Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Jew-baiting at the Western Wall – an historical vignette

Yesterday was marked around the world – by Muslims and anti-Zionists of various stripes carrying pro-Hamas and pro-Hezbollah placards – as Al-Quds Day, dedicated to liberating Jerusalem from the Israelis – or, as the Iranian satellite news channel Press TV put it last night, demanding an end to “Israel’s 62-year [sic] occupation of Palestine” . The Al Quds Day march in Britain has been described, with good reason, as “the biggest annual Israel hatefest in London” – at yesterday’s ‘"We Are All Hizbolla Now" and "Zionism Equals Racism" were just two of the racist chants. Resistance was provided by a small group of Zionists, a group of Iranian expatriates in London and a group from the EDL. Around 1200 marchers walked from Speakers Corner down Hyde Park Lane, then back up, turning right to congregate in front of the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square (the "Great Satan").”’ For a description and links to other accounts and videos see http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/terrorist-supporters-march-freely-through-london


Al-Quds Day was inaugurated by the late Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, the year he took power in Iran. “I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join together to sever the hand of this [Israeli] usurper and its supporters,” he declared. “I call on all the Muslims of the world to select as Al-Quds Day the last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan ... and through a ceremony demonstrating the solidarity of Muslims world-wide, announce their support for the legitimate rights of the Muslim people. I ask God Almighty for the victory of the Muslims over the infidels.” On the eve of this year’s Al-Quds Day Ayatollah Khamenei stated: "Israel is a hideous entity In the Middle East which will undoubtedly be annihilated." And yesterday, in Teheran, President Ahmadinejad proclaimed: "If the leaders of the region do not have the guts, then the people of the region are capable of removing the Zionist regime from the world scene" and pronounced the peace talks between Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas as "stillborn and doomed."

Al-Quds Day is intended to demonstrate the importance of Jerusalem in Islam. Now, whatever a final peace settlement regarding Jerusalem may be – and it may well prove that east Jerusalem becomes, as the Palestinians insist, their capital – it is undeniable that while Jerusalem is the third holiest city in Islam, behind Mecca and Medina, Jerusalem is the foremost holy city in Judaism. In the Quran it is mentioned perhaps not at all, whereas in the Tanakh – the Hebrew Bible – it is mentioned almost 350 times, and its alternate name, Zion, a further 108.

Despite the dark centuries of exile there has always a Jewish presence in Jerusalem, and it’s thought that by the mid-1840s there were more Jews there than Muslims, who in turn outnumbered Christians. The following interesting historical vignette, which I discovered in the Jewish Chronicle (7 January 1870), was reprinted from the London Daily Telegraph, whose Holy Land Correspondent had written it. It provides a telling commentary on the status of the Jews in Jerusalem before that city was captured by the British from the tottering Ottoman Empire in 1917. So here it is, without further comment from me:

‘In this clear, bright moisture-free air everything looks so close and near that you fancy you could drop a stone down upon the roofs that lie far away beyond rifle shot and it is only as your eye becomes accustomed to the distance that you take in the grandeur of the city upon which you look. In a semi-circle around you is placed Jerusalem, a city standing in a sort of natural amphitheatre, tier upon tier, row upon row of flat-roofed dome-surmounted houses. The church-like Russian convents, the pseudo-medieval almshouses, the modern stucco and plaster suburb beyond the walls are hidden from view, the horizon is bounded solely by the crest of the hills, along whose summit run the western walls. At your feet is the vast, bare, open space on which once stood the Temple of Solomon – on which now stands the Mosque of Omar. A few Mussulmans [sic] sit smoking gravely under the shadow of the trees planted here and there close beneath the Sacred Shrine; a cripple, whose legs dangle helplessly after him, is crawling on his breast to reach the holy edifice. But, unless you wear the turban, there is no entrance here for either Christian or Jew, without special permission. The ground is too sacred, in the eyes of the Muslim, to be desecrated by the foot of the unbeliever. Beyond the plateau of the mosque, you look down upon the parapets of the eastern walls; beyond them, again, is the dark shadow covered gorge which men call the valley of Jehoshaphat. Higher up, just about the gloom of the valley, are the tombs of Absalom and Hezekiah ... and right in front, above the tombs, towers the Mount of Olives ....

The most impressive memory I shall ever carry away with me from Jerusalem is that of the Jews weeping before the walls of Zion. The Hebrew population is said, in the guide-books, to be about one-third of the whole city.... The Jews of Zion are neither prosperous, active, nor influential; and, as Muslims and Christians, disagreeing in everything else, agree in oppressing the children of Israel, these have a hard time of it in the city of their fathers. No native Jew can enter the precincts of the Temple, where now stands the Mosque of Omar, without the risk of being maltreated and stoned, if his presence is detected by a Mussulman. Once a week, however, and once a week only, the Jews are permitted by the Turks to come and pray at the foot of one of the high stone walls on which the plateau of Solomon’s Temple is supported. The hour of prayer is fixed, whether by chance or irony, upon the Mussulman Sabbath; at that hour the Jews flock to the narrow strip of ground, enclosed beneath high walls, where alone they can pray in public for the coming of the Messiah, and the restoration of the chosen people to the Promised Land. There are a few Rabbis, clad in long fur-lined cloaks and low-crowned velvet caps; but the great bulk of the worshippers are aged men and women of the poorer sort, meanly dressed in coarse woollen stuffs; the men with long grey greasy coats and greasier ringlets, the women with cheap striped cotton petticoats, and white linen hoods bound over their heads. Men and women stand apart, the worshippers, as they each arrive, taking up their station close to the wall, with their faces buried as far as may be in their slits and fissures. All along the line there rises a murmer of wailing cries and sobs. There are few amongst the company who have not Hebrew books of prayer in their hands, out of which they recite long swings of words chanted to a low sing-song tune. From time to time one of the elders reads out a prayer, and at each pause the chorus of men and women join in with a long wailing cry. But, as a rule, it seemed to me, each person prayed after his own fashion, and the voices rose and fell in a constant ebb and flow of sound; but, as worshipper after worshipper turned away slowly from the wall, after kissing it repeatedly, you could see tears running down their wrinkled cheeks.

The Turkish soldiers were lounging on the parapet of the wall above. In former years, they would throw down stones upon the Jews as they stooped in prayer, or insult them with opprobrious names. Now the power of the West is too much dreaded for the Moslem official to venture upon the exhibition of his contempt for the unbeliever. But, amongst the common folk, who have not the terror of the Pasha before their eyes, the old hatred of creed still survives. On the day when I visited the place of wailing, a group of dark-eyed, bold-faced stalwart Arab women sat with their children, in a corner of the pathway whereon the Jews were praying. An old Jewish dame, very feeble, bent, and wrinkled, laid her large hide-bound prayer-book on a stone beside her while she buried her head in a hole in the wall; forthwith one of the Arab girls stole up stealthily and carried off the book in triumph. The old Jewess, when she discovered her loss, begged and prayed for its return, but was told she could not have her book again unless she paid five piastres – about a shilling – to the girl who had stolen it. There was wrangling and whining for ever so long, but the Arab girl stood firm; the Jewish women were afraid to touch her, and at last they made up the sum amongst themselves by odd half-pence, and handed it to the impudent young hussey, who pocketed the coin, and then announced that now she would not return the prayer-book, as she saw the old woman valued it, till she had double the price named.

Seeing that our party were strangers, one of the Jewesses came up to me, and asked me, in German, to help them get the prayer-book back. I volunteered, through my dragoman, to pay the couple of shillings which was needed to redeem the book; but the Arab wench raised her terms again, and stood out for more. Happily, a threat that I would take the old woman to the English Consul – like many other unmeaning menaces in this world of ours – succeeded where persuasion had failed; and the girl, pouring forth a volley of abuse against myself, the Bible, and the Jewish race, raised up the prayer-book into the air, threw it as hard as she could fling right into the midst of the group of Jewesses, and then ran down the hill laughing loudly.'

4 comments:

  1. Dear Daphne:

    I found you through my right word and am now following you.

    I was at yesterday's anti-terror march waving an Israeli flag with friend from EDL and Jewish EDL, as well as a group of very brave Iranians. there were the usual creepy IRGC spies trying to take photos of the Iranians near the Israeli flag. Amazingly the police kept them away! i pray they failed to get the incriminating pictures they tried so hard to sneak!

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  2. Many thanks, Juniper in the Desert - I love the name, btw - I have your blog bookmarked. At the top you declare yourself "pro-Copt", which is truly inspiring because the Copts are so often overlooked. Years ago, in Australia, I had to meet a visiting Israeli bigwig on behalf of an organisation I worked for - the organisation insisted on sending a huge white limousine to pick him up from the airport (boy, was I embarrassed, sitting in the back seat of the long limo with drivers craning their necks to see who was inside!). Anyway, the limo's driver was a Copt, and he was extremely pro-Israel, holding forth about the Middle East situation throughout the drive - his people's enemies being Israel's enemies.

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  3. This picture of the humiliated Jew is the very best that Jews can hope for if Israel is destroyed by the far-left and its islamofascist friends.

    NEVER AGAIN!!!

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  4. Hear, hear! Masada shall not fall again!

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