Clash of Worlds : Britain and Palestine Part 5
Part 5 of the BBC series “Clash of Worlds” brings us to face to face with the conflict for Jerusalem. The teacher from the Institute for Jerusalem Studies voices his opposition to Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and also accuses Britain for causing the conflict. No mention is made of the attack on by the new born Israeli state by the five Arab states that joined the war: Egypt, Jordan (Transjordan), Syria, Lebanon and Iraq – All of them planned to destroy the Jewish state. The photo of Bin Laden is an anachronism.
The Center for Jerusalem Studies
The video mentions the Institute for Jerusalem Studies which I believe should be the Center for Jerusalem Studies a branch of Al-Quds University. This is a Palestinian school whose “academic” products are clearly anti-Israeli. Al-Quds University was founded in 1984. It is the only university in the world to be situated one both sides of a security barrier. The main campus of the University is located in Abu Dis with four further campuses in Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah, Beit Hanina and Rammalh (al-Bireh).
The Western Wall
The Western Wall, previously called the Wailing Wall is an ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem erected as part of the expansion of the Second Jewish Temple by Herod the Great. This resulted in the encasement of the natural, steep hill known as the Temple Mount, in a large rectangular structure topped by a huge flat platform, thus creating more space for the Temple itself and its auxiliary buildings. In 1517, the Turkish Ottomans under Selim I conquered Jerusalem from the Mamluks who had held it since 1250. Selim’s son, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, ordered the construction of an imposing wall to be built around the entire city, which still stands today. Jews received official permission to worship at the site and Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan (chief Ottoman architect ) built an oratory for them there.
Over the centuries, land close to the Wall became built up. Public access to the Wall was through the Moroccan Quarter, a labyrinth of narrow alleyways. Over time the increased numbers of people gathering at the site resulted in tensions between the Jewish visitors who wanted easier access and more space, and the residents, who complained of the noise.
In 1930, in response to the 1929 riots, the British Government appointed a commission “to determine the rights and claims of Muslims and Jews in connection with the Western or Wailing Wall”. The Commission concluded that the wall were solely owned by the Muslim waqf. However, Jews had the right to free access to the Western Wall for the purpose of devotions at all times and forbade the blowing of the shofar.
Following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War the Old City together with the Wall was taken over by Jordan. The 1949 Armistice Agreement provided for Israeli Jewish access to the Western Wall. However, for the following nineteen years Jordan refused to abide by this clause.
Isra and Miraj
The Temple Mount area which the Muslims call Haram Al-Sharif, the Temple of Herod once stood. This Jewish temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. There is connected with the Prophet Muhammad.
“Glory Be to Him Who made his servant to go on a night from the sacred Mosque to the remote Mosque”. Qur’an (Sura 17: 1)
The narrative relates that Muhammad arrived by flying on the back of his horse, “al-Buraq”, who had the head of a woman. There, in the “remote mosque” he prayed, together with Abraham, Moses, Salomon and Jesus, climbed up on to a golden leather throne and ascended to Paradise, remounted al-Buraq and returned to Mecca the same night. Islam believes that the “remote mosque” is Al Aqsa on the Temple Mount and that his horse “al Buraq” was tied by the Western Wall.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims all venerate the city of Hebron for its association with Abraham, who of course was a Jew – it includes the traditional burial site of the biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs, within the Cave of the Patriarchs. Judaism ranks Hebron as the second-holiest city after Jerusalem.
During the 1929 Hebron massacre, Arab rioters slaughtered some 64 to 67 Jewish men, women and children and wounded 60, and Jewish homes and synagogues were ransacked. 35 families moved back into the ruins of the Jewish quarter, but on the eve of the Palestinian Arab Revolt (April 23, 1936) the British Government decided to move the Jewish community out of Hebron as a precautionary measure to secure its safety.
In December 1948, the Jericho Conference was convened to decide the future of the West Bank which was held by Jordan. Hebron notables, headed by mayor Muhamad ‘Ali al-Ja’bari, voted in favour of becoming part of Jordan and to recognise Abdullah I of Jordan as their king. After the Six-Day War in June 1967, Israel occupied Hebron along with the rest of the West Bank.
Israeli Security Fence
The Israeli Security Fence is a separation, part barrier and part wall in the West Bank or along the Green Line. It is a security barrier against terrorism. The total length of 708 kilometres (440 mi) upon completion.
- Hebrew: separation fence, separation wall, security fence
- Arabic: Wall of apartheid جدار الفصل العنصري
- English: the BBC’s style guide uses the terms barrier, separation barrier or West Bank barrier. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses the phrase security fence in English. The International Court of Justice has used the term wall. It is also referred to as the Apartheid Wall or Apartheid Fence in a derogatory manner. Seam zone refers to the land between the 1949 Armistice Agreement Line and the fence.
Churchill & the Jews
This video clip helps understand the basis of the British relations to Jews and the Jewish State.