Palestine- failing the test of history
Merit is no qualification for freedom…. Freedom is enjoyed when you are so well armed, or so turbulent, or inhabit a country so thorny that the expense of your neighbour’s occupying you is greater than the profit. -From a letter by T.E. Lawrence (a.k.a.”Lawrence of Arabia”) published July 22, 1920, in The Times of London setting out a case for the political independence for the Arabs in the Middle East.
Despite being written almost a century ago Lawrence’s diagnosis is still extremely pertinent in assessing the validity of the frequently aired view that “the Palestinians deserve a state of their own.”
Indeed, such views have been explicitly expounded by US Administrations for well over a decade from George W. Bush to Barack Obama ,who both incorporated the idea into their “visions” for the Middle East.
Cannot condition national sovereignty on regime type
In the past, several pro-Israeli pundits have tried to dispute the widely accepted contention that “the Palestinians do indeed deserve a state” Some, like author Naomi Ragen, have warned of the unsavory nature that such a state would take – devoid of any semblance of law and order and due process, tolerance of religious diversity, right of political dissidence, freedom of expression, or regard for the status of women. Others, like former Israeli government minister Natan Sharansky, have argued that Palestinian statehood should be conditioned on the emergence of Palestinian democratization.
Regrettably, despite factual accuracy and moral validity, objections of this ilk cannot serve as a binding political criterion for national independence.
Sohrab Ahmari: Anything for the Ayatollah
The full history of the Obama administration’s nuclear dealings with Iran has yet to be written, not least because many of the details remain shrouded in secrecy. The bits of the story that do seep out into the public sphere invariably reinforce a single theme: that of Barack Obama’s utter abjection and pusillanimity before Tehran, and his corresponding contempt for the American people and their elected representatives.
Wednesday’s bombshell Associated Press scoop detailing the Obama administration’s secret effort to help Tehran gain access to the American financial system was a case study. In the months after Iran and the great powers led by the U.S. agreed on the nuclear deal, the Obama Treasury Department issued a special license that would have permitted the Tehran regime to convert some $6 billion in assets held in Omani rials into U.S. dollars before eventually trading them for euros. That middle step—the conversion from Omani to American currency—would have violated sanctions that remained in place even after the nuclear accord.
That’s according to the AP’s Josh Lederman and Matthew Lee, citing a newly released report from the GOP-led Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Lederman and Lee write: “The effort was unsuccessful because American banks—themselves afraid of running afoul of U.S. sanctions—declined to participate. The Obama administration approached two U.S. banks to facilitate the conversion . . . but both refused, citing the reputational risk of doing business with or for Iran.”
Put another way: The Obama administration pressed American banks to sidestep rules barring Iran from the U.S. financial system, and the only reason the transaction didn’t take place was because the banks had better legal and moral sense than the Obama Treasury.
Agents of Influence: Obama and his advisers, now seeking to shape his legacy, say they are proud they ditched the ‘Washington playbook’ and decided to stay out of the Sunni-Shia conflict in the Middle East. Only they didn’t. They intervened on behalf of Iran.
Like the president he served, Ben Rhodes wanted to stop Bashar al-Assad from gassing little children. But it was complicated.
In an excerpt from his new book, The World As It Is, published in The Atlantic, Barack Obama’s former deputy national security adviser explains the decision-making that led Obama to choose against bombing Assad targets in late summer 2013. Among other issues, writes Rhodes, the White House didn’t know if it could trust the assessment coming from the American intelligence community claiming that Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people. U.S. spies got Iraq wrong. Obama was elected because he got Iraq right.
With that in mind, Obama told Rhodes that “it is too easy for a president to go to war.” Also, the White House could find no legal basis to strike Syria. The Europeans backed off at the last minute, and Senate Republicans like Marco Rubio, who talked a tough game, refused to vote for the authorization of military force.
Endowed with a tragic sense of life, Obama knew that in the end there was little he or anyone could do to stop the slaughter in Syria. As Rhodes writes: “I was also wrestling with my own creeping suspicion that Obama was right in his reluctance to intervene militarily in Syria. Maybe we couldn’t do much to direct events inside the Middle East; maybe U.S. military intervention in Syria would only make things worse.”
Obama himself has said that his decision not to bomb Assad was the moment that he broke with what he derisively called the “Washington playbook.”
Melanie Phillips: De-radicalisation is derailed by denial in Londonistan
Most de-radicalisation programmes under the British government’s Prevent strategy are failing, according to a report commissioned by the Home Office itself.
Well, there’s a surprise.
The study, by the government’s Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), found that out of 33 de-radicalisation programmes designed to prevent people from succumbing to far-right and religious extremist grooming and recruitment only two were effective and some were actually counter-productive.
The fundamental reason for their failure, it seems, was the refusal to deal with the specific problems and challenges presented by Islam. The Times reports:
“… the study concluded that facilitators were uncomfortable dealing with sensitive topics and would often refuse to engage if they were brought up. BIT found that teachers in particular were afraid to bring up matters of race and religion with their students without appearing discriminatory, often causing them to refuse to talk about these topics entirely. Other schemes placed too much emphasis on subjects of offence and Islamophobia which prompted some Muslim participants to report a reduction in their support for freedom of speech”.
So the strategy designed to head off the principal threat to Britain which comes from Islamist religious fanaticism and Islamic holy war won’t actually engage with the problematic issues in Islam.
This ludicrous state of affairs is due to the persistent, false and misleading claim by the government that the problem is extremism in general. Ministers and officials constantly seek to equate the relatively tiny (if growing) threat posed by “far-right” extremists with the infinitely greater threat posed by Islamic extremism.
That’s because, even today,the government is still wilfully refusing to identity the root cause of the biggest threat facing Britain and the west as what it actually is – the practise of Islam rooted in an authentic interpretation of its religious texts and which, although millions of Muslims don’t subscribe to it, currently dominates the Islamic world.
Is an easing of economic conditions in Gaza and granting permission to Gazans to work in Israel the way to achieve political stability in a Gaza Strip ruled by Hamas?
Benjamin Netanyahu’s liberal economic policy towards the residents of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA), primarily by allowing over 100,000 Palestinians to work in Israel, succeeded because of certain prior conditions.
At the height of the second intifada in 2002, Israel reconquered major towns in the PA that had become sanctuary areas for PA-linked Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad terrorism. It has prevented the reemergence of sanctuary areas ever since through preventive arrests throughout the West Bank that run into the thousands annually.
The PA was essentially defeated. Israel and the PA then became allied against joint enemies – Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007 made clear who was the greater threat to Abbas’ rule.
It was only after these events that economic prosperity could play its facilitating role. And even then, the economic effects were limited.
Gaza under Hamas rule remains a sanctuary area where Hamas can freely build up its military capabilities with little interference. Moreover, there is no common enemy that would render Hamas conciliatory.
Economic largesse at this point would only augment Hamas’ resources. Only when Hamas envisions its territory as a future Singapore rather than a murderous labyrinth of fundamentalist terrorism should economic benefits accrue to Gaza.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday defended Israel’s use of live fire against protesters on the Gaza border and said the Hamas terrorist group wants the Palestinian demonstrators to die.
He also issued a warning to Syria’s Bashar Assad regime, saying his troops are “no longer immune” to an Israeli strike.
Netanyahu was questioned on the IDF’s response to the Gaza protests by an audience member at a London event hosted by think tank Policy Exchange.
“We tried water cannons, we tried tear gas and none worked,” the premier replied, according to the Haaretz daily, adding that “given our record, we probably will figure out something.”
“The last thing we want is violence [or] confrontation,” he said.
When asked to further elaborate, Netanyahu said that “we tried other ways, it doesn’t work. Hamas wants them to die.”
Every year the Iranian terrorist supporting regime sponsors the Al Quds day march in London. This blog has years of photos from it. The British government has invented a “political wing” of Hezbollah in order to allow Hezbollah flags to be flown: there is no physical difference between the flag of the terrorist Hezbollah and the mythical “political wing” because, well, it’s mythical.
Jonathan Hoffman asked his great question of Netanyahu about the phony loophole that lets Hezbollah flags fly in London at Policy Exchange today and this was Bibi’s excellent answer:
“It’s like saying the SS is bad but the Nazi political wing is OK”
Sadiq Khan has written to Sajid Javid, the new Home Secretary, asking him to ban Hezbollah in order to prevent displays of the group’s flag on London’s streets.
The Mayor of London said it was “astonishing” that the law continues to allow public displays of support for the organisation.
It comes days ahead of the annual Al Quds Day march in London, at which the flag has been flown in recent years.
Under current laws, only the military wing of the organisation is proscribed. Because the flag represents the group as a whole, police are unable to take action against those flying it.
Mr Khan told Jewish News: “What is astonishing is there are people using a loophole in the law to fly a flag of an organisation that’s been proscribed – banned
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert questioned the government’s policy on the Gaza Strip in an interview with German TV DW News Wednesday, saying that he has “doubts and questions” over the use of lethal weapons against protesters near the Gaza border fence.
While Israel has the right to block the attempts of thousands of Palestinians to illegally penetrate the security fence, Olmert said that he is “disturbed by the event on the border with Gaza.”
When asked by the interviewer why the IDF targeted “thousands of children,” Olmert said: “Not only thousands of children [came to the demonstrations], there were tens of thousands of people.”
“Indeed, there were many casualties. 62 were killed,” he said. “I am terribly sorry and sad about it. I also have serious questions as to what are the appropriate patterns of response to the illegal attempts to penetrate into Israel.”
“Is it necessary to use the guns the ways they were used? [And] the snipers, the way they were used?” Olmert asked.
The former prime minister hinted that Israel should change its conduct in the Gaza Strip: “I think we need to change the relationship with Gaza in a way that does not jeopardize the security of the State of Israel.”
There are two important factors that the international community needs to notice regarding the fire kites that the Palestinians are sending to Israel from the Gaza Strip. First: those who are launching the kites are making it clear that their ultimate goal is to kill as many Jews as possible and bring about the obliteration of Israel. Second: the Palestinians see all Jews living in Israel as “settlers.
The Palestinians are now also telling us that the terror kites they are sending to Israel accord with what the Quran orders Muslims to do in the fight against the “infidels.” They apparently see the flaming kites as part of the jihad (holy war) against the enemies of Allah and Islam.
“We want to set fire to Israel so that the Jews will be burned or forced to leave their country.” — Abu Al-Majd, terrorist.
The jihad of the Palestinians against Israel is the same jihad that ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic jihadi groups have also been waging on the “infidels” and “enemies of Islam” in the US, EU and other non-Muslim countries. We are witnessing a well-organized campaign of terror orchestrated by terrorists and activists belonging to Hamas and other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli Air Force on Thursday dropped flyers across the Gaza Strip calling on Palestinians not to take part in violent protests along the security fence, ahead of a mass demonstration expected near the border.
The military expects thousands of Gaza residents to riot on Friday as part of the “March of Return,” a series of demonstrations supported by the Hamas terror group that rules Gaza and openly seeks to destroy Israel.
This week, the march also commemorates Naksa Day, the anniversary of Israel’s victory against Arab armies in the 1967 Six Day War, which was officially marked on Tuesday. Mass protests were originally expected on that day, but they were delayed by organizers until Friday.
In a statement, the army said it is “ready and prepared” for a number of scenarios along the fence and is “determined to protect the citizens of Israel and its sovereignty.”
The army used the flyers to tell Gazans that Hamas is trying to use them and their children for its own political goals and to create “anarchy.”
A top IDF general and spokesperson on Thursday said the Palestinian medic shot dead during clashes along the Gaza border last week was “no angel of mercy,” as the army released a video purportedly showing the woman lobbing a smoke grenade toward Israeli forces.
“Razan al-Najjar is not the angel of mercy Hamas propaganda is making her out to be,” IDF Arabic spokesman Avichay Adraee tweeted.
The video was released two days after the army said an internal review had determined Najjar was not intentionally targeted by snipers, following international outcry over her death.
Adraee accompanied his tweet with a short video compilation allegedly showing Najjar on several occasions during the recent Gaza border clashes.
The video, and Adraee’s comment that she was “no angel of mercy,” seemed designed to raise doubts about the volunteer medic’s innocence during the clashes, though the army did not indicate that it considered Najjar to be a legitimate target, raising questions among some commentators about its overall intentions with the campaign.
In one part of the clip, Najjar is seen giving an interview to an Arabic news outlet, saying that she wanted to serve as “a human shield” for protesters.
“I’m here on the line being a protective human shield saving the injured,” Najjar, 21, said in the interview.
Hamas’ use of human shields must stop. pic.twitter.com/jHayih3wNq
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) June 7, 2018
Last week, I posted about the case of 8-month-old palestinian baby girl Layla al-Ghandour, whose death was initially blamed on Israel, but due to a pre-existing medical condition, she was removed from the list of “martyrs” pending an investigation.
This was a week ago. Why have we not heard anything yet, even though the investigation into her cause of death was completed? Why did Layla’s family refuse to share the hospital reports with the media?
These are of course rhetorical questions. I think we know exactly why this is the case. Because you can sure as hell bet we’d have heard the results immediately had Israel been to blame.
Update: Meanwhile, despite the fact she is still officially off the “martyrs” list, there are those still claiming Israel killed her.
The most effective method to date of countering helium balloons and kites fitted with flammable materials that are being sent over the border from Gaza to set fire to Israeli fields and nature reserves has proved to be — drones.
More than 350 of the airborne incendiary devices have been felled by drones during the last two weeks, Hadashot News reported Wednesday.
Based on Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s assessment Monday that 600 such balloons and kites have been sent over the border, this represents a success rate of more than 50 percent.
The number of fires caused by the flying objects has gone down dramatically on the days the drones are in action.
The drone operators, civilians absorbed into the combat engineering unit of the army’s engineering corps as reservists, are reportedly able to down an incendiary device within 40 seconds of detecting it. They work in pairs — one is on the lookout; the other operates the drones.
As news of their paid work for the army spreads, professional drone operators from all over the country have asked to join them, Hadashot news said.
But the army will have to find a budget for additional reservist hours in order to bring them on board.
Just as harvesting season began, Hamas torched Israeli land with arson kites pic.twitter.com/WvqZfHu4YP
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) June 6, 2018
The long-awaited Trump peace plan to end the Israeli Palestinian conflict is finally ready for its unveiling in June, coincident with the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
American presidents for generations have been grasping for the elusive gold ring of a final solution to the conflict.
Whether out of a misguided belief that all the problems of the Middle East revolve around the conflict, or a sincere desire to solve one of the world’s most intractable conflicts, American efforts more times than not have worsened the situation.
The failures have not lacked for effort, especially on the part of Bill Clinton and his inexhaustible determination at Camp David and Taba in 2000 and 2001. Unfortunately, that failure laid the groundwork for the Second Intifada – the profound unintended consequence of which was to convince many Israelis who really believed in the possibilities of peace offered by the Oslo agreement that Israel will never have a Palestinian partner it can trust.
Has the Kushner/Greenblatt peace initiative learned from the mistakes of previous negotiation efforts? Can they offer a different course, perhaps incorporating the fleeting window of opportunity offered by the new confluence of interests between America, Israel and the Sunni Gulf states, to move the negotiations forward? Here are some of the conventionally accepted wisdoms for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that should be avoided: 1. Believing this conflict is primarily territorial. If it were, the conflict would have been resolved as recently as 2007, when Israel offered 100% of the territory with land swaps and east Jerusalem as their capital, but was dismissed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
2. Believing the conflict is the key to unlocking the other problems of the Middle East. Even if Israel did not exist today, almost all of the Middle East’s problems from the 1400-year-old Sunni- Shi’ite divide to the quest for Iranian hegemony would still be raging.
3. Believing you can make peace without effectively addressing generations of fervent Arab incitement in their media and classrooms that says Israel has no legitimate right to exist in any territorial dimension, with no Jewish historical association to the land.
A senior Israeli official said Wednesday there is “widespread agreement” among European leaders – German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Theresa May — that Iranian troops must be entirely removed from Syria, The Times of Israel reported.
As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic trip to Berlin, Paris and London approached a close, the Israeli official said there had been “significant progress,” on issues related to Iran. The senior diplomat also said that the three European leaders agreed to Israel’s demand to have the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) review the Iranian nuclear archives obtained by the Mossad earlier this year.
Before setting out on his trip to Europe, Netanyahu had indicated that Iran would be the first and only subject on his agenda in meetings with European leaders.
When speaking to journalists in London, the Prime Minister said, “my main goal was to bring international agreement that Iran would leave Syria,” and “to harness the leading European countries to oppose the continued expansion of Iran.” He added that Israel’s goal was “To prevent the nuclear program and to smash the cash machine that finances this empire.”
Merkel, in a meeting with Netanyahu on Monday, told her Israeli counterpart that she agrees with Israel’s demand that Iranian forces be removed from Syria, especially in the southwest of the country near the Israeli border.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday boasted that Donald Trump’s tough line had forced the North Korean leader to beg to re-schedule a high-profile summit after the president abruptly called off the meeting.
After the cancellation, “Kim Jong Un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in,” Giuliani told a business conference in Tel Aviv.
In an interview later with The Associated Press, Giuliani rejected suggestions that such comments might sour the atmosphere ahead of next week’s summit, saying that the North Korean leader must understand that the United States is in a position of strength.
“It is pointing out that the president is the stronger figure,” Giuliani told the AP. “And you’re not going to have useful negotiations unless he accepts that.”
‘US Ambassador To Israel David Friedman Tells Media To Shut Up” was the prevailing message propagated by journalists and exclaimed in the headlines of numerous news outlets following his greetings to The Media Line’s Press & Policy breakfast held in Jerusalem this week. Those not in attendance could not be faulted for imagining that an enraged Friedman stormed onto the stage to chew out the press for its coverage of the recent deadly clashes along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip when in reality the American envoy’s remarks were often personal and wide-ranging. Much, but not all of his comments, covered issues relating to journalism.
While the ambassador did, indeed, impart the seemingly self-evident admonition that reporters should “keep their mouths shut” until they uncover the facts – although that was not the takeaway message of his address, it still became headline news, providing for easy click-bait material.
Almost entirely overlooked was Friedman making clear that he actually appreciates media criticism when founded, as it is “more important to understand how people think who don’t necessarily agree… than people who do.”
Also relegated to the back pages, if recounted at all, were statements such as: “The Founding Fathers of [the United States], among all the other displays of brilliance that they showed in the Constitution, that they chose as the First Amendment to protect the free press is simply a prophetic and incredibly significant recognition.”
Moreover, attendees were privy to a rare instance of a high-ranking public official opening up to the media, as Friedman did when he related his experience dealing with the fallout from a false story published just hours before the US Embassy was inaugurated last month in Jerusalem, in which the ambassador was accused of contributing to a charity allegedly listed as a terrorist organization.
Two Palestinians were arrested on Thursday after a group of men inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount hurled chairs, stones and other objects from the holy site, lightly hurting a tourist and an Israeli police officer.
The tourist was hit in the leg and sent for medical treatment, police said.
Police said the searches for additional suspects in the Temple Mount altercation were ongoing.
Muslims are marking the holy month of Ramadan, during which political sensitivities are often particularly volatile.
Thursday also marked the 51th anniversary of Israel’s capture of the Old City and the Western Wall during the 1967 Six Day War.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest site in Islam. Under an arrangement in place since Israel’s victory in the 1967 war, non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site but not pray there.
Jews are allowed to enter during limited hours, with police officers guiding them through a predetermined route. The Jewish worshipers are banned from praying, displaying religious symbols or raising the Israeli flag on the mount.
Ramadan this year comes after weeks of violent clashes on the Gaza border.
Samia Hassan used to have enough money to feed her two dozen children and grandchildren. Now she spends much of her time worrying about food, scouring Gaza’s vegetable markets for end-of-day discounts or walking miles for a pot of free gruel from a soup kitchen.
Large numbers of Gaza families have been pushed deeper into poverty in recent months by Palestinian political infighting and the freezing of US aid. Life is tougher than ever for most of the 2 million Palestinians locked into tiny, blockaded Gaza, where electricity is off most hours of the day, unemployment approaches 50 percent and the Islamic terrorist group Hamas rules with a tight grip.
“It’s a perfect storm,” said Hilary DuBose of the Catholic Relief Services, which has had to forgo emergency food distributions because the Trump administration is withholding funds. “At the same time that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is worsening, humanitarian aid is disappearing.”
Growing despair in Gaza has helped drive recent Hamas-led protests against the border blockade by Israel and Egypt. The closure was imposed after the Hamas terror group seized Gaza in 2007, driving out forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
In Run Up to International Qods Day, Gaza Militia Salutes Iran, Vows to Continue Jihad pic.twitter.com/110zGTC4hr
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) June 7, 2018
The files documenting Iran’s nuclear research, which were publicized by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the end of April, show that Iran’s declarations of its past nuclear weapons work to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were “comical,” a senior Israeli intelligence official, who is analyzing the files, told The Times Monday.
The Times was reporting on Netanyahu’s efforts to convince his European counterparts, whom he is visiting this week, of the shortcomings of the nuclear deal with Iran.
The intelligence official supported Netanyahu’s charges that the files showed that Iran had an active nuclear weapons program. An Israeli intelligence operation spirited the files out of Iran in January. Iran has long asserted that its nuclear research is for peaceful purposes only, but the files showed specific plans to create nuclear weapons.
“What Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency about its capacities was almost comical compared to what we have here,” the official said. In addition, he said, “Iran said there had only been feasibility and scientific studies but what we see is that Iran ran a fully fledged nuclear weapons programme and that it followed directions from the political levels.”
David Albright, a former weapons inspector and head of the Institute for Science and International Security, confirmed to The Times the significance of the Israeli intelligence find. He noted that when South Africa and Taiwan ended their nuclear weapons programs, they also allowed the IAEA to monitor all of their facilities to ensure that the program had really ended.
Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attacked Israel and its Arab allies in a speech delivered in the run up to Friday’s annual anti-Israel Quds Day marches in Iran and around the world, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported Thursday.
“Support for Palestine and the resistance forces facing the Zionist Regime, and defending the independence and territorial integrity of the countries of the region, is a source of pride for the Islamic Republic,” Khamenei said at an event on Monday. “But our enemies try to castigate it as ‘Iran’s interference in the region.’”
Iranian troops, advisers and Iran-affiliated Shi’ite militias have been instrumental in preserving Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime in the midst of the country’s ongoing civil war.
Khamenei also threatened rival Arab states that have recently thawed relations with Israel in the face of the perceived Iranian nuclear and missile threat.
“Some Arab governments have become the enemies of their own peoples,” Khomeini said. “In such a situation, passionate and devout Arab youth have the responsibility for destroying these ‘empty entities.’”
Boeing will not deliver aircraft to Iran in light of US sanctions, effectively aborting a pair of large contracts with Iranian carriers, a Boeing spokesman said Wednesday.
“We have not delivered any aircraft to Iran, and given we no longer have a license to sell to Iran at this time, we will not be delivering any aircraft,” the Boeing spokesman said.
“We did not factor the Iran orders into our order backlog either.”
The announcement follows US President Donald Trump’s decision last month to pull the United States out of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and major powers that had cleared the way for a relaxation of sanctions on Iran.
Boeing had previously said it would respect US policy on Iran and had pushed back the delivery dates on the Iran planes without commenting directly on deliveries.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) June 6, 2018
On May 18, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan participated, along with other senior politicians, in a pro-Palestinian rally in Istanbul. At the rally, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said: “The administration of Israel, which emulates Hitler and Mussolini, has once again shown the world that it is an occupier that does not recognize the law or the truth.” President Erdoğan said that since the fall of the Ottoman Empire following WWI, “the streaks of blood have not been wiped from the walls and the soil of Palestine.” Mustafa Destici, leader of an Islamist-nationalist party, the BBP, said: “I believe that those who are moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem today will not be able to find Tel Aviv tomorrow.”
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: “Jerusalem is not merely a city. It is a symbol. It is a test. Jerusalem is the qibla. If we cannot protect our first qibla, we cannot look with confidence on the future of our last qibla. To speak openly, the Islamic world has failed the test of Jerusalem.
“Not just the Islamic world, but all of humanity has failed the test of Jerusalem. My brothers and sisters, as one of our poets said: ‘First they occupied the Jerusalem in our hearts. We lost ourselves before the war [even began].’ As Muslims, ever since the Jerusalem in our hearts was occupied, we have been unable to stand against the tyrant, as is necessary. The Ottoman state administered Jerusalem for four centuries, for the members of other religions as well, as a city of peace, tranquility, and wellbeing. The Ottoman state, which was on the losing side of World War I, was forced to abandon Jerusalem, like much of its other territory. Since that day, Jerusalem has seen no tranquility. The city’s fabric of respect for all religions quickly disintegrated. Along with the sanctities of the Muslims, the sanctities of the Christians have come under the threat of Israel. Brothers and sisters, what does the poet say? ‘Oh Jerusalem, oh city of sorrows, from whose eyes huge tears flow, who is going to stop the enemies who descend upon you, oh pearl of the religions? Who is going to wipe the blood from your walls?’ Since that day, the streaks of blood have not been wiped from the walls and the soil of Palestine.”
“Note That In All Of These Examples, When The Tyrants Attacked With All Their Might, The Muslims Were Not Content With Merely Praying And Shedding Tears”
“These are Zionists, and we are in a fight against Zionism. Unfortunately, even a disaster like this was not enough to bring the Muslims to their senses. I draw a distinction between Zionists and Jews. The real fight is with Zionism, with the Zionists, and it seems that their hostility toward the Muslims is unforgivable. The Israeli Prime Minister said, when [the protests began]: ‘I had thought that the Muslims would come into Jerusalem from all four directions, and I could not sleep a wink out of fear. But then morning came, and nothing had happened. That’s when I understood that we could do as we wished.’ It is painful, but this is our reality.
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