100 Wounded as Israelis Crack Down on Palestinian Protests in Jerusalem

Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem were repressed by Israeli security forces on Tuesday, leaving over 100 persons wounded. Recent Israeli moves to claim sites in the Palestinian West Bank, holy to Christians and Muslims as well as Jews, as Israeli heritage sites– have alarmed Palestinians that the Likud government may have designs on the Aqsa Mosque, among the holier sites in Islamic lore.

Aljazeera is saying that the demonstrations and clashes spread from Jerusalem to Ramallah and Hebron (where the Israelis have inserted a synagogue into the mosque over the alleged tombs of Abraham and the patriarchs).

Aljazeera English has video:

Looks to me like peaceful protesters or stone-throwing youth facing 3000 heavily armored and armed Israeli security forces.

The USG Open Source Center translates an Arabic article about Palestine Liberation Organization leader Saeb Erekat’s denunciation of what he calls Israeli attacks on Palestinian holy sites. His warning that Israel and the US are playing with fire to inflame Muslim passions in this way should be heeded. The Israeli occupation of Jerusalem was one of the three reasons given by Usama Bin Laden for his creepy war on the United States. For a billion and a half Muslims, Jerusalem is their third holiest city, and when all Palestinians have been expelled from it, there will be a big bang.

“PA’s Erekat Decries ‘Attacks’ on Holy Sites, Says Israel ‘Playing with Fire’
“Erekat Calls on International Community To Rein in Israeli Futile Policy” — Ma’an headline
Ma’an News Agency
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 . . .
Document Type: OSC Translated Text . . .

Bethlehem, 16 March (Ma’an) — Dr Saeb Erekat, head of the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, condemned the Israeli policies of dictating terms, settlement activity, provocations, and attacks on holy sites, similar to the ones that took place on 16 March. Erekat said: No sooner did the Arab world, the Palestinian leadership, and the international community announce to the US Administration their decision to launch proximity talks in a bid to end the conflict, than the Israeli Government disregarded this decision by issuing tenders for the construction of settlements, carrying out raids, dictating, assassinating, laying siege, imposing closures, and taking provocative steps of a religious nature.

Speaking to Ma’an Radio Network, Erekat said: “Not only do we denounce these Israeli acts, but we also hold the Israeli Government solely responsible for the repercussions of the futile and provocative policies of imposing facts on the ground, which seek to torpedo efforts to launch the peace process.”

Erekat also noted that he has been mandated by President Mahmud Abbas to travel to Moscow, carrying with him written messages, documents, and maps for Quartet members, which shed light on the inflammatory Israeli practices in Jerusalem. He further argued that the Israeli policies are playing with fire and adding fuel to it. Therefore, the written messages urge the international community to intervene immediately in order to curb the Israeli occupation and force it to halt its practices and unavailing policies.

Erekat went on to say that the Palestinian leadership is relying heavily on the international community and stated: “We are part of the international community and we resort to international law. Treating Israel as a country above the law destroys the international community’s peace efforts in the region and has proved that the Israeli Government disparages international law.” He also pointed out that the US Administration and the international community are capable of forcing Israel to stop these policies, which he decried as criminal and futile.

(Description of Source: Bethlehem Ma’an News Agency in Arabic — Website of independent, leading Palestinian news agency; funded by the Dutch and Danish Foreign Ministries; URL: http://www.maannews.net/)”

The violence in Jerusalem comes on the heels of a major spat between the United States and Israel over last week’s humiliation of Vice President Joe Biden by the announcement of 1600 new households to be built on a part of the Palestinian West Bank that Israel high-handedly annexed to its district of Jerusalem. Fear that the Israelis will attempt to push the Palestinians altogether out of East Jerusalem lay behind some of the anxieties that provoked Tuesday’s demonstrations.

End/ (Not Continued)

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9 Responses

  1. This blog is a great public service. I hope you have the courage and endurance to keep it up.

  2. "Recent Israeli moves to claim sites in the Palestinian West Bank, holy to Christians and Muslims as well as Jews, as Israeli heritage sites…"

    In the Middle Ages, Jews were forbidden by Muslims from praying at what Jewish tradition maintains is the burial site of the Biblical patriarchs in Hebron, "Mearat ha Makhpela" and through religious apartheid it was turned into an exclusively Muslim mosque–"masjid al khalil." However, Jews were permitted to ascend to the seventh step (Gee, thanks!). Since 1967, Jews have prayed at their historical site again, and Muslims have continued to be allowed to pray there as well. As opposed to Hebron, where Muslim religious authorities controlled access to the formerly Jewish-controlled site of the alleged Tomb of the Patriarchs and where Muslim worshipers have prayed for centuries, in Bethlehem's outskirts, however, the purported Tomb of Rachel was always known as a Jewish site for most of the past milennia. Whatever the historicity of it really being the burial place of the matriarch Rachel, it was never known as a Muslim site and the first references to it as a Muslim pilgrimage site appeared only as late as the 1990s! Not content to deny the Jewish connection to these sites in the disputed territories, extremists now portray Israel's renovation and rededication of a synagogue, the Hurva Synagogue, that existed in the Old City of Jerusalem's historic Jewish Quarter as a "provocation"– on the same site where it stood until 62 years ago when it was destroyed by troops of the Arab Legion of the Kingdom of Transjordan. What contorted logic can accept the argument that the reopening of a synagogue that was destroyed through an act of warfare is a provocative attack on Muslim freedoms? The only way that you can accept that is if you believe that the Jewish People's very existence as a sovereign nation in its historic homeland is a provocation. To an even more intolerant breed of fundamentalist Islamic supremacists, it is not only the existence of a sovereign Jewish state in its homeland that is provocative, but the existence and persistence of the Jews Jews, as people of the book who reject Quranic prophecy, that is galling to them. However, it constantly confounds me how such enlightened polyglot "liberals" as Professor Cole, can repeat the slander propagated by these specimens–especially someone who belongs to the Bahai, another sect with origins in our region that is threatened by intolerant Islamist extremism.

  3. Mikhael should know that colonisers on other peoples' land are NEVER wellcome. Jews lived much better and safe lives in the ME than in Europe BEFORE Zionist colonising project, and AFTER the end of Zionism there is a chance that non-racist jews could live there.

    And there is NOTHING historic of the ME for people who NEVER belongs to it. NY and Warsow Jews do NOT belong to Palestina, Palestinians, in fact, are the people whose ancestors were ancient people named who lived there 2000 years ago.

    Anyway, Mikhael is also "FORGOT" that Zionist racism is foe not only of Palestinian Muslims, but Palestinian Christians as well.

    It is NOT about religion, it is about racist colonialism of Zionists.

  4. A wildly racist comment from beginning to end:

    "However, it constantly confounds me how such enlightened polyglot 'liberals' as Professor Cole, can repeat the slander propagated by these specimens–especially someone who belongs to the Bahai, another sect with origins in our region that is threatened by intolerant Islamist extremism."

  5. lidia said "Mikhael should know that colonisers on other peoples' land are NEVER wellcome"

    Lidia should know that I and many of my fellow Israeli Jews are descended from families that have lived in Eretz Yisrael for many centuries. In my own case, I trace my ancestry to a family that can claim unbroken residence in Israel to the 15th century (that we know of), the rest of my father's family is more recent, having arrived in Jerusalem "only" in the early 1800s from Damascus and Aleppo (I am the first in my father's line to be born outside Israel in many generations.)

    Lidia also said:
    "NY and Warsow Jews do NOT belong to Palestina,"
    They certainly don't. They belong to Eretz Yisrael. "Palestina" is not a country. My father and his brothers, born in Jerusalem between 1927-1935, are the very first people in their family to be born in any entity called "Palestine", when that name was foisted upon our country by the British. Their mother, my grandmother, was also born in Jerusalem (in 1907) but she was not born in any country ever officially called "Palestine". Revisionist historians wish to state that people like me who can prove they come from families that always lived in Israel are native "Palestinian" Jews, but we have no desire to claim this moniker. We are all Israelis and proud to be so.

    ""there is NOTHING historic of the ME for people who NEVER belongs to it."

    Lidia overlooks that 1, the plurality of Israeli Jews are of Mizrahi-Sephardi descent and are not descended from families that were part of the Jewish People's European diasporah, and 2, the Ashkenazi Jews whose families lived in Europe(like my mother's family) certainly do trace their origins and heritage to the Middle East and specifically Israel. This has been borne out by genetic studies (as if the historical linguistic and cultural connections of the Jews who lived in the European Dipasorah tying to them to their ancestral homeland were not enough).

    "Zionist racism is foe not only of Palestinian Muslims, but Palestinian Christians as well.
    It is NOT about religion, it is about racist colonialism of Zionists."

    If it is not about religious intolerance and chauvinism, then fundamentalist Muslims should not protest the rededication of a centuries' old synagogue in the heart of Jerualem's historic Jewish Quarter. I believe there is a tolerant strain within Islam that supports cooexistence between faiths, it was certainly not in evidence this past week in Jerusalem. If one wishes to see an example of religious toleration, cf Israel, which has permitted worshipers of all faiths to practice their faith at their shrines in Jerusalem. For an example of religious intolerance, refer to the Jordanian occupation of the Holy City, which destroyed synagogues such as the Hurva and banned Jews from worship at the Western Wall and expelled Jews like my father's cousins from the Jewish Quarter of the Old City (where they had lived for many generations).

  6. "Anonymous 12:01 PM" accuses me of leaving a "wildly racist comment from beginning to end".

    That comment is another example of the assault on language. What can be even remotely construed as "racist" in anything I wrote? Nothing I wrote upholds a belief in "race" as a meaningful category or elevates or denigrates other human beings because of their presumed "race", so how can it be racism?

  7. Mikhael, as typical Zionist tries famous 4 points :)

    I cite them here for anybody who is interested

    1) we (Zionists) rule
    2) them (non-Zionists) suck
    3) you (that's me) suck
    4) everybody sucks

    One could try and fit Mikhael's "arguments" into one of those points

    For ex, when he blames Palestinans for not being happy with their land being robbed literally from under their feet by religious pretext by non-Palestinian colonisers (yes, some of Zionist colonisers were even born in Palestina, but a lot of Britons were born in India, it was still NOT their land, but their colony)

    Yes, Zionism is THE SAME force as was(?) British colonialism, and it would meet the same end , Israel will be in a dustbin of colonialist history, and Palestina will be free – BEFORE Zionism, there WERE Jewish synagogues in Palestina, some of them were rased to ground by Zionists during the Nakba (because they were in some places where Jews lived among Palestinians, and Zionists simply ruined the whole places)

    Mizrahim Jews lived in peace in the ME before Zionism and then were duped by European Zionists to become their cannon fodder, by durty tricks, including bombing Jewish places in the ME, while European Zionist Jews saw (and still see) Mizrahim Jews as second-class Jews.

  8. Gee Mikhail, how do you feel about Likud politicians actively partnering with American Christian theocrat extremists to encourage their violent redneck supporters to emigrate from Texas to the West Bank settlements, gain Israeli citizenship and legal status as part of the "people of the Torah", and keep the Occupied Territories permanently part of Israel with a stateless population?

    In other words, descendants of the very people who exterminated American Indians using the Old Testament as a model will finally be brought in to finish the job against the Palestinians. Do you think they will stop once they've wiped out your enemies?

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