|Temple Mount also known as Haram al Sharif throughout the Muslim World or the Al Aqsa Compound. Photo by Getty images.|
|Al Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem is located on the Temple Mount near the golden dome of the Rock. It is less photographed but is still the most important mosque and place of worship in the world alongside the other religious buildings in Jerusalem such as the Wailing Wall and Church of the Holy Spelecture.|
UNESCO has done it. Despite the arm twisting and threats from Israel and Israel First supporters (Zionists cheerleaders), UNESCO has declared the Al Aqsa compound or Haram al Sharif aka Temple Mount home to Al Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock and parts of the Wailing Wall important to Jews as Islamic. Israeli is fuming mad. The UN has never reneged on its commitment to push Israel to follow International Law and end its long 49 year old Occupation of Palestine ie East Jerusalem, Gaza and West Bank. Al Aqsa Mosque is not the famous golden dome mosque that is the icon of Jerusalem and featured in every picture of the city. Al Aqsa mosque is further up from the Dome of the Rock Mosque. It doesn't feature as heavily in pictures of Jerusalem but is just as important as the mosques in Mecca and Medina. As a matter of fact, before Mecca and Medina became the most holy places in Islam, Jerusalem was one of the original directions Muslims prayed towards. Jerusalem has been recognized by both the United Nations and UNESCO as Occupied land aka occupied territory. If it was up to the world's people, Palestine would've been liberated and independent decades ago. It's the politicians that have failed and taken their own time to negotiate a final peace deal. In the Middle East's only democracy. Nothing Israel says or does will change the fact that East Jerusalem is Israeli occupied. The Jewish state has broken every UN resolution and international law to keep its hold on Occupied Palestine. During both Ramadan, Eid al fitr, Christmas and Easter and during Jewish holidays, Israeli soldiers and border police limits Palestinian Christians (one of the oldest Christian communities in the world) and Muslims' freedom of movement and access to the Haram al Sharif and churches. Bethlehem is walled in by the Apartheid wall and its residents face checkpoints just to enter and exit the city. meanwhile Palestinian Christians like their fellow Muslim country people are equally treated as enemy threats inside and outside of Israel no matter their connection to original people of Christianity, early Christians' beginnings in Palestine and across the Middle East. Like their Christian brethren in Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria have been on the receiving end of Israeli occupation, orientalism, wars, discrimination and racism by Israel and Western countries. Palestine the original champion of the Arab World today has been ignored by the Arab League.
|Former Malian footballer Frederic Kanoute shows his support for Palestine while playing in Spanish La Liga|
The Israeli occupation and conflict was never equal
Contrary to lazy historic explanation of Isaac vs Ishmeal, the current Israel-Palestine conflict is less than a hundred years old. Balfour Declaration 1917 declared Palestine to be the homeland of the Jewish people despite, Palestine being home to an ancient society and culture: Palestinians. Since 1948, Israel has reiterated it is a state of the Jewish people and not a state for its own citizens. This is a crisis of Israeli identity. Ordinary Palestinians in Jerusalem and throughout Gaza and West Bank are denied the right to live freely, face closures of school and hospitals, can't visit family in neighbouring cities with the interference of Israeli military. The Israeli military has controlled most if not all of Palestinian life in the occupied territories through 500 checkpoints that divide the West Bank into bantustans, have kept the 25 ft Apartheid Wall that separates occupied East Jerusalem from West Bank and from Jerusalem suburbs. Palestinians inside Israel officially called Israeli Arabs by Israeli government, are discriminated against in housing, schools, health, culture and treated as second class citizens. Palestinian Knesset members do not get any better treatment if they challenge Israeli policy towards Palestinians, Israeli racism or special commemorative memorials on 1948 creation of Israel and the following Nakba. Gaza is still blockaded by Israeli military and air force after 10 years of being punished following the Israeli settlement dismantlement in 2005. Many former Israeli settlers in Gaza ended up moving to occupied West Bank. There are currently over 500,000 illegal Israeli settlers living in illegal settlements or colonies across the West Bank while Palestinians have seen their towns and villages turned into near open air prisons by Israeli military control and government indifferences. The Palestinian Authority has done little, continues to build up corruption claims and have often been hampered by Israel's constant demands to recognize Israel as Jewish before any negotiations. All this Israel does to separate Palestinians from one another. By extension, keep the Palestinian economy dependant on Israel.
The War on Terrorism is used to explain away the Brutal Israeli treatment towards Palestinians.
South Africans are familiar with the colonial occupation tactics that were used by the former Apartheid South African government and military in the same manner to keep Africans separated from one another. Everything that Israel does in the occupied territory is illegal. Israel, Israeli Lobby and Christian Zionists have used the holocaust, screamed Anti-Semetism, painted Iran and Palestinian leaders as new Hitlers, relied on Orientalist stereoypes of Palestinians and the wider Arab world and anxiety of terrorism as methods of silencing anyone who rightfully and justifiably criticizes, protest and brings attention of Palestinians' plight and oppression to the world's attention. The fear tactic worked to keep the politicians silent in United States, South Africa parts of Europe. Even ordinary people were kept muted on issues of Palestine. However, following the different IDF operations in Gaza in the mid 2000s and the beginning of 10 year old blockade on Gaza, ordinary people across the world have equally stood up Israel first supporters and Zionists to bring the world's attention back to Occupied Palestine. This includes many Jewish groups and Israeli human right advocates who stand up for Palestinian rights, real genuine justice and equality between Israel-Palestinians and have joined Israeli-Palestinian protests against military violence towards Palestinian women, men and children and Israelis and international people. The attention continues to the collective punishment and the excessive force Israeli army and government uses against all Palestinians even if they are children, the arrest and torture of Palestinians including children, the destruction and disappearances of Palestinian lands under occupation and continual mushrooming of Israeli settlements on privately owned land, military curfews and denial of basic human rights in the name of fighting terrorism and security state. Many people the world over have experience some of what the Palestinians experience in one form or another on a daily basis as a result of the War on Terrorism. Although Israel doesn't make the news as much as it used to, Israelis are still continuing the occupation, trying to scare the citizens of Europe saying European Muslims are enemies within and warning of massive terror attacks. The people of course are having none of the alarmist fears. Israeli Public Relations machine known as Hasbara is not foolishly scaring the world any more.
Iron Wall 2008: The history and growth of illegal settlemnts in Occupied Palestine and relations to Palestinians
|An artistic salute to Palestinians by artists Jasperoua and|
|Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronald show their support for Palestine.|