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Jerusalem: The Heart & Soul of the Conflict

Posted By Yedidya Atlas On March 16, 2012 @ 12:10 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 23 Comments

Last month Qatar hosted representatives from Islamic countries attending the “International Conference for the Defence of Occupied Jerusalem.” Supposedly they convened to discuss “the legal status of Jerusalem before and after the Israeli occupation, the reality and the future of Jerusalem under occupation, and the status of the holy places under international law.” The real reason, the Islamic reason, was to perpetuate the lie that Jerusalem is not Jewish.

It was no surprise that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the notorious Holocaust denier, or Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi, whose organization’s 22nd summit in 2010 approved the conference, among other Muslim political luminaries, attended. It was even par for the course that the UN representative Robert Serry attended to give official UN backing to the Big Lie on Arab-Muslim Jerusalem. Nor was it a bombshell that Kenneth Insley, Jr., who was listed as “consultant” to the US Department of State, attended also delivering a speech in support of the aforementioned Islamic mythological history of Jerusalem. (To date, the State Department has failed to explain whether or not Mr. Insley, a known promoter of anti-Israel hatred, was there on behalf of the US government as the conference billing listed him.)

But the primary thrust of the conference was just another in a long line of Islamic attempts to throw the sands of confusion and deception in the minds eyes of Western policy makers and the Western media. The purpose: to cause the aforementioned Western fellow travelers to participate and support the Islamic re-writing of Jerusalem’s history.

The reason that Jerusalem is so important to Muslims is because it actually is important to the Jews. After all, when East Jerusalem with the Old City and the Temple Mount was occupied by the Arab and Islamic Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan from 1949 until 1967, Jerusalem was not important to the same Arab/Islamic leaders who subsequently shed crocodile tears over the loss of Jerusalem following Israel’s liberating Eastern Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War. During the 19 years of Jordanian occupation, for example, the King of Saudi Arabia, PLO chieftain Yasser Arafat, et al., never once visited Jerusalem, never felt the need to go up to the Temple Mount and pray at the mosque. Moreover, those Muslims who do pray at the “al-Aqsa Mosque” built on the Temple Mount turn their backs to the mosque and face Mecca. Why? Because Jerusalem, as we will see from a brief historical review, means nothing per se to Muslims except in relation to the city’s importance to their declared enemies: Jews and Christians, those “People of the Book.”

Anyone who is conversant at all with Biblical history and archeology, as well as more than three millennia of Jewish law and traditions, knows the unique and central role Jerusalem plays in Judaism. Jews have always prayed towards Jerusalem, and in Jerusalem, they pray towards the Temple Mount. Jews have mourned the destruction of both the First and Second Temples for upwards of 2,000 years, and pray daily for the ultimate rebuilding of the Third Temple in Messianic times. The Passover Hagaddah (also read by President Obama in the White House, according to his latest AIPAC speech), as does the Yom Kippur service, concludes with the phrase, “Next year in Jerusalem.” One of the 18 benedictions in the primary Jewish prayer (the “Amida” or “Shemona Esrei”) recited three times daily by religious Jews is the prayer to return and rebuild Jerusalem as of old. Since the days of King David, Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish state.

“Jerusalem” is mentioned 669 times in the Jewish Bible (Tanach). It does not appear at all in the Koran or in Islamic prayers. Islam’s founder and prophet Mohammad never visited Jerusalem, and no mosque was built there until 682 CE, when the Umayyad Caliph Suleiman Abd al-Malik built the mosque on the Temple Mount to create from scratch an alternative holy site after Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr rebelled against the Islamic rulers in Damascus, conquered Mecca and prevented pilgrims from reaching Mecca for the hajj. And even then, Jerusalem never served as the seat of any Islamic political entity. In fact, after the Arab/Islamic conquest of the region, the aforementioned Umayyad Caliph subsequently built the city of Ramla in 705 CE and his appointees ruled the region from there, not Jerusalem.

While the Caliph called the mosque “al-Aqsa,” claiming after the fact that this was the “al-Aqsa mosque” referred to in the Koran, as “the further mosque” where Mohammad prayed, this was merely a political contrivance due to the rebellion of al-Zubayr who then controlled Mecca. As Dr. Mordechai Kedar noted in a 2008 article in Yediot Ahronot,  Islamic tradition in fact tells us that the aforementioned “al-Aqsa mosque” referred to in the Koran is actually near Mecca on the Arabian Peninsula.

“Islamic tradition tells us that al-Aqsa mosque is near Mecca on the Arabian Peninsula. This was unequivocally stated in ‘Kitab al-Maghazi,’ a book by the Muslim historian and geographer al-Waqidi,” Dr. Kedar writes. “According to al-Waqidi, there were two ‘masjeds’ (places of prayer) in al-Gi’irranah, a village between Mecca and Ta’if – one was ‘the closer mosque’ (al-masjid al-adna) and the other was ‘the further mosque’ (al-masjid al-aqsa,) and Muhammad would pray there when he went out of town.”

Dr. Kedar further points out: “This description by al-Waqidi which is supported by a chain of authorities (isnad) was not ‘convenient’ for the Islamic propaganda of the 7th Century. In order to establish a basis for the awareness of the ‘holiness’ of Jerusalem in Islam, the Caliphs of the Ummayad dynasty invented many ‘traditions’ upholding the value of Jerusalem, which would justify pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the faithful Muslims. Thus was al-Masjid al-Aqsa ‘transported’ to Jerusalem. It should be noted,” Dr. Kedar reminds us, “that Saladin also adopted the myth of al-Aqsa and those ‘traditions’ in order to recruit and inflame the Muslim warriors against the Crusaders in the 12th Century.”

Hence, Islamic propaganda continues. The only new wrinkle is the “invented history” of the Muslim Palestinian Arabs, which is predicated on negating the true and documented history of the Jews. The method continues; the lie is still a lie. Unfortunately, today too many in the West have volunteered to become obsequious espousers of the Islamic falsehoods regarding the Land of Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular – including certain politicians in Washington, DC.

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