Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Pre-Status Quo Or, Halt the Abbas Escalation

Mahmoud Abbas is in reversionary mode:

Abbas Calls for Protection of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Ensuring Freedom of Worship
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday called for the protection of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and ensuring Palestinians’ freedom of worship in Jerusalem in line with the order that existed before the Israeli occupation of 1967.

“The Israeli systematic aggression against Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the first qiblah and the third of the holy sites in Islam in occupied East Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Palestine, could not serve peace, coexistence and tolerance among faiths and peoples.,” said Abbas during the inauguration ceremony of newly reconstructed central Moscow mosque.

“On the contrary, it provides a pretext for worldwide extremists who are exploiting religions for terrorizing humanity,” he added.

During his speech, Abbas stressed that Palestinian Muslims have the right to pray inside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which belongs solely for Muslims, and slammed Israeli measures severely restricting their access to the Mosque compound and freedom of worship...Discussing the situation in the mosque compound, Abbas reportedly said: “But what’s even worse is that Israel strives to divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews. Such a division would mean changing the time and location for prayer: Muslims would pray at one time in one location, while Jews would pray at a different time in a different location.”
(thanks to IMRA)
Here's the Ma'an Agency report:
President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday condemned Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during a speech in Moscow, as right-wing Jews toured the holy site to celebrate a Jewish holiday...He said that the Al-Aqsa Mosque was an Islamic right and that every Muslim in the world has the right to pray there. Abbas added that Palestinian leadership refused any procedure or decision by Israel that would prevent Muslims from reaching the site, which is the third holiest in Islam.
And even more ridiculous was that he
also spoke of Palestinian aspirations for freedom, unity and an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.  He said that the reopening of Moscow's central mosque signified a clear message to the world of tolerance, coexistence and mutual respect for religions.  Turkish President Recep Erdogan joined Abbas in condemning Israeli violations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.


In Paris, we have this statement:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Wednesday on the international community to protect the holy Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem and to ensure freedom of worship as it had been until June 1967, especially with regard to prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. His comments followed his warning to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday that Israel's actions there could trigger a third intifada...On Tuesday, Abbas urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “stop the chaos” at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, warning that the recent unrest in Jerusalem could lead to another intifada.

I have blogged here previously (and here) that most are unaware of the basis for the Muslims claims to ban Jews from the Temple Mount on a legal basis.  And that is the International Commission Report of December 1930 following the British White Paper of November 1928:

the British Government stated to Parliament in the White Paper of November 1928 that the Western or Wailing Wall "is legally the absolute property of the Moslem Community and the strip of pavement facing it is Waqf property, as is shown by documents preserved by the Guardian of the Waqf".

And as Jordan insisted in 1968, that report, on page 39, reads as follows:
"Subsequent to the investigation it has made, the Commission herewith declares that the ownership of the Wall, as well as the possession of it and of those parts of its surroundings that are here in question, accrues to the Moslems. The Wall itself as being an integral part of the Haram-Esh-Sharif area is Moslem property."Furthermore, on page 57 the Commission concluded:"To the Moslems belong the sole ownership of, and the sole proprietary right to, the Western Wall, seing that it forms an integral part of the Haram-Esh-Sharif area, which is a Waqf property."To the Moslems there also belongs the ownership of the Pavement in front of the Wall and of the adjacent so-called Moghrabi (Moroccan) Quarter opposite the Wall, ...."
I know you may think this is arcane material but they make very good use of their rewriting of history.  Just as the British then were interested in quiet, so, too, many current diplomats. As in this example:

HC Deb 28 November 1928 vol 223 c438W 438W§Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps he is taking to deal with the new stone construction by the Moslems on top of the Wailing Wall at Jerusalem, in violation of the status quo; and why this construction was allowed to be begun by His Majesty's Government in Palestine?§Mr. AMERY I am not satisfied that there has been a violation of thestatus quo by the Moslem authorities. According to the latest report received from Jerusalem it would appear that the small wall constructed above the building that surmounts a portion of the Wailing Wall is an integral part of a structure begun many months ago. So far as I am aware, it was never suggested, at the time that the work was started, that it would involve any infringement of the status quo.

And this, too.

And here we find the term "status quo"

HC Deb 13 November 1929 vol 231 cc2024-5 2024
§40. Colonel HOWARD-BURY asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies the present position with regard to the Burak; whether he is aware that the Wailing Wall is legally the absolute property of the Moslem community, with the strip of pavement facing it; that the placing there of tables, chairs, screens, etc., is against the status quo; whether he can state the temporary regulations that are now being enforced; whether he is aware that this enforcement is giving rise to a serious situation; and when these temporary regulations are to be withdrawn?
§Mr. LUNN A memorandum relating to the Western or Wailing Wall in Jerusalem was presented to Parliament in November last as a White Paper (Cmd. 3229), and I would invite the hon. and gallant Member's attention to the statements contained in that paper with regard to the status quo, which could not conveniently be summarised in a reply. I will place a copy of the temporary Regulations in the Library of the House. These regulations were promulgated, with the Secretary of State's approval, as a matter of urgency with a view to the preservation of good order and docorum. As the High Commissioner has announced locally, the regulations are of a temporary and provisional character. They do not purport to define the existing rights of either Moslems or Jews, nor do they prejudice the rights and claims either of Jews or of Moslems. I appreciate the necessity of an early and authoritative settlement to replace these temporary regulations, and His Majesty's Government are giving close and active consideration to this difficult question.

Official Israel must insist and repeat the claim that the Temple Mount is no less a sacred site for Jews as it is for members of other religions and that according to the terms of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty, values of 
...freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance...[promotion of] interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.

Abbas is escalating tensions and the probability of violence by creating a pre-status quo that was illegal at the time and surely a corruption of the original Dayan status quo.  The Muslims are recreating new status quo situtations and it behooves Israel to halt this and reestablish Jewish rights.


P.S.   From this book:


This evening:

A short time ago this evening (Thursday, 24 September 2015), the Security Cabinet unanimously approved a series of decisions submitted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the framework of the fight against rock-throwing in Jerusalem.  Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the end of the meeting:
I would like to add a word about the Temple Mount: We are maintaining the status quo. We are not violating it. All remarks regarding the intention to harm the Islamic holy places are utter nonsense. It is not we who are changing the status quo; it is those who bring pipebombs and explosives into the mosques who are changing the status quo.


NormanF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NormanF said...

The anti-Semitic apartheid regime on the Temple Mount is an assault on the principles of justice, human rights and equal treatment under the law.

On the pretext of upholding quiet, Israel has brazenly flouted its own law guaranteeing freedom of religious worship. Banning Jewish prayer is said to be justified to avoid inflaming tensions with the Arabs.

In truth, its done the opposite and encouraged the Arabs to press for the abolition of Jewish rights altogether. Its not Jews praying peacefully that's scarcely the issue any longer; its Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem that is now under challenge.

Israel cannot expect to maintain it if it keeps conceding ground to the Arabs. The apartheid regime AKA the so-called status quo, must be overturned to secure the peace of Jerusalem as well as Jewish dignity.