This 2024 - Let's Win the Battle of Headlines

Arabs need to promote tolerance for the other

If Arabs do not recognize their misdeeds, they are not going to achieve any of their minimal wishes, much less peace.

Yisrael Medad
Yisrael Medad is a researcher, analyst and opinion commentator on political, cultural and media issues.

What did Jews celebrating Jerusalem this year really do at the Temple Mount, according to a Silwan-based news promoter?

They “stormed” and “desecrated.” Jews do not tour, or walk about or visit. They seemingly come crashing through the one gate that is permitted them entrance. And whereas all other non-Muslim tourists from around the world can walk around anywhere, those the police identify as Jews—and who must present identification, with their names checked against a master list of suspected troublemakers—are accompanied by a police escort and followed by guards of the Muslim religious trust (the Waqf) and are restricted to a very exact route with no stopping for extended explanations of what is being seen or what was the past of the site, except when they reach the far eastern section.

That terminology echoes Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas’s fulminations. As Palestine Media Watch documented, both the P.A.’s official TV station and the official website of Abbas carried on Sept. 16, 2015, his following declaration (and there is a video recording):

“The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours … and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem.”

Jordan’s official news agency Petra also joins in the choir. Despite an obligation contained in Article 9 of the 1994 peace treaty with Israel, that both parties

will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance … [and] will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.

It employs terms such as “Israeli extremist settlers … stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” “today’s raid by the Jewish settlers,” “extremist settlers provocatively toured the Al-Aqsa yards, and were briefed on the alleged ‘Temple Mount’ by rabbis accompanying them, while Muslim worshipers and the mosque’s guards peacefully confronted them chanting Allahu Akbar.”

Worse, using the term “alleged” in referring to the site’s Jewish history as if that history was false, Jordan calls into question its own existence. Abdullah, the kingdom’s founder, only set foot in the area, claiming to be its ruler, in November 1920. It was only in 1922 that Transjordan was separated from the territory that had been mandated to reconstitute the historic Jewish national home.

Here is a pro-Palestinian piece published in Indiana which illustrates just how irrational is the view of Jewish rights in Jerusalem. The writer is bemoaning the Palestinian cause, describing his:

sense of bafflement as to how the entire world could become apathetic to the plight of my people. How a site that is holy to all three Abrahamic faiths has been rendered unholy by injustice and bloodshed.

He is only baffled because either he is ignorant or willingly blind to historical reality and ignores what Muslims have done to Jewish holy sites. Jews could not approach the Western Wall between 1948-1967, despite the guarantee of such a right in Article VIII:2 of the Jordan-Israel armistice agreement. Our gravestones—tens of thousands of them on the Mount of Olives—were desecrated. Except for one, all the synagogues in Jerusalem’s Old City were ransacked and some destroyed.

Somehow, Arab deeds are conveniently forgotten.

If Arabs do not recognize their errors and misdeeds, and do not stop employing prevarication and falsehood in their propaganda using provocative language, and do not fulfill signed commitments, then they are not going to achieve any of their minimal wishes, much less peace.

To obtain peace, use the language of peace.

Yisrael Medad is an American-born Israeli journalist and author.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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