Recently, at his address to the United Nations General Assembly, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the PLO, opened his speech ‘raising the alarm’ to the world as to his version of the facts on the ground as they stand in relation to the most disputed piece of real estate in the world.
The Temple Mount. Al Haram Al-Sharif. Har Habayit.
The fact of the matter is that this man, a terrorist and tyrant who has held his democratically elected position long after its expiration, has a point. The greatest perpetration of human rights in all of Israel occurs on the Temple Mount. It forbids Jews from praying at their own holiest site. The rights of speech, expression and religion are all obstructed to preserve the ‘status quo’.
The status quo, as it is called on the Temple Mount, leaves the administration of the site to a Muslim trust left over from the Jordanian days, called the Waqf. Under the current racist agreement, Muslim worshipers have full rights while others receive none. Although the Mount is revered as the holiest site in Judaism as well as a holy site in Christianity and Islam, access to it for non-Muslims is restricted to a few hours a day, excluding Fridays or Muslim holidays in which access is banned completely for them. The site can additionally be closed for security concerns, which tend to be riots designed to prevent Jewish ascension to the holy site on the Mount during Jewish and Israeli holidays. Additionally, non-Muslims may only enter the site through one of the 11 gates and are forbidden any form of religious expression. This, despite the numerous Israeli Supreme Court rulings demanding all must be allowed religious freedoms at the holy site.
Over the past year Abbas has upped his inflammatory rhetoric in relation to the Temple mount, culminating with his statement in September on official PA TV:
“The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours… and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem.”
He went further to bless all the blood spilled in Jerusalem in the name of Allah. These statements were made in response to Israeli police forces being forced to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque to blockade Muslim rioters inside after they had attempted to start a riot that would force the Jewish visitors from the Mount for the day .
During his UN address, Abbas went on to threaten that if Israel continued this use of brutality, the Palestinians would turn this from a political conflict to a religious one. This man is parading to the world that his peaceful people are being persecuted and their holy places desecrated, and he has been doing this for years. The truth is that Abbas is inciting Palestinians to violence using the places his people claim as holy as their battleground.
This is not the first time that Abbas and his organization have acted duplicitously. In 2000, Abbas’s predecessor and mentor, the terrorist Yassar Arafat, used similar claims of Jews trying to take over the Temple Mount. Those claims led into the second intifada. All this was in the name of ‘changing the rules of the game,’ as his advisor admitted in an Arabic language interview in October of 2000.
Today, as well, Abbas’s goal continues to be to undermine any negotiation with the Jewish State. In one language he speaks of peace, and in another he incites death. He sneaks around trying to create a history that doesn’t exist. Abbas tries to turn the Western Wall into a Muslim site, but the fact is that when it was under Islamic rule, it was a garbage dump. The Waqf has spent years trying to remove all evidence of the existence of two Jewish Temples and now tries to claim more sites for themselves in a further attempt to remove the Jewish history in the indigenous Jewish homeland.
No matter how easy peace is for Abbas, he instead chooses to go asking for more, continuing to destabilize the status quo. The reason for this is simple, yet the world is too blind to see. He is a fraud. He does not want peace. His goal is drive the Jews into the sea. This incitement has led to a movement whose goal is just that.
This #INTIFADA (the name being used by the Palestinian side), much like its historical precedent, is wreaking havoc in the streets. This is to be expected when teenagers are attempting to stab Jews and their children in broad daylight. However, we have a message for you. Abbas, you will fail, and eventually the world will catch on. You claim it’s about control over Judea and Samaria, yet you stab innocents in Ra’anana and Beit Shemesh. Continue to incite your violence if you wish, but we will defend ourselves and we will be victorious. We are here in our indigenous homeland and we are not going anywhere.
This was originally published in the The Commentator and was written by Yeshiva University
CAMERA Fellow Michael Osborne.