by Reham Alhelsi, A voice from Palestine
As the news spread, everyone went out to the streets. Students left their classrooms and rushed to the streets. Employees left their offices and rushed to the streets. Workers and farmers stopped working and rushed to the streets. Everyone left whatever they were doing and rushed to the streets. You could hear the anger in the chants that echoed in the streets of Nablus, Bethlehem, Acca, Um Il-Fahim and Gaza. You could smell the anger in the tens of burning tires that appeared out of nowhere in almost every street, at the entrance to every village, every town, every refugee camp and every city in occupied Palestine. You could see the anger in the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands that marched in the streets of Jenin, Yaffa, Ramallah, An-Nasreh and Rafah. Spontaneous demonstrations spread across occupied Palestine. Men, women, young, old, all marched towards Israeli checkpoints, armed with stones, armed with the flag of Palestine, armed with the love of Jerusalem, armed with the love of Palestine. In Ramallah, in Bethlehem, in An-Nasreh, in Um Il-Fahim, in Heborn, in Haifa, in Yaffa, in An-Naqab, in Gaza, in Rafah, in Jenin, in Al-Lydd, in every village, in every refugee camp and in every town Palestinians marched. The news had spread like fire, and not only in occupied Palestine. In the Arab world protesters came out to the streets, they were marching, angry, roaring and burning the blue and white flag that symbolizes Injustice and Terror. Palestinian flags were on every rooftop, and a sea of red, black, green and white marched in every Arab capital from the ocean to the gulf, towards one point, with one destination on their minds. Elsewhere in the world, groups of justice-supporters gathered to protest in squares, in front of Zionist embassies, in front of American embassies and in front of the UN offices. The time has come for the world to regain its conscience, to find its voice and to declare that enough was enough. The time for justice has come!
PA and PLO officials sit in their offices, follow the events on TV screens, hear the roaring voices that penetrate the thick walls of the imperial palace. They know that they could do nothing and say nothing to stop the waves of marchers. They know that their negotiations-till-death policy has come to an end and wondered if it was still possible to cross the bridge and leave occupied Palestine before the borders were closed and things got even worse. They looked at each other and realized that the days of Israeli VIP-permits were over, that the days of being treated as “kings” and welcomed on red carpets all over the world were over, that the days of trading the blood of Palestine for US dollars and European Euros and all other currencies were over. They realized that even if they send their American-trained “security forces”, they could never stop the anger, the outrage, the marching masses. And while some PA officials took turns in appearing on TV stations and fanatically demanding international action and begging the US to intervene, to protect them and poor little Israel from the marching waves, others, still hoping that the PA will survive this one, said that its Israel’s way of dragging the Palestinians into violence, replaying the usual record: “we shouldn’t be fools enough to fall into the Israeli trap. With such an action they want to drag us into a new cycle of violence, we should just go back to our homes and not give them a chance to drag us into violence”. Yes, the same old record, played over and over and over: “don’t react to Israeli terror, don’t defend yourself, don’t show your anger, don’t show your outrage, don’t protest the occupation, don’t shout, don’t frown, don’t breath, don’t live or they will accuse us of existing.”
The Arab League remains blind, deaf and mute, as it is always when it comes to Palestine. It remains silent, silent that you can hear the crickets in its billion-dollar ballrooms or else known as conference rooms, the same rooms that only become noisy when Arab emperors and caliphs gather to legitimize another Nato invasion of an Arab country under various names. Arab emperors and caliphs send their armies, who are only programmed to oppress their own people, to the street to prevent the people from protesting. They decide not to make any official comments on the events and to wait till the storm passes or cools down or at least till after their armies force the people off the streets and impose curfews everywhere. They sit in their palaces and hope, that despite the gravity of what had happened that morning, that it will pass away and become nothing more than a mere memory, just another day to hold fiery speeches and swear to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem, just another day to commemorate like every other catastrophe that befell the Palestinians. As they watch the crowds, they wonder if maybe, just maybe, this time it will be different. But, they comfort themselves with the fact that after a month or two, to clam things and shut up any protesting voices still to be heard, they will meet, and pledge a million dollar here and a million dollar there to repair what they know can never be repaired. Yes, they will throw a few crumbs at the PA in return for its silence and in return for its iron fist over its people, for in this new world order there is no place for “chaos”, no place for “disorder”, no place for Palestinians demanding their rights, no place for Palestine. And with the crumbs of the oil-dynasties, the PA will replace the demolished homes with sardine-cans in newly established refugee camps, they will replace the destroyed fields with enslavement in labour camps or so-called industrial zones, they will replace Palestinian aspirations with Zionist dictations, they will replace Palestinian identity with one that will suit their masters, they will replace Palestine with a Zionist entity and they will tell the Palestinians: you’ll get your salary at the end of the month, so shut up or else!
The European Union members, after numerous telephone calls between Tel Aviv and Berlin, Tel Aviv and London, Tel Aviv and Paris, Tel-Aviv and every European capital, finally at the end of the day, issue a statement saying that what has happened has happened, in other words: so what, another minor catastrophe that befell the Palestinians, just add it to the list! They will add that, nonetheless, what had happened does not serve the peace process, that both parties should do their utmost to prevent the escalation of violence and that the Palestinian leadership should restrain its people. They will stress, again and again, and again, in all possible languages, that negotiations are the only solution to the conflict, and will advice both parties to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible, so as not to give a chance to anyone who wants to destroy the peace process. And in telephone calls with Ramallah, the leaders of Berlin, London, Paris and every other European capital will order Al-Muqata’a to do whatever is needed to calm the situation, to enforce calm, or else there won’t be any Euro-Transfers at the end of the month. They plan meeting the following week to condemn what had happened, albeit in a very soft tone lest Israeli leaders be offended or hurt by the condemnation. And upon demands of certain European capitals, who have gladly appointed themselves as the Zionist entity’s ambassadors in Europe, the EU decides to add a harsh condemnation of the violent Palestinian protests in reaction to Israel’s action, just to make the statement to Israeli leaders liking. Better still, they decide to let Israeli leaders word the statement, so to make sure its agreeable to the Zionist entity and that it follows the acceptable general line of blaming the victim.
Meanwhile, the White House spokesperson replies to journalists’ questions on the events in occupied Palestine and elsewhere in the world with: both Israelis and Palestinians must restrain themselves, and stresses five or six times in a 2-minute-statement that the US government stands with Israel. Zionist-financed US media outlets race to report on Palestinians out in the streets in the hundreds of thousands and how the unarmed Palestinian marchers endanger the lives of the fully-armed Israeli occupation soldiers at the checkpoints. They report how the tiny, poor, vulnerable, surrounded-by-a-sea-of-monsters, Jewish, democratic, light-unto-nations, little nuclear island of Israel is being under attack again by its 20+ uncivilized, hate-filled neighbours. They report how Anti-Semitism, disguised as criticism of the Zionist entity and its crimes, is on a record rise and how the crowds everywhere in occupied Palestine and in the Arab world are burning the blue and white flag of racial superiority.
The leaders and spokespersons of the Zionist entity do what they do best: they appear on TV screens, whine and shed tears, whine again, mention the word holocaust a thousand times within 5 minutes, tell the story of little Israel rising against all odds as a shining star amidst the surrounding darkness. They explain, while more tears fall, how the desert starting bloom and the Jordan River started yielding milk and honey after the first Zionist set foot in the empty barren land called Palestine. They whine a little bit more, and describe how the Zionist entity was attacked again and again by evil Arabs and how the democratic little island, the tiny bit of a peace-worshiping nation, the world most law-abiding entity, is surrounded by monsters, by terrorists, by invaders. Then the leaders of the Zionist entity, together with their agents in the US and Europe, demand that the world protect the existence of poor little Israel, with its nuclear weapons and its fifth strongest army in the world, is threatened by the angry marchers, in occupied Palestinians and elsewhere, who are demanding freedom, justice, an end to Zionism and a return of all Palestinian refugees to a free Palestine from the River to the Sea.
World media outlets, including Arab media, financed with Zionist and oil-money, count the number of Israelis injured emotionally, – but no need to mention that fact – by the sight of Palestinians marching in the streets of occupied Palestine. They count the number of car tires that are burning and “polluting” the air over Israeli settlements and preventing the fully-armed settler snipers from hunting down the marching unarmed Palestinians. They count the number of stones flying towards armoured bulldozers and tanks and “threatening” the lives of Israeli soldiers inside them. They count the number of songs, slogans and poems the Palestinians sing and shout as they march and decide that singing for freedom and legitimate rights is “anti-Semitic” and a “threat to the Zionist entity’s existence”. They measure the volume of the protesters’ voices and declare that the songs are weapons of mass destruction since their volume is capable of destroying whole settlements. But these world and Arab media outlets, somehow fail to mention one word about the tear gas canisters that are fired directly inside Palestinian homes or those fired directly at the heads and chests of unarmed Palestinian protesters. They fail to mention one word about the Palestinians who are being hunted down by Israeli snipers close to checkpoints and elsewhere. They fail to mention why these Palestinians are marching and to what place they are marching.
The protests grow stronger with every passing minute, with every passing hour. Palestinians old and young, men and women, all marching towards one point, throwing stones, burning tires, defying the fully-armed Israeli occupation soldiers at checkpoints. And as they march, they break the barriers that prevented them from reaching the heart of Palestine, the walls start falling down, the checkpoints and the roadblocks are removed. They continue to march towards that one point. And when they reach their destination, they stand and ask themselves: how did we allow this to happen? They stand speechless in front of the nightmare that befell them:
After decades of Israeli deliberate excavations and diggings underneath Al-Aqsa mosque, after decades of weakening the foundations of Al-Aqsa, after decades of planning to demolish, remove and erase one of the few last remaining symbols of a Palestinian Jerusalem, one of the last few remaining symbols that defies the myth and the Zionist dream of an exclusively Jewish Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa fell down.
What I just described is one possible scenario of what will happen to Al-Aqsa, because, unless we finally act and do something to prevent it instead of only talking about doing something, Al-Aqsa will one day be a mere memory. Almost every week we read reports from experts, architects, specialists who warn of what is to come. And even without these warnings, we don’t need a crystal ball or a cup of coffee to tell us what will happen: considering that the Israelis have been digging and building tunnels beneath Al-Aqsa compound since the Naksa of 1967, it is only a matter of time when the last pillar now holding Al-Aqsa will fall and bring the mosque down.
The diggings, construction work and attacks on Al-Aqsa are part of the on-going ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem and its Judaization. This includes taking over the Noble Sanctuary. The Zionists are not interested in Al-Aqsa, they want it removed, want it to disappear. They want an exclusively Jewish Jerusalem, and one main target is to turn the Noble Sanctuary into a modern-day Jewish temple; Palestinian neighbourhood around the Noble Sanctuary are being ethnically cleansed to make place for Jewish theme parks, occupation of Palestinian homes in the old city by Zionist colonists is on a rise, Muslim sites adjacent to the Noble Sanctuary are being confiscated and declared ancient Jewish sites, Zionist religious groups are allowed into the Noble Sanctuary to perform Jewish rituals and prayers. But while some Zionist organizations campaign for the destruction of Al-Aqsa and building the “Third Temple” in its place, others have their eyes fixed on the Dome of the Rock and want it turned into a synagogue. Jews consider the location of the “Foundation stone” as the site of the “Holy of Holiest”, and many scholars and rabbis believe it to be in the raised platform on which the Dome of the Rock is built. On one printer’s mark, the Temple is depicted as the Dome of the Rock. Praying and performing Jewish religious rituals in the Noble Sanctuary compound are intended to make way for a division and a later complete take-over of the compound, in a scenario very similar to what they did with the Ibrahim mosque, where today Palestinians have control over only 10% of the mosque and the rest has been turned into a synagogue and other Jewish facilities. The Zionist had had had their eyes on the Ibrahimi mosque for long, but it wasn’t until the Zionist terrorist Baruch Goldstein committed a massacre on 25.02.1994, and killed at least 29 Palestinian worshippers while praying in the mosque, that the Zionist entity saw its chance to steal the Ibrahimi. Following the massacre, the Ibrahimi mosque was closed in the face of Palestinians worshippers for 8 months, and only reopened with new measures that included dividing the mosque physically between the indigenous Palestinian population and the Zionist colonists who got the control over the larger part of the mosque and Judaized it. In addition, tough security arrangements have been imposed on Palestinian worshippers: the number of Palestinian worshippers allowed into the mosque is determined by the IOF; they decide who enters, how many and when, while fanatic Zionists can enter and leave the mosque as they wish and when they wish. On Jewish holidays, the Ibrahimi is closed to Muslims and the Zionists have the right to use the whole mosque, and countless are the times when Israeli occupation forces prevents the calling of the prayer from the Ibrahimi mosque.
And when one of these scenarios becomes a reality, we will cry over our loss, we will be outraged, will march, will revolt, will look at each other and ask ourselves: how did we allow things to reach this point? We will turn to everyone for answers, for actions. And we will blame everyone for not acting earlier, for not doing everything possible to save Al-Aqsa, for not liberating Jerusalem and Palestine, for allowing this to happen when we had often been warned, and we ourselves warned that this will happen one day.
We will look at Arab emperors and caliphs and blame them for doing nothing to liberate Palestine. But why should we expect them to do anything for Palestine when they never cared about Palestine, so why should they care about Jerusalem or about the Noble Sanctuary? I don’t expect them to do anything to liberate Palestine because I have learned over the last few decades that you should never expect someone who handed you over to your killer to come and save you one day. I don’t expect them to do anything to liberate Palestine because I have learned that those who divided and sold Palestine the first time, will sell Palestine a second and a third and a fourth time without a wink of the eye. I don’t expect them to do anything to liberate Palestine because I don’t expect someone who is enslaved and accepts it to come and free me. I don’t expect them to do anything to liberate Palestine because I don’t expect those who watched 60+ as Jerusalem was being usurped and did nothing to stop the tears of Al-Aqsa, or stop the bloodshed in the courtyard of the Noble Sanctuary to finally wake up and find their dignity and courage. I don’t expect those who welcome imperialists and Zionists in their lands, those who donate their lands wealth to colonial powers while their people hunger and those who put their hands in the hands of Zionists and imperialists to understand what dignity is, what steadfastness is, what freedom is, what homeland is, what Palestine is. I don’t expect them to do anything to liberate Palestine because they are partners in the crimes of Zionism.
We will look at Europeans and Americans emperors and lords and blame them for doing nothing to stop Zionist terrorism. But why should we expect them to do anything for Palestine when they never cared about Palestine or about Palestinian lives? I don’t expect them to do anything to stop Zionist terrorism because they were the ones who promised to build a Zionist racist terrorist entity in my homeland and planted it in the heart of the Arab world. I don’t expect them to do anything to stop Zionist terrorism because they are the ones who built the Zionist entity over the bodies of the Palestinian people, over the bones and the blood of the Palestinian people, over the homes of the Palestinian people. I don’t expect them to do anything to stop Zionist terrorism because they fund the Zionist entity that is massacring us, they provide it with the weapons to kill us, to oppress us. I don’t expect them to do anything to stop Zionist terrorism because while they speak non-stop of human rights, while they champion the human rights of every other nation, they ignore ours, they deny us our rights and deny us the right to defend ourselves and to struggle for freedom. I don’t expect them to do anything to stop Zionist terrorism because they are partners in the crimes of Zionism.
I don’t expect any of them to support justice for Palestine because they helped create the Zionist entity, they are partners in the crime being committed against Palestine and the Arab people since over 63 years.
I don’t expect them to do anything, so I don’t blame them, I blame us! I blame us because it is our land, our home, our Palestine and we shouldn’t wait for colonial powers or their obedient servants to come and liberate our land for us!
On the morning of 08.10.1990, and after calls from fanatic Jewish organization some, 200,000 fanatic Zionist Jews marched to the Noble Sanctuary to place the foundation stone of the “Third Temple”. Thousands of Palestinians from Jerusalem and the rest of occupied Palestine gathered in the Noble Sanctuary to protect their holy places. Israeli occupation soldiers and armed fanatic colonists shot randomly at the unarmed Palestinians, killing at least 17 and injuring some 900 (Al-Aqsa massacre). This was only one of many attempts by fanatic Zionist terrorists to storm the Noble Sanctuary with the aim of damaging the compound, or even blowing up Al-Aqsa. And although during the hundreds of registered attacks, the IOF always gave cover to and protected the Jewish attackers and participated in the massacres committed by these fanatic Zionists against unarmed Palestinians, Palestinians from everywhere always rushed to protect the Noble Sanctuary, and attempts by Jewish extremists were often prevented by hundreds, by thousands of Palestinians who would leave their work, their school, their homes and rush to protect their holy places, their symbols. Any attack on Al-Aqsa was considered an attack on all of Palestine, on every Palestinian, on the heart of Palestine.
Every day we hear that new housing units will be built for the illegal Zionists colonizing Jerusalem.
Every day we hear that Israeli occupation forces and police attack villages, worshippers, farmers in Jerusalem.
Every day we hear that the Israeli occupation army is constructing walls and roadblocks to isolate Jerusalem.
Every day we hear that another Palestinian home was demolished in Jerusalem.
Every day we hear that another Palestinian was forced to demolish his own home in Jerusalem.
Every day we hear about Palestinian land being confiscated in Jerusalem.
Every day we hear that new Jewish-only roads are built on confiscated Palestinian land.
Every day we hear that Palestinian fields are destroyed in Jerusalem.
Every day we hear of plans to demolish Palestinian neighbourhoods in Jerusalem to build Jewish theme parks.
Every day we hear about Palestinians being expelled from Jerusalem, their birthplace and home.
Every day we hear that Zionist colonizers enter the Noble Sanctuary, tour it, conduct rituals.
Every day we hear that Israeli occupation soldiers, fanatic members of the Zionist Knesset “tour” the Noble Sanctuary and distribute posters of Jerusalem with a temple in place of Al-Aqsa.
Every day we hear of new cracks and collapses in the streets of the Old City, in Silwan and around Al-Aqsa.
Every day we hear of new tunnels and new diggings beneath the Noble Sanctuary, especially beneath Al-Aqsa.
Every day we hear of how Israel is destroying our Jerusalem, the heart of Palestine, and ethnically cleansing it.
Every day we hear all this and do very little and say we did something, we talk about it and we say we did something. We do nothing. While the Zionists continue the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, Jerusalem has become but a mere slogan raised during rallies, a song in a march, a mere name to be added to a wish-list, a bargaining chip during negotiation rounds. While Jerusalem is drowning in the Zionist project of disfiguring the city and changing it into one large biblical park, we hear Fateh and Hamas talking about “unity”, new government and new titles and watch as they go on regional and world tours, being welcomed as heroes, as revolutionaries, when Palestine is still occupied, when Jerusalem is still under daily threat, when Zionist colonial activities continue to destroy the Palestinian landscape. Those who claim to represent us, from the various factions, are busy touring countries and collecting money in our name, money we never see but is the price for our silence and our little action, if any action at all. Our only worry has become the budget, the aid, the salary and whether it will be paid in time. Our only struggle has become to get funds for our ministries, the thousands over thousands of NGOs, and the hundreds over hundreds of resistance groups and committees. Yes, even popular resistance has become a business, in some cases even a private family business and a ticket to quick “fame”. So what makes us think that we are better? Because we condemn more often? Even our voice for Jerusalem has become weaker and weaker. Yes, many Palestinians are not allowed into Jerusalem, but are we to wait for the full Judiazation of our beloved Jerusalem, the birthplace of many of us who aren’t allowed into the city anymore? Are we to watch as the heart of Palestine vanishes and transforms to something that is alien to us, and then cry over what once was? I don’t want to read about my Jerusalem from books and memoires and historians as we read about Palestinian Beisan and Palestinian Tabaria. They have already erased over 80% of original Jerusalem and transformed it into residential suburbs for European colonists, malls and natural parks that are built on the remains of our villages, on the graves of our ancestors, on the bones of our grandparents. The Zionist entity has managed to isolate Jerusalem, and to an extent remove it from our agendas and the agendas of those who claim to represent us or the agendas of those who claim to support us. Reducing Jerusalem to a slogan, to a song, to a prayer will not liberate Jerusalem.
And when the PA started talking about so-called “land-exchange” as an option “in the interest of peace”, we did nothing. And when the PA stopped talking about “land-exchange” as an option, and started treating it as a fact, as a reality, as a Palestinian demand, we kept silent. And while it is the Zionist colonists who are refusing to give up one inch of Jerusalem, the PA is the one willing to give up every bit of Jerusalem, and leave us with Abu Dees as Al-Quds, for the sake of a prison within a prison. And we remain silent. Those who remember Jerusalem when it suits them or when their complicity in and their silence over Zionist crimes become too damning are not the guardians of Jerusalem, are not the representatives of the Palestinian people and will never be. It is only when the “PA” tries in vain to cover up its complicity in Zionist crimes that it finally remembers there is a Jerusalem and calls for Palestinian to “direct their eyes and their efforts towards the –forgotten- Jerusalem”. It is only with the exposure of “PA” scandals that it finally remembers Jerusalem and calls Palestinians “not to forget the holy city”. And when Jerusalem cries out for help, it is the ”PA” that is only second to the Zionist entity in trying to silence that cry. And when the Israeli aggression on Jerusalem intensified and when the city cried blood, it was the “PA” who prevented demonstrations in support of Jerusalem and prohibited any signs of solidarity with the city, the future capital of the Palestinian state they keep fervently talking about, it was the “PA” who prevented any protest against the Israeli occupation they keep saying they want to free us from. And when Jerusalem cried out for help and Palestinians everywhere in occupied Palestine rushed to answer its call, it was the thugs of the “PA” who stood as a wall of shame between Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine, and it was one PA “official” who was quoted saying: “if they want to demonstrate for Jerusalem, let them go there, there will be no demonstrating here.” (This was said while they were preventing people from reaching the checkpoints). As if Jerusalem is in another continent, or another galaxy. As if Jerusalem wasn’t the heart of Palestine. In fact, this PA official was actually saying things as they are: the PA’s duty is to protect the “borders” of the Zionist entity, and according to the PA, Jerusalem was “there” and not “here”, as in: Jerusalem is not in PA territory, so it’s not our business what happens there; You want to protest, go there. You want to liberate Jerusalem, go there! He was saying the reality of what the PA considers “ours” and what is to be part of the “future Palestinian state” and what the PA considers “theirs” and what is to be sold to the Zionists. And when the PA decides that Palestinians of the West Bank are not allowed to protest in solidarity with Jerusalem in Ramallah or Bethlehem, then it is clear that according to the PA: Jerusalem is to be “theirs”. This is how much they want Jerusalem. This is how much they want the freedom of Jerusalem. This is how much they stand with the people of Jerusalem. And most recently, one official demanded the establishment of a Jerusalem ministry. Yes, as if liberation is achieved behind desks, as if we don’t have enough corruption-infested ministries, as if we don’t have enough money being stolen in the name of the Palestinian people. Will a “ministry” liberate Jerusalem? Did any of the ministries liberate one inch of Palestine? Did the whole cabinet liberate one inch of Palestine? Or were these ministries just swamps for corruption, nepotism, favouritism, you just name it. As if more employees sitting behind desks doing nothing will liberate Palestine, as if an extra minister, a couple of director generals and directors will liberate Jerusalem. What will the titles of these new posts be? The minister of Jerusalem? Which part of Jerusalem? The General Director of Abu Dees? The General Director of Al-Aqsa?
I remember once on social networks when one Diaspora Palestinian commented that he doesn’t really care if Al-Aqsa is destroyed, adding that it is only a building and that we shouldn’t give it much attention. A number of non-Palestinian solidarity activists agreed to what he was saying. I could only shake my head at how everything, every single thing that is our symbol, our right, our identity, has become in one way or another “not really that important”, and all you hear is the talk about “morality”, a discussion initiated by Israeli “activists”, as if the only way to show we are “morally equivalent” to the “civilized world” is when we say adieu to our national identity, adieu to our national constants, adieu to our inalienable rights, adieu to our resistance, whether armed or popular and as we define it and as we see it, adieu to us being Palestinians, because according to some it should only be about rights, about morality, about us all being humans. Yes, we are all humans, we all have legitimate rights, we all should be treated equally as we are all born equal, but I don’t see anyone, except us the Palestinians, being asked to give up our aspirations, our identity, our legitimate rights “to prove our morality and humanity”. We are to give up everything that defines us, everything that defies the lies of the Zionists. These same Israeli “conditional activists” mention how if they were living under the same oppression as we are, they would never be able to just protest peacefully, and here, according to them, lies our high morality. I wonder how these same “activists” would react were we to decide one day that the experiment of flying balloons and marching in Hollywood costumes isn’t effective in defeating a brutal military occupation, would they still think us “morally equivalent” to their “morality”? The answer to that is as clear as the sun on a summer day in occupied Palestine. And the Zionist entity’s intent on destroying Al-Aqsa should alarm not only Muslim Palestinians, but every Palestinian, every Arab and every justice-seeking person. Because:
1. If buildings don’t matter, as that Diaspora Palestinian claimed and those “solidarity activities” agreed to, then why did the Zionist entity rush to demolish entire Palestinian villages (over 500 villages were wiped off the face of the earth during the Nakba)?
2. If buildings don’t matter, then why did the Zionists rush after the Naksa to demolish more Palestinian villages and entire neighbourhoods in the Old City of Jerusalem? (one example are the three Latroun villages)
3. If buildings don’t matter, then why did the Zionists start digging networks of tunnels underneath Al-Aqsa and continue to do so after 45 years despite finding nothing of what they are so eagerly looking for?
4. If buildings don’t matter, then why did the Zionists build and continue to build Zionist colonies everywhere in occupied Palestine, whether it is in Jerusalem, Al-Jalil or Hebron?
5. If buildings don’t matter, then why do Zionists demolish entire Palestinian communities all over occupied Palestine, whether it is in Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley or An-Naqab?
6. If buildings don’t matter, then why do the Zionists prevent Palestinians from building homes, and send their troops to demolish the least sign of a building, whether it is a house, a mosque, a room, a goat barn, even a small shack?
The answer is very simple: Because these buildings, the ones some consider irrelevant and unimportant, connect us to this land. These building expose the lies of Zionism that Palestine was “a land with no people for a people without a land” and that the Zionists “made the desert bloom”. These building expose the lie that this land is an exclusively Jewish island. These building expose the lie that there is nothing called Palestinians, Palestinian culture, Palestinian existence. These building expose the lie that the Palestinians are invented. These buildings, these homes, these villages, these mosques, these churches, these barns, even the stones of the ethnically cleansed villages expose the lies of Zionism and scream: here lived the Palestinians, here live the Palestinians, here the Palestinians will remain.
Note: depending on my free time and on the topic at hand, writing a blog post might take me a day, a few days, or even a few weeks. I started writing this blog post early January, while following up the Israeli actions in Jerusalem and the not-so-surprising silence and blindness of the world and the Arab League. The ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem and its Judaization occurs on a daily basis and with increasing intensity. Not a day passes when there is no confiscation of Palestinian land in Jerusalem, when there is no occupation of Palestinian homes by Zionist colonists, when they is no revocation of Jerusalem IDs of Palestinian Jerusalemites. And with the exception of the very shy “condemnations” here and there, Zionist ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem is accompanied with world silence and complete inaction. It continues with the approval of the US, the EU, the Arab regimes and the complicity of the so-called PA which with every passing day only proves to us that it was only created for the sole reason of providing a sort of “legitimacy” to the sell-out of Palestine and Palestinian rights. According to Al-Aqsa Foundation, the Israeli high court issued a ruling on 01.02.2012, in which it allowed Gershon Solomon, the leader of the Jewish fanatic terror group “Temple Mount Faithful”, to enter Al-Aqsa. In its ruling the court stated that Jews have the right to pray in Al-Aqsa mosque. Just imagine what will happen if a Muslim entered a synagogue and performed Muslim rituals there. Various sources also reported that that proposals were presented to the Zionist municipality of Jerusalem for the establishment of a huge Jewish centre to the east of Al-Aqsa mosque, which is to be built over the ruins of Islamic and Arabic historic buildings that were demolished over the years by the Israeli Antiquities Authority in its useless efforts to prove that the city is exclusively Jewish. In addition, a commercial centre and a parking lot will be built on lands that belong to the Armenian Monastery. Allowing Jewish rituals in Christian and Muslim religious sites is only one step towards annexing them, declaring them Jewish and turning them into synagogues. And under the guise of protecting Jewish worshippers, Palestinian neighbourhoods surrounding these sites are being ethnically cleansed. In Hebron, complete areas, neighbourhoods and streets are off limit to the Palestinians, and the homes of Palestinians in these areas stand empty. Their residents are either expelled or forced to leave after continuous attacks from the Zionist colonists who are protected by the Israeli occupation army. In the Old city of Jerusalem and its surroundings, whole areas are being ethnically cleansed in the name of the Jewish religion and establishing Jewish theme parks. These actions have only one goal: to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem. In the last couple of years, Israeli occupation soldiers have intensified their so-called “tours” in the Noble Sanctuary and the calls of the fanatic Jewish groups for their followers to storm the Noble Sanctuary and conduct Jewish rituals have become a weekly matter. While writing this blog post, a number of such “tours” and “marches” took place, for example, on 08.02.2012, a group of 26 Israeli occupation soldiers and 12 Israeli intelligence officers “toured” the surrounding of the Dome of the Rock. In a call for their supporters to storm the Noble Sanctuary on 12.02.2012, Likud members declared: “we call on everyone to go the Temple Mount to announce a proper leadership that confirms the full control over the Temple Mount, in order to cleanse this site from the enemy, the land thieves, and to build the Temple on the ruins of mosques.” On 14.02.2012, 29 Israeli occupation soldiers and 44 occupation policemen entered inside the Dome of the Rock for the first time and “toured” it, and when they were asked by one of the mosque guards about the reason for their presence inside the mosque, they replied that it was an “educational tour”. On 19.02.2012, confrontations erupted between Palestinians worshippers and Israeli occupation forces as Zionist colonists attempted to storm Al-Aqsa and perform Jewish rituals there. This attempt came after calls were made by Temple Mount Faithful and other fanatic Jewish groups to storm the mosque in order “to strengthen Jewish sovereignty over it” as they claimed. On 22.02.2012, confrontations erupted when a group of Zionist colonists were escorted by more than 40 Israeli occupation soldiers into the Noble Sanctuary. Another group of 22 female Zionist colonists entered Al-Aqsa later that day, following a call by a fanatic Jewish women’s group to storm Al-Aqsa mosque and pray there. This group also announced that it was planning similar “visits” twice a month.
In a recent study, Al-Aqsa Foundation revealed that during 2011 Al-Aqsa mosque and its surroundings were subjected to 150 attacks and was stormed by 5000 Zionist colonists. This has been accompanied with an escalation in the number of incursions by Israeli occupation soldiers and intelligence officers. Excavations beneath the Noble Sanctuary and settlements activities around it continued and increased while essential maintenance work inside Al-Aqsa was prohibited by Israel.
Previous blog posts on the topic:
Zionist Definition of Religious Tolerance: If it’s not Jewish, either we Judaize it or we Destroy it! (II)
Zionist Attacks on Al-Haram Al-Qudsi Ash-Sharif
The Tale of 3 Palestinian Villages
Al-Aqsa Massacre 08.10.1990
The Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre 25.02.1994