Jerusalem and Only Jerusalem is the Central Issue

Prof. As’ad Abdul Rahman

Almost all that comes from Arab regional meetings about Jerusalem are empty words, but full of emotions which soon vanish in the heat of the air. The Arab people, Muslims and Christians, alike, felt joy at decisions made during the Arab summit meeting held in Doha in March, 2013 pledging funds in the hundreds of millions of dollars to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian Arab Jerusalemites and to protect and preserve the Islamic and Christian heritage of the Palestinian holy City from being annihilated by steady Israeli Zionist encroachment and annexation. Observers soon discovered that these huge amounts of money were as ‘real'” as the shimmering water in the mirage of the desert at noon time. One single Jewish billionaire, Irving Moskowitz, outspent all the aid and contributions extended by Arab and Muslim countries and individuals combined in his determination to Judaize the City of Jerusalem!!! His ‘Jewish Trophy’ is the Zionist colonial settlement of Abu Ghneim which occupies the very heart of Jerusalem, while the Arabs and Muslims continue to make emotional speeches full of hot air. In the meantime, the Arab Palestinian people in Jerusalem have to face a daily aggression carefully designed by the colonial Israeli Zionist rule to dislodge them from their homes by all means possible. Sometimes, using money, a great deal of it, to purchase Palestinian properties (regardless how little) and most of the times, they use the bulldozers to bring down Palestinian homes.

New Jewish colonial cities are now surrounding Jerusalem, built by Israel and its supporters around the world, but not a single residential block has ever been built to accommodate Palestinian Arab Jerusalemites by any Arab or Muslim entity!! A wall of steel and concrete buildings full of Jewish colonial settlers surrounds Arab Jerusalem to attain the eventual complete Judaization of the Holy City. The same Zionist encroachments and annexations have been carried out in the rest of the Palestinian West Bank now filled with buildings and houses set only for Jewish colonial settlers/colonizers. Other than the Israeli policies of harassment and confiscations, purchasing houses or properties with a huge sum of money in the midst of an Arab Palestinian majority to gain a Zionist colonial foothold which eventually spreads fast, like cancer, is one of the means to complete the Judaization of the West Bank including its heart, the Holy city of Jerusalem, the third Holy shrine in Islam. Indeed, making life impossible to live and prosper for Palestinian Jerusalemites is the very official policy of the Zionist colonial rule in the occupied Palestinian territories while the Arab and Muslim officials along with the Arab masses are in deep coma.

A recent official Israeli study published by Haaretz stated that the Palestinians of Jerusalem will constitute 55% of the residents in 2040. In order to shrink and eventually eliminate the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, the Israeli government has set a plan- as in the study- to systemically demolish Palestinian homes to enhance driving out Palestinian Jerusalemites from the Holy City. There are 450 houses and around 20 thousand apartments in Jerusalem that are designated to be demolished because they include additions built ‘without permits’ that are absolutely impossible to obtain from the Israeli occupation by any Palestinian resident. An Israeli nongovernmental human rights organization recently announced that “more than 80% of Palestinians in Jerusalem are below the poverty line”. According to the official United Nations records, the Arab Jerusalemites are around 293 thousand out of 800 thousand residents. The same UN report states that the Israeli (separation) wall of apartheid which has shredded the contiguity of the occupied Palestinian territories has devastated the economic life in the West Bank forcing more than 90 thousand Palestinians to navigate through numerous checkpoints on a daily basis of pure humiliation to make a living. More than 1400 Arab Jerusalemites have been stripped of their residency permits to live in Jerusalem and more are on their way out!!!

The Arab and Islamic support of Jerusalem is extremely pathetic, to say the least. Promises of mere words are offered but without any action. Jerusalem is not a lost cause if it appears so in view of the current upheavals surging in the Arab World. Many observers sadly notice the alarming double-fact: The Israelis consider Jerusalem “the heart of the Jewish religious state” and are determined to make it so, but everyone should be aware to watch for a huge cyclone coming from the eye of the upheavals in the Arab World being energized by religious and nationalist zealots who are more determined to free Jerusalem from foreign occupation. Between the Zionist ultra-religious -and ultra-nationalist- zealots who are determined to eradicate the Palestinian presence from Jerusalem and the religious -and ultra-nationalist- zealots of the ‘Arab Spring’, who are also equally determined to free Jerusalem from any Zionist presence, the Middle East is set to experience a real Armageddon of biblical proportion! The politicization of religions carries no compromise. The mix of politics and religion is like feeding a fire with fuel and oxygen which is bound to consume all who will leave it to rage for material gain.