Israel’s War on Islam

Israel’s War on Islam
by Stephen Lendman
Count the ways. Institutionalized racism is official Israeli policy. Arab lives are cheap. They don’t matter. They’re considered subhumans. 
Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison. Lockdown harshness prevails. Militarized occupation remains ongoing. Forty-seven years and counting. Ruthless and then some.
Civil law governs Israelis. Military orders control virtually all aspects of Palestinians’ lives. Depriving them of fundamental rights.
Persecuting, brutalizing and terrorizing them. Languishing thousands in Israel’s gulag. Politically held lawlessly.
in one of the world’s harshest prison systems. Cruel and barbaric by any standard. 
Targeting Arabs for not being Jews. For praying to the wrong God. For wanting to live free on their own land in their own country.
For wanting fundamental freedoms everyone deserves. According to core humanitarian and human rights laws. 
Ones Israel consistently breaches. Governing extrajudicially. 
Waging cold, calculated, premeditated naked aggression at its aggression.
Calling non-combatant men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm legitimate targets. Violating international law in the process.
Committing high crimes against peace with impunity. With full US support, encouragement, and billions of dollars in funding.
For its killing machine. Both countries partnering in genocidal  crimes of war and against humanity. 
They mock core principles they claim to support. They shock the most jaded doing so. Imagine a world without them. Imagine perhaps the difference between life and death.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque (alMasji al-Aqsa) on the Temple Mount is Islam’s third holiest site. 
In Jerusalem’s Old City. Where Palestinians lived for thousands of years. Stolen by Israel. Al-Aqsa now under complete Israeli lockdown. More on this below.
Yehuda Glick is an extremist American-born Israeli rabbi. A radicalized right-wing zealot. An Arab-hating Jew.
Chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation (TMHF). Previous Temple Institute executive director. 
RMHF focuses on “strengthening the relationship between Israel and the Temple Mount.” Glick believes sacred Islamic ground belongs to Jews.
Israel previously banned him from entering the compound. Fearing incidents he’d likely provoke.
Critics say TMHF leads Jewish Temple Mount tours. Intending provocative Jewish prayers there. Currently prohibited.
At the same time, encouraging Jews to destroy Al-Aqsa. Replacing it with a Jewish temple. Banishing Muslims from Islam’s third holiest site.
On Wednesday evening, Glick was shot at a Jerusalem rally. Reportedly in his upper body at close range. 
At an event outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. Where right-wing Knesset members and likeminded extremists were attending.
Jerusalem police reported a shooter on a motorcycle. Details remain unclear. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said only that a “known right-wing activist” was shot.
Extremist Likud Knesset member Moshe Feiglin favors full Israeli Temple Mount sovereignty. He commented saying:
“The would-be killer turned to (Glick), confirmed in Hebrew with a thick Arab accent that this was indeed Yehuda, and shot several bullets at him from point blank.”
“What happened is horrible but very expected. Glick was constantly threatened.” 
“The fact that he was not assigned protection at all times is a failure. I say this as someone who is the target of constant incitement.”
“Weakness and incompetence were behind this attack. This was a relaxed conference, the room was half full. This was not an impassioned event. An Arab came there with the urge to kill.”
The incident occurred during heightened tensions. An expected Knesset vote may possibly divide Al-Aqsa between Muslims and Jews.
Perhaps restrict Muslim site worship more than already. Igniting a firestorm if occurs. What regional Muslims consider intolerable. Perhaps most Muslims everywhere.
In 1967, Israel and Jordan agreed on permitting Jewish Western Wall prayer. Not inside Al-Aqsa’s compound.
After Glick’s shooting, Israel declared Al-Aqsa closed “until further notice.” It was the first time since 1967. Abbas called doing so a “declaration of war.” 
A “dangerous Israeli escalation…on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation.” 
His spokesman, Abu Rdeina, called it “a brazen challenge and dangerous behavior, and will lead to more tension and instability and create a very dangerous atmosphere.”
He urged the international community to “take action immediately in order to stop this aggression.” 
“(A)gainst the Palestinian people and their holy places and against both the Arab and Islamic nations.”
Only Al-Aksa’s director, Sheikh Azam al-Kahtib, and security guards were allowed in. Hundreds of students in religious schools were denied access.
“It is unacceptable that the Al-Aqsa Mosque pays a toll for the events in Jerusalem,” al-Kahtib said. The mosque is a place for prayer and worship and all Muslims have the right to access it.” 
On Thursday, Israeli police shot and killed Mutaz Hijazi. A Palestinian police blamed for killing Glick. Citing no corroborating evidence.
Claiming, of course, he was armed, dangerous and “opened fire on the police.” Neighborhood residents dismissed police Big Lies. 
He was unarmed, they said. Threatening no one. Murdered in cold blood. Case closed. Standard Israeli operating procedure.
Shoot, ready, aim. Palestinian lives don’t matter. Victims are blamed for Israeli crimes. Over and over again.
Several area residents said police used live fire against them. When they went outside to see what was happening.
Bloodstains and bullet holes were visible on Hajazi’s roof several hours later. According to nearby resident Mohammed Shwayt:
“Police came into the neighborhood. (D)ozens of them. (Hajazi) ran to the roof of the building. (Police) started shooting almost immediately.”
Innocence or guilt didn’t matter. He never had a chance. He was murdered in cold blood.
Doing so prompted Abu Tor daylong clashes. South of Jerusalem’s Old City. Dozens of youths threw stones at police. 
They responded brutally as always. With tear gas, rubber bullets  and stun grenades. The entire area was affected for hours. 
Residents uninvolved with what happened were harmed. A canister ignited a delivery van. Palestinian Red Crescent workers reported no injuries.
Days earlier, a neighboring Silwan district resident drove his car into a crowd of passengers disembarking from the city’s light rail service.
Killing two. Injuring seven others. Police shot and killed him. No due process. No questions asked. Case closed. 
CIt bears repeating. Typical Israeli justice. For Palestinians, none at all.
Since July, Jerusalem has been a hotbed of anger. Since teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burned alive. A revenge attack for killing three West Bank Israeli Jews he had nothing to do with.
On Thursday, Jerusalem Police commander Moshe (Chico) Edri announced Al-Aqsa’s reopening on Friday. Restricted to men over 50 and women of all ages.
Large security force detachments remain stationed in Jerusalem. Especially in eastern clash-prone areas.
Protest marches are expected throughout the West Bank after Friday prayers. Tensions remain high.
Jerusalem’s Fatah chapter called for a day of rage following Hijazi’s murder.
On October 30, the  Al Haq Palestinian human rights organization expressed grave concern about Israel’s provocative actions.
They’ll “lead to further escalation in violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and possibly neighboring countries,” said Al Haq.
It “urge(d) the international community to view the recent events in a broader domestic and regional context.”
It wants Israel held accountable for international law breaches. It called Al-Aqsa ones regular occurrences since 1967. Past incidents include:
  • January 1986 Knesset and Jewish extremists conducting two provocative Al-Aqsa visits triggering clashes;
  • October 1990 Israeli security forces accompanied by extremist settlers clashing with Palestinians inside Al-Aqsa’s compound;
  • September 1996 clashes following Israel’s new tunnel entrance near Al Aqsa. Sixty-two deaths and 1,600 injuries followed.
  • Ariel Sharon’s provocative September 2000 Al-Aksa visit, sparking the second Intifada.
According to Al Haq:
“Recent statements made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding maintaining the status quo and Israel’s respect for freedom of worship are not only disingenuous given the aforementioned events, but also fail to acknowledge Israel’s more routine breaches of Palestinians’ right to freedom of religion, including access to holy sites.” 
“Both Palestinian Muslims and Christians are routinely denied their rights to freely worship in Jerusalem.” 
“Infringement of these rights becomes even more severe during times of Jewish holidays.”
“More specifically, Palestinian access to Al-Aqsa is regularly hindered by Israel via arbitrary prohibitions based on age and gender.”
“Israel also often includes the prohibition of access to Al-Aqsa as a condition for release of individuals, many of whom are arbitrarily arrested and detained.”
Israel is a rogue terror state. Brutalizing Palestinians continues daily. Expect no relief ahead. Not any time soon for sure.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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