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Beware of Netanyahu's Tactical Retreat on Al-Haram Al-Sharif

By Khalid Amayreh

in Occupied East Jerusalem

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, November 17, 2014

Binyamin Netanyahu's half-hearted undertaking to "maintain the status quo" at Jerusalemís al Haram al-Sharif or Noble Sanctuary ought to be taken with more than a grain of salt. Netanyahu is notorious for his mendacity, dishonesty and deceit. His words are worth nothing.
This is not to say though that the Palestinians ought to reject any genuine effort to calm the situation in Jerusalem and the rest of occupied Palestine. We Palestinians are not eager to kill and get killed.
None the less, our long experience with this man (Netanyahu) shows that he cannot be trusted. Even his closest friends and allies attest to this fact. Indeed, for Netanyahu, sublime human ideals such as honesty, moral consistency and rectitude spell naivety and gullibility. They are signs of weakness.
That is why; it is only a matter of time, perhaps a few days or weeks, before Netanyahu reverts to his real mode, a mode of recalcitrance, provocation and intransigence.
Netanyahu didn't agree to "maintain the status quo" at the Aqsa Mosque because he believes in peace and reconciliation with the Palestinians. On the contrary, Netanyahu doesn't miss a chance to provoke Palestinians and other Muslims around the world.
Similarly, he doesn't miss a chance to embarrass some of his few friends who would risk their credibility and stature by giving him the benefit of the doubt.
True Netanyahu says he would maintain the status quo, but his interpretation of the "status quo" could be far-fetched. He is a master of prevarication and equivocation.
Indeed, does maintaining the status quo include putting an end to the provocative intrusion of millenarian Jewish fanatics into the exclusively Islamic shrine? I doubt it.
Netanyahu would claim, especially when addressing a western audience, that "Jews have the right to visit the holy place. He would add: "I can't understand why people from around the world can visit the Temple Mount whereas Jews are barred from accessing the holiest place in Judaism?"
But Netanyahu is consistently dishonest. First of all, the Haram al Sharif is not the holiest place for Judaism. There is simply absolutely no evidence proving beyond doubt that the ruins of Solomonís Temple are located beneath the Haram al-Sharif. Israeli and western archaeologists have spent half a century trying to discover any evidence to that effect, but to no avail.
Second, the so-called "Jewish visitors" don't really come to "visit," they rather come to incite and riot and desecrate the sanctity of the holy place. They come in order to provoke Muslims into protesting against Jewish provocations, which in turn would give the Israeli security forces an excuse to shoot and kill innocent Palestinians.
True visitors of holy places all over the world must conduct themselves and show some respect to the place, especially in reference to those holding the place dear.
However, when these Talmudic-minded Messianic Jews "visitingĒ the mosque esplanade insist on holding provocative Talmudic rituals, inciting Jews to demolish the Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, then the matter goes far beyond "mere visiting."
Would The Vatican authorities permit a tourist to visit if he or she voices their intention to blow up Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome? Would the Indian authorities allow a tourist to visit Taj Mahal if the tourist declares openly that the edifice would have to be destroyed?
Yet we have heard these Jewish fanatics say rather ad nauseam that they won't rest before seeing these marvelous Islamic shrines reduced to ruin. And, strangely enough, none of the fanatics has been detained or questioned for incitement.
Muslim vigilance
There is no doubt that the unexpectedly strong Muslim reactions forced Netanyahu to rethink his plans. This is why Muslims must keep their guard up. Netanyahu simply wants to arrogate Islam's third holiest place as stealthily as possible and as quietly as possible.
More to the point, Netanyahu is likely to cajole or bully some Palestinian, Arab and Muslim leaders for the purpose of winning them to his side.
However, Netanyahu must understand that when it comes to the Aqsa Mosque, these unelected leaders don't represent the Muslim masses.
Khalid Amayreh is a veteran journalist and political commentator living in Occupied Palestine

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