jerusalem – an ever more unmanageable colonial conflict that risks heading towards religious conflagration.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook
About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.

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85 Responses

  1. OlegR
    OlegR on November 27, 2014, 8:33 am

    /The city, claimed by Israel as its “undivided capital”, has been torn apart by clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian residents since the summer, when 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burnt alive by Jewish extremists. /
    If you want to play with timelines are you sure it all didn’t start
    with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens ?

    • annie
      annie on November 27, 2014, 11:05 am

      or the cold blooded murder of 2 palestinian teens by a sniper on may 14th.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on November 27, 2014, 1:28 pm

        Annie, OlegR has enabled me to finally come to a conclusion on a religious problem which has troubled me all my life. But now I can set my mind at ease, the Zionist God must be a women, a Goddess. That’s why their prayers always begin with ‘Mommmeeee, he started it‘.

    • eljay
      eljay on November 27, 2014, 1:50 pm

      >> OlegR: If you want to play with timelines are you sure it all didn’t start with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens ?

      Going back to the time the rapist abducted his victim off the street is always inconvenient for Zio-supremacists, so they prefer to stop instead at the time she – months after being chained in his basement – slashed at him with a shiv. (That ungrateful woman!)

    • talknic
      talknic on November 27, 2014, 11:26 pm

      @ OlegR “If you want to play with timelines are you sure it all didn’t start
      with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens “

      Uh?

      Basil 1897 Jewish Colonial Trust

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer on December 1, 2014, 12:04 am

      “If you want to play with timelines are you sure it all didn’t start
      with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens ? ”

      Gosh I’m not really sure.

      Apparently the Israeli security services believe it started with their cold blooded murder of one Hamas member and injuries inflicted on three other people.

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-fired-rockets-for-first-time-since-2012-israeli-officials-say/

      Go figure. Inherently dishonest, zionists like to start the clock when their victims retalliate.

  2. just
    just on November 27, 2014, 8:39 am

    Netanyahu is pushing this ‘religious war’ just as he pushed his ridiculous “Hamas is ISIS meme”. Yes, there are elements of a religious conflict as the GoI and its henchmen/women continue to insult and disrespect Muslims and Christians.

    I guess he thinks the rest of the world is stupid and blind to his lies and nefarious machinations. Sadly, it appears that the US government is playing willfully blind to Israeli incitement/provocation… we and they stoke the fires with our own very special brand of extremism.

    Thanks Jonathan.

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on November 27, 2014, 9:32 am

      For their convenience, they have turned it into some kind of religious war, when it really is not.
      Good points Just. In reality it is a resistance to the occupation, land grabs, and the collective punishment, but millions must have been poured in to train the mindless hasbara to spew the false narrative, that it is a religious war against the poor Jews.
      They have a sadistic trait in them, to keep treating these poor people like dirt, and make their hopeless lives a living hell. Chickenshit Yahu is not fooling anyone, even the US, but gets away with murder by using that victim card, and shuts those who condemn the crimes by yelling “anti-semitism”. Time the world stopped getting intimidated by that, especially when it is not true.
      Time the world sent the message to Israel that criticizing it’s terrible treatment of the Palestinians, which results in massacres is NOT antisemitism.

    • Walid
      Walid on November 27, 2014, 12:04 pm

      “… the rest of the world… ”

      Just, there is no rest of the world, it’s all about the US and strictly the US. And since the US is indifferent to whatever Israel does to the Palestinians, the rest of the world goes along and nothing could get in Israel’s way except for a third intifada, but the PA took good care of that, voilà!

      • Abierno
        Abierno on November 27, 2014, 3:23 pm

        Actually there is a rest of the world. At Abbas request, Geneva, as in the Geneva conventions , is convening a mid December meeting on Israeli/Palestinian occupation issues with emphasis on the carnage that occurred during the last Gaza “war”. 200 nations have agreed to attend and unlike the last meeting of its kind after the second intifada, the Palestine authority is a signature country. This may be one of the reasons Abbas is stalling on his request to the Security Council. Naturally Israel, the US, Canada and Australia are seeking to derail it. However, the US and the five eyes have so managed to alienate the rest of the world. The US,particularly as represented by Susan Rice, John Kerry and Samantha Power, can be expected to project limited power over the larger group, dominated by the BRICS, only Modi can be expected to break ranks and align with Israel. Strong criticism as well as validation of Israel’s violation of numerous Geneva convention violations against a signatory country would create powerful momentum for the Security Council to move Abbas’ proposals to the General Assembly. A much more powerful scenario than a Third Intifada. Inquiring minds wonder is this is one of the reasons Netanyahu is going crazy?

      • annie
        annie on November 27, 2014, 4:11 pm

        is one of the reasons Netanyahu is going crazy?

        i think it is abierno. he went nuts after the announcement of the unity gov and abbas signed on w/15 UN orgs. it became what seems like a race against time. what i perceived as a concerted effort to bring on the third intifada after abbas went to the UN general assembly 2012 (which i documented here: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/12/hebron-video-alleging-announcement-of-3rd-intifada , coincidentally also during the timeframe fatah and hamas were trying to work out a unity deal ), and which subsided somewhat only w/the obama visit that spring and the drawn out “framework negotiations” came back in full force triggered by israel’s refusal to meet their obligations to release the final batch of prisoners before the deadline last april. palestinians were completely prepared to engage the UN after that 9 month period was over. it’s like a race to the finish w/netanyahu announcing more and more settlements and abbas’s steps at the UN.

      • Walid
        Walid on November 27, 2014, 4:48 pm

        Abierno, I would like to see it happen, but there has been too many false alarms. Something always happen that gets Israel’s ass pulled from the fire and more often than not, the pulling is done by Abbas. If the mid-December Geneva meeting happens with the intended results, I’d become Abbas biggest fan.

  3. seafoid
    seafoid on November 27, 2014, 11:18 am

    One of the boasts that Israel often made after the wall went up was that there was no trouble in Occupied Jerusalem. Their divide and conquer policy of cantonment – there are so many islands of Palestinians now- gave them that assurance. and they were so sure that the carrots of Jerusalem residence and social benefits would keep trouble to a minimum.

    And now they have no idea what to do. Their undivided city- the tram stops in Beit Hanina and Shuafat are shut.

    They can’t send in the DF- as they would in the west Bank- because it would hurt tourism. Jerusalem is already a poor city. The output per Haredi is very low, you know.

    Reality vs the bot memes- reality wins every time

    • ivri
      ivri on November 28, 2014, 8:51 am

      Seafoid: “And now they have no idea what to do” “Reality wins every time”
      That rings a bell – indeed a whole ensemble of them.
      Wasn`t that what almost everybody said when 6 Arab armies threatened to invade the embryonic Israel? And when the suicide bombers rampaged Israel in the second Intifada? And many other past occasions (one just recently with the missiles-out-of-tunnels in Gaza)
      It will indeed take time and be painful for both sides but why assume that it is this time that Israel will be at loss – when half a million Jews in Jerusalem face 300 hundred thousand Arabs there? Does Israel appear so helpless?

      • just
        just on November 28, 2014, 6:36 pm

        Israel does not have ‘right’ on its side…

      • talknic
        talknic on November 30, 2014, 9:57 am

        ivri
        “Wasn`t that what almost everybody said when 6 Arab armies threatened to invade the embryonic Israel?”

        A) Impossible to know if a state allegedly without borders as is claimed by Israel’s idiotic propagandameisters, has been invaded or not. It’s one of the logical reasons why states must have a defined territories. http://www.cfr.org/sovereignty/montevideo-convention-rights-duties-states/p15897

        B) However Israel did proclaim its borders in its plea for recognition as you and your fellow denialist visitors to MW have been shown … many times. http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk It is indisputable (except if you’re a complete idiot)

        C) The Israeli govt states the Arab states invaded “Palestine” http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/mfadocuments/yearbook1/pages/5%20arab%20league%20declaration%20on%20the%20invasion%20of%20pales.aspx (there is no UNSC condemnation of any invasion of Israel by any Arab state because they didn’t invade Israel. Israel’s wars have been fought in territories “outside the State of Israel” http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/B4085A930E0529C98025649D00410973 )

        D) The Arab States threatened only to invade Palestine in their declaration to the UNSC (as required by the UN Charter Chapt VII, the last declaration of war ever lodged as required to the UNSC BTW )

        “It will indeed take time and be painful for both sides but why assume that it is this time that Israel will be at loss – when half a million Jews in Jerusalem face 300 hundred thousand Arabs there? Does Israel appear so helpless?

        Israel has purposefully created a minefield of illegal facts on the ground from which it cannot possibly afford to extricate itself. It must negotiate a plea bargain with the Palestinians in order to circumvent the law under which it would be sent bankrupt trying to withdraw and relocate all its citizens in Israel while paying rightful reparations for 66 yrs of belligerence towards the people of Palestine

        Meanwhile, the Palestinians have no legal obligation to forgo ANY of their legal rights, even in negotiations. Israel is required to adhere to the law even in negotiations.

        Without the US veto vote, Israel would be helpless! But all the veto vote has done is allow the frog to stay in the pot

      • Mooser
        Mooser on November 30, 2014, 11:47 am

        “Israel has purposefully created a minefield of illegal facts on the ground from which it cannot possibly afford to extricate itself.”

        Of course it has! Don’t you think, that after 2000 years persecution, the Jewish People deserve some security, and some protection?
        After all those persecution, don’t you think Jews in Israel deserve to be caught in “a minefield of illegal facts on the ground from which it cannot possibly afford to extricate itself.”

        Wait a minute, this comment seems to be slipping sideways on me….

  4. MHughes976
    MHughes976 on November 27, 2014, 1:01 pm

    There has always been a religious element in this dreadful mix, in that political claims are often justified on the Israeli side by appeal to religious authority and by the claim to divine donation. This claim can be disowned with a quiet smile, treated as an optional extra to a case already made or asserted with passionate intensity but it is and always has been there. The other side does not so much say that Palestine is theirs by a special divine decree – and I can remember when stories of PLO hijackings might feature women who made a point of mocking Jewish religious symbols without showing any commitment to Islam. But increasingly, since the sharp decline of Nasserism and Marxism, religion has been important in creating – or in attempts to create – unity and activism in opposition to Israel. The importance of religion has not come by a sudden mutation but by a rather inexorable process.

  5. DaBakr
    DaBakr on November 27, 2014, 3:47 pm

    “Palestinians, not Israelis, are again the ones suffering, this time after last week’s synagogue attack.”

    right. of course the families of the four rabbis and the heroic Druze policeman are not “the ones” suffering “after last weeks attack”.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer on November 27, 2014, 4:04 pm

      All Israeli’s are not suffering yet Israel is intent on making an entire population suffer. Don’t pretend to be stupid. You are pretending, right?

    • Walid
      Walid on November 27, 2014, 4:56 pm

      “… four rabbis and the heroic Druze policeman ”

      It pains you to simply say 5 Israelis were killed, doesn’t it. I’ve been seeing reports out of Israel all week about the Druze getting all hot and bothered about being treated like the rest of the Palestinians despite their military service. Now more and more Druze are dodging military service preferring to go to jail instead. It took them a while to see for themselves the extent of Israeli false promises and lies.

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick on November 27, 2014, 7:44 pm

        No doubt some of them remember that Druze solider who was allowed to bleed to death when he was shot in, I think, Hebron about ten years ago.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on November 30, 2014, 8:02 pm

        doesn’t pain me at all. I didn’t say “jews” or did not distinguish between Israelis but mentioned that there are citizens of Israel loyal to the state that are not Jewish and feel sufficiently loyal to risk their own lifes to try and protect fellow citizens. you can read into it whatever you like but the point is-the idea of Israel aligning with facism is disingenuous and the the loyalty of many Druze is only one point of evidence refuting this. Palestinians like to use the Druze as analogous to kapo’s in nazi extermination camps but that is also an asinine joke

      • annie
        annie on November 30, 2014, 8:31 pm

        the idea of Israel aligning with facism is disingenuous

        lol, no it is not!

      • talknic
        talknic on December 1, 2014, 11:02 am

        DaBakr“the idea of Israel aligning with facism is disingenuous”

        Strange, Israel IS in breach of laws, the UN Charter and conventions that were adopted in large part because of what happened to our Jewish fellows under the &*&^% Nazis and Lieberman wants to get rid of non-Jewish Israeli citizens … go figure

        “and the the loyalty of many Druze is only one point of evidence refuting this’

        Lieberman DOESN’T want to get rid of non-Jewish Israelis? WOW!! You’d best tell him the loyalty of many Druze are gonna screw his plans

        Palestinians like to use the Druze as analogous to kapo’s in nazi extermination camps”

        I’d like to see you quote an example … thx

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on December 1, 2014, 6:39 pm

        you don’t need to “see” a specific quote(though there is plenty of literature by Arabs who believe ANY Palestinian cooperating with Israeli Jews is a traitor.Or, just read about Arab/Palestinian reaction of joy to death of “4” Jews along with 2 martyrs and no mention or sympathy for the ‘traitor’ Druze.

      • talknic
        talknic on December 2, 2014, 9:43 am

        @ DaBakr “you don’t need to “see” a specific quote”

        Uh huh. I guessed your answer would be something like that. All you and you kind have is ziopoop

        “Or, just read about Arab/Palestinian reaction of joy to death of “4” Jews along with 2 martyrs and no mention or sympathy for the ‘traitor’ Druze “

        OK…. Say … where will I just read about it?

    • seafoid
      seafoid on November 27, 2014, 5:06 pm

      Dabakr

      Collective punishment of the Palestinian people versus 4 grieving Jewish families- it’;s the old Jewish fingernail argument and is deserving of contempt.

      Does it honestly matter that someone murdered is Jewish ?
      Are we supposed to go OMG WTF just because they used to sit around the seder table every so often ?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on November 27, 2014, 7:12 pm

        I’m very upset about one thing. Why weren’t strenuous efforts to warn these Rabbis of the danger they ran, and the inability of Israel to protect them? Glick was shot just a few weeks ago.
        Why did they allow these four Rabbis to make this foolhardy trip?
        Certainly the Rabbis would have listened to a warning or an order from the GOI?

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on November 30, 2014, 8:08 pm

        if you have to ask if it really matters then there is nothing I can do to help your condition. you think what you want to think-believe what you want to believe about Israel and Jews. come live here and you’ll know very quickly it is a war and who is killing who most definitely matters.

      • eljay
        eljay on November 30, 2014, 8:54 pm

        >> DaBakreee: … come live here and you’ll know very quickly it is a war and who is killing who most definitely matters.

        The fact that Israel is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” that – among other immoral and unjust things – has been stealing, occupying and colonizing Palestinian land and oppressing, torturing and killing Palestinians for over 60 years definitely matters as well.

      • talknic
        talknic on December 1, 2014, 11:12 am

        @ DaBakr “if you have to ask if it really matters then there is nothing I can do to help your condition”

        Murder is murder no matter who is murdered. The murder of a Jew by a non-Jew or anyone else is no more murder than the murder of an non-Jew by a Jew or anyone else.

        “you think what you want to think-believe what you want to believe about Israel and Jews”

        I’d rather think what I want to think, alas the facts stand in the way.

        Jewish forces under Plan Dalet exacerbated the civil war in territories not slated for the Jewish state in the months leading up to the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. Jewish forces are still in non-Israeli territories

        Jewish leaders wanted to acquire those territories after having been given, completely gratis, more than half of the territory of 1948 Palestine

        Israel proclaimed its borders
        Jewish forces were already in non-=Israeli territory on the day Israel’s territory was proclaimed

        . come live here and you’ll know very quickly it is a war and who is killing who most definitely matters.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 1, 2014, 11:15 am

        ” come live here and you’ll know very quickly it is a war and who is killing who most definitely matters.”

        So to put it plainly, those 4 innocent Rabbis were worth more to Israel dead than alive? Nobody felt it necessary to warn them, even forbid them from going where unarmed Rabbis face such danger?

        You know Dabakr, it’s very easy to see. No effort whatsoever was made by Israel to prevent those poor, innocent, “properly attired” Rabbis. from going.

      • talknic
        talknic on December 1, 2014, 11:15 am

        The web designers have created vast swathes of useless white space and taken away a very useful edit function.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick on November 27, 2014, 7:50 pm

      “of course the families of the four rabbis and the heroic Druze policeman are not “the ones” suffering “after last weeks attack”.

      No, they aren’t.

    • talknic
      talknic on November 27, 2014, 11:35 pm

      @ DaBakr ” the families of the four rabbis and the heroic Druze policeman are not “the ones” suffering “after last weeks attack””

      Go whine to the Zionist Federation, Jewish Agency and the Israeli govt who purposefully assist and encourage Israelis to be illegally in territory illegally acquired by war by Israel, never legally annexed to the state of Israel, where they are highly likely to become victims of the violence expected from occupying another people and furthermore illegally acquiring their rightful territory.

      What kind of mindless *^%&!# idiots purposefully encourage their citizens to break GC IV, a law adopted t protect ALL civilians, including those of the Occupying Power of some 66 years?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on November 30, 2014, 11:52 am

        “What kind of mindless *^%&!# idiots purposefully encourage their citizens to break GC IV, a law adopted t protect ALL civilians, including those of the Occupying Power of some 66 years?”

        Oy Vey! Here’s another one who he has no idea of what is necessary to preserve, protect and defend the Jewish People!
        Talknic after all the persecution, the Zionists know that the Jewish People need security. (And of course, the f–kers will do anything to see they don’t get it.)

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on November 30, 2014, 8:16 pm

        what kind of mindless [email protected]&&!( idiots think Israel is going to give strategic territory to a people who hold support rallies for IS on Al-Quds University campus and who can’t guarantee that any civil government will be able to hold the militant groups in check without heavy handed israeli pressure? A people who refer to the occupied territory of ’48 as if its just a inevitable function of time. (and if thats true-then there is no point to negotiating anything) Oh, sorry-you are the [email protected]&@^ idiot that believes that. You also believe that Israel will ‘get whats coming to it’ which we’ve been hearing for more then 50yrs. This comment will most likely be censored anyhow. Since 95% of my posts are censored regardless of content-whats the point of being polite. you [….] never engage anyway. your just as immoveable and fascistic as any Israeli or Zionist

      • annie
        annie on November 30, 2014, 8:29 pm

        and on the bright side, i’d trash a comment calling you a ‘jew-nazi’ too. try cleaning up your verbiage if your so concerned about not being censored. it’s not my job to sanitize your post to make it publishable.

        idiots think Israel is going to give strategic territory

        it’s not israels to “give”. it’s not their territory. who’s the idiot!?

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on November 30, 2014, 9:09 pm

        wow Annie. I’m impressed. Yes-I used a euphemism joining Palistinian(supporter) and an obscene term just as many here regularly join Zionist with the same term. But that you ‘allowed’ the comment- again-i’ve been censored for a lot less. (and i actually RARELY use objectionable language in any posts unless its expressive-not derogatory. But point taken anyway-about the “bright side” ;)

      • annie
        annie on December 1, 2014, 12:43 am

        it’s a pity you feel so censored, especially since i’ve moderated what seems like at least 15 of your comments today. i just checked the trash back a week. you’ve had 3 comments trashed. but since you’ve left the impression every other comment of yours is trashed maybe i should try that so you can earn the persecution you claim to be enduring.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 1, 2014, 11:38 am

        Gosh darn it, Annie! Let’s get down to the facts! Why isn’t every poster who expresses Zionist sympathies immediately made a Moderator, and then an Editor?
        What do they have to do, show you the results of their DNA test proving “Jewish ethnicity”? You can look it up!

      • talknic
        talknic on December 1, 2014, 12:22 pm

        @ DaBakr ” what kind of mindless [email protected]&&!( idiots think Israel is going to give strategic territory….”

        1) If it ain’t Israel’s to give and it ain’t yet, then;

        2) Negotiations or not, Israel is obliged by law to withdraw from all territory acquired for strategic purposes BEFORE peaceful relations are assumed (Read the Israel/Egypt Peace Treaty) and;

        3) while Israel refuses to end its occupation of non-Israeli territory, ignores the hundreds of reminders via UNSC resolution emphasizing binding International Law, it has a “sacred trust” to protect the occupied, their property and their territory, however;

        4) Israel has refused to end the occupation, refused to live up to its obligations and instead of protecting those it occupies, it has made illegal claims to their territory. Deliberately encouraging and helping illegal Israeli settlers, creating so many illegal facts on the ground, that Israel is incapable of affording to now adhere to the law. It would be sent bankrupt

        “A people who refer to the occupied territory of ’48 as if its just a inevitable function of time. (and if thats true-then there is no point to negotiating anything) Oh, sorry-you are the [email protected]&@^ idiot that believes that. “

        If that’s a reference to myself … quote please … I’ve NEVER said there is no point in negotiating. Facts are the best place to start negotiations. Fact is, Israel’s borders have NEVER legally changed from the day they were recognizedas requested! No territory has ever been legally annexed to Israel. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been unwittingly living in non-Israeli territory for more than half a century … http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk#googlemap

        “You also believe that Israel will ‘get whats coming to it’”

        Problem with that theory of yours… Zionist colonization counts on other folk acting humanely. Kept ignorant, fed bullsh*t and assured by consecutive Israeli governments (none of which have ever been legally elected under the promised constitution), too many innocent Israeli civilians are involved.

        Incredibly generous and considerate of innocent Israelis, the Palestinians have offered to accept only 22% of their rightful territories for peace. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/full-transcript-of-abbas-speech-at-un-general-assembly-1.386385

        On the other hand, never deviating from achieving a Greater Israel, Zionist colonizers care nothing for innocent Israeli Jews caught up in their deceit. They’re cannon fodder for the ultimate religious relic, Jerusalem. They take and demand more and more, preferring deception, denial, lies. You must be very proud to be part of a very very sick movement!

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 1, 2014, 2:19 pm

        Thanks, Talknic. Esp. last paragraphs!

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on December 1, 2014, 6:46 pm

        your fantasy that “facts” are the best place to start is more then a joke. “facts”, especially in this conflict are like the ‘truth’. you think you have argued to a definitive ‘fact’ when your set of facts is completely at odds with my set of ‘facts. And then we get down to who owns the specific ‘facts’ that pertain and which facts will determine what outcome. a bit religious in a way-these “facts” you try so hard to cram down the worlds throat to change a narrative that you detest and claim to be ‘dishonest’ bull. you will never own the ‘facts’ of this situation anymore then you own the ‘truth’.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on December 1, 2014, 6:56 pm

        @annie

        yes, its true. I have taken advantage of what seems like a less severe moderation policy this past week. And I do understand that with this conflict-the sides have become so polarized that there is little ‘engagement’ and mostly shouting back and forth. I definitely have not posted a constructive idea in the past week but have posted criticisms or snark to others posts.

      • talknic
        talknic on December 2, 2014, 9:55 am

        @ DaBakr “your fantasy that “facts” are the best place to start is more then a joke”

        Lies are better? Seems to be at odds with Judaism’s basic tenets.

        “you think you have argued to a definitive ‘fact’ when your set of facts is completely at odds with my set of ‘facts”

        1) Fact is, you haven’t provided any facts
        2) It is a fact that the Israeli Government proclaimed Israel’s boundaries in the request for recognition.
        3) It is also a fact that there has never been an agreement by which Israel has ever legally annexed any territories to its proclaimed and recognized sovereign extent.

        IOW You have nothing

        “And then we get down to who owns the specific ‘facts'”

        No one owns a fact …

  6. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer on November 27, 2014, 4:03 pm

    Well surely the law changes being made will allow all Israeli’s to more easily acquire weapons and carry them.

    After all Isarel is a democracy which treats all it’s citizens equally and is a light unto the world.

  7. just
    just on November 27, 2014, 7:22 pm

    “IDF chief rabbi: 90% of Muslims don’t know Quran contents
    Rafi Peretz says most of Temple Mount is not holy to Islamic faith; Army says remarks were taken out of context

    IDF chief rabbi Rafi Peretz downplayed Muslim religious ties to Jerusalem, and said that the majority of the followers of the Quran know nothing of its contents, in comments brought to light Wednesday.

    According to a transcript of a lesson at the Otzem pre-military yeshiva, published on the Kipa website on Wednesday, the military rabbi said on November 3 that Jews were more well-versed in the Quran than Muslims.”

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-chief-rabbi-90-of-muslims-dont-know-quran-contents/

    “Chief IDF Rabbi: Temple Mount not for Muslims
    Brig. Gen. Rafi Peretz questions Islamic religious significance of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

    Chief Military Rabbi Brig. Gen. Rafi Peretz recently said the Temple Mount has no religious significance to Muslims and questioned their affiliation to the site.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.628969

  8. just
    just on November 27, 2014, 8:55 pm

    “JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli Supreme Court decided to freeze demolition orders against the homes of two East Jerusalem Palestinians suspected of killing five men in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue until a verdict on the families’ appeals are decided.

    The freeze comes as a surprise amid weeks of violence in Jerusalem, where Israeli authorities have insisted on carrying out numerous punitive home demolitions against the families of Palestinians thought to have carried out attacks on Israelis.”

    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=743219

    • Mooser
      Mooser on November 30, 2014, 11:55 am

      “The freeze comes as a surprise…”

      But I thought home demolitions were such an effective deterrent.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on November 30, 2014, 8:24 pm

        they will destroy the homes-eventually. although it would be much more appropriate to confiscate the homes and give them to the widows and children of the 5 murdered Israelis to do with what they will. But when the legal work and dust has cleared the houses are gone -and rightfully so-since there is no death penalty and the two cousins are likely to be released in less time then 1/8th the sentence of Jonathn Pollard

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 1, 2014, 11:21 am

        “To the widows and children of the 5 murdered Israelis”

        Four of those “murdered Israelis” were born, and reside, and are citizens of, the US or UK.
        But now they are “murdered Israelis”. Sure, okay.

        Pretty freakin obvious, Dabakr, you like them better dead then alive. There can never be enough dead Jews for Zionism.

  9. just
    just on November 28, 2014, 7:17 am

    “As opposed to Golitsyn, though, the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, does not ask himself if he contributed to the descent into violence. After all, he participated enthusiastically in turning the eastern part of the city into a sort of Israeli Soweto, with a draconian regime of fines, municipal inspectors who function as prison wardens, and municipal services that are appropriate to the Middle Ages. And East Jerusalem is not cut off from the rest of the city; its residents see very well how city hall grants all the benefits to their Jewish neighbors.

    On the other hand, why should we expect Barkat to spend time on soul searching and take account of the Palestinian residents of the city, when the political system across the generations never has? After all, the great majority of Arabs in Jerusalem were born into the reality of occupation. They suckled on occupied education, occupied abuse, and yes, occupation favors too. And look at the result: The anger of the “robbed Cossack” that Golda Meir aimed at the Palestinians – “When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons” – the Palestinians aim back at the occupiers. They will not forgive them for turning their lives into hell, so much so that they choose suicide while harming the innocent; they prefer death over the paradise that the occupier promises them.

    In the first days of the occupation the Jews celebrated in song and dance the “liberation” of East Jerusalem, and the Palestinians watched the horrifying show through the slits in the window shutters. The first generation of the occupied was in shock; the first generation of occupiers still tried occasionally to paint a smile on the harsh reality. The present generation of occupiers declares without embarrassment that its goal is to change the face of the city. And one particular grain of the salt of the earth, Naftali Bennett is his name, takes pride in the operation of taking over houses in Silwan, whose methods are more appropriate for the Mafia than for a civilized government.

    This is the “petty tyranny” that Golitsyn wrote about: To weave a web of laws, ordinances and stratagems in order to change the face of the city, to make the lives of Arabs insufferable, until they take their belongings and leave. And all this is happening beneath the blood-curdling smile of Bennett, man of salt.

    After every murderous terror attack they come with claims against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. What chutzpah! Does Abbas sneak mystical settlers into Silwan? Does he destroy houses? Set up roadblocks? At the time, when things heated up after the kidnapping of Nachshon Waxman, Yitzhak Rabin courageously said that the kidnapping happened in the area under Israeli sovereignty, and we should not complain to Arafat.

    In his book, “Jerusalem: The Biography,” Simon Sebag Montefiore writes that Mordechai Gur, who commanded the paratroopers who launched the capture of East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War, did not know how to reach the Western Wall, but an old Arab man showed him the Mugrabi Gate. Later they rewarded the old man by destroying the entire Mugrabi neighborhood.

    That is how they are turning the site, which was marginal in the national conflict, into the new “foundation of our existence.” Allah yester, God protect us.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.628906

    • 666
      666 on November 28, 2014, 5:42 pm

      just

      -5

      • just
        just on November 28, 2014, 6:26 pm

        tell it to the author.

  10. 666
    666 on November 29, 2014, 3:26 am

    why would a young girl take a knife to the cave of patriarchs ….an okapi pocket knife.
    what was her intention. soldiers fully armed were alert to the possibility of an attack
    what does it mean ?
    are we seeing the possibility of peace.the acceptance of 2 states .one for jews and one for arabs.if that is the case then israeli arabs must leave israel and jewish settlers must leave the west bank.

    with jerusalem a holy city to be occupied only by those who want to live a full spiritual life as holy people. …..jerusalem to become a centre for study and prayer for imans rabbis and priests and their disciples

    there is no alternative

    ,

    • Mooser
      Mooser on November 30, 2014, 12:02 pm

      “are we seeing the possibility of peace.the acceptance of 2 states .one for jews and one for arabs.if that is the case then israeli arabs must leave israel and jewish settlers must leave the west bank.”

      666 what an amazing advocate for liberal Zionism you are! Haven’t had one of those, (and with your pseudo-Kaballah nonsense and pretentious lack of punctuation and syntax, too) in a while. That’s style, man.

      But beneath all that, well, style you are a solid two-State (“one for jews and one for arabs” sic) man, a liberal Zionist who doesn’t think Palestinians exist, and is in favor of forced transfers. You’ve got a winning number there, “666”

    • Mooser
      Mooser on November 30, 2014, 12:28 pm

      “with jerusalem a holy city to be occupied only by those who want to live a full spiritual life as holy people. “

      As determined by beard length and width measurements, and “proper attire”? Or do they use one of them ‘brain scan’ machines, to determine how holey a person’s head is?

    • talknic
      talknic on November 30, 2014, 8:28 pm

      666 “why would a young girl take a knife to the cave of patriarchs ….an okapi pocket knife.”

      Maybe for protection from idiotic and violent illegal Israeli Jewish settlers

      “are we seeing the possibility of peace.the acceptance of 2 states .one for jews and one for arabs.if that is the case then israeli arabs must leave israel and jewish settlers must leave the west bank.”

      A) Why should there be peace for Israel while it illegally claims and illegally acquires non-Israeli territory

      B) There is already a Jewish state and an Arab state, created by default. Unfortunately the Jewish state has and continues to illegally acquire non-Israeli territory occupied by the Jewish state.

      C) “israeli arabs must leave israel and jewish settlers must leave the west bank” Classic ziopuke… You’re obviously incapable of noticing the glaring hole in it …

      Israeli Arabs are ISRAELI citizens who have a legal and moral right to stay in the territory of and remain citizens of their state. ISRAELI citizens illegally settling in the west Bank, do not have a legal or moral right to stay in non-Israeli territory, not belonging to their state, even if they are Jews.

      “with jerusalem a holy city to be occupied only by those who want to live a full spiritual life as holy people. …..jerusalem to become a centre for study and prayer for imans rabbis and priests and their disciples”

      Jerusalem is one of the most precious religious ‘relics’. Religious relics generate enormous wealth for the countries they’re in. Jerusalem is the most valuable religious relic in the planet.

      “there is no alternative”

      The law! It exists for people who insist on taking other folks property, while dispossessing and slaughtering them

      • 666
        666 on December 1, 2014, 1:28 am

        talknic

        a.wrong….the knife was to attack soldiers

        b.there is no palestinian state, only israel is a state

        c.israel will be a jewish state there will be land swaps

        d.you are a relic……your answer has exposed you for what you are….an anti semite who cannot accept jerusalem being shared

        e.what law……only the law of war applies

      • annie
        annie on December 1, 2014, 2:07 am

        LOL did someone squeak

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 1, 2014, 11:27 am

        .“an anti semite who cannot accept jerusalem being shared”

        Ah, now we understand why there was all that ridiculous obfuscatory bullshit and cryptic random letters in “666” posts. Look what happens when he tries to speak plainly and squarely.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 1, 2014, 11:30 am

        “a.wrong….the knife was to attack soldiers”

        You guys all know about those deadly Palestinian throwing knives, don’t you? From 100 yards, when thrown by a girl, they can pierce body armor, or even a tallit! And the release velocity is twice that of an IDF assault rifle!

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 1, 2014, 11:38 am

        “e.what law……only the law of war applies”

        “with jerusalem a holy city to be occupied only by those who want to live a full spiritual life as holy people.”

        Which ever is convenient for you at the moment?

      • talknic
        talknic on December 2, 2014, 10:44 am

        @ 666 “a.wrong….the knife was to attack soldiers”

        Evidence other than accusations? (accusations are not evidence) BTW Soldiers of an Occupying Power are legitimate military targets.

        “b.there is no palestinian state, only israel is a state”

        Strange, the State of Palestine has been recognized by the majority of the Comity of Nations AND the UN http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/19862D03C564FA2C85257ACB004EE69B

        Got anything other than ziopoop?

        Furthermore there was a State of Palestine where Jews could immigrate, gain citizenship and settle anywhere in the Jewish People’s Historic Homeland.
        http://www.avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp#art7 The Zionist movement’s demand for a separate state screwed that up. So many opportunities missed http://wp.me/pDB7k-pE

        “c.israel will be a jewish state there will be land swaps”

        1) Israel IS the “Jewish state” http://www.knesset.gov.il/docs/eng/megilat_eng.htm
        2) Until such time as these “land swaps” take place, Israel’s boundaries are unchanged since the day they were proclaimed and recognized http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf
        3) Israel only offers to swap Palestinian territory for Palestinian territory so that Israel can keep Palestinian territory. http://www.commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map_Palestinian_territories_acquired_by_war_Not_annexed_to_Israel.jpg

        “d.you are a relic……your answer has exposed you for what you are….an anti semite who cannot accept jerusalem being shared”

        1) Quote me. 2) False accusations of Anti-semitism (or anything else) are against the basic tenets of Judaism as is coveting other folks property. 3) Odd that you break one of Judaism’s basic tenets allegedly on behalf of the Jewish state. You must be so proud!

        “e.what law……only the law of war applies”

        No buster. The UN Charter applies (binding in its entirety on all UN Members http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter11.shtml )
        International and Customary International Law applies http://www.cfr.org/sovereignty/montevideo-convention-rights-duties-states/p15897 (all law is binding)
        Numerous Conventions apply and are binding on those who ratify them and once a majority have ratified them, they pass into Customary International Law and, as you’d have it, the Laws of War apply …
        Laws of War Art. 55. “The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.” This is further codified in the UN Charter XI (ibid)

      • RoHa
        RoHa on December 2, 2014, 7:06 pm

        “.an anti semite”

        Sure. Anyone who doesn’t buy your line is an anti-Semite. Much easier to say that than to present a rational and moral argument for your position.

        “who cannot accept jerusalem being shared”

        It doesn’t look as though the Israeli Jews want to share Jerusalem with anyone.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on December 1, 2014, 11:35 am

      “with jerusalem a holy city to be occupied only by those who want to live a full spiritual life as holy people.”

      There’s nothing like accusations of anti-semitism to really make a guy a “holy person”, is there “666”?

      • talknic
        talknic on December 5, 2014, 9:47 am

        @ Mooser

        accusations of anti-semitism really set my halo spinnin’

  11. Dan From Away
    Dan From Away on November 29, 2014, 6:22 am

    The Arabic stenciled on the wall in the above image says:

    Sacred hajj
    Forgiven sins
    Thankful efforts

    • just
      just on November 29, 2014, 12:49 pm

      Thanks for that translation, Dan. I did wonder. Beautiful.

      • Walid
        Walid on November 29, 2014, 1:34 pm

        Just, since you’re interested, I’ll add a couple of notes to Dan’s translation. The second adjective word in each of the 3 phrases rhyme:

        Hajj Mabrour—-Sacred Hajj

        (wa) Zanb Maghfour—- (and)Forgiven Sin

        (wa) Sa’aii Mashkour— (and) Thankful Efforts

        Whenever a man or woman makes the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, upon their return home, they will find their street

      • Walid
        Walid on November 29, 2014, 1:44 pm

        sorry I hit the “post” button by mistake; I’ll continue:

        … whenever they return home from the Hajj, they will find their house and all adjoining houses in the neighbourhood, all lampposts, electric poles, balconies and so on, festooned with colourful balloons, garlands, flowers and so on and one huge banner running the width of the street in front of their home with the 3 phrases inscribed on them as a sign of “mabrooke” or “congratulations” from the neighbours to the returning pilgrims.

        You will note the small drawing of the Kaaba on the right of the poster.

      • just
        just on November 29, 2014, 1:54 pm

        Many thanks, Walid.

        ;-))

      • annie
        annie on November 29, 2014, 2:22 pm

        dan and walid, that is wonderful. thank you so much. i had heard about this before but i forgot:

        will find their house and all adjoining houses in the neighbourhood, all lampposts, electric poles, balconies and so on, festooned with colourful balloons, garlands, flowers and so on and one huge banner running the width of the street in front of their home with the 3 phrases inscribed on them as a sign of “mabrooke” or “congratulations” from the neighbours to the returning pilgrims.

        that is so beautiful.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on November 30, 2014, 8:32 pm

        That is a beautiful graffiti. Nothing offensive either. Mecca is the holiest place in all Islam.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on December 1, 2014, 11:32 am

        “That is a beautiful graffiti. Nothing offensive either. Mecca is the holiest place in all Islam. “

        This saith the Lord, our God!

  12. gamal
    gamal on November 30, 2014, 9:08 pm

    Dear Annie if you have a little time Ghada Hashem Talhami has written a nice if long piece on
    fadhail al quds (w’ al sham) etc, i excerpt below, you may enjoy

    ” Muslims proceeded to build shrines to various religions, not only to Islam, as soon as they entrenched themselves around Jerusalem’s sacred-rock area. By the ninth century CE, the Haram al-Sharif, where the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa Mosque stood, was also dedicated to non-Islamic religions. Shrines were built to honor David, Solomon and Jesus. In addition, since Jews did not regard the Western Wall of the Temple with veneration until the sixteenth century, the Wall was dedicated as a Muslim shrine commemorating the area where Muhammad tethered his winged horse, al-Buraq, on the night of his celestial journey. Historians assume that a small Jewish synagogue probably stood near the wall during the Umayyad and Abbasid periods, but until the beginning of the Ottoman period, Jews worshiped mainly at the Mount of Olives.”

  13. mcohen.
    mcohen. on December 1, 2014, 5:55 am

    here is a link for you gamal……

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_of_Olives

    Status since 1948

    Following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Jordan obligated itself within the framework of the 3 April 1949 Armistice Agreements to allow “free access to the holy sites and cultural institutions and use of the cemeteries on the Mount of Olives”. However, during the 19 years the Jordanian occupation of the West Bank lasted, the terms were not upheld. Non-Israeli Christian pilgrims were allowed to visit the Mount, but Jews of all countries and most non-Jewish Israeli citizens were barred from entering Jordan and therefore were unable to travel to the area.[9][10][11]

    By the end of 1949, and throughout the Jordanian occupation of the site, some Arab residents uprooted tombstones and plowed the land in the cemeteries and an estimated 38,000 tombstones were damaged in total. During this period, four roads were paved through the cemeteries, in the process destroying graves including those of famous persons. Jordan’s King Hussein permitted the construction of the Intercontinental Hotel at the summit of the Mount of Olives together with a road that cut through the cemetery which destroyed hundreds of Jewish graves, some from the First Temple Period. Graves were also demolished for parking lots and a filling station[12][13][14] and were even used in latrines at a Jordanian Army barracks.[15][16][17][18][19]

    Following the 1967 Six-Day War and the Israeli capture of East Jerusalem, its government began restoration work and re-opened the cemetery for burials. Israel’s 1980 unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem was condemned as a violation of international law and ruled null and void by the UN Security Council in UNSC Resolution 478.

    • talknic
      talknic on December 3, 2014, 1:07 pm

      @ mcohen.

      Sh*te happens in wars. Buildings and sites get damaged and in re-building each administration has different priorities over what might or might not be viable to maintain and what might or what might not contribute to the future of a city.

      E.g. Hasbaristas never seem to mention that the Hurva Synagogue was damaged in fighting Jewish forces who were using it for military purposes. Jordanian authorities were then faced with the practicalities of leaving it in a precarious state or demolishing those parts that presented an immediate danger if left as they were

      1948 Israeli emergency Law, still current, forbade citizens and residents of Israel from entering the territory of an enemy state and states often intern or expel citizens with an enemy heritage and freeze their assets. It’s NORMAL. It’s also normal to release and allow return when hostilities are over. Unless of course people have taken up an alternative citizenship, whereby they lose refugee status.

      BTW Nothing in the third hand opinion of the Wikipedia article changes Israel’s legal sovereign extent and its illegal activities as the Occupying Power over non-Israeli territories.

  14. mcohen.
    mcohen. on December 1, 2014, 6:05 am

    gamal

    those jewish graves with there tombstones were there a thousand years before islam…..

    can you imagine if israel built a intercontinental hotel on the temple mount.

    pretty little pictures….mecca to jerusalem

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