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Jerusalem Tag

We have covered the escalating threats from leaders of and functionaries in the Palestinian Authority that there will be violence if the Donald Trump fulfills his promise to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Israel's capital, Jerusalem. This is a two-faced move, Palestinian leadership’s two-faced Jerusalem Embassy game:
We reported the other day on the escalating campaign by Palestinian leaders threatening and predicting violence if the U.S. moves our embassy to Jerusalem, Palestinian leadership: There will be violence if U.S. moves Embassy to Jerusalem.

We reported the other day on the escalating campaign by Palestinian leaders threatening and predicting violence if the U.S. moves our embassy to Jerusalem, Palestinian leadership: There will be violence if U.S. moves Embassy to Jerusalem. While Hamas is behind some of the incitement, an important feature of incitement regarding the Embassy is manufactured by the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, through Mosques run by Imams loyal to the PA. Leaders, such as Mahmoud Abbas, then use the violence they are instigating behind-the-scenes to warn that an Embassy move might inspire violence. The Times of Israel reports Top PA imam: Moving US embassy to Jerusalem a ‘declaration of war’ on Islam:

We previously documented how the Palestinian terror tactic of car rammings had migrated to Europe in the form of truck rammings, which killed 84 people in Nice, France, and more recently, 12 people in Berlin, Germany. Now the truck rammings that killed so many in Nice and Berlin, have come to Israel. Four people have been killed when a Palestinian terrorist rammed a truck into a group of Israeli officer cadets on an educational tour waiting to board a bus in a parking area in Jerusalem. The driver drove the truck back and forth over the bodies. The attack comes as Palestinian leaders have ramped up incitement in advance of Donald Trump taking office, with threats and predictions of violence from the highest levels.

Donald Trump has promised, both himself and through surrogates, to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That move, long promised by American presidents but never implemented, would have particular importance in light of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which the Obama administration pushed behind the scenes and allowed to pass by abstaining. That Resolution purports to declare illegal the Jewish presence even in place such as the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, which was captured by Jordan after Israel declared independence, and then ethnically cleansed of Jews. That ethnic cleansing of Jew along with ransacking and destruction of Jewish religious places, even cemeteries, was remedied when Israel recaptured the area in 1967 after Jordan attacked Israel in support of Egypt and Syria. Israel also recaptured the Western Wall, the holiest place in Judaism at which Jews are permitted to pray. The UN Resolution declares Israeli control over the Western Wall illegal as well.

Last week I was invited by an editor of The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog to contribute an article focusing on the issues surrounding president-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The article, “Trump’s plan to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem could help the peace process”, was published yesterday:

We've covered the back and forth today, from John Kerry's angry policy speech putting most of the blame on Israel for failure to reach an agreement on the final status of the dispute, to Bibi Netanyahu's equally blistering rebuttal. The rallying around Israel and Netanyahu by politicians on both sides of the aisle is a reflection of both ideological support for Israel and the fact that Israel remains hugely popular among the American public. The maligned "Israel Lobby" consists of a substantial majority of Americans who not only support Israel, but support Israel over the Palestinians. The American people are the Israel Lobby. But that can't explain the reaction against Obama's U.N. move.

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a promise that the United States would officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of the Jewish state. He also vowed that when he became president he’d relocate the U.S. embassy from its current beachside location in Tel Aviv to the Holy City. U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv Beach Satellite   Now, some are saying that once he’s in the Oval Office, Trump will go back on his word.

UNESCO continues to implement the holy Islamic Jihad against the Jews and Jewish History demanded by the Palestinian by passing a second resolution earlier today expunging the Jewish and Christian connection to the Temple Mount. The Israeli ambassador threw it in the trash.

Wrapping up its session in Paris that began several weeks ago, yesterday the United Nation’s cultural agency adopted a Palestinian and Arab state-sponsored resolution on Jerusalem that ignores both Jewish and Christian attachments to Jerusalem’s sacred sites. As we noted in a recent post, the resolution had already passed on October 13 at the committee stage when 24 UNESCO member states supported the measure (6 states, including the U.S., voted against; 26 abstained; and 2 state missions were absent for last week’s vote).

The United Nation’s cultural body—UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)—passed a resolution in Paris yesterday that challenges both Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem’s holy sites. The resolution was passed as Item 25 (titled “Occupied Palestine”) of the provisional agenda for UNESCO Executive Board’s 200th session. The document (full text here) was advanced by the Palestinians along with Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan. Twenty-four countries voted in favor of the resolution; 26 abstained; and only 6 voted against according to media reports. Those that voted against include: U.S., Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Estonia.

On Tuesday morning July 12, 2016, the family of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, the 13-year-old Israeli girl who was brutally stabbed to death on June 30th as she lay asleep in her bed, was granted special permission to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem—the most sacred site in Judaism. Hallel’s anguished parents, Rina and Amihai Ariel, had reportedly requested permission to ‘pray for the ascent of Hallel’s soul’ at the holy place that was dear to her and their hearts. [caption id="attachment_177363" align="alignnone" width="550"]Credit: The Times of Israel Credit: The Times of Israel[/caption] Rina Ariel had written directly to PM Netanyahu asking him to personally intercede. Via a YouTube video that went viral over the last few days, they also invited their fellow Israeli citizens to join them in the special prayer service:

Over the last few weeks, hundreds of thousands of devout Muslims were guaranteed unfettered access to their holy spaces on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount—the most sacred site in Judaism. Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, which concludes on July 5, additional units of Israel’s National Police were mobilized to ensure that worshippers could safely pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site for Islam.

Protection of Muslim Worshippers

Since 1967 — when Israel liberated the Jewish holy sites in eastern Jerusalem — the Temple Mount has been administered by agreement through the Islamic Waqf, a Jordanian-funded trust which oversees the site’s day-to-day religious functions. The Temple Mount is the most sacred site in Judaism, sanctified as the place where the Jewish Temples existed in biblical times. It’s a place where Jews should have basic rights, including the freedom of movement and worship. But as we’ve noted in several prior posts (see here, here, here) because of the profoundly discriminatory “status quo arrangement” set in place in 1967 and subsequently upheld by Israel’s courts, Jews are prohibited from praying there for fear of potentially upsetting Muslim worshippers, stirring up tensions, and triggering violent Muslim backlashes.

Sunday, June 5, 2016, was Jerusalem Day. Prof. Miriam Elman had a write up on the significance of Jerusalem Day and the liberation of the Old City, Jerusalem Reunited 1967: Three Israeli Soldiers, One Iconic Photo. Soldiers at Western Wall Then and Now The Israeli national holiday celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, after part of the city including the Old City, was under illegal Jordanian occupation since the 1949 Armistice Agreement was signed after Arab armies failed to destroy Israel in its War of Independence. Jerusalem Day is a very nationalistic holiday, similar to our July 4th Independence Day, with flags displayed almost everywhere. Tens of thousands of people stream into the city for the march towards the the Western Wall (the "Kotel").

Tomorrow (June 5) is Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day). The newest addition to the Jewish calendar, it’s held on the 28th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar—six weeks after the Passover seder and one week before the eve of the holiday of Shavuot. In June 1967, 28 Iyar was the third day of the Six Day War. As I discussed in a post for last year’s Yom Yerushalayim, the day celebrates the reunification of Israel’s capital city, when Jewish forces brought Jerusalem “back to Jewish sovereignty”. There’s a huge amount of information and research on the two-day (June 6-7, 1967) Battle for Jerusalem, when the 55th Paratroopers Brigade retook the Old City and liberated Jewish holy places from an illegal Jordanian occupation.

This past week, during the intermediate days of Passover (Chol Hamoed), nearly 900 Israeli Jews, roughly 100 to 300 per day, ascended Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Thousands of tourists also visited the sacred place over the course of the week. The site is the place of the two Jewish Temples in antiquity. It’s considered Judaism’s “holiest of holies” and is treasured by Jews across the planet. [caption id="attachment_136001" align="alignnone" width="600"]The Jewish Temple, replica The Jewish Temple, replica[/caption]