By Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz 7—
A small, unimportant-looking article appeared in an obscure spot on one of the inner pages of a weekly newspaper this week, reporting the fact that the Czech Republic, having decided that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel, will be presenting it as such in its history texts and atlases. The impetus for the change, the article further added, was pressure from the Palestinian Arab envoy in Prague. Israel’s Foreign Ministry is working to change the decision.
The Czech decision follows a similar one by UNESCO which claimed in April of this year that the Temple Mount belongs to Muslims – and only Muslims – and that its name is the El Aqsa Mosque.
There are those who see this as just another point of contention between Israel and the Arab Palestinians, another topic for the negotiation table to be settled in the agreement that it is hoped will be reached at some future time. The problem is that this viewpoint is totally detached from reality, and it’s time for all of us to open our eyes and see what is really behind the Arab Palestinian campaign regarding Jerusalem.
Hamas, Fatah and the Palestinians, both religious and secular, modern and traditional, in Israel and out of it, see in uprooting Israel from Jerusalem a sacred obligation, a supreme mission and goal from which there is no way to backtrack. Saeb Erekat, the head of the Palestinian Authority negotiating team, has declared frequently that without East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, there will not be one.
Yasser Arafat coined the phrase “Millions of shaheeds marching to Al Quds,” meaning that the Arabs are prepared to sacrifice millions of shaheeds in order to wrest Jerusalem from the hands of the Jews.
The whole thing is very peculiar, because Jerusalem was never the capital of any Arab or Islamic state, let alone of a Palestinian state – a state which has never existed – so why is Jerusalem such an immovable issue? What is behind the Arab Palestinians relating to Jerusalem as their capital and why do they want to take it out of Israeli hands?
In previous articles, I explained the religious Islamic element in these goals and presented the issue of a Jewish presence in the Old City of Jerusalem as a theological problem for Islam, which believes that Judaism was rendered null and void by Christianity, which in turn became valueless when Islam appeared to take the place of both religions.
The return of the Jews to their homes, land and Temple site seems to Islamic eyes the return of Judaism to its former glory, putting Islam’s very existence into question – as Islam is supposed to be the true religion while Judaism and Christianity are false.
Palestinian Arab intentions can be discerned from what they say and in what they do. They claim to be descendants of the Jebusites (from whom King David conquered Jerusalem) and therefore preceded the Jews in Jerusalem. This claim is as true as other Arab imaginary claims: Saddam Hussein once claimed to be descended from the Babylonian Hammurabi, Assad said that the Syrians were descendants of the Assyrians, the Egyptians claim they are Pharaoh’s direct descendants and there are even Lebanese who claim to be descended from the Phoenicians. Arab history itself, however, claims that the Arabs arose out of the Arabian Peninsula, destroyed all the ancient idol-worshipping nations in their path and settled in their lands. And now they claim to be descended from them?
Even more interesting is what the Arab Palestinians actually do: They hand out the scarf that appears in the picture accompanying this article to their friends. One side of the scarf has the words “Jerusalem is ours” and on the other side they have put the map of all of what they call “Palestine.” Israel does not appear on this map. And note that the flag next to these graphics is that of the PLO, not Hamas.
This scarf reveals the connection between the Arab Palestinians’ approach to Jerusalem and their approach to the state of Israel. It cries out soundlessly that the goal is to get Jerusalem as a first step on the way to all of “Falestin” – that is, Israel – all of it, and in other words: after we gain Jerusalem, we will succeed in gaining all of the land of Israel.
This final goal, that of completely destroying the Jewish State, is normally kept hidden from those who would rather not see it. Nice, pleasant people in Israel and outside it, Jews and non-Jews alike, fall right into the trap of Palestinian duplicity over and over again. They persist in believing that if we just give them the “holy basin” – the Temple Mount and parts of Eastern Jerusalem- they will be satisfied with that and recognize the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish People. Those nice people include volunteers from organizations such as “Ir Amim” that tries ceaselessly to gain recognition for the “rights” of the invaders from the Arabian Peninsula in the Jewish capital.
Today enormous sums are invested in the campaign to cut away Jerusalem from Israel. Qatar, the main supporter of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, has set aside half a billion dollars to promote the removal of Jerusalem from Israel by mounting an international propaganda campaign that will fill newspapers, television, radio, academia and political corridors. It is quite possible that other Arab, Islamic and even European countries are involved in the effort to take Jerusalem out of the Jewish People’s hands – and it is, of course, of no significance that the Jews remained loyal to their Holy City through a 2000 year long exile replete with unbearable suffering and persecution.
Anyone who tries to remove the city of Jerusalem, and in particular, the site of the Holy Temples, from the land of the Jewish nation is taking part, whether or not he admits it, in the Arab and Muslim war against the Jewish people. That is a war against the Jewish state, the Jews’ very existence as a people, culture, religion and heritage. There is no way to square the circle and there is no recourse but to tell the truth about the real nature of this battle against the Jews. It does not take place only on the battlefield
It is taking place in every possible setting, public, legal, academic, educational, political and in the media, and the BDS movement is another of its manifestations.
Every person, Jewish or non-Jewish, who assists in the efforts of the enemies of the Jewish people regarding Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in particular is an active supporter of those enemies’ ambition to destroy Israel, the state of the Jewish People. Possibly he does not realize that or is unaware of the historical, religious and emotional connection between the Jewish people and its Holy City, its eternal and historical capital, but that lack of knowledge and consciousness does not grant his actions a different import or condone them.
The Palestinian Authority, that convinced the Czech Education Ministry to see Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel is participating in a war – that’s right, no less than a war – against the Jewish people. We have to call it by its real name and not tiptoe around the problem for destructive and foolhardy reasons, such as political correctness. The Palestinian Authority, in its attempt to remove Jerusalem from Israel, works night and day to destroy the State of Israel’s existence as the land of the Jewish People.
Israel must act according to the normative principle of “when at war, fight a war.” Israel must dismantle the Palestinian Authority, dispatch Mahmoud Abbas and his corrupt sons to one of the many homes they have acquired all over the globe with the donations contributed to the “Palestinian people,” dismantle the army they built with American money, take apart the corrupt and illegal institutions they have established.
Do the State of Israel and the Jewish people wish to survive? Then it is time for them to recognize the enemy and the type of war that enemy has declared on the nation of Israel and its land. Seventy five years ago the Jewish people did not recognize the meaning of the war that had been declared against it, and the result was catastrophe. If we continue with the lack of consciousness that characterizes us today in the face of the Arab Palestinian challenge, we will find ourselves once again without a state that protects the Jewish people everywhere in the world.
Written for Arutz Sheva and translated from Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky, Op-ed and Judaism Editor.Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.