Snotty impulses overwhelm me again so I must ask: where are all the intellectual left hotshots on the issue of Al Aqsa? Busy thinking deep thoughts? Inventing new theories no one can understand & which have no relevance? Making themselves as irrelevant as Zizek?

Partial victory at Al Aqsa: removal of metal detectors

Removing metal detectors at Al Aqsa July 25 2017 (Reuters)

Partial victory at Al Aqsa:

Israel, under pressure from massive Palestinian resistance in the streets, has decided to remove metal detectors at entrances to the Noble Sanctuary of the Al Aqsa mosque but intends to keep surveillance cameras. Netanyahu’s office issued a statement that the metal detectors would be replaced with “advanced technologies & other means” of controlling the compound.

A partial occupation isn’t good enough; it’s still an occupation & is by no means seen as a victory. The director of Al Aqsa said keeping the surveillance cameras does not satisfy Palestinian objections to occupation of the compound. Sheikh Raed Dana of the Islamic Waqf trust which administers the Noble Sanctuary said: “This movement is a movement of the street. We at the Waqf listen to the street. The street says yes & we say yes; if the street says no to the measures, we will say no.” “The street” of course is Intifada.

Photo is Israeli security (with their tails between their legs) removing the metal detectors.

Long live Palestinian Intifada. #HandsOffAlAqsa.

(Photo from Reuters)

Unelected president Mahmoud Abbas stopped sniveling & groveling long enough to declare the Palestinian Authority (PA) will “freeze contact on all levels” with Israel until metal detectors are removed from entrances to Al Aqsa compound. Bully for him, but the majority of Palestinians have been calling for an end to his groveling & collusion with Israel for a long time.

Talking tough for effect, he did not clarify whether the PA security force would stop collaborating with Israeli security & undercover intelligence units against Palestinians in the occupied territories. Such collaboration to crush Intifada, support the occupation, & facilitate expropriations under the Oslo Accords is the primary purpose for the existence of the PA.

He can huff & he can puff but as long as the PA colludes with the occupation, he is nothing more than a windbag, all sound & fury signifying betrayal.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Palestine. #HandsOffAlAqsa

There’s no apologizing for posting a lot about the siege & occupation of Al Aqsa compound & there’s no too much. If this is not the time to stand with Palestinians, then what is the time?

The advantage of the block button comes to mind in discussions of Israeli apartheid & ethnic cleansing. For too long it was an ongoing battle against anti-Semites who mistook Palestinian solidarity as a place to discharge their hatred for Jews & posted constant rubbish about Rothschild bankers, the reptilian Jewish Illuminati, & endless conspiracy theories with Jews as the villains. Those types are all over on the Assadist sites now venting their hatred & welcome along with the Islamophobes.

Many come to their political views in a visceral more than intellectual way so it’s no surprise that haters of Jews & Muslims find common cause in supporting the Assad dictatorship. Let them hate away while we campaign for solidarity so that humanity may work out ways to respect & live with one another as brothers & sisters.

Why is Israel trying to destroy Al Aqsa mosque compound?

Western Wall protest (Finbarr O'Reilly) taken 10:14:2014 posted Dec 27 2014

Reposting this because it explains why Israel is targeting the Al Aqsa mosque compound for destruction. It is appropriating Muslim holy sites not because Jews have prior historic & religious claims to the sites but to establish legitimacy for colonialism & ethnic cleansing. It’s a carefully thought out Israeli propaganda & military offensive having nothing to do with Jewish worship of Yahweh. That’s all baloney.

This photo, taken in October, was selected as one of Reuter’s best photos for 2014. An Israeli woman & a Palestinian protester are giving each other the equivalent of the middle finger. Palestinian women were protesting as Israeli soldiers escorted Zionists to the Western Wall–a section of the enclosure around the compound known as the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims & the Temple Mount to Zionists. The compound is located in East Jerusalem under illegal occupation by Israel since 1967. The Palestinians are chanting & taunting while Orthodox Jews living in apartments above the street hurl bottles & water down on them.

The Noble Sanctuary (Al-Haram al-Sharif) is 35 acres of fountains, gardens, museums, as well as the Al-Aqsa Mosque & the Dome of the Rock (which has sacred meaning to Muslims). The entire area is regarded as sacred space & is an educational center as well as religious sanctuary. It’s existed in various reconstructions for over 1,300 years. There’s a fallacious mantra going round that the Noble Sanctuary is only the third holiest site to Islam but is the holiest site for Judaism. The reason offered for why it’s sacred to Judaism is that it’s the original site of Solomon’s Temple said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant & destroyed in 586 BCE (for which there isn’t a shred of archaeological evidence). There was an actual temple on the site between 516 BCE & 70 CE when the Romans destroyed it. It was renovated by Herod (of Biblical & historical ignominy) & the supposed remnants of the Herodian wall make up the Western Wall (known also as the Wailing Wall) heralded by Israel as the most sacred place of Judaism.

There are lots of peculiar religious practices in the world (like worshipping Jesus image in a tortilla) but there is something fetishistic about millions of people making pilgrimage & fervent homage to an old stone wall. Even the pope & every godless US politician make homage at this altar of the Israeli state. One would never ridicule even the most absurd practice but there is no need to feign respect for a narrative fabricated solely to serve Zionist nationalism & not religious commitment. It’s not inconceivable that there’s a mystique around that pile of stones from Herod’s days. But a mystique is not the same as a religious tradition or historic claim.

Far from being an ancient tradition, there is little evidence that Jews, most of whom lived outside Palestine until the late 19th century, held the wall as sacred. Jewish immigration to Palestine was part of the great wave of emigration from Eastern Europe during that time–some driven by economic desperation, some to escape pogroms & persecution, & many as evangelists of Zionism goaded by Zionist organizations as advance guard for setting up a Jewish-only state. And that’s when trouble began in Palestine around Islam’s holy sites, with Zionists creating historic narratives & fabricating religious traditions that did not exist.

In 1948 when Israel was founded on the violent expulsion of Palestinians with the collusion of colonial regimes (especially the UK), East Jerusalem came under the jurisdiction of Jordan through negotiations with the UN; West Jerusalem was under Israeli control. The Noble Sanctuary is in East Jerusalem. After the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel occupied East Jerusalem & within a matter of three days had flattened the Palestinian neighborhood (called the Moroccan Quarter) adjacent to the Western Wall & Noble Sanctuary & forcibly cleared out the residents. Their property was expropriated for public use & eventually turned into a plaza to receive thousands of born-again Zionists laying claim to a land that wasn’t theirs. That “ancient tradition” of placing messages in the Western Wall doesn’t go back to Herod but began with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan when they marched into East Jerusalem & he inserted a written prayer into the cracks of the wall.

After the 1967 war, Zionists under the leadership of right-wing Rabbi Shlomo Goren (chief rabbi of the Israeli military & later chief rabbi of Israel) began claiming the Noble Sanctuary for building a third temple. Non-Muslims were forbidden to pray within the compound & so the Western Wall served for a long while as an outdoor & surrogate temple but Zionists have always had their eye on the destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque & erecting their temple there. Palestinians frequently claim Israeli excavations under Al-Aqsa are threatening the foundations making it liable to collapse. Israeli rabbis are divided on Jews praying within the compound. Traditional rabbinical scholars regard it as antithetical to Judaism. Right-wing Zionist rabbis are much more flexible with religious principles in service to their rabid nationalism.

This explains the constant harassment & storm trooper tactics by Zionist extremists, police agents, & Israeli troops within the Al-Aqsa compound. This also explains why there is relentless political pressure to reverse the prohibition on non-Muslims worshipping there & why Palestinian males under 50 are barred access to the mosque & must pray in the public streets. In November, Israel ordered the mosque closed down after the shooting of an ultranationalist Zionist who campaigned aggressively for Jewish prayer rights at the site. The entire purpose is to usurp & deny Palestinian religious rights & traditions.

Support Palestinian justice by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729); by supporting the cultural boycott of Israel; by demanding “No US aid to Israel!”

(Photo by Finbarr O’Reilly)


Dome of the Rock

Some have asked me to clarify that the Dome of the Rock (shown here) is not the Al Aqsa mosque which is located just across from it within the sacred Haram esh-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) compound. Al Aqsa is a much more modest looking building. The Dome of the Rock is also a sacred site to Muslims.

The siege & ongoing occupation is against the entire compound because Israel has been laying false claim to many Muslim holy sites in order to establish a historic, Biblical claim to Palestine. In the case of Al Aqsa, it has long been attempting to destroy the mosque & compound, including by underground excavations that threaten the structural integrity of the mosque. The siege & occupation are part of the ideological & military conquest of the Noble Sanctuary. The surveillance cameras would cover within the compound & the metal detectors would be at all entrances to the compound. It should not need to be said that Palestinians are not the ones who are armed & that Israel has no right to occupy a Muslim holy site with bodies of armed soldiers.

Photos of the Dome of the Rock symbolize not just Al Aqsa but the entire compound because its golden dome is one of the most recognizable & famous landmarks in Jerusalem.

Layout of Noble Sanctuary

Sunny skies

Al Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem & Jamia Masjid in Srinagar:

The military aggression against these two mosques is part of occupation but it is also part of the orchestrated campaign of Islamophobic hysteria, persecution, discrimination, & violence against Muslims that is the pivot of war & fear mongering today.

Religious freedom for Muslims is a democratic right that must be defended from East Jerusalem to Srinagar. From Amsterdam to Paris to London to NYC.

#HandsOffAlAqsa #HandsOffJamia

–Photos tweeted by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq