(CHICAGO 08/02/2012) – Since the beginning of Ramadan, Jewish settlers and Occupation Forces have increased their attacks on the Al Aqsa compound, storming the mosque and harassing worshippers. IOF soldiers detained Al Aqsa’s imam on Friday, and Jerusalem municipal authorities have declared their intentions to seize the compound grounds and turn them into a public park, according to news reports.
In the past several days, settlers, backed by the army, have entered the compound several times. They have unfurled Israeli flags and conducted prayers there in attempts to provoke Palestinians, who are observing Ramadan at the third holiest site in Islam. At one point, hundreds of settlers were attended by extremist lawmakers from the Knesset when they paraded throughout the compound and Old City.
In the early hours of Sunday, Israeli Occupation Forces and police forcibly tried to remove worshippers from inside the mosque. Two young men from Jerusalem were taken away, according to the Al Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage.
But most troubling for Muslims are comments made by Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein that claimed Al Aqsa was part of Israel and therefore the public had the right to use the sacred courtyards as a park. His comments reflect the Zionist intention to “Judaize” Jerusalem by erasing the vestiges of Palestinian Muslim and Christian ties to the holy city through the demolition of homes and religious sites, the construction of settlements, and flattening entire neighborhoods to turn them into Jewish-only parks.
Israeli officials currently are in the process of destroying Umayyid Caliphate palaces just south of the compound.
The attorney general’s comments come shortly after the release of the Levy report, commissioned by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, which incredulously claims Israel’s “presence” in the West Bank does not meet the “international definition of a military occupation.” And since there is no occupation, all settlements are legal, according to the report, which has been denounced by the international community.
Many Jews believe the Al Aqsa compound sits on the site of the Second Temple, which the Romans destroyed in 70 AD, though no archaeological evidence exists to support this claim.
Perhaps not coincidentally, just days before the settlers overtook the compound, a new provocative video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8wTvy_5TaSE makes Zionists’ intentions for the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem blatantly obvious: They seek to destroy it to make room for the so-called Third Temple.
The message of the video – which was produced by Temple Institute Productions, whose main objective is to resurrect the Third Temple – was chilling: “Our Children Are Ready.”
In the video, two Jewish children are playing at the beach while their father reads the newspaper. He is astounded when they call him over to see what they’ve built of sand. In his amazement, the father discards the newspaper when he sees a replica of the Third Temple, which Jews say belongs on the site of Al Aqsa. The newspaper, now lying carelessly in the sand, shows a picture of Mohamed Morsi, the newly elected president of Egypt. The symbolism of Morsi’s picture lying on the ground under the towering sand temple cannot be missed.
We Must Act Now!
Within hours, Palestinians had their own video posted, this one showing children building Al Aqsa out of sand and the father writing ‘There are no gods but Allah’ on a small flag, which is positions on top of the dome. The scene ends by focusing on this sand structure under the banner of La illah ila allah, and the words, “Our children are ready, too.”
If plans move forward to turn the Al Aqsa courtyard into a public park, the Judaization of Jerusalem will be nearly complete. Within 45 years, Zionists have nearly completely wiped out thousands of years of Muslim and Christian heritage. We must protect our Islamic heritage by protecting Al Aqsa, Dome of the Rock and the entire Al Aqsa compound.
We must also protect the other remaining Islamic and Christian sites in the Old City before it is too late.
Call US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Elizabeth Jones to demand the US pressure Israel to uphold international law and allow Palestinians the freedom to worship freely. We must also demand the United States pressure Israel to uphold international law and protect the religious sites belonging to Muslims and Christians. We must make it clear that Al Aqsa was sanctified 40 years after the creation of the Kabba in Mecca thousands of years ago and that it is of utmost importance to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.
- International law, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), call for the protection of religious sites and the freedom of worship;
- The US Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report documents evidence of institutionalized discrimination against non-Jews in historic Palestine and the occupied territories;
- US support for Israel weakens our moral stance in the world and threatens our national security;
- The Al Aqsa mosque compound is the third holiest site in Islam and of vital importance to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims;
- The freedom of religion in enshrined in the US’ Bill of Rights as an inalienable right of all people. We must pressure Israel to end the occupation and to allow Palestinian Muslims and Christians the freedom to visit their holy sites in Jerusalem.
- Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Elizabeth Jones – 202.647.7209.
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – 202.647.5291.
AMP’s mission to educate the public about issues related to Palestine has taken on a new urgency because of the attacks on Al Aqsa. It is of utmost importance that we get this message out to the American people electronically, through our Jerusalem booklet, fact sheets, brochures, lectures, workshops and educational seminars.
We cannot do this without your support. We depend upon the generosity of people like you. Please help AMP get the message out. Please help AMP help save Al Aqsa mosque compound. Donate today.