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UNESCO’s Dangerous Anti-Semitic Myths – Shany Mor (Tablet via Daily Alert) & link to The “Al-Aksa Is in Danger” Libel: The History of a Lie (JCPA)

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Oct. 27, 2016

UNESCO’s Dangerous Anti-Semitic Myths – Shany Mor (Tablet)

While the recent UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem implicitly denies any Jewish (or, for that matter, Christian) connection to the Temple Mount, what should worry us most is its affirmation of the paranoid conspiracy theory that holds that Jews are plotting to harm Islamic holy sites. UNESCO “condemns the escalating Israeli aggressions” against “Muslims’ access to their holy site Al-Aqsa,” “deplores the continuous storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif by Israeli right-wing extremists,” and “deeply decries the continuous Israeli aggressions” committed by “the so-called ‘Israeli antiquities’ officials.”

There’s a long history to Arab claims that Jews or Zionists or Israelis have threatened Al-Aqsa. Such claims are part rallying cry, part conspiracy theory, and part a transparent projection of past actions against Jewish holy sites that fell into Muslim hands.

The power of this lie, both in inciting violence as well as mobilizing Arab and Muslim public opinion, was first understood in the 1920s by the Mufti of Jerusalem (and future Nazi collaborator) Haj Amin al-Husseini. He saw Al-Aqsa as a way of turning a local conflict into a regional, religious, and even global conflict. The claim that Jews were seeking to harm Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem in 1928 was the pretext for a wave of Arab violence against Jews, culminating in the massacre a few months later of 67 Jews in Hebron.

This method served as a model for each of the future eruptions of violence following false claims of Jewish threats to Al Aqsa, which occurred roughly once a decade. What is clearly a pathology is treated instead as a possible grievance – and, in the case of UNESCO, a genuine one.

Immediately after conquering the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967, Israel handed control of the Temple Mount to the Islamic Trust, or Waqf, and forbade any Jewish religious rite on the entire Mount (not just in the mosques), a status quo it has maintained to this day. Israel has not conducted any excavations under the Mount or the mosques on the Mount.

It is the visits of Jews to the Mount – but never inside the mosques – that is preposterously described in the UNESCO resolution as “storming Al Aqsa.” In fact, the only worshipers regularly harassed on the Temple Mount are the few Jews who have the temerity to silently visit their faith’s holiest site.

See also The “Al-Aksa Is in Danger” Libel: The History of a Lie– Nadav Shragai (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

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