The Kristallnacht in Jerusalem

Yossi Schwartz ISL (RCIT section in Israel/Occupied Palestine), 09.06.2024

On Wednesday, thousands of ultra-nationalist Zionists paraded through occupied East Jerusalem as part of an annual “Jerusalem Day” flag march. This Kristallnacht is planned every year by the Zionist government in order to remove the Palestinians from East Jerusalem.

The march, in which the ultra-nationalists enter the Muslim quarter through the Damascus Gate and walk to the Western Wall waving the Zionist flag, takes place around sunset on what Israel calls Jerusalem Day, marking the capture and occupation of the eastern half of the city and its holy sites in the war of 1967. Control of Jerusalem is at the center of the decades-old conflict, and the Israeli takeover is the continuation of the robbery of the lands in 1948.

“This parade is often marred by anti-Arab hate speech and vandalism of Palestinian property, as well as marchers physically attacking Palestinian residents of the Old City. This is a provocation. Violence at the same event three years ago sparked the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in 2021.

After teenagers and young men wearing Jewish religious-nationalist clothing, some of them army reservists carrying pistols and rifles, began to arrive at Damascus Gate in the early afternoon on Wednesday, Palestinian residents began to close up their businesses and retreat to the safety of their homes, shuttering doors and windows.

Journalists were reported as the afternoon wore on, despite a heavy police presence of 3,000 uniformed and plainclothes officers. Jeers of “Death to Arabs” and “May your village burn” rang through the stone walls of the Old City as marchers chanted and danced.

One ultra-nationalist was heard saying that these guys are Christians and Muslims. They don’t like us, and we don’t want them. Today is about celebrating the return of the Jews to Jerusalem after 2,000 years. We are showing them who owns this place.”

Adil, a 71-year-old Palestinian taking a long way home through the maze of narrow streets to avoid the parade route, said, every year this is difficult, but this year is even harder … Everyone is scared.”

This year, the Jerusalem Day parade is under the control of Israel’s far-right and anti-Arab national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, in his role as head of police. He was expected to join the celebrations towards their culmination at sunset.

He told Army Radio on Tuesday: “We will march … and Jews will go up to the Temple Mount. All the generals in Gaza tell me that every house they enter, they see the Temple Mount, so they should be hit in the place that is most important to them.”

Israelis with flags at the march

The Temple Mount, known as al-Haram al-Sharif or al-Aqsa in Arabic, a raised, walled complex in the heart of the Old City, is the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam. It has long been a flashpoint for violence. Still, it has remained unusually quiet since the war broke out in October, as Israel has allowed only Palestinian men over 55 and women over 50 to access the site. The traditional Jerusalem Day parade route sometimes does not pass through it. But it did this year. More than a thousand ultra-nationalists prayed in the court of AL Aqsa. Under a longstanding compromise agreement, Jews are allowed to visit but not pray there. In recent years, however, growing numbers of Jewish visitors, sometimes praying or with police escorts, have inflamed longstanding Palestinian fears that Israel plans to annex the area as the Zionist minister of police—Ben-Gvir’s Jewish Power party advocates for Zionist sovereignty over the site. Police said 1,500 Jews had visited the Temple Mount by 5pm – far more than usual – and that five people had been arrested for attacking journalists.

Our Nablus Gate, our Temple Mount,” said the Minister of National Security and Cabinet member this evening (Wednesday).

Itamar Ben Gabir made the statement at the Nablus gate at the end of the flag parade, following the events in the north.

“I just finished assessing the situation in the Russian compound, and I came back here for one thing to convey a message to Hamas and to every house in Gaza and in the north – there are pictures of the Temple Mount and there are pictures of Jerusalem, and we tell them our Jerusalem. Our Gate of Nablus. Our Temple Mount.

“Today, according to my policy, Jews entered the Old City in free movement. And on the Temple Mount, Jews prayed freely. We say in the simplest way, it’s ours. I pray for the wounded, and I pray for the return of the kidnapped. And Hamas and Hezbollah must win the war; only the war” [i]

Down with the Zionist apartheid state!

For Palestine red and free from the river to the sea!



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