Friday, January 31, 2014

A Cheeky Christian (Updated)

Anti-Zionist clergyman Stephen Sizer (Christ Church, Christchurch Road, Virginia Water, Surrey) has posted a sermon.

Chutzpah, I think, would be parallel to the charge of cheeky, as the Brits might phrase it.  And no being of that faith, I will not turn a cheek.

There has "been a family dispute over the inheritance of Abraham. Millions and millions of the relatives of Ishmael and Isaac believe they are the rightful heir", is his foundation basis.

He's concerned of "accusations of holocaust denial, anti-semitism, racism, apartheid and Islamophobia. And, sadly, it is being perpetuated by some misguided Christians."  In other words, it's all we Jews' fault.

Sizer, down-sizing history, Bible, law, and whatnot, will assist you "to discover the rightful heirs of Abraham, how to resolve this age long conflict, and most important of all, how you can claim a share of Abraham’s inheritance."

I think you know where this is going (where he is going, well, let's leave that to theology).

Let's deal with those Seven Steps.  And I'll have to trim down his ramblings.

1.    Abraham’s Inheritance was Promised

“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates…” (Genesis 15:18-21)
The ‘wadi of Egypt’ is probably one of the tributaries of the Nile. The Euphrates begins in Turkey and flows through Syria and Iraq before entering the Persian Gulf. So parts of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, and even Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are included.  While most secular Israeli’s today would not identify with these ‘biblical’ borders, the founders of Zionism like Theodore Herzl, Vladimir Jabotinsky and David Ben-Gurion, certainly did.
The State of Israel was founded in 1948 but successive governments have yet to declare what they regard as their international borders. Why? Because they want as larger share of Abraham’s inheritance.

Father Sizer, or is it Padre?  Even medieval Jewish commentators disagree as to those borders.  But in any case, Israel's borders have been fixed through peace treaties.  Egypt and Jordan.  The Lebanese and the Arabs-who-call-themselves-Palestinians have as yet to agree to live peacefully with Israel.

And don't forget.  Abraham was, actually, the first to accept partition.  Genesis, Chapter 13:

9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me; if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou take the right hand, then I will go to the left.' 

2.    Abraham’s Inheritance was Misunderstood

He writes

Let me give you an example. The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ) the colonisation of Palestine [I can't wait to see if he writes that the Arabs 'colonised' Palestien' too] by assisting Jewish people from around the world to emigrate and live in the illegal Settlements.
The irony is, Abraham’s inheritance has been misunderstood since the days of Moses. {He then quotes Deuteronomy 1:41-44 about the battle withe Amorites but that was a one-time error and when God wanted them to fight, he was with them all the way.  He didn't say not to fight at all.

He notes that the Children of Israel "boasted", and that as per Ezekiel 33:23-28

The same arrogance prevailed in the days of Ezekiel....Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Since you eat meat with the blood still in it and look to your idols and shed blood, should you then possess the land?  You rely on your sword, … Should you then possess the land?’ “Say this to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live …  I will make the land a desolate waste, and her proud strength will come to an end…"...Abraham’s inheritance was promised but misunderstood because they forgot it was God’s land. It could not be conquered by a bigger army but only by God’s providence.

Well, we now surely haven't forgotten and since we staved off an invasion in 1948 and other battles and wars quite successfully, does that not indicate Divine compliance and support?

3.    Abraham’s Inheritance was Conditional

There should not have been any ambiguity over title to the land because the Lord was crystal clear in Leviticus:

“‘The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers.” (Leviticus 25:23)

God’s people were only permitted to reside in God’s land as foreigners and strangers.

The land was never their personal possession.

Well, we know he didn't give it to anyone else.  And that his prophets indicated we'd return.

And yes,

That is precisely why the Ten Northern tribes were eventually kicked out of the land and exiled to Assyria. Then  the remaining tribes of Judah and Benjamin were also exiled to Babylon.   Abraham’s inheritance was promised but misunderstood because they were only ever foreigners and tenants. Their continued residence was always conditional on faithful obedience.

But the Exile was ended, twice.  Once 70 years later and again, starting in the mid-19th century.

4.    Abraham’s Inheritance was Partially Experienced

Some claim the borders of Israel will extend from the Nile to the Euphrates because God’s word has not yet been fulfilled literally. But that is not what the Bible actually says...Abraham’s inheritance was promised but misunderstood because residence was always conditional and only ever experienced partially in Canaan.

These or that borders, the Land was promised to the Jews (you do, Sizer, believe that, yes?) and to no other.  The foreigner could reside and he needed to be respected.  But no right of "possession", especially not in place of the Jews.  Oh, is Sizer a supersessionist?

5.    Abraham’s Inheritance was to be Shared

He quotes

When the exiles returned to the Promised Land, as a sign of their repentance, God insisted they share the land with those of other nations residing among them.
“You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the foreigners residing among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe foreigners reside, there you are to give them their inheritance,” declares the Sovereign Lord. (Ezekiel 47:21-23)...

But doesn't that insistence happen after

behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward, for the forefront of the house looked toward the east; and the waters came down from under, from the right side of the house, on the south of the altar.

First that and then Ezekiel's prophecy?

And of course in the time of redemption all nations shall come up to Jerusalem, a city of the Jews. And the sojourner will not live in his country but

that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD

Sizer goes further:

...God...specifically mentions the Egyptians, the Iraqis, the Palestinians, Lebanese and the Africans. People of other nations were given citizenship in Israel by God because of their faith not their race.  God even anticipated that some would not be pleased to extend citizenship to other nations.

"Palestinians"?  Where are they mentioned?  What "citizenship"?

He quotes Isaiah:

“Let no foreigners who have bound themselves to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.”… And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants… and who hold fast to my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer… for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:3, 6-7)
Now why would foreigners think “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people?” Because some of God’s people were doing the excluding! This week 30,000 Africans have been protesting in Tel Aviv because the Israeli government refuses to give them refugee status.

Yes, "residence was always conditional" but "return" was always promised.  And this: "land was to be shared on the basis of faith not race" is true, but the faith is Judaism, not Christianity.

6.    Abraham’s Inheritance is only through Jesus Christ

...Jesus is the true heir to Abraham’s inheritance. This is certainly how the writer to Hebrews portrays Jesus.
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” (Hebrews 1:1-2)
Jesus is the “Heir of all things”. 

As a Jew, well, we could quibble about that.  But a s a Christian?  You're kidding?

He doesn't know Hebrew or Greek when Sizer writes:

The Apostle Paul elaborates: “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16)

Sorry, but "seed", זרעך, is indeed singular as a collective noun and means progeny, not a person and not Jesus in the sense of a Christian.  Jesus as a Jew, yes.

So the inheritance God promised Abraham would be fulfilled not through his physical descendants but through Abraham’s true heir – the Lord Jesus Christ.  

That's a neat theology trick. *

7.    Abraham’s Inheritance is in Heaven

He quotes (Hebrews 11:8-16) to claim

God had never intended Abraham’s inheritance to be a piece of real estate between Egypt and Iraq...The inheritance of Abraham was never intended to be the ‘everlasting’ possession of Palestine but an eternal home in heaven. 

I wonder what the Muslims think of this.

And then he gets exclusionist himself:

So let me ask you, do you belong to Christ? Have you received Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? Then you are a child of God. You are a legitimate heir and beneficiary of Abraham’s inheritance...Let us pray.

The Reverend Sizer, have a pint.



I now realize that this needs a bit more explanation.

Sizer, following a twisted theological argument, bases himself on a Jew who, after realizing that his only path to success in propagating his religious outlook, is to divorce it from Judaism but to disguise that by circumventing what Judaism says while nevertheless, stealing from Judaism and supplanting it. That is, the gentile can be gentile and Jewish at the same time but even better than the Jews.  Specifically, God's promise of a covenant in which the Land of Israel is to be an everlasting possession of the Jewish People as a nation is to be wrest away from the Jews and awarded not to a people but to all peoples on the basis of a new faith, one that does not demand the fulfillment of the commandments.  And this is doubling annoying since, as we read in Sizer, he takes away from we Jews our land because we do not fulfill, supposedly, those commandments which Christians don't have to follow.  So how can they be given the share in the Land?

As noted:

Paul is forced to stress that God has done something completely new. He has skipped the old Covenant completely and included the gentiles directly in the promise to Abraham. Beker claims that for Paul: “Abraham can only be maintained in salvation-history as a figure of promise . . . The ‘Jewish’ dispensation of circumcision and the Torah has only been a curse and an obstacle . . . an interloper that inserted itself illegitimately between the promise to Abraham and its exclusive fulfilment in Christ.”...The non-Jews were now invited into the Covenant relationship. N. T. Wright takes a similar view, arguing that gentiles are now invited into the “eschatological phase” of Israel’s history which will result in the final victory of God over all gods and nations.

This illogical.


Jews Waving Banners on Temple Mount?



Love that black.  So ... piratical.


Arab Woman Visits "Jewish Country"; Gets in Trouble

Tunisian Tourism Minister Amel Karboul submitted her resignation to Prime Minister Mahdi Jomaa.
A trip to Israel in 2006.  But during a parliamentary vote of confidence to the new cabinet on Wednesday, the visit stirred up controversy.  She took part in a U.N. training program for Palestinian youths, but refused to continue the training because of the six-hour interrogation she had faced in Tel-Aviv airport, for being Arab and Muslim.

“I presented my resignation to Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa. It is up to him to accept or reject it,” Karboul said at the end of the swearing-in ceremony in the Carthage palace.
Several blocs within the legislative body condemned Karboul and demanded reasons for the trip and her relationship with the Jewish country.
The Prime Minister Jomaa showed support for Karboul and has rejected her resignation, according to government sources.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Where Have All the Jewish Students Gone?

Here's an example.

In response to an attack on the Palestine Society at Oxford by President of the Oxford University Israel Society Richard Black, who accused the University Palestinian Society of “anti-Semitism” [and] In a post on the OUIS Facebook group labeled PalSoc, “a vicious hub of anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic hate”,

[Oxford University] Israel Society [member] Ariel Hoffman said: “I don’t think you’ve done us a great service here [...] I was hoping for some civil discussion but it seems you’re doing everything in your power to throw that out the window. You can still make this right [...] Make it clear that Israel Society is not at odds with the Palestinian one.”


Not all that bad, though:

Hoffman was later expelled from the Society, accused by Black of violating the society’s aims “to fight political and religious extremism, Anti-semitism, Islamophobia and all other forms of racial or religious discrimination”.
In another post Black said, “He (Hoffman) will be far happier in PalSoc. There he can have ‘dialogue with anti-semites’”.

New At The Temple Mount

Spotted on the Temple Mount:

Reminds me of the Cheil. 

Would the Muslims be assisting a Temple reconstruction?

The Cheil and the Soreg that was outside of the Women's Courtyard:-

Standing at a distance of 10 cubits (15 feet) from the outside of the Courtyard walls on all four sides was a low wall, half a cubit (9 inches) high. This wall, as well as the area between it and the Courtyard walls, was referred to as the Cheil. A wooden latticework fence, 10 handbreadths (30 inches) high, was built atop this wall and was called the Soreg.
The Temple was comprised of different areas of increasing sanctity...entry beyond the Cheil and Soreg was only allowed to members of the Jewish faith who were free of corpse-tumah [ritual contamination contracted from touching, or being under the same roof as, a corpse]...


Oxfam Gored

This is a letter that Oxfam is distributing in the name of Mark Goldring in connection with Scarlett Johannsen

Dear ,
Oxfam has accepted Scarlett Johansson’s decision to step down after eight years as a Global Ambassador and we are grateful for her many contributions.
While Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors, Ms. Johansson’s role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador.
Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.
Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law. Ms. Johansson has worked with Oxfam since 2005 and in 2007 became a Global Ambassador, helping to highlight the impact of natural disasters and raise funds to save lives and fight poverty.
Best wishes,

Mark GoldringChief Executive
Oxfam GBOxfam HouseJohn Smith DriveOxford, OX4 2JYUnited KingdomPhone: +44 (0) 1865 

Here's one reply:

Dear  Mr Goldring Scarlett Johansson’s integrity has shone through this whole saga.   It was she who noticed that her support for the Palestinians was incompatible with the hypocritical stance being taken by Oxfam and chose to end her role at Oxfam after Oxfam expressed their disagreement with the way that she supports Palestinians. If Oxfam believes that Sodastream “further(s) the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities” then Oxfam doesn’t know what is happening in the West Bank.  SodaStream employs 500 Palestinians with wages far above what they could otherwise expect, and their factory brings further business to local Palestinian enterprises.  Businesses in the settlements typically pay Palestinians more than twice the average pay in the West Bank, but Sodastream pays considerably more than that, and the 500 Palestinian employees are very glad to have such good jobs.  There is no denial of Palestinian rights in these communities.  They have far more rights freedom there than they have in the areas under the control of Hamas or the  Palestine Authority and for that matter far more rights than in most of the Middle East.  Such restrictions that they do suffer are a consequence of Palestinian terrorism aimed at killing Israelis civilians.   Israel wants a peaceful two state solution and always has done.  When the political leadership of the Palestinians want an Arab state and a Jewish living beside each other in peace in what was British Mandate Palestine, then it shall happen.  There is no reason why Jewish communities should not live in the Arab state (as they lived in the West Bank until 1948), just as Arab communities live in Israel. The settlements are not illegal and there are many reasons why that is the case, but I gave one of them in my original letter (below).     Oxfam does great work in other countries and it is a shame that they let their politics interfere with genuine support for poor Palestinians. Yours sincerely,

The addition:

The statement that the settlements are illegal under international law is a matter of opinion.  The only source for such a claim is the part of the Geneva Convention that forbids a state to deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territory that it occupies.  None of the settlers were deported or transferred.  They all went because they chose to.  That particular part of the Geneva Convention (as the ICRC confirmed in 1949) was written because of what the Nazis did during WW2.   My paternal family originally came from Breslau in what was then Germany. That part of the family that remained there were rounded up during the war and detained in a purpose built local detention centre.   From there they were transferred to Theresienstadt in German occupied Czechoslovakia before being transferred again to Auschwitz, where they were murdered. That type of forced transfer is what that law was intended to prevent. 


Give Dieudonné the Finger?

Le Monde robustly points out, Dieudonné’s utterances are more than mere opinions; they constitute offences (“des délits”) and as such are punishable by law. The paper, incidentally, has been gunning for Dieudonné: it recently published a detailed exposé of the comedian’s complicated financial arrangements. Among other details it revealed that former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad co-financed his DVD and internet film L’Antisémite



Did An Israeli Suggest Hamas Kiss His Boot?

Was this something an Israeli official said?

In a January 9, 2014 interview on Channel One TV news, Israel's Deputy-Minister for Defense said: "We should discipline Hamas just as Egypt does... We must strike them so they learn to respect the Israeli boot," adding: "Onlythen will they kiss that shoe and learn what Israel is worth."


But this is what was reported as said:

In a January 9, 2014 interview on Faraeen TV, Egyptian journalist MuhammadHassan Al-Alfi said: "We should discipline [Hamas] just as Israel did... Wemust strike them so they learn to respect the Egyptian shoe," adding: "Onlythen will they kiss that shoe and learn what Egypt is worth."

In full:

Muhammad Hassan Al-Alfi: I pray that Allah deems every word that I everwrote in defense of the Palestinian cause to be a sin, for which He willreckon with on Judgment Day, because they are not worthy of what he havedone for them. Our sons were killed and our economy was ruined in warsfought for their sake. We fought for their sake, and now, they are fightingagainst us, kidnapping our sons [in Sinai] and killing them.
The terrorist camps in Gaza must be attacked. The Al-Qassam Brigades, whichtrain them and send them over here, must be attacked. We should disciplinethem just as Israel did. We should not just retaliate. When you are weak,you get hit. We must strike them so they learn to respect the Egyptian shoe.
TV Host: Exactly.
Muhammad Hassan Al-Alfi: Only then will they kiss that shoe and learn whatEgypt is worth.

Thanks to IMRA. 


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

And Iran?

I found this in an exchange over a book's review:

since Nazi war aims were without limit, involving perpetual warfare, first in Europe and then, in the event of success, against the US, defeat at some point was inevitable.

And what about Iran?

With its limitless aims, can it be defeated?  Or, do the Western democracies understand the coming challenge, even with this round of diplomatic go-nowhere?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Occupied Territory

The self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus came into being after Turkish troops occupied the north of the island in 1974, in response to a Greek Cypriot coup backed by the military junta ruling Athens at the time.
The island has been divided ever since.

Thank you BBC.

As for EU hypocrisy over "occupied territory" issue, check here.

Holliswood - 1943

From 1954 until my marriage in 1970, I lived in Holliswood, Queens, at 204th Street and Francis Lewis Boulevard, just up from Hillside Avenue, my family having moved from Faile Street in the South Bronx.  The nine apartment buildings were called Hilltop Village.  Once, on a visit to Manhattan, I picked up a nieghborhoods of New York series to leaf through and found out that from the top of my hill, a bit back from where I lived, you could see the water of the bay - in the 1890s.

Now, thanks to this map, I can see the area as it was in 1943, a decade before being built in the great post-war construction boom in Queens

And today?



Who Called Whom A "Dog"?

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on January 14.

Stopped by Israeli police officers near the Ramallah area village of Turmusayya, a heated argument broke out between Hamdallah and Israeli officers at that time, 

and as a result the prime minister swore at an Israeli officer calling him "a dog standing in occupied territory." 

I wonder, if the Israeli wasn't in "occupied territory", would he still be a "dog" in Hamdallah's preception?

I'm An Inconvenient Darer

I think I'll adopt this:

in 1994...President Clinton hailed [Pete Seeger] as "an inconvenient artist who dared to sing things as he saw them."


Making Success Into Failure: Scarlett Is "Mackeyed"

The campaign, as far as I know at this writing, to dissuade Scarlett Johansson from participating in SodaStream's commercials is unsuccessful*.

So what does Robert Mackey, a non-supporter of Israel at The Lede blog of his at the New York Times, do to provide a negative spin?

Easy.  He writes this headline:

Scarlett Johansson’s Defense of SodaStream Factory 

in Occupied West Bank Fails to Sway Critics

Of course, the point could be, Robert, that either, or all together:

(a) those types of anti-Zionist critics could never be swayed

(b) that the point is freedom of expression

(c) that the critics are immoral no matter how much their politics are appreciated by you

(d) that who the hell cares about those critics anyway, if the product sells, it's a success.

Mackey staunchly notes that

The actress’s argument won her praise online from staunch defenders of Israel’s policies [as Scott Stringer, New York City’s comptroller - YM]

Why do Israeli defenders need to be described more than just being defenders?  And he adds 

Several critics of Israel’s settlement-building policy noted that Mr. Stringer’s comments seemed at odds with the long-held position of the United States government, which calls the movement of Israeli citizens into the occupied territory an obstacle to the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

Again, Mackey must include those less-than-numerous and who-cares-about-them "several critics" who deserve to be included in his post, who note that the comments "seem" to be "at odds with the long-held position of the United States government", a position which has nothing to do with the issue because a "position" isn't a law or legal judgment and in any case, the US is committed to recognizing a change on the ground which reflects the realities of ... Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, as well as the principle of Israel being a Jewish state:

The United States is strongly committed to Israel's security and well-being as a Jewish state...In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.

Blog +972 which represents radical, progressive viewpoints, and is standard reading for Mackey, is prominently quoted.  Rashid Khalidi and Diana Butto of the 'Palestinian Arab camp' and rabid Ben White and a mock ad are all included but no support is provided with a reasoned defense, other than her own statement and that Stringer tweet.

Not really a balanced post, Robert.  [UPDATE:  And your previous one was worse.  Unsubstantiated claims repeated without checking, piling on the anti disproportionately to the pro,and depending on politically-charged groups rather than an objective review]

Here's from Jonathan Tobin, however.  Maybe update from it?  There's more out there.  And now Michael Curtis, too.  And EOZ.

And what about the business pressure to censor the mention of Coke and Pepsi?  Not worthy of a side-bar?


P. S.    Another Poster.

And this:

- The decision to locate SodaStream’s plant in this industrial park within the boundaries of the West Bank settlement Ma’ale Adumim did in fact predate Birnbaum’s arrival. It was a choice made by company founder Peter Weissburgh, back in the 1990’s
- Birnbaum said that its presence here is now a reality, and he won’t bow to political pressure to close it — even though the company is about to open a huge new plant in the Negev, within Israel’s internationally-recognized boundaries, which will replicate all functions of the West Bank plant, and dwarf it.
- The reason for staying is loyalty to approximately 500 Palestinians who are among the plant’s 1,300 employees, Birnbaum claimed. While other employees could relocate on the other side of the Green Line if the plant moved, the West Bank Palestinian workers could not, and would suffer financially, he argued.  “We will not throw our employees under the bus to promote anyone’s political agenda,” he said, adding that he “just can’t see how it would help the cause of the Palestinians if we fired them.”- But Birnbaum said that if a Palestinian state comes into being, as is the aim of current U.S.-brokered talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, SodaStream will also be happy to stay and pay its taxes to the new Palestinian state.  “We already have factories under the control of the Chinese, the Germans, the Americans and many other countries,” he said. “So what’s the problem to have a factory in the Palestinian state-to-be? We don’t give a hoot where the factory is going to be.”
- Birnbaum’s advisor, Maurice Silber, said that within the company “everybody is against the occupation.” But it does not follow, he said, that because SodaStream operates in an occupied area, it violates human rights. Eventually, he said, SodaStream could become the “seed of the future Palestinian economy.”


My comments are up at The Lede:

Here and here.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Love and Media Terrorism

Did you also miss was what was in the original story on young Netanyahu's female interest?


Som israelsk statsminister er Benjamin Netanyahu et av verdens fremste terrormål." 

That translates as 

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the world's foremost terrorist."

And this

Sandra (25) fra Grimstad er kjæreste med sønnen til et av verdens fremste terrormål

which translates as

Sandra (25) from Grimstad is the girlfriend of the son of one of the world's foremost terrorist

Media terrorism.

And what bothered people was the term shiksa.

Is There A Difference Between "Lines" and "Borders"?

"The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine," Obama said in the concluding section of his 45-minute address...

"We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states," Obama continued.

The question remains: even if the 1967 lines, or, more correctly, the 1949 Armistice Demarcation Lines (see III, 2), were not intended to possess any "political advantage" (II, 2) and were "dictated exclusively by military consideration" (II, 1), is somehow Obama bestowing on those lines a status they did not have?

Whether or not he does, and whatever the position this current government is taking in the current round of negotiations, I myself am pessimistic on this issue based on the Oslo Accords:

Jurisdiction of the Council will cover West Bank and Gaza Strip territory, except for issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations. The two sides view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit, whose integrity will be preserved during the interim period.

A good case could be made that since the issue of the permanent borders needs to still be negotiated, the territorial aspect of Oslo does not apply since that space is to be preserved only during the interim period.  Theoretically, it could be enlarged or decreased in size.  That is what the language indicates.

The only line that Obama respects, I suspect, is the one which disadvantages Israel.

Saudi Arabia Supports Jewish Temple Rebuilding

Well, that's what this idiot says on Iranian TV.

First, he claims no archeological evidence of "any Jewish heritage around Jerusalem" (1:27-29).  Second, at 1:48, that Jews are from Khazar.

Then, Saab Shaath, "author and Middle East expert" (??), talking from Belfast to Press TV, said

Saudi Arabia has always provided support for the Zionist regime’s anti-Palestinian moves and “offered under-the-table support for Israel in their alliance against Syria.”

His conclusion?  Saudi Arabia "will go as far as supporting the destruction of the Al-Aqsa mosque" (3:27) and so the report there is that:

Saudi Arabia is supporting the Israeli regime in its plan to replace the holy al-Aqsa Mosque with a temple

Rational, considered thinking.  Insightful analysis.

Amazing.  More delusional that John Kerry, by far. 

Who is this guy?


Muslim Feminist

A picture snapped by Baruch Gian, on the Temple Mount:


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Taking Abraham Backwards: The Retrovist Religion

Muslims claim Jews 'desecrate' the Temple Mount.  We 'pollute'.  We make it an 'impure' place.  Is that just modern politics or is there an element of theological irrationalism involved?

The basis for that approach to a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount is that 

"The real purification of Allah's House is that no other name than His should be mentioned in it. For the worship of anyone else or the invoking of any other name for help really polluted the House".

And that the Quaranic verse 125

...charges, in a subtle manner, the Quraish with the crime of keeping idols in the Ka`bah and worshipping them instead of Allah. It implies that these idolaters who were proud of being the heirs of Abraham and Ismail were not discharging the obligations of that heritage. Hence they, like the Israelites, have forfeited all rights to the promise of Allah made to Abraham.

In this portion, the declaration of the change of qiblah from the Temple (Jerusalem) to the Ka`abah (Makkah) has been made as a symbol of the change of leadership from the children of Israel to the Muslim Community, which has also been fore-warned to guard against those transgressions against the Guidance that had led to the deposition of the JewsSurah Al Baqarah (The Cow), 2, Verses142 - 152

But let's go back a bit. I have listened carefully to both Professor Moshe Sharon and Mordechai Kedar.  The key to grasp the interpretation of Islam is to understand that that religion claims to originate with Abraham and that since Islam was first, Judaism and also Christianity are latecomers.

How Mohammed predates himself to an Abraham-context, literally, is beyond comprehension.  But that's religion

As the Quranic verses just prior to the section under discussion have it:

[126] And remember that Abraham prayed, "Lord, make this city [Mecca] a city of peace and security, and provide with every kind of fruit those of its people, who believe in Allah and the Last Day'. Allah answered, "As for the disbelievers, I will also provide them with the necessities of life in this world,127 though in the Next World I will drag them to the torment of Hell, and that is the worst abode."
[127-129] And remember that when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the walls of the House, they prayed, "Lord, accept this service from us; You are All-Hearing and All-Knowing. Lord, make us Your Muslims (submissive servants) and also raise from our offspring a community which should be Muslim (submissive to Your Will). Show us the ways of Your worship and forbear our shortcomings: You are Forgiving and Merciful. Lord, raise up from among them a Messenger who shall recite Your Revelations to them and teach them the Book and Wisdom and purify their lives.128 You art All-Powerful and All-Wise".129
[130-133] Now, who else can have aversion to the way of Abraham but the one who has debased himself with folly and ignorance? Abraham was the man whom We chose for Our service in this world, and in the Next World he shall be among the righteous. When his Lord said to him, "Surrender,"130 he promptly responded, "I have surrendered to the Lord of the Universe (and become a Muslim)." He also enjoined on his children to follow the same way. Jacob also did the same131 and his last will to his sons was, "O my children, Allah has chosen the same way of life132 for you. Hence remain Muslims up to your last breath." Were you present at the time when Jacob was on the point of death? He asked his children, "Whom will you worship after me?" They all answered, "We will worship the same One Allah Whom you, your forefathers Abraham. Ismail and Isaac acknowledged as their Allah and to Him we all surrender as Muslims."133

Zelig-like, there is a retrovist maneuver here of replacing Biblical narrative with persons who weren't in the original cast.  

The Quran continues and explains the lack of continuity of the Jews: 

[134] They were a people who passed away; they shall receive the reward of what they earned and you shall have the reward of what you will earn; and you will not be questioned as to what they did.134
[135-136] The Jews say, "Become Jews and you will be rightly guided" ;the Christians say, "Become Christians and you will have the true guidance." Say to them, "Nay, we turn away from every other way and accept the way of Abraham, and Abraham did not associate other gods with Allah."135 O Muslims, say to them, "We believe in Allah and the Guidance which has been sent down to us and which was sent to Abraham, Ismail , Isaac and Jacob and his descendants and which was given by their Lord to Moses and Jesus and to all other Prophets. We do not discriminate against any of them136 and we have completely surrendered to Allah as Muslims."
[137] Then if they believe the way you have believed, they have the right guidance,and if they turn away from this, it will become obvious that they are obdurate. Therefore, rest assured that Allah will suffice to defend you against them: He hears everything and knows every thing.
[138] Say, "Take Allah's colour,137 and who can give a better colour than Allah? Therefore, we worship and submit to Him alone. "
[139-141] O Prophet, say to them, "Do you argue with us concerning Allah, whereas He is our Lord and also your Lord?138 We shall be accountable to Him for our deeds and you for yours; so we have dedicated our worship to Him alone.139 Or do you say that Abraham. Ismail , Isaac, Jacob and his children were all Jews or Christians?" Ask them,"Do you know more than Allah does?140 And who is more unjust than the one who hides the testimony which Allah has entrusted to him? Allah is not unaware of what you are doing.141 They were a people who have passed away and they shall be repaid for what they earned and you for what you earn: you will not be questioned as to what they did.
[142] Of course, the foolish people will say, "What has turned them abruptly away from the qiblah towards which they formerly used to turn their faces in prayer?" 142 Tell them, O Messenger, `'East and West all belong to Allah; He shows the Right Way to anyone He wills."143 Thus have We made you a Community of the "Golden Mean" so that you may be witnesses in regard to mankind and the Messenger may be a witness in regard to you.144
[143] We had appointed the former giblah towards which you used to turn your face merely to test who would follow the Messenger and who would turn back.145 It was indeed a hard test but not for those who had been blessed with Guidance from Allah. Allah will not let go to waste this faith of yours; rest assured that He is full of pity and mercy for mankind.
[144] We have seen you (O Muhammad), turning your face over and over again towards Heaven. Now, therefore, We turn you towards the giblah that you like best: so turn your face towards the Masjid Haram. Henceforth, wheresoever you may be, turn your face at prayer towards it.146 The people who were given the Book know it well that the commandment (about the change of giblah) is in fact from their Lord, and is based on the Truth, but Allah is not unaware of what they are doing (in spite of this)
[145-147] Even though you may show every kind of sign to the people of the Book, they will not adopt your giblah, nor are you going to adopt their giblah; nor will any of them adopt the giblah of the other; therefore if, after the knowledge you have received, you follow their desires, you will certainly be counted among the transgressors.147 As for those to whom We gave the Book, they recognise the place (which has now been made giblah), as clearly as they recognise their own children.148 But some of them are knowingly concealing the truth. This is in fact a Commandment from your Lord; so you should not have any doubt concerning this. [149-152] At whatever place you may be, turn your face towards Masjid Haram (at Prayer time) for this is, in fact, a Commandment of your Lord, and Allah is not unaware of what you do. At whatever place you may be, you must turn your face towards the Masjid Haram, and wherever you may be, you must turn your face towards the same at prayer so that people might not find an argument against you.150 As for the unjust people, they will never stop talking; so do not fear them but fear Me -- (Do this) so that I may complete My favour151 upon you and you may find the way to real success,152 just as (you have found from this: that) We sent the Messenger to you from among you, who recites to you Our Revelations; who purifies your lives; who instructs you in the Book and in Wisdom and teaches you those things that you did not know. So remember ' Me and I will remember you, and give thanks to Me and be not ungrateful.

Before bringing the footnotes to the above, please note that there is 

a new discourse. In order to understand it, the following should be kept in mind(1) After Noah, Abraham was the first Prophet who was appointed by Allah to spread the universal Message of Islam. He began his mission in his own country, 'Iraq, and invited the people to Islam (submission to Allah). Then he visited Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Arabia with the same mission. Afterwards he appointed his deputies in different places. He deputed Lot, his nephew, to Trans-Jordan, Isaac, his son, to Syria and Palestine, and Ismail, the elder son, to Arabia. Then he was commanded by Allah to build at Makkah that house of worship which is called the Ka'bah and to make it the centre of his mission.(2) From the two sons of the Prophet Abraham sprang two nations Isma`ilites and Israelites. The former were the descendants of Ishmael who settled in Arabia. The Quraish and some other Arab clans were his direct descendants but even those Arab clans which were not his descendants claimed to he Isma 'ilites because they were more or less influenced by his mission. The latter, the Israelites, were the descendants of Jacob, son of Isaac. Jospeh, Moses, David, Solomon, John, Jesus (may Allah's peace be upon them all) and many other Prophets rose from among them. They were called Israelites after Israel, the second name of Jacob. Some other people who accepted their religion also merged into them. All the Prophets of Israel, including Jesus, preached Islam, submission to Allah, but when the Israelites became degenerate and lost their religion (Islam) they invented Judaism and later Christianity.(3) Abraham was appointed to invite the world to surrender to Allah and to reform the people in accordance with Allah's Guidance. He himself surrendered and acted upon the knowledge he received from Allah and exerted his utmost to propagate that knowledge and to persuade all the people to submit to the Sovereign of the Universe. Therefore he was made the leader of the world. Afterwards this leadership, with all its responsibilities, was transferred to the Israelites, the descendants of Isaac and Jacob. This was the special favour which the Israelites were asked, over and over again, to remember. Accordingly, during the time of Solomon, the Holy Temple at Jerusalem became the centre and the qiblah (the place towards which face is to be turned for prayer) of all the worshippers of Allah, as long as the Israelites remaind the leaders of this mission.(4) In the foregoing address (vv.40-121), Allah has charged the Israelites with their sins of omission and commission during their leadership. Therefore the Qur'an points out their moral condition and tells them plainly, "You have proved yourselves quite unworthy of the favour shown to you. You have not only neglected to perform the obligations of leadership but have also discarded the Guidance of Allah from your own lives. Now the things have come to such a pass that you havebecome a community utterly unfit for leadership."(5) Now they are being told that leadership is not the privilege of the descendants of Abraham as such, for none has any exclusive claim to it by the mere accident of birth. It was bestowed only upon those who submitted to Allah and followed His Guidance like Abraham. As they have swerved from that Way, and proved utterly unworthy of leadership, they are deposed from it.(6) It also implied that the non-Israelite followers of the Prophet Moses and Jesus, who were proud of their relationship with Abraham had also swerved from the way of Abraham. Similarly, the idolaters of Arabia, who were also proud of their relationship with Abraham and Ismail have been told that they too were utterly unworthy of leadership, for they, too, had swerved from the Way of Abraham and Ismail.(7 ) Now that the Israelites had been deposed from leadership, the argument proceeds to show why Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) was raised as a Prophet from among the descendants of Ismail, in answer to the prayer of Abraham and Ismail . It is because he followed the same Way as was followed by Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and all the Prophets before him. He and his followers believed in all the Prophets sent by Allah, and invited the world to the same Way that was shown by the former Prophets. Therefore the followers of this Prophet alone were worthy of that leadership.(8) With the transfer of leadership, it was essential to change its centre as well. As long as the Israelites were the leaders, the Holy Temple at Jerusalem was the centre and giblah of all the followers of the Truth. That was why the Holy Prophet and his followers also used to turn their faces at first towards it at prayer. But when the Israelites were deposed from leadership, the Holy Temple automatically ceased to be the giblah. It was therefore, declared that the Ka'bah at Makkah, where Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) started his mission, is to be the giblah in future. As it also was the centre of Abraham's mission, neither the Israelites nor the Arabs could object to it because both acknowledged Abraham as their Prophet and ancestor. Thus there was no reason left for them to raise any objection against making the Ka`bah the centre of the Divine mission. But the fact is that obdurate people will goon arguing against the Truth even after knowing it to be the Truth.(9) After declaring the Muslims to be the leaders, with the Ka`bah as their centre, Allah gives instructions (vv. 153-286) for their guidance to enable them to carry out their obligations as leaders of the world.

And now the footnotes, long but for those who read, you'll read it all:

127When Abraham prayed to Allah to provide his descendants with the necessities of life, he excluded from his prayer the would-be transgressors, because Allah had excluded them from His promise of leadership...
129As Allah has full powers and perfect wisdom, He granted this prayer of the Prophet Abraham and made Hadrat Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) His Messenger.
130The word used in the text is "aslim," that is, "become a Muslim," or "adopt the attitude of Islam" (surrender to the will of Allah). Thus a Muslim is one who surrenders himself completely to Allah and obeys Him; who acknowledges Allah alone as His Lord, Master, Sovereign, Ruler, Lawgiver and God of worship; and who adopts the way of life prescribed by Him. Islam is the religious system based on this creed and attitude. This was the religion of all the Prophets who came to different countries and different nations.
131Special mention of Jacob has been made because the Israelites were his direct descendants.
132The Arabic word "din" has a much wider scope than the English ward "religion". It covers life in its entirety, and no aspect of individual or community life is outside its realm.
134That is, "Though you are their descendants, you have no real connection with them; nor have you any right to claim relationship with them, when you have swerved from their way. Allah will not ask you what your forefathers did but He will ask you what you yourselves did"...
135In order to understand the true significance of this answer, two things should be kept in mind.
(1) Judaism and Christianity were born long after the death of Abraham. Judaism, with its special rituals, peculiar regulations, etc., took its birth and name some tour hundred years before Christ. As to "Christianity", it took its name and adopted its special creed and form long after the recall of Jesus. Thus it is clear that their claim that one must become a Jew or a Christian in order to obtain guidance was historically untenable. For in that case, Abraham, Jesus and all the other Prophets and all the good people who had passed away long before the birth of Judaism and Christianity could not be counted among the right-guided persons for the simple reason that these "religions" did not exist at the time they lived. Thus, it was obvious that the Jews and Christians could not say that these Prophets were not right-guided, nor could they claim that they followed Judaism or Christianity. As a corollary to this, true Guidance did not, even according to them, consist of the particular features which divided them into two distinct religions, but it was that eternal universal way which has been shown by all the Messengers of Allah and which has always been followed by the good people of all ages.
(2) It also meant to warn the Jews and the Christians that both practised shirk and had, therefore, swerved from the way of Abraham, who did not associate any other object with Allah in his worship, his reverence, his submission and his obedience to Him. They could not deny this because their own Scriptures bore testimony to it.
136"We do not discriminate against any of them" means that we believe in all the Prophets of Allah and reject none. It is obvious that all the Prophets who came from Allah brought the same Truth and invited the people to the same Guidance and Right Way. Hence anyone who follows the Truth must accept all the Prophets. Those who accept one Prophet and reject the other really reject even the one whom they profess to accept. Had they followed the universal Guidance taught by Moses, Jesus and other Prophets, they could not have rejected any other Prophet (i.e. Muhammad, Allah's peace be upon him). As a matter of fact, they were not following the teachings of any Prophet, but merely professing to accept their own Prophets just because their fathers did so. Thus their real religion was prejudice, race-worship and blind imitation of their forefathers.
137It may also mean, "We took Allah's colour." Before the advent of Christianity, it was a custom among the Jews to give a bath to those who accepted Judaism. It meant to imply that all the sins of the baptised person were washed away and he had received a new colour of life. This same custom was later on adopted by the Christians and it was termed "Baptism", which is a ceremonial immersion in water or an application of water as an initiatory rite or sacrament of the Christian Church. It is applied not only to the new converts but also to all newly-born babies. The Qur'an says that there is nothing substantial in this ceremonial "colouring," since it is not necessary for salvation. For this purpose one should take colour from Allah by adopting His Way and submitting to His Law.
138That is, "What we only say is that Allah is Lord of all of us, and we should all submit to Him. Why should you then have any dispute with us concerning Allah? Is it a thing concerning which you should have any dispute with us'? As a matter of fact, it is we who have a cause of dispute and not you, for it is you (and not we) who associate other objects of worship with Allah." The original Arabic words tray also mean: "Are you having a dispute with us for the sake of Allah....?" It would then mean: "If you really are having a dispute with us for the sake of Allah and not for the sake of prejudice or worldly interests, it can be settled amicably.
139That is, "You are responsible for your deeds and we are for ours. If you have associated other partners with Allah in His Godhead and if you worship and obey them, you are free to do so but you yourselves will bear its consequences. As to the dispute between us, it can be ended if you allow us the same freedom of worship that we allow you. When we do not dispute with you about your associating other gods with Allah, you should at least concede us the right to worship the One Allah without associating any partner with Him, Whom we have chosen for exclusive worship and submission."
140This question was addressed to the common people of the Jews and Christians, who in their ignorance sincerely believed that all these great Prophets were Jews or Christians.
141This question was addressed to their scholars, who were not ignorant of the fact that Judaism and Christianity with their special rituals, etc., were the products of a later age. In spite of this they were under the delusion that the Truth was confined to their own sects, and they kept their common people under the delusion that salvation depended on those beliefs, ways and regulations, which had been invented, long after the Prophets, by their own rabbis and priests, spiritual leaders and interpreters. Whenever they were confronted with the question: "To which of these sects of yours did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other Prophets belong?", they would never answer this directly. For they could not claim that those Prophets belonged to their particular sect as they knew that history proved that claim to be absurd. But, in spite of this established fact, they could not admit it in clear words that the Prophets were neither Jews nor Christians, because this would have automatically refuted their claims.
142After the Hijrah the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) continued to turn his face in the Prayer towards the Temple (at Jerusalem) for about 16 or 17 months; then he was commanded to turn his face towards the Ka'bah (at Makkah). This change of the qiblah (direction of Prayer) with its implications has been described in detail in the succeeding verses.
143Those foolish people who did not have the sense to appreciate the true significance of this change began to raise different kinds of objections in order to create doubts in the minds of the Believers. Being narrow-minded, they thought that Allah was confined to a particular point or direction and the change of qiblah meant turning away from Him. This absurd objection has been removed by the declaration that east, west and all other directions belong to Allah. The fact that the qiblah lies in a certain direction does not mean that Allah is confined to that direction only. Those people who are blessed with guidance cannot entertain such narrow ideas. (Also refer to E.N.'s 115 and 116).
144This is the declaration of the leadership of the Muslim Community. "Thus" refers both to the Guidance of Allah which was sent through Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) and to the change of the qiblah. It was by following the Guidance that the Muslims achieved those excellences which led to their appointment as the "Community of the Golden Mean," and it was the change of the qiblah from the Temple to the Ka`bah that was an indication that the Israelites had been deposed from the leadership and the Muslims had been appointed to it. Therefore the change of the giblah from the Temple to the Ka`bah was not merely a change of direction as the foolish people took it to be, but it was really the formal declaration of the change of leadership from the Israelites to the followers of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him).
The word "ummat wasat" is so comprehensive in meaning that no English word can correctly convey its full sense. It is a righteous and noble community which does not go beyond proper limits, but follows the middle course and deals out justice evenly to the nations of the world as an impartial judge, and bases all its relations with other nations on truth and justice.
The meaning of "We have appointed you as ummat wasat so that you may be witnesses in regard to mankind and the Messenger may be a witness in regard to you" is: On the Judgement Day when all mankind will be called to account together, the Messenger, as Our authorised representative, will give evidence in regard to you to prove that he had imparted to you, by word and by deed, without any reservation, the whole teaching of sound thought, righteous deed and justice given by Us. Then you, being representatives of the Messenger, in your turn, will be required to give evidence to prove that you had done your utmost to impart, by word and deed, to mankind whatever the Messenger had imparted to you just as you had received it from the Messenger.
Thus, a person or group's being appointed by God a witness by itself amounts to its being exalted to the office of leadership and religious guide in the world. Though it is a position of honour, it carries very onerous responsibilities with it. It requires that the Muslim Community should become a living witness of piety, truth and justice before the world just as the Holy Prophet bore witness before it, and its wards and deeds should suffice to demonstrate to the world the meaning of truth, justice and piety. It also implies that it is a great responsibility for which the Muslim Community is accountable. Just as the Holy Prophet was responsible for conveying the Guidance of Allah, so the Muslims are responsible for conveying it to the people of the world. If they fail to prove in the Court of Allah that they have discharged this responsibility to the best of their ability, they will be condemned there. And they along with their evil geniuses and accomplices shall be accountable for all the evils which prevailed during their term of leadership, if they had shown any relaxation in the performance of their obligation as witnesses of the Truth. On the Day of Judgement, Allah will surely ask, "What did you do to prevent it when you saw the epidemic of sin, tyranny and impiety breaking out in the world?"
145The change of the qiblah also served to separate the Believers from the slaves of prejudice and racialism. On the one side, there were the Arabs who were not ready to give up their own Ka'bah and to adopt the Temple at Jerusalem as the qiblah. They were tried first. It was a hard test but the sincere believers passed successfully through this and the worshippers of the idol of nationalism failed. Now when the qiblah was changed from Jerusalem to the Ka'bah, those Jews and Christians who had embraced Islam were put to the test. It was very difficult for them to accept any other qiblah than the one of their forefathers. Thus the worshippers of race, who turned back from Islam were separated from the worshippers of Allah and fatally the worshippers of Allah only remained with the Holy Prophet.
146This is the commandment for the change of the giblah, which was enjoined in Rajab or Sha'ban, A.H. 2. When this was revealed, according to Ibn Sa'd, the Holy Prophet was leading the Zuhr (early afternoon) prayer in the house of Bishr bin Bara' bin Ma'rur where he had gone in response to an invitation. This verse was revealed when he had gone through half of the prayer. lie at once turned his face towards the Ka'bah during the prayer and those who were saying their Prayer following his lead did the same. Afterwards it was announced publicly in Madinah and its suburbs that the giblah had been changed. Bara' bin Azib says that at one place this announcement was heard at a time when the people had bent down in the Prayer. But when they heard the commandment, they turned about in the same posture towards the Ka'bah. Anas bin Malik says that the people of Bani Salamah heard of the change of the qiblah next morning at a time when they had already gone through half of the Prayer. As soon as they heard the announcement: "Beware, the giblah has been changed to the Ka'bah," the whole congregation turned about towards the Ka`bah.
In this connection, it should also be kept in mind that the Holy Temple at Jerusalem is to the north of Madinah and the Ka`bah at Makkah to the south of it. The Imam (who led the Prayer) must have walked to the rear of the congregation, who had to turn about and also to move about a little in order to adjust the rows. All these things have been related in detail in the Traditions.
Moreover, it is quite clear from "We have seen you turn your face over and over again towards heaven" and "We turn you towards the giblah that you like best" that the Holy Prophet used to pray for, and was expecting this change, for he himself was feeling that the term of the leadership of the Israelites had come to an end and consequently Jerusalem had also ceased to be the centre. Therefore Ka`bah which had been set up by the Prophet Abraham should be the qiblah...
...147That is, "You cannot convince by argument those who are disputing with you about the wisdom of the change of the giblah because they are not disposed to listen to any reasoning on account of their deep prejudices and obduracy: nor can you end this dispute by adopting the giblah of anyone of them; for all of them have different qiblahs, and, as a Prophet of Allah, you cannot make compromises on the principle of "give and take". Therefore the only thing you have to do is to stick to Our Commandments strictly and firmly. If you turn away from these, you will be transgressing the limits of Prophethood and showing ingratitude towards the favour of leadership with which We have blessed you."148This Arabic idiom is employed when one knows something with certainty and has absolutely no doubt about its identity. The metaphor has been derived from the fact that none can make any mistake in recognizing one's own children. Here it has been used to show that the learned people of the Jews and Christians knew it as a fact that the Ka'bah was built by the Prophet Abraham, just as they knew their own children. They also knew that the Holy Temple at Jerusalem was built by the Prophet Solomon some 1,300 years after the Ka'bah was built by the Prophet Abraham. The Ka'bah, therefore, had priority and superiority over the "Temple" and the Jews and the Christians should have no difficulty in recognizing and acknowledging it as the qiblah in the light of the above historical facts...
151The blessing refers to the blessing of leadership which Allah had wrested from the children of Israel and invested in the Muslims. This is the greatest reward which is given to any community when it adopts and follows the righteous way and is entrusted by Allah with the work of guiding the world on the path of virtue. Here Allah tells the Muslims, "The change of giblah is symbolic of the change of leadership. You should, therefore, observe this Commandment strictly, lest leadership should be wrested from you on account of your disobedience or ingratitude. This favour will be conferred on you in perfection, if you obey the Commandment"

And that's why we are 'desecrators'.