Friday, August 16, 2013

Keep Jerusalem UNITED, Keep Jerusalem JEWISH

Sir, - Gershon Baskin's article is basically another one of Baskin's attempts to deceive and thereby influence the Israeli public towards accepting his perverse pro-Palestinian position.

The attempt at deception begins with the very title "Negotiating Jerusalem, negotiating peace" -- by which Baskin means that he would like to see Israel totally capitulate to the Palestinian position and accept their claims of entitlement to the Old City and East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Presently Jerusalem is united under Israeli sovereignty, so the P.A. has nothing to offer at the so-called negotiations other than what exists in Baskin's delusional scenarios.

United Jerusalem as Israel's capital affords unprecedented equal rights and access to all its citizens, as well as full freedom of worship. Throughout the millennia it has never served as the political or religious capital of any sovereign entity other than that established by the ancient Davidic Kingdom or the modern state of Israel. 

The hundreds of years of Muslim dominance in this region have always placed the capital cities in Damascus, Baghdad, or Istanbul -- but never in Jerusalem. Baskin has the effrontery to cite Jordan's annexation of East Jerusalem in 1949, when Jordan joined several other Arab countries in their attack to eliminate the new state of Israel. In the 19 years of Hashemite rule, Jerusalem was never considered its capital. It did, however, manage to divide the city by barbed wire fences and walls that cut off the Old City and the Jewish holy places from Israel and the Jewish world.

Baskin's unmitigated gall continues with his positive approval of the Palestinian position as including the entire Old City of Jerusalem including the Jewish Quarter and the Jewish holy places. He is, however, willing to accept a division of the Old City that would leave the Jewish Quarter under Israeli sovereignty while the other three quarters -- Armenian, Christian, and Muslim -- would come under Palestinian sovereignty. Under what flight of fancy should the Armenian or Christian quarters be turned over to Muslim rule, when faced with indisputable evidence of deliberate Muslim deprivation of the Christian community of Bethlehem and active anti-Christian behavior throughout the Muslim world???

Baskin is most treacherous when trying to tackle the question of the Temple Mount. He makes himself completely oblivious to the harsh reality where the Muslim Waqf absolutely forbids Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. A Jew is presently not permitted to move his lips without being stopped by Muslim officers. If this shamefully abusive denial of freedom of worship for Jews exists while under general Israeli sovereignty, can any honest and sane person other than Baskin truly believe it would change under Muslim sovereignty? I challenge Baskin to find any recognized Muslim religious authority that would back his claim that Muslim Sharia law permits the Jews to pray in the Temple Mount mosques. 

He goes on, cynically finding support for his anti-Jewish bias in some rabbis from the orthodox world who oppose praying on the Temple Mount. Their objection is based on the state of sanctity of the Temple Mount and their zealous concern that this sanctity not be defiled. He obviously does not understand that their opposition would have to include Muslims as well.

Finally, Baskin -- who is unable to offer any coherent reasons for denying the status quo -- asks the Jews to accept his Palestinian program and wait for the Messiah to solve the difficulties inherent in his myopic views. I too suggest that we all await the coming of the Messiah, but until then a united Jerusalem should and must remain the capital of Israel.

Petach Tikva

[Lower image credit: Wikimedia user Ori~]