[News] How Israel uses Judaism as a settler-colonial weapon

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Sat Apr 23 21:30:01 EDT 2022

How Israel uses Judaism as a settler-colonial weapon
Ali Abunimah <https://electronicintifada.net/people/ali-abunimah> - April
23, 2022

Since the start of Ramadan, Israel has carried out near-daily attacks on
at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, the third most revered site
for Muslims all over the world.

Occupation forces, for example, terrorized worshippers
with an assault during dawn prayers on the second Friday of Ramadan,
smashing the mosque’s stained glass windows, and injuring more than 150

It’s an alarming echo of what happened last year, when Israel’s attacks
triggered a full-scale confrontation
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/may-2021-attack-gaza> between Israel
and Palestinians across their historic homeland.

Resistance groups in Gaza intervened in defense of Palestinians in
Jerusalem, and Israel waged an 11-day bombing campaign in Gaza that left
more than 250 Palestinians, including almost 70 children, dead.

I spoke to journalist Rania Khalek for her BreakThrough News show
*Dispatches* about how the renewed Israeli onslaught – and the Palestinian
response – is regularly misrepresented as “communal religious violence” or
“clashes” between two roughly equal sides.

But what lies at the heart of the Israeli attack on al-Aqsa is its
settler-colonial drive to conquer and control all of Palestine.
Growing fanaticism

The al-Aqsa mosque compound, or Haram al-Sharif, is believed by Jews to be
the place where an ancient temple once stood – hence why Jews call it the
Temple Mount.

Notwithstanding any Jewish religious beliefs about the site, al-Aqsa is in
occupied East Jerusalem where under international law Israel has no
sovereignty or jurisdiction whatsoever

Israel’s control arises solely from military occupation, enforced from the
barrel of a gun.

In recent years, fanatical Jewish groups have increasingly defied religious
by Israel’s chief rabbis banning Jewish prayer at the Haram al-Sharif.

This has been driven by the so-called Temple Movement
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/temple-movement>, a Jewish nationalist
push to take over the al-Aqsa mosque compound and build a new Jewish temple

In 1990, a Jewish extremist group called Temple Mount Faithful announced
plans to lay a cornerstone for their new temple at the Haram al-Sharif.
When Palestinians protested, Israeli occupation forces massacred more than
a dozen <https://www.un.org/unispal/document/auto-insert-176717/> of them
and injured scores more.

Although Israel has attempted to assert control over the site ever since it
occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, the fanatical Jewish movement has in
recent years become increasingly mainstream, gaining the support of many
Israeli politicians
A dangerous precedent

Palestinians fear, at the very least, that Israel will forcibly partition
the holy site
as it did to the Ibrahimi mosque in 1994, following the massacre by
American Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein of 29 Palestinian men and boys
during Ramadan prayers.

Not only did Israel partition the Ibrahimi mosque, but it forced
Palestinians out of much of the once bustling Old City of Hebron,
effectively turning it over to the control of the settlers.

It should not be lost on anyone that one of the most prominent Jewish
figures agitating for Israeli control of al-Aqsa today, lawmaker Itamar
Ben-Gvir, views Baruch Goldstein as a hero

Following a recent incursion at the al-Aqsa compound under heavy protection
by Israeli police, Ben-Gvir declared
“whoever controls the Temple Mount controls the Land of Israel. The enemy
understands this too.”

Earlier this week, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the chief preacher at al-Aqsa,
posted on Twitter a video of Jewish settlers dancing and singing inside
Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque.

“The whole world must know that in Jerusalem we will not allow what
happened in the Ibrahimi mosque to be repeated in the place where the
Prophet ascended to Heaven [al-Aqsa], no matter what the cost,” Sabri

مقطع من احتفالات اليهود بهذه الأيام داخل المسجد الإبراهيمي في مدينة الخليل،
والذي قُسّم إثر المجزرة التي ارتكبها الاحتلال عام ١٩٩٤ على يد المدعو
ليعلم العالم كلّه أننا في بيت المقدس لن نسمح لما حدث في الحرم الإبراهيمي أن
يحصل بمسرى النبي ﷺ مهما كلّف الأمر. pic.twitter.com/8dZc6V7vH7
— د.الشيخ عكرمة صبري (@DrEkrimasabri) April 19, 2022

This reflects the consensus among Palestinians that only their resistance
on the ground can prevent an Israeli takeover of al-Aqsa.

As I told Khalek, this critical context is almost always left out by the
mainstream media, if they bother to report on Israel’s attacks on al-Aqsa
at all.

At its heart the situation in Palestine is not a religious conflict, but
rather a struggle by the indigenous Palestinians to survive and resist the
settler-colonial takeover of their land by Zionism, a violent colonial
movement founded in Europe.

Zionism and the settler-colonial state it created have always been ready to
weaponize Judaism as a pretext to conquer the land of the Palestinians.

— 𝐄𝐡𝐬𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐚𝐟𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐣𝐚𝐝 🇮🇷 (@Safarnejad_IR) April 23, 2022

Whitewashing Nazis

Khalek and I also discussed the glaring contrast between how Western
governments respond to Israel’s violence against Palestinians as compared
with their reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

We discussed many aspects of that double standard, including one of the
most disturbing: In order to justify sending weapons to Ukraine and
escalating the war there, even a prominent Jewish communal and Israel lobby
group is whitewashing Nazis and denying and revising key facts
about the Holocaust.

You can watch our entire discussion in the video above.
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