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THINK TALK: The truth the world chose to ignore

mindaviews thinktalk

MATALAM, North Cotabato (MindaNews / 01 May) The western media has been reporting the harassments made by Israeli uniformed security forces against some Palestinian worshippers inside the compound of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, also referred to as the “Old City”. These so-called “clashes” happened on the 22nd of April, the third Friday of Ramadhan. However, Mr. Richard Medhurst, an independent journalist from Vienna, has a different story which he calls the “truth” about the whole incident.

Mr. Medhurst began his video* message by criticizing the dishonesty and bias reporting of the western media when it comes to reporting Israeli’s occupation of the Gaza strip and its treatment of the Palestinians. “I think a lot of people are finally starting to realize just how dishonest the western media is when we talk about what’s happening in Palestine described by western media as “clashes.” If these were videos from Ukraine and you see Russian soldiers abusing Ukrainians, it would be front page news and there will be no problem calling it violence. And because it’s happening to Palestinians, oh now it’s a “clash”; oh it’s both sides.”

When the Israeli forces, on 22nd of April, used drones to drop teargas on tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, it provided yet another sign of the Israeli government’s lack of political will to be just and fair. This act was criticized even by some Israeli media. 

Haaretz, one of Israel’s independent media, correctly reported the targeting of women and children in the yard outside Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site next to the Holy Kaaba in Mecca and Masjidin Nabawe in Madina. By targeting what Israel security forces called “provocateurs,” they showed a racist policy that is against everything Palestinian and Muslim, the newspaper argued.

In one scenario in the video, an Israeli security officer can be seen chasing and swiping an old Palestinian woman’s arm with his baton causing serious injury.

The compound, spanning some 35 acres inside Jerusalem’s Old City, has been a Muslim shrine for more than 1,200 years. Every power that has ruled Jerusalem in the past respected the Islamic holy site and allowed Muslims to perform their prayers. No one has ever questioned the issue.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque sits atop the Old City plateau of East Jerusalem which Israel captured in the 1967 war and annexed it in a move that has not received international recognition. Palestinians have long wanted East Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian State they had been dreaming of.

Palestinians accused Israel of restricting Muslim worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place in Islam. A Temple Mount, considered as Judaism’s holiest site, also stands on the western side of the Al-Aqsa compound where Jews do nightly prayers for the upcoming Passover Festival where every Jewish family would choose a lamb to be sacrificed on fiesta day.

In the time of Jesus Christ (Prophet Isa Al-Masih to the Muslims), the Jews would select the Passover lambs in their Temple in Jerusalem. This was the same location where Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim in Islam) had been tested to sacrifice his son Ismael more than 2000 years ago.

Prophet Isa Al-Masih (the Messiah), upon reaching Jerusalem, entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone from doing all forms of commercial activity inside the temple courts. The Messiah then spoke, “Is it not written that my House shall be called a House of Prayer for all nations? But ye have made it a den of robbers!” (Mark 11:11-17).

However, the shift in Israel’s politics to the far right and the failure to provide clear representations for Jerusalem’s 350,000 Palestinians left a gap that is often abused by Israel. Instead of allowing local leadership to grow and establish a figure-head that the Israeli government can talk to when things go wrong, it has rather adopted a scorched-earth policy to dismantle Palestinian nationalism. 

Israeli police argued by saying they intervened when hundreds of Palestinians hurled rocks and fireworks which drew close to the Western Wall where a Jewish worship was underway. But Mr. Medhurst says otherwise. He insisted that it was the Israeli security forces who started the incident by targeting women and children outside the Mosque.

Even a children’s puppet festival, supported by Scandinavian funds through the Palestinian Ministry of Culture, was outlawed by Israeli authorities. At the same time Israel has barred some 35 organizations, both local and international, to render humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians. Even “absentee voting” which was provided under the Oslo Accord has been disallowed under the present Israeli government.

What more can Israel deny the Palestinians?

Apparently, the Jews had not learned enough from the holocaust.


*Link to Richard Medhurt’s video on Twitter: https://twitter.com/richimedhurst/status/1517979159926087682?s=20&t=YNiC7cCKNZIvTfzHg_P5vg

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Maugan P. Mosaid holds a doctorate degree in rural development. He is a freelance writer, planning consultant, and teaches Statistics and Methods of Research in the graduate school. He can be contacted at mauganmosaid6@gmail.com)

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