Pondering Life in the ‘New Jerusalem’
By currently invoked, politically correct reckoning, when the Palestinians finally achieve statehood, Jerusalem will be lopped in half and become the capital of two nations “living side by side in peace.”
That’s the dream. But dreams rarely reflect reality. And nocturnal pleasantries inevitably vaporize when exposed to the harsh light of morning. Such will be the case when foreign interlopers, dreamers, and wishful thinkers impose their concepts for the “new Middle East” on the citizens of the State of Israel. I say “on the State of Israel” because Israelis will be doing all of the giving, and Palestinians will be doing all of the taking while complaining that their portion still is not enough.
Already the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its commissars have staked out police-state-like positions on what they will create and enforce in Jerusalem if they have their way. For proof, listen to the words of Yasser Arafat’s appointed mufti of Jerusalem. In a recent sermon delivered at the Temple Mount’s Al-Aqsa mosque and broadcast on P A radio, the mufti asserted that seventy years ago, the Committee of the League of Nations issued a statement giving Arabs the rights to the “Burak Wall” (Western Wall). Translation: No reference to the Western, or Wailing, Wall—Judaism’s holiest site—is legitimate because the wall is the exclusive province of the Muslim Waqf.
In a 1997 interview with Aaron Lerner, director of the Independent Media Review & Analysis (IMRA), the late Palestinian Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs, Hassan Tahboob, explained the practical implications of that claim.
Jewish worshipers, he said, would be allowed to pray toward the wall but would be kept at least two meters (6.5 feet) away from it. They would not be permitted to touch the sacred stones, and the practice of inserting prayers into the wall’s crevices would be no more.
Presumably, would restrict access. Under those circumstances, Muslim guards probably would be posted between worshipers (both Jewish and Christian) and the “Al Baraq Wall” to enforce its Islamic sanctity.
What Western masters of appeasement in the name of peace do not choose to consider is the fact that conceding the Old City, Temple Mount, and possibly the Western Wall to absolute Muslim authority literally excises the heart and soul from the anatomy of Judaism and the Jewish people.
In June of 1967, Gen. Moshe Dayan voiced the desire pent up in the hearts of Diaspora Jewry for two millennia when, referring to the Old City, Temple Mount, and Western Wall, he declared that the Jewish people had returned to Jerusalem, “never to part from her again.” By no stretch of the imagination is it incorrect or imperialistic for Jewish people to claim as their heritage the place King David lawfully purchased from Aurunah the Jebusite.
On Mount Moriah the Jewish people built and maintained their magnificent Temples and made sacred pilgrimages from the far reaches of the known world to worship there. And all this transpired many centuries before Islam sprung from the birthing chamber. To dignify the illegitimate Muslim claims of exclusivity to the places where the Jewish Temples stood and Jesus worshiped and ministered is no less than an act of international thievery of indescribable proportions.
Anyone deluded into thinking the Palestinian Authority will be a respectful and considerate custodian of areas sacred to Jewish people and Christians should think again.
Article 6 of the Palestinian Constitution states, “Islam shall be the official religion of the state.”
Article 7: “The principles of the Islamic Shari’a are a primary source for legislation.”
Article 8: “Jerusalem shall be the capital of Palestine and its seat of government.”
Article 25: “Palestinian citizenship is secure and permanent for any Arab who lived in Palestine before May 1948. It is transmitted from father to child.”
Article 32: “The right of the Palestinian refugee to return to his home and the original home of his ancestors is a natural right which cannot expire. Its exercise may not be delegated nor surrendered.”
Edward B. Miller, in a January 15, 2003, guest editorial titled “A Constitutional Milestone?” in the National Review Online, aptly comments:
Furthermore, a constitution that enshrines a right of return to Israel for all Palestinians, claims exclusive sovereignty over Jerusalem’s Old City, or codifies the PLO’s role . . . as sole representative of the Palestinian people will hardly create an atmosphere in which talks with Israel over final-status issues can be restarted. . . . For the P A to attempt to legitimize such unreasonable expectations in a constitution will only subject Israel to further suicide bombings and the region to further turmoil.
An old spiritual expresses the desire to be “Walking in Jerusalem, just like John,” one glorious day. If these seemingly intransigent Palestinian demands continue to generate a colossal, Western diplomatic cave-in, it is unlikely that either the apostle John or the singers of spirituals will be welcomed or even allowed to set foot on the holy ground confiscated by the sons of Ishmael. Nor will they be allowed within six feet of the Western Wall. Guess they’ll have to wait for a tour of the “New Jerusalem”—the one waiting for us just over the horizon.