Liberal-hearted foreigners, whose sympathy and political support is sought, are told that occupation refers to lands Israel took (obviously out of unadulterated malice) in 1967. Unless these arbitrarily usurped territories are ceded, Mother Earth will know no peace and harmony.
But Arab/Muslim listeners discern other undertones. For them any Jew’s presence, even inside Israel, amounts to sinful and insufferable occupation. Rectifying that wrong means terminating the existence here of all Jewish trespassers.
This ethos was given emotive lyrical expression by Mahmoud Darwish – the late “Palestinian national poet,” once an Israeli-Arab Communist, later a PLO luminary and author of the Palestinian “Declaration of Independence.” Even post-Oslo, with its derivative coexistence prattle and two-state propaganda, Darwish’s verses encapsulate the ideology of his fellow Fatah leaders – Ramallah chieftain Mahmoud Abbas foremost among them.
Darwish contemptuously labeled Israel’s Jews “those who pass through passing words.” He dehumanized Jews by referring to them as ephemeral despicable parasites – “flying insects” – spiteful transient interlopers, bound to depart without trace, leaving no vestige of ever having sojourned here. He steadfastly and unabashedly rejected any Jewish connection with this land, any history or right to remain here. He was the ultimate unrepentant advocate of ethnic-cleansing and – barring that – of outright genocide.
Directly addressing Israeli Jews, he demanded:
“Take your names and get out.
Steal what you will
From the blue of the sea and the sands of memory…
Don’t pass among us like flying insects…
Take your bony skeletons…
Collect your illusions from abandoned holes and get out…
It’s your time to get out.
Reside where you will but not among us.
Die where you wish, but not among us…
Ours is the past here
And the present and the future
Ours is the world here…
So get out of our soil,
Our earth, our sea,
Our wheat, our salt…
Of all memory
And remove with you your dead…”
Abbas said exactly the same, only in prose, at the recent three-day International Conference for the Defense of Occupied Jerusalem in Doha.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused him of incitement but hardly anyone bothered to fathom why. The media preferred to dwell on the price of chocolate in Israel because that promises sweeter payoffs for the left-wing agenda.
This, though, isn’t merely a case of media manipulation. There’s also news-consumer fatigue. Quite naturally dog bites man arouses little attention or commotion. Nothing unusual – even if we don’t remember the date and incidental details of every time canine teeth snapped at homo sapiens’ heels.
So it was when profusely self-professed moderate Abbas yet again insisted that Jews can claim no attachment to Jerusalem, that a Jewish temple never stood atop Temple Mount, that Temple Mount isn’t Temple Mount, that it never was anything but a Muslim shrine, that alien Martians calling themselves Jews descended upon Jerusalem from the void in the 20th century, that these extraterrestrials conspire to overrun that Muslim site, that they even construct vile architectural models for a futuristic temple with which they plot replace the sacred Muslim compound.
Were this the first occasion we heard such drivel, we might wax a tad indignant. However, we’ve been told so frequently that we are figments of our own imaginations that we’ve grown inured to the blather. We might not recall each time we heard how rootless and history-deficient we are, but the sum total coalesces at the recesses of our consciousness to form a dim collective memory.
Basically we’re hazily cognizant that those who bay for our blood also remind us every so often that we appeared out of nowhere and that the noble Arab nation will dispatch us back to oblivion. This theme is so common and consistent that its incessant reiteration leaves us frankly unmoved.
But it shouldn’t. This coldly calculated calumny constitutes prelude to mass-murder. It had already led to horrific bloodletting in the past and will do so again.
Throughout 1928, infamous Jerusalem mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini, railed about nefarious Jewish schemes to take over al-Aksa. To boost his counterfeit contentions he had photo-montages made up of Theodor Herzl on the Temple Mount. The fact that Herzl died in 1904 proved no impediment to implicating him in posthumous conquest conspiracies.
By August 1929, Husseini’s spurious accusations ripened into a series of premeditated pogroms throughout the country. The most notorious was in Hebron, where 67 members of the ancient Jewish community were hideously hacked to death. Husseini – who later became a Berlin-resident avid Nazi collaborator during WWII and a wanted war-criminal thereafter – is still widely revered throughout the Arab world and especially in Abbas’s latifundia.
It’d do us well to recall that the 2000 intifada was launched to the accompaniment of similarly drummed-up and trumped-up takeover hysteria, supposedly triggered by Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount. At the time, Abbas’s predecessor and patron Yasser Arafat scoffed at any Jewish historic tie to Temple Mount, maintaining that no temple ever existed there. Arafat then violently scuttled the Camp David deal-that-nearly-was, despite then-Premier Ehud Barak’s egregious generosity and readiness to accede to nearly every Arafat demand on Jerusalem.
In a 2009 Jericho conference, PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat divulged that at Camp David then-US president Bill Clinton entreated Arafat, “as believer,” to acknowledge a Jewish bond to Jerusalem and admit the great Jewish temple once stood where el-Aksa mosque was subsequently constructed. Arafat remained adamant: “I will never recognize that any temple existed. If we don’t liberate Jerusalem from Jewish presence now, there will be those who will do so in five years, or 10, even a hundred, if that’s what it takes.”
And Arafat’s torchbearers stand at the ready; Abbas has just exhorted them. And just like Arafat, Abbas too is remarkably in sync with the most extremist agitators in Israel’s own Arab sector.
Shortly before Erekat disclosed Clinton’s desperate efforts to reason with Arafat, Islamic Movement Northern Branch leader Sheikh Raed Salah, a convicted Hamas collaborator, addressed Arab students at the University of Haifa (of all places) and urged them to die as shahids (martyrs) in the war against Israel. He charged that Netanyahu “aims to implement plots hatched during his previous term and complete the takeover” of the Mount.
How will that takeover be facilitated? According to Salah, “Netanyahu’s design is to dig tunnels under al-Aksa and replace it with a Jewish Temple.” He added: “We won’t compromise on our principles or holy sites. We prefer to die as shahids and will welcome death joyfully.” Salah’s audience of about 100 enthusiastically responded with shouts of Allahu akhbar (God is great).
Salah published the following poem in the Islamic Movement’s periodical:
“You Jews are criminal bombers of mosques
Slaughterers of pregnant women and babies
Robbers and germs in all times
The Creator sentenced you to be loser monkeys
Victory belongs to Muslims, from the Nile to the Euphrates.”
He has orchestrated riots against archeological rescue-digs and the still unconstructed new pedestrian bridge to the Temple Mount. He accused Jews of “eating bread dipped in children’s blood.” He praised and eulogized terrorist murderers. He threatened with “ghastly death” anyone who claims any Jewish link to the Western Wall, “even to just one stone.” He regularly holds “Save al-Aksa” rallies – just like the sort Abbas sponsored in Doha and which Arab-Israeli MKs, bankrolled by taxpayers like you and me, attended.
Abbas charged that Israel seeks to Judaize Jerusalem, an assertion which requires us to expunge from mind the fact that Jerusalem has had a solid unshakable Jewish majority ever since its first census in the early 19th century (there were no censuses beforehand).
He then proceeded to allege that Israel aims to erase Jerusalem’s Christian past as well. But isn’t that precisely what Abbas does when he denies the existence of any Jewish temple or Jewish history in Jerusalem? How could Christianity as we know it have arisen without Jewish Jerusalem?
The New Testament is packed with seminal references to Jewish Jerusalem and its Temple, the very ones pooh-poohed by Abbas. Thus Christianity’s self-appointed guardian undercuts the crucial foundations of the Christian creed.
Finally, Abbas declared that Israel impedes Arab visits to and worship in Jerusalem. This is colossal gall. Not only is this Holocaust-denier lying, but look who’s talking! In 1948, brazenly contravening the UN Partition Resolution, the Arabs – with Jordan at their vanguard – invaded and occupied the Old City of Jerusalem. They expelled its ancient Jewish community and lay siege to West Jerusalem, striving to starve it into surrender.
The armistice agreement, which ended the 1948-49 Arab aggression (Israel’s War of Independence), guaranteed Jewish access to Jerusalem’s sacred sites. Nonetheless, all solemn Arab undertakings were callously breached.
During Jerusalem’s 19 years of brutal Arab occupation (1948-1967), no Jewish worship was possible at the Western Wall or elsewhere, formal international commitments notwithstanding. Foreign visa applicants even had to prove they weren’t Jewish, lest a forbidden Jewish foot reach Judaism’s holiest site.
Fifty-eight synagogues in Jerusalem’s historic Jewish Quarter were destroyed or defiled, some used as cowsheds, stables or public latrines. Many were razed to the ground.
The incomparable Jewish veritable-pantheon that is the 3,000-year-old Mount of Olives cemetery was sadistically despoiled. Over 75 percent of its tombstones were ripped out and used to construct anything from pavements to army barracks and even communal urinals – the ultimate humiliation and desecration. This wasn’t mere vandalism or an outpouring of unbridled hate. This was maximal ethnic cleansing, purposely planned to purge Jerusalem of its Jewish past and pretend it was never anything but Arab.
It’s the vision Darwish so graphically promoted in his aforementioned verses. His 1964 poem, Identity Card, which significantly predated 1967’s “occupation,” explains how this vision would be attained. It bloodcurdlingly cautions:
“The usurper’s flesh will be my food.
Of my hunger
And my anger!”
All of us are the usurpers whose livers are destined to be devoured. Abbas’s slander is intended to justify the feeding frenzy.