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Richard Cravatts: The Potential Lethality of UNESCO’s Vote on the Temple Mount &Western Wall

More than a moral outrage, the UN’s vote opens the door to continued terrorism against Israel

by Richard L. Cravatts, PhD, posted October 23, 2016


Seeming to parallel the dystopian world described by George Orwell in 1984 in which history and fact are manipulated to serve political ends, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently voted 24-6 to approve a resolution stripping the Temple Mount and Western Wall of its Jewish identity, and elevating a Muslim claim to those two sites central to Judaism. The intellectually-retrogressive measure, promoted by the stateless Palestinians and sponsored by Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan in a document tellingly named “Occupied Palestine,” purported to be interested in “safeguarding of the cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem.”


That mission, needless to say, given the moral imbecility of the twenty-four countries that voted in favor (and the twenty-six who cravenly abstained), had as its primary purpose to airbrush a Jewish connection out of Jerusalem, and particularly the Temple Mount, which the UNESCO charade did not even refer to by its Hebrew name (Har HaBáyit), instead referring only to it by its Muslim name, Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif.


The hallucinatory and willfully delusional vote from Jew-hating nations in the thralls of Palestinianism, of course, is not surprising, given the U.N.’s promiscuous bias and historical inversions when assessing the perceived shortcomings of Israel. Nor was the attempt to de-Judaize the Western Wall and Temple Mount by ascribing fictive religious identities on those sites the first time this irrational irredentism had been used as a tactic to elevate the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem while simultaneously obliterating the Jewish one.


All prescient commentators worldwide immediately denounced the vote for exactly what it was: not a legitimate attempt to protect the ethnic and religious rights of a people to sites that are verifiably and undisputedly theirs, but a brazen and volatile political tactic that, while possibly effective, was promoted only by completely ignoring at least two-thousand years of biblical, religious, historical, and archeological evidence supporting the obvious, and inarguable, fact that the Temple Mount and Western Wall are not only significant in Judaism, but its holiest places.


But this latest example of what has been called “Temple Denial” on the part of the Palestinians and their supporter is the culminating act in a long campaign that showed itself as early as 2000 at the Camp David negotiations when a shocked President Clinton was told by Yasser Arafat that no Jewish temple had ever existed on the Temple Mount, but had been located, he preposterously claimed, in Nablus.


That sentiment, and that fantastical version of history, is clearly still prevalent within the Palestinian movement, as evidenced by October 14th comments made on official PA TV by Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Mahmoud Abbas' Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, whose sentiments reinforced and parroted the language of the UNESCO resolution. “Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian land. Jerusalem is the property of the Palestinians,” he said.  “. . . UNESCO's resolution confirms what we think and believe in, that Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular, and the Al-Buraq Wall and the Al-Buraq plaza are all purely Islamic and Palestinian assets and no one has the right to be our partner in that. No one has the right. We are the owners and we have the right to it.”


These delusions are apparently also shared by President Mahmoud Abbas. “The Al-Aqsa Mosque is ours. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is ours as well,” Abbas announced in a September 2015 speech in Ramallah. “[Israeli Jews] have no right to desecrate the mosque with their dirty feet, we won’t allow them to do that,” he said.


Of course, this toxic language is dangerous, fusing as it does, theological and political considerations that are potentially compromising for Israeli security and lethal for Jewish lives. In the first place, if the Palestinians, along with the Jordanian Waqf that administers the Temple Mount, now see themselves as the rightful and legal custodians of Judaism’s holiest site—with Jews now stripped of any historical or theological connection to the Mount or Wall—they now can, without being contradicted or sanctioned, truly accuse Jews (and non-Muslim visitors, too) at those locations of being “right-wing extremists and uniformed forces,” as the UNESCO resolution read, a part of “the occupying Power,” engaged in “the continuous storming of Al-Aq?a Mosque/Al-?aram Al-Sharif by Israel . . , [all] provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity of Al-Aq?a Mosque/Al-?aram Al-Sharif.”


For some years, the millions of annual visitors to the Western Wall and Temple Mount have frequently had to confront a phalanx of shrieking harpies, the Murabitat, Muslim women funded by the northern branch of Israel’s Islamic Movement, who shout at and assault visitors to the site, screaming ‘Allahu Akbar.’ Now, with the purported legitimacy of the UNESCO designation, why would anyone doubt that enforcement of a Muslim-only presence, both on the Temple Mount itself, but now, potentially, at the Western Wall also, is something that the Palestinians, and their Waqf enablers, could begin to claim as a new, UN-granted “right” to purge Jews once and for all from what are now designated as Muslim holy sites? Will they not be emboldened by their new religious possessions and feel compelled to protect the “sacred” Muslim sites from being desecrated with the “dirty feet” of Jews who now will have no right to even visit these locations? Where politics had previously failed in the face of an overwhelming Jewish connection to these locations, it has now, after the UNESCO vote, been made possible, even likely.


Since the 1920s, when Amin al-Husseini, the Nazi-loving Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, rallied Muslims with accusations that Jews intended to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and rebuild the Jewish Temple, Arabs have attempted to overlook and obscure a Jewish connection to the site, and have sought to “liberate” purported Muslim holy places from the grip of Zionists.


The true danger of the Palestinian thinking about the Jewish holy places in Jerusalem was crystallized in Yasser Arafat's own view that he expressed in a July 2000 edition of al-Hayat al-Jadida.  “I will not agree to any sovereign presence in Jerusalem," he wrote, referring to the thorny issue of who, Israel or the Palestinians, would have sovereignty of the Holy Basin. “They can occupy us by force, because we are weaker now, but in two years, ten years, or one hundred years, there will be someone who will liberate Jerusalem [from them].”


“Liberating” Jerusalem, of course, does not mean transforming it into a pluralistic, open city where members of three major faiths can live freely and practice their religions openly.  Liberating Jerusalem

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