Israeli border police officers stand guard as Palestinians pray at Lions’ Gate, the entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City, in protest over Israel’s new security measures at the compound housing Al-Aqsa mosque, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary (Haram al-Sharif) and to Jews as the Temple Mount, July 20, 2017. (photo by REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Anyone following Jordanian reaction to Israeli measures imposed at the Haram al-Sharif (which Israel calls The Temple Mount) in the Old City of Jerusalem following the deadly July 14 attack could be forgiven for thinking that Jordan and Israel were still at war. Israel closed the compound that includes Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine, preventing prayer there after three Arab-Israelis opened fire on Israeli guards near a gate leading to the shrine. Two policemen were killed before the assailants were shot dead. It was the first time that Israeli authorities had closed the compound since 1969, triggering angry reactions on both sides of the Jordan River.
Jordan’s official reaction was swift. The same day, its communications minister and government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani said that while Amman continues to condemn violence, it will not accept any violation of Muslims’ rights to observe their religious rituals at their holy places. He urged Israel to “immediately” reopen Al-Aqsa Mosque to worshippers and cautioned Israel against making any moves to change the existing situation at the site and in Jerusalem in general.
Israel was quick to denounce the Jordanian position. An Israeli official said in a July 14 interview, “Instead of condemning the attack, Jordan chose to attack Israel, which is protecting worshipers and maintaining freedom of worship at the place. Israel will not tolerate any harm to the holy sites and it maintains the status quo there. It should be expected that all sides involved, including Jordan, exercise restraint and avoid fanning the flames.”
Jordanians took the streets July 14 and 15 in Amman and across the kingdom declaring support for Al-Aqsa, condemning the occupation and praising the July 14 “martyrs.”
Jordan’s Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Wael Arabiyyat warned against “unprecedented Israeli violations and provocations against Al-Aqsa.” In a statement carried by the official news agency July 16, Arabiyyat said Jordan rejects Israeli measures to close the mosque to worshippers under any circumstances. Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi called on Israel in a July 16 press statement to defuse the crisis and warned against further escalation that cannot be contained.
According to Israeli press reports, Israel was further outraged by a July 16 statement by Atef al-Tarawneh, the speaker of the lower house, in which he praised the “martyrs” and blamed the Israeli occupation for the violence, adding that its “threats against the Haram al-Sharif will inspire resistance until the oldest occupation in modern times comes to an end.”
That statement pushed his Israeli counterpart, Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein, to tell Tarawneh to “shut up.” In a July 17 press release, Edelstein said, “It is unthinkable that such a senior figure in a country with which we have a peace agreement would encourage the murder of Israeli citizens.”
King Abdullah called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 15, stating his condemnation of the Jerusalem attack and rejection of violence. He urged the Israeli prime minister to reopen the mosque and reiterated Jordan’s strong stance against the closure.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Netanyahu on the day of the attack to condemn it and urged him to reopen the compound. Netanyahu assured Abbas that Israel was not about to change the status quo at the holy site.
Netanyahu announced July 16 that Israel would partially reopen the compound, but the crisis was about to get worse. Palestinian worshippers had attempted to break the Israeli siege, resulting in clashes with Israeli security guards July 17 and 18. And when Israel finally lifted the blockade, worshippers discovered that they had to pass through metal detectors in order to reach the compound. The Waqf Directorate, which is administered by Jordan under the 1994 peace treaty, accused Israel of breaching the sovereignty of the Haram al-Sharif.
The imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Ikrama Sabri, called on worshippers across Jerusalem to “head to Al-Aqsa and show their support” July 21. With tension rising in the holy city, Jordanians are also expected to march in protest and solidarity the same day following Friday prayers.
Jordan has not officially clarified its position on Israel’s installation of metal detectors at the entrance of the Haram al-Sharif. But on July 19, Safadi told EU ambassadors in Amman that Israel must “respect the historical and legal status at Al-Aqsa Mosque” and end attempts to create “new realities on the ground in a direct breach of its commitment as an occupying power.”
An antisemitic flyer found on the University of Houston campus on Tuesday. Photo: Michael Leone / Facebook
Dozens of flyers and stickers promoting neo-Nazi propaganda were found at the University of Houston (UH) this week, the latest incident associated with an increase in white supremacist activity on campuses nationwide.
The flyers, found on bulletin boards, walls, trash bins, and lamp posts at the university’s main campus on Tuesday, included phrases such as, “Beware the International Jew” and “Imagine a Muslim-Free America,” according to a statement shared online by UH’s chapter of the Young Communist League (YCL).
IDF soldiers make a blessing on the traditional Jewish custom of apple and honey to welcome Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. (ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com)
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) said they will provide $1.5 million in annual Rosh Hashanah “Fellowship Gift Cards” to 12,000 IDF soldiers marking the upcoming Jewish New Year.
The initiative, coordinated in collaboration with the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers and the LIBI Fund, will provide more than 10,000 lone soldiers and soldiers $140 gift cards. Another 2,200 soldiers will receive gift cards worth $100.
The cards “will allow the soldiers to celebrate the New Year without the burden of financial stress,” the organizations said in a statement Wednesday.
Gaza-based terror group says it will agree to Palestinian Authority conditions on forming joint government and holding elections
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, center, and spokesman Fawzi Barhoum attend a protest in Gaza City on July 22, 2017, against new Israeli security measures implemented at the holy site, which include metal detectors and cameras, following an attack that killed two Israeli policemen the previous week. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
For the past week or so, Iranian official media and social networks have been abuzz with anecdotes woven around a football match in Tehran between Iran and Syria and the light it might shed on a complicated relationship.
According to most accounts, a group of Syrians flown in by special charter to cheer their national squad in its bid for a place in the World Cup in Moscow staged an anti-Iran demonstration in the stadium. The Syrian contingent included young ladies who refused to wear the Iranian-style hijab.
Their presence in the stadium highlighted the fact that no Iranian woman is allowed to attend a football match after a fatwa by the “Supreme Guide” that women watching young men running around with bare legs might cause “undue excitement”
An Orthodox man passes a British guard in London, UK. (drserg / Shutterstock.com)
A new in-depth survey conducted by the U.K.-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) found that around 30 percent of the British public hold at least one anti-Semitic viewpoint.
The report noted, however, that most of the 30 percent polled also held some positive views about Jews.
Further, around 15 percent of the British public indicated they agreed with two or more anti-Semitic views presented to them, while two percent of British adults polled were found to be “hard-core” anti-Semites.
The survey was conducted by JPR senior research fellow Dr. Daniel Staetsky using face-to-face interviews and online polls.
That’s followed by the sounds of the terrorists assaulting a passenger.
“Please don’t hurt me,” he pleads. “Oh God.”
As the passengers rush the cabin, a Muslim terrorist proclaims, “In the name of Allah.”
As New York firefighters struggle up the South Tower with 100 pounds of equipment on their backs trying to save lives until the very last moment, the Flight 93 passengers push toward the cockpit. The Islamic hijackers call out, “Allahu Akbar.”.
The autumn of 2015 was unusual in almost every way on the north Aegean Greek island of Lesbos from which I am writing. There were tens of thousands of illegal migrants on the island, the native population of which was scarcely 100,000. New refugees arrived every day by the thousands.
One evening, the blue-gray sky grumbled shortly after sunset. The thick clouds blackened and rain poured down over the city with a roar. As I ran across the slippery pavement into a friend’s bar, I heard a group of five poor souls speaking Persian with a Turkic accent and running amok, seeking shelter under the eaves of a building.
Back in May, a New Orleans statue of Joan of Arc was tagged with “Tear it Down” graffiti.
Why Joan of Arc? Any famous historical figure is by definition controversial. Joan is a French national
symbol, but Shakespeare depicted her as a malicious witch. The French Quarter where the statue stands is a mostly white neighborhood. France was dealing with a controversial election.
This is what happens when you open a can of historical, religious and nationalistic worms.
Regarding the question that forms the title of this article, I truly believe that the answer is “yes.” It is my belief that Christian Zionism is as obvious a sign of the beginning of the redemption of Israel as are the ingathering of millions of Jews to the land of Israel and the existence of the State of Israel itself. But there are many people who don’t share this perspective.
In the Jewish community, there are still many who are wary of Christian friendship and support. Many Jews are suspicious of an ulterior motive to convert Jews to Christianity that they fear underlies this political partnership.
Last weekend, the world experienced a petrifying “wake up call” when Pyongyang test launched a hydrogen bomb. According to Yukiya Amano, director of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), Sunday’s test represents “a new dimension to the threat.” Added Amano, “I think the North Korean threat is a global one now.
In the past, people thought it was a regional one, but that is no longer the case.”
Since 1994, when North Korea decided to pull out of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), there has been a huge history of attempts to chain the North Korean nuclear beast, including efforts for military cooperation, sanctions and, of course, negotiations.