By: Boris Hammerschlag
Internationalist Socialist League (Israel/Occupied Palestine)
Yet another wave of violence is sweeping AlQuds (Jerusalem) and the holy al-Aqsa compound. A guerilla shooting attack by three Muslim Palestinian citizens of Israel, which happened last week (14.7) and led to the death of two Israeli Policemen, has been expectedly used by the Israeli government as an excuse to enact collective punishment, political arrests and murderous repression. The clashes that soon followed have claimed so far the lives of 3 Palestinians and 3 Israeli West Bank settlers with ~140 Palestinians injured.
The Internationalist Socialist League places the blame for these Palestinian and Israeli-Jewish deaths and injuries squarely on the Zionist ultra-right-wing government and its consistent provocative policy of shifting the Zionist-Palestinian conflict from a colonialist-nationalist struggle into a global inter-religious holy war.
We call upon all revolutionary minded socialists, as well as all supporters of freedom and democracy, to take a stand in mass mobilizations in defense of Muslim religious freedom, in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for the de-colonization and full liberation of their homeland, from the river to the sea.
We continue to strongly and consistently maintain our position that the only way to achieve peace, prosperity and social justice in Palestine is through a regional democratic revolution led by an alliance of the working class and the oppressed masses. This revolution must not limit itself to the attainment of full-democracy, but continue uninterrupted as a socialist revolution. Otherwise, all democratic or social gains would quickly be rolled back by a bourgeois capitalist counter-revolution.
Refuting one-by-one the Lies of the Zionist Media and State-Funded Propaganda
Lie #1 – Israel has imposed a complete ban on Muslims entering the al-Aqsa compound for the first time in 48 years, placing metal detectors and flooding the area with security forces, only because it is concerned with the security and religious freedom of the Jews, Muslims and Christians.
The truth is that Israel has been using its stranglehold over all the holy sites it occupied in 1967 to collectively punish the Palestinian population whenever any of them act according to their UN-mandated right to armed resistance against an illegal military occupation.
Any political entity truly concerned with human lives and religious freedom would not have annexed holy sites placing them under military or police-state rule, and it would certainly refrain from using its own population as human shields by moving them to settle occupied lands, nor fund religious fanatic NGOs that are openly calling for the removal of the al-Aqsa mosque in favor of a 3rd Jewish Temple.
Lie #2 – Israel is doing nothing wrong nor special by placing metal detectors at the entrance to the holy compound. Many other religious holy-sites and places of cultural importance have metal detectors, including the Vatican and the Ka’aba in Mecca.
The truth is that all of these other places have metal detectors placed at the request, or at least consent, of the worshippers, by those who they see as the legitimate sovereign.
Historical experience shows that those Muslims and peaceful tourists who frequent the al-Aqsa compound have only the occupation police, occupation military and the occasional ultra-right-wing religious fanatic settler, armed with an Israeli army issued machine gun, to fear – none of which have any business entering the site in the first place. If any metal-detectors should be put in place, it should be done by the Waqf administration to guard against the Zionists and not vice versa.
The palestinians have every right to be wary, in the 30’s Zionist leaders have also promised that they do not want to take over the western wall, and after the 67’ war that they will not hurt the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil.
Many Israelis can’t seem to grasp what’s the big deal with security checks by Israeli soldiers, perhaps, they need to ask themselves why are they fasting on Tish’a B’Av and what led to the Jewish rebellion against the Romans.
Lie #3 – The terrorists who shot and killed the two policemen near the compound were radicalized and incited to violence by the leadership of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, namely the recently shut down, by invoking a permanent “state of emergency”, Islamic Movement (Northern Branch).
Firstly, those who kill armed occupation policemen cannot be classified as terrorists, but as guerillas. Secondly, It is true that the IMNB has been for a while a leading voice in claiming Israel has sinister aims in alQuds – not only in the Jewification (a form of Zionist gentrification project) of Palestinian villages and neighborhoods in alQuds (East Jerusalem), but also physically undermining the structure of the Mosques and the holy compound under the guise of archeological excavations and research – all for the sake of rebuilding the mythical Jewish Temple of antiquity.
However, the truth is that such concerns are not expressed without a solid basis. Jewification of certain Arab-majority areas is historically an open and declarative Zionist practice. One of the major revolutionary outbreaks in Palestine – the 1936-1939 uprising – was partly provoked by what the Zionists openly called “the occupation of labor”. Under the slogan of Hebrew Labor, the zionist leadership made considerable efforts to get rid of Arab workers in all fields of occupation and replace them with Jewish workers. The workings of Zionist settler colonialism are already quite well known around the world.
Israel has been excavating the ground under the al-Aqsa mosque to find archeological proof of a Jewish presence and religious life in the area 2000 years ago. Muslims who come to pray in the compound post countless of photos online of cracks that are forming in the walls of the mosque above and nearby houses, holes that suddenly open in the ground, etc.
We do not have sufficient evidence that the Israeli government is deliberately preparing the sudden destruction of al-Aqsa. However, as an occupying force, an illegitimate usurper of power, it has zero right to apply any changes to or around the holy sites.
We can certainly do understand the concerns of the Muslim population of Palestine for their places of worship. After all, “Price-tag” arson attacks by Zionist hard-liners against Mosques and Churches are commonplace in Israel and the occupied territories, with extremely rare cases of capturing and prosecuting the perpetrators by the Israeli authorities.
Furthermore, the voices of those who support the construction of the 3rd Temple for Jews in alQuds have, in recent years, moved at an extremely fast pace, from the dark fringes of the Zionist Kahanist extreme right to the mainstream of the “moderate” right-wing Zionist ruling party – HaLikud, headed by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Lie #4 – Israel is the state of all Jews around the world and as such it is responsible for maintaining freedom of worship in the “Temple Mount”, as well as the security of the worshippers in the adjacent Wailing Wall compound. The Muslim leadership is the enemy of religious freedom as it would not allow Jews to pray at the al-Aqsa compound, where the Jewish Temple once stood. It further serves to prove that Islam is a religion of intolerance and terrorism.
The truth is that the Zionist movement has perhaps the most hypocritical political doctrines on the planet today. Just a few weeks ago the government revoked a compromise plan that would have allowed non-Ultra-Orthodox Jews to pray in the manner they see fit (men and women pray together, women leading prayer, sing scripture aloud, etc.) in a miniscule portion of the Wailing Wall compound.
We are quite sure that non-Orthodox Jewish women who came to worship at the Wailing Wall did not feel very much secure when they faced a barrage of spit, rocks, plastic chairs etc., only to be forcefully hauled away by police as provocateurs, instead of arresting their attackers. In Palestine under Zionism – one must pick carefully one’s victimizer! Muslim attackers would not have been allowed to continue breathing in similar circumstances.
Muslims, on the other hand, have been allowing Jews to enter their mosques to worship when snow piling up in areas of Turkey would not have allowed such prayer in the Jewish synagogues. During the holocaust, mosques gave shelter to Jews in Paris and Northern Africa and hid them from the Nazis.
Israel’s apparent motivation to turn the colonial conflict into a religious holy war could perhaps be explained by the pressure of increasingly declining support from the largest Jewish population outside Israel – American Jews. Polls suggest that a wapping 15% of them did not only withdraw their automatic support of Israel, but also support the efforts to boycott, divest and sanction its institutions – the BDS campaign.
An increasing number of Jews now understand Israel’s true nature as a death trap for Jews rather than their salvation. When Israel’s prime minister acts all chummy with the symbol of American male chauvinism and white supremacism – Donald Trump – who received open support from open antisemitic elements such as the KKK and neo-Nazi gangs – it is getting tougher and tougher to refuse to put 2 and 2 together.
Individual heroism is not the answer! It is time for action of mass mobilization!
The ISL (Israel/ Occupied Palestine) does not support individual acts of terrorism or heroic individual guerilla attacks. We do not see any benefit that comes from such individualist actions to the Palestinian struggle, understandable as they may be. We see how the Zionist leadership uses such attacks as an excuse to raise the level of brutality of its apartheid regime.
It is time for the Palestinian people and their supporters among the Israeli Jews to rise up and organize in mass collective and unified mobilizations. The urgent task is to organize democratic popular action committees. We must provide all of those who wish to fight Zionist apartheid, oppression and land theft an opportunity to do so collectively. We must find a way stir hope in their hearts instead of despair!