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August 23, 2016

Arab Media Outlets Falsely Label 1969 Al-Aqsa Mosque Arsonist as “Jewish”

August 21st marked the 47th anniversary of the arson attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by Australian Christian fundamentalist Denis Michael Rohan. Rohan said that God had asked him to set fire to the site, saying he would be made a “king of Jerusalem.” The Mosque was seriously damaged by the fire, and Rohan was tried, found insane, and committed to a mental institution. Temple Mount

While it has been well-documented that Rohan was a Christian, some Arab media outlets have described him as Jewish and an Israeli settler, seemingly in an effort to blame Jews for being behind the arson attack.

Here are some examples:

Al-Quds, editorial, August 22, 2016 (Palestinian Authority)

“Yesterday was the 47th anniversary of the crime of the arson of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque by Australian Jew Denis Michael (Rohan). He had the audacity to carry out his loathsome act under the cover of the Israeli occupation authorities, in an attempt on their part to try to find out the Palestinian reaction, as well as that of the Arab and Islamic Worlds. This, as a step in a series of subsequent steps over the course of years – no, decades – leading to its destruction and the building of the alleged Temple in its place.”

Filastin, “Arson of Al-Aqsa No. 47”, by Yussuf Rizqa, August 22, 2016 (Gaza)

“Yesterday was the 47th anniversary of Denis Michael’s arson of the Al-Qibli (Chapel) part of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. Denis Michael was a fanatic Australian Jew, who had come from Australia to occupied Palestine with the objective of deliberately setting Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire.”

Al-Masriyun, August 21, 2016 “The Al-Aqsa Fire … the Fire is Still Burning” (Egypt)

“On the morning of August 21st 1969, two years of the occupation of Jerusalem, Australian Jew Michael Denis Rohan set fire to the Qibli Chapel on the Temple Mount…”.

Al-Jazeera, August 21, 2016 (Qatar)

On the section dedicated to The Arab Reality show on Al-Jazeera, it says the following:

“It should be noted that The Arab Reality episode coincided with the 47th anniversary of  the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque at the hand of an Israeli settler who carried out his act, leaving the successive Israeli governments the task of completing the Judaization of the holy city.”

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July 6, 2016

Animated Video Enacts Killing of Knesset Member Yehuda Glick by Palestinian Terrorists

Following the spate of gruesome Palestinians terror attacks which took the lives of Hallel Ariel and Rabbi Miki Mark (whose killing was glorified on Arabic-language social media), a video has surfaced on social media calling for the killing of Israeli Knesset Member and Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick. Glick, like the late Rabbi Mark, lives in the settlement of Otniel. He is best known for surviving a Palestinian assassination attempt in October 2014 in reaction to advocating that Jews be allowed to visit the Temple Mount.

The two-minute long animated video shows Palestinian terrorists infiltrating the settlement of Otniel, and shooting Glick to death outside his home. It ends with a voiceover in broken Hebrew saying “Jews are forever forbidden from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque. One who violates this should come with Jewish burial shrouds (“Tachrichim”), for his fate is that of Yehuda Glick, only this time we kill.”


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April 20, 2016

As Passover Approaches Temple Mount Tensions Remain

With Passover approaching, Israeli authorities are gearing up for potential tensions over the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary.

The sacred space has long been the focal point of religious and political tensions and conflicts. The responsibility for the site is shared by Israel, which has sovereignty over the site, and Jor­dan, whose Cus­to­dian Min­istry has man­aged the site since the 1994 peace treaty between Jor­dan and Israel. The agreement includes a clause restricting Jews from praying on the Mount, known informally as the “status-quo.” The Waqf, an Islamic religious trust, overseas the day-to-day operations at the site.

Credit: Andrew Shiva

Credit: Andrew Shiva

There have been many flashpoints.  For years, there have been accusations among Palestinians and across the region of a conspiracy by Israel to “Judaize” Jerusalem, particularly when it comes to this shared holy site. In 2000, then-Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the site, which the Palestinians used as an excuse to launch the Second Intifada. Hamas, the Gaza-based terror group, even praised the recent bus bombing in Jerusalem as a “natural reaction” to Israel’s “desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” located on the site.

In recent years tensions relating to the site have intensified, with a noticeable increase in the number of Jews visiting and secretly praying on the Mount, a violation of the status-quo. Among them, Israeli government ministers and politicians, some of whom have called for Jews to be allowed to pray on the Mount.

And over the past week, other incidents have focused attention on the sacred space.  Last week, the Temple Mount Institute, a Jewish messianic organization, conducted a secret Jewish wedding on the Mount, which was filmed and posted on social media. While it may sound strange to condemn a Jewish wedding at a holy Jewish site, the incident was part of the larger, potentially explosive effort by some on the religious right, to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.

And from the Palestinian side, there was the adoption by the UNESCO executive board of a highly-biased, one-sided resolution on Jerusalem which ignored the Jewish connection to holy sites like the Temple Mount and Western Wall. The resolution described both sites only in their Muslim/Arabic names, alleged Israel was planting fake Jewish graves, and criticized, on political grounds, a recent Israeli decision to build an egalitarian prayer area in the Western Wall Plaza. Shockingly, a number of Western countries voted to support the resolution, including France, Spain and Sweden.

The Israeli government, much to its credit, has taken steps to reduce tensions, including banning all government ministers and Knesset members from visiting the Mount. They have also worked closely with US and Jordanian governments on a plan to install surveillance cameras on the Temple Mount, which would help refute claims that Israel is violating the status quo. In an unfortunate development however, Jordan announced this week that it was dropping this plan due to objections from the Palestinians who were “skeptical” about the initiative. Palestinians had also placed notices on the Mount threatening to smash any security cameras which were installed. This is not an encouraging development.

In the ancient tradition of Passover, Jews were required to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and bring a special Passover sacrifice to the Jewish Temple. While the sacrifice is no longer practiced, the next week will bring many tens of thousands of Jews to the Old City of Jerusalem and Western Wall area adjacent to the Temple Mount for prayers, blessings and celebrations.

While Israel must continue efforts to ensure the status-quo remain unchanged, the Palestinians must refrain from further escalating the tensions by using the Mount as a political issue to attack Israel. Any serious escalation of tensions over the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary – over Passover and beyond – could turn into a potentially explosive and violent situation.


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