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December 10, 2014 3:42 pm

The Battle for Jerusalem

avatar by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

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Prime Minister Netanyahu during an interview with The Algemeiner. Photo: Screenshot.

“This is a battle over Jerusalem,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a nationally televised address to the people of Israel this week. He’s right. But because of the Obama Administration’s pressure, Israel is fighting with one hand tied behind its back.

The war began last summer. Mobs of Palestinian Arabs in some of Jerusalem’s eastern neighborhoods started launching almost daily attacks on Israelis – sometimes motorists, sometimes police officers. There was no “provocation.” They were not responding to a particular Israeli policy. They were just trying to kill Jews.

Occasionally the attackers hit their target. On September 1, for example, rocks crashed through the windows of a Jerusalem bus, injuring a three year-old Israeli girl. On October 2, the day before Yom Kippur eve, an Israeli family returning from the Western Wall accidentally drove into the Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of A-Tur. The rock-throwers jumped upon their prey. Two teenage girls in the car were wounded, which is a gentle way of saying that they narrowly missed being stoned to death.

But for Arabs trying to conquer Jerusalem, injuring little Israeli girls once in a while is not enough. From October 17 through October 19, official Palestinian Authority TV repeatedly broadcast a speech by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas claiming that Jews were secretly plotting to “defile” the Al Aqsa Mosque, and urging Arabs to “prevent them in any way.”

The Palestinians got the message. On October 22, Abd al-Rahman Al-Shaloudi drove his car into a Jerusalem railway station, murdering two people – one was three month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, an American citizen – and injuring eight others. Sultan Abu Al-Einen, a senior advisor to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, publicly praised Al-Shaloudi as a “heroic martyr.” The official Facebook page of Fatah, which Abbas chairs, likewise called the killer “heroic.”

A week later came the attempted murder of an American-Israeli rabbi, Yehuda Glick, in Jerusalem. Abbas said of the assassin: “He rose to Heaven while defending our people’s rights.” Fatah sponsored city-wide celebrations and called on “the fighters and the masses” to stage a “day of rage” on the Temple Mount and throughout Jerusalem. Not surprisingly, the Israeli police prevented Muslims from going to the Mount that day. The police also discovered a stockpile of firebombs inside the Al Aqsa Mosque.

The PA immediately declared that the police who entered the mosque had “desecrated” it and that the closure of the Mount that day “proved” Israel wants to destroy the mosque, which then became the pretext for more Palestinian terrorism, from the next car ramming into a Jerusalem train station on November 5 (two dead, 13 wounded) to the massacre of five Jews (three of them Americans) in Har Nof on November 18. All the while, Abbas continued stoking the fires with speeches about Jews trying to “contaminate” the mosque.

Any reasonable person can see that the PA’s claims are absurd lies and that its incitement is playing a primary role in the violence. But the Obama Administration has a political agenda that seems to interfere with its willingness to face the facts.

The Administration wants to create a Palestinian state next door to Israel, with a large part of Jerusalem as its capital. The only way to do that is to try to maintain the fiction that the Palestinian leadership is “moderate.” Admitting that Abbas himself is the one inciting the violence would mean acknowledging that he doesn’t want peace – thereby wrecking the entire premise of the administration’s Mideast policy.

Thus President Obama’s shocking – actually, revolting – response to the Har Nof massacre: “Too many Israelis have died and too many Palestinians have died.”

The Israelis who have died were innocent victims of Palestinian terrorism. Many of the Palestinians who have died were terrorists. But for Mr. Obama’s lights, it’s all a great big blur, with no moral distinctions and all sides being equally guilty. That’s the only way for him to keep pushing forward with the fiction of Palestinian moderation, in the cause of Palestinian statehood.

The Obama Administration is wrong. The United States should be on the side of its peace-making ally, Israel, in its fight against the Palestinian terrorist assault on Jerusalem. Whether the victims are three Americans beheaded by ISIS or three Americans butchered in a Jerusalem synagogue, America and Israel are fighting the same enemy.

The battle for Jerusalem is being fought – but it’s not a fair fight. Palestinian terrorists use rocks, firebombs, cars, and axes. Palestinian leaders praise, protect, and finance them. Israel tries desperately to defend itself – but the Obama Administration, with its relentless criticism, pressure, and moral equivalency, is in effect tying one of Israel’s hands behind its back.

This is the moment for American Jewry to step forward. Not with gala dinners and business-as-usual speeches, but with focused, effective political action to send a message to the Administration, and to mobilize Congress and the American public in support of Israel and Jerusalem. This is the moment for American Jews to rise to the challenge. Now – before the battle is lost.

Moshe Phillips is president and Benyamin Korn is chairman of the Religious Zionists of America, Philadelphia.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Below is a small excerpt from Chapter ‘Jerusalem’ from my book “Why a Jew?” – ISBN: 9781616672300

    But seeing the setting of the sun in Jerusalem, a man cannot even find one word to say.
    He becomes speechless.
    Here, present at this sight, man is left dumb.
    Every unsuitable word could be considered blasphemous.
    It is only possible to look and feel.
    This city that has a special and singular mystical golden halo, and it is also called the ‘Centre of the World’.

    Jerusalem defined her position in all that represents Jewish spirituality and Jewish ethics… thousands of years ago.
    As it is brought forth in 2 Chronicles 5; 2:
    “Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion.”

    References to the Jewish people’s ties to Jerusalem are not only found hundreds of times in the Bible, but also in the Oxford Reference Encyclopaedia (edition 1995, p.1689):
    “David, king of Israel (c 1000-c 962 BCE) makes Jerusalem his capital.”

    In our day, at the beginning the twenty-first century, Jerusalem is once again the capital of the State of Israel.
    After I came to Israel, I was astounded to learn that there were politicians and even governments who refused to believe these sources whose accuracy as ‘classics’ had been proven a long time…

  • Julia Clovelley, evidently reads her history via The New York Times, The Guardian, and the BBC, turning it perfectly upside down. Oh, so the imams and Abbas daily calling for the murder of Jews (yes, babies, too!) is NOT provocation, but Bibi’s reasoned article is? Oh, so it wasn’t FDR who refused to listen to the warning about the Holocaust brought to him by a valiant Pole who purposely let himself be imprisoned, escaped, and brought the message. It wasn’t the Democrats who refused to bomb the rails at Auschwitz, but the Rightists, the Republicans, who were out of power? It wasn’t the Democrat Secretary of State Dulles who turned back the St. Louis so that most would die in the concentration camps? No, no, in Clovelley’s world it’s all the fault of the Rightists, the Republicans, the Jews themselves. The crocodile tears she sheds for the possibility of another Holocaust (denied to have taken place in the first place by the “moderate” Abbas) are as real as silicon. It is she who is more likely to be a KKK member or a neo-Nazi than what she purports.

  • Efram

    Why does this site publish the rantings of an obvious Israel hater like this Julia Clovelley? She has a voice in virtually every publication on earth that loathes Israel, why publish her slanders here? From 1897, to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, to the League Of Nations unanimous resolution in 1920, right up until 1947, the international community rightfully acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of a Jewish state. Muslims have holy cities, and Christians have holy cities. The Jews have one, just one, and it is, and always has been, Jerusalem, since King David PURCHASED it about 3,000 years ago. Only some last minute manipulation by the British stole the sacred half of Jerusalem and handed it to the Arabs. The Arabs eschewed the plan, but the new State Of Jordan moved into place, and took Jerusalem as its own. From 1948 until 1967, ALL Jews were barred from their holiest city. Even when Israel regained control in 1967, it foolishly permitted Jordan to hold sway over the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.

    Prayer has NEVER been used to incite, it is politicians who have advanced their political agenda by demonizing Jews from praying at their holiest site. Would Julia agree with keeping Muslims from Mecca? How about Catholics from the Vatican? The only ones whose prayers “incite” violence are Jewish prayers, and only because they are aided and abetted by people like Julia. No fairness, no sense of decency. To her, as to so many others, the murder of Jews is, at a minimum, not important, and possibly to be desired.

    The right wing is venal, and will eventually turn on Jews again. However, worshipers at the altar of politically-coerced censorship, such as Obama and his sycophants, go under the premise that what radical Islam does is good, and what Jews do is bad. No other factors need to be, or are permitted to be, included in the nefarious flow chart.

    And as for the Democrats and World War II, no one in the US was more responsible for Jewish deaths than FDR. He KNEW, not just suspected, he KNEW about the Holocaust and refused to do anything about it. He kept the quota of Jews, trying to flee the Holocaust low, and did not even fill the quota in any year. Yes, the Father Coughlins, Henry Fords, Hearsts, Lindberghs, continued doing business with Hitler even after the US entered the war, and the Bush’s antecedents were similarly complicit. The right wing has never been the friend of the Jewish people. But neither has the left wing. If you do not define politically-coerced censorship as leftist, than whatever you choose to call it, it is as fascistic the right wing.

  • David Goshen

    The whole concept of Jews defiling the Al Aqsa Mosque by their presence close to the mosque is really APARTHEID in its worst form.The whole idea of “MUSLIMS ONLY” is a strong reminder of South African Whites Only !The quicker this disgusting behavior is stopped the better.WE should not forget that the PA has worked on ethnic cleansing of all Christian Arabs whose numbers in the PA have been reduced from a few hundred thousands to less than 50000.The APARTHEID is also against Arab Christians and all minorities

  • David Goshen

    There are areas of Eastern Jerusalem which were never part of Jerusalem proper.They are totally inhabited by Arabs the vast majority of whom have rejected Israeli Citizenship making them “stateless people” who do not have the vote for the Knesset and who cannot travel abroad as they cannot get a passport,Permanent residents worlwide are people who hold nationalty of other countries from whom they hold a pasport.Having hundreds of thousands of stateless persons the numbers of which grow each year is a very non stablizing situation.There was never any logic in such incorporation and excluding such villages from Jerusalem Proper can only lead to a moe peacefulsituation.These villiages should be part of the PA Authority.

  • Yaakov Kayman

    Just when will Israel AND the world realize that the Middle East Israel-Arab conflict is, and always was, a religious war?

  • John Kabanya

    They never won during the time of Goliath and they will not win even now. The fight is not for the Jews but the Almighty and thus as they won before they will win even now.Don`t lose hope my brothers.

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    F___K Obama and Kerry. They will be in power for a very short time. The status of Jerusalem is forever. I know Obama is a trouble maker, who if left to his devices will lead the ARab legions into Israel.

    • judorebbe

      Unfortunately, Team Obama can do enormous damage in the next two years. Obama is not merely a troublemaker. He, and his well-chosen and well-financed team, are hardened “progressives” whose dream (for at least the past forty years) has been “to correct the historic mistake of the creation of the State of Israel”.

  • Julia Clovelley, is so wrong….The difference between the Holocaust of Europe and today is that today Jews have a country and weapons to defend themselves. Europe and the USA government are pressuring Israel by all means possible and they will fail. Europe has a horrible record and history. Nothing good to learn from them. Israel is the Jewish country for all Jews, is democratic, equal rights for its citizens and protects all faiths. Israel also has God on its side.

  • Selina Owen

    The prime minister Benjamin Nentanyahu is right. The battle is over ownership of Jerusalem. It will gain momentum and Palestine’s unilateral move to recognize it is infect a move to bring to pass Daniel 9:27 “…..he will sign a covenant with many (the 139 UN members who have opted to recognize a Palestinian state) for one week…..”

  • Obama reveres the sociopath Muhammad who personally decapitated 600 – 900 unarmed Jews. His opinion about Jerusalem therefore carries no weight.


      Time for Israel to have a national holiday. That is, when the Muslim in the WH dies, hopefully, soon.

      And the US Jews voted for that Muslim, after being warned by so many, that he will try to destroy Israel for his co religionists, the Muslims. But the US Jews would not listen.
      Had they voted for Mitt Romney, the whole ME situation would have been different.
      Mitt Romney is an good and honest man, not like the liar occupying the WH

      The whole world would have been a better place with Romney as President.

      Hopefully, now that both houses are under Republican control, Obama will have his hands tied and not have free reign to destroy the best ally that the US has in the ME, ISRAEL.

      Why has Obama not been impeached? He has done so much harm to the US, that it is time for him to be sent to prison for his treason to the US.

  • Julia Clovelley

    Baloney – from beginning to end this commentary article, baloney. And one cannot but notice its source in the “Religious Zionists of America” – What do they think they are doing!

    The problem of Jerusalem is indeed a vexed one, but this article presumes an Israeli “right of possssion” that is factually incorrect. Sadly the original Partition Resolutions rather presumed that a peaceful state of Jewish/Palestinian muslims relationships would eventuate. That may have been either hopeful, or simply naive, but the question of Jerusalaem ended up in the too-hard basket where it has remained ever since

    But to speak within the terms of this article, is to create a potential incitement to violence, and further loss of life. This article reads as a rallying call to religious war, and seems to have underlying it the idea that Israel can bully itself out of any confrontation. No doubt it will – except the last one – the only one it has to lose!

    There are already Islamic-owned nuclear weapons, and ongoing relationships between Muslim dominated states and other nuclear powers. To incite a religious conflict is pure madness. Whilst it is perfectly reasonable to be concerned about violent confrontation on the Temple Mount, it is not reasonable to deny that a great deal of incitement has come from the Zionist(sic) side. The world has seen the deliberate engineering of confrontations caused by Zionists taking children in full open Orthodox dress, accompanied by cameramen, onto the Mount as part of what appears to be a demand to pray there.

    Prayer should never be used as a deliberate incitement to confrontation – added to which no camerman in the Middle East is likely to be unaware of the fact that Arabs are often very reluctant about being filmed or photographed. Tourists are generally warned by travel agents that it is regarded as offensive unless permission has been given. This includes tourist destinations such as Morocco. Being polite gets you a lot further.

    To me this is a very dangerous article – part of an orchestrated campaign to push America to the Right, an action that will in turn validate the KKK, and the armed Antisemites of the American Homeland

    An America that turns on its Jewish population, is infinitely more likely to be Conservative Rightist than Centrist (there being no Left to speak of in America). Have Zionists really forgotten that the Right was so strong before the Second World War that the Democrat Administration was unable to committ America to the war that brought the Holocaust to an end, until after the Pearl Harbout attack? – Too many Republicans and Rightists supported Nazi Germany, or turned a blind eye to Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco, and the Fascist and Nazi destruction of Democracy and of minorities. Jews throughout Europe were being imprisoned, massacred, and bombed whilst the Republicans withheld the authority for Roosevelt to go to war. The construction of Auschwitz-Birkenau was already underway by the time of Pearl Harbour – and the first gas chambers were operating there three months after America’s entry into the war. The Right forced action to be left until it was too late. Had war entry been encourage in 1939 then the Holocaust might never have happened. Instead the American Right left the defense of Europe to the United Kingdom, and the tiny, incredibly brave, island of Malta, a people that well earned their George Cross in the service of freedom

    History repeating itself – I hope not! It ends in a Holocaust.

    • You should remember the prescient words of Dr Martin Luther King Jr spoken in March 1968: “”When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking antisemitism.”

    • Michael Fox

      Liberal speak dribble. We would all be speaking German in a “Juden” free world if we listened to Neville Chamberlain and his irresponsible flawed message of appeasement.

    • Mandrake

      Julia: “History repeating itself – I hope not! It ends in a Holocaust.” Islam will obliterate the whole world decapitating their enemies and going to heaven to their 72 virgens. Do not worry about Zionism (anti-semitism)and Israel. Worry about the end of the western civilization and your own head.


      Julia Clovelly.
      You are such an obvious Jew hater. Your use of the word Zionist, in place of Jew, is so obvious.
      It is not the Jews are the problem. It is the Muslims who want to take over the world and create a Caliphate.
      You will not be spared the sword, unless you convert to Islam.
      It was the Muslims who desecrated the Holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount, by building their mosques there.
      Jerusalem is Biblically, as well as given to the Jews by Balfour Declaration, League of Nations, San Remo.
      It was only divided by Churchill when the Brits had the mandate over the geographical area called Palestine.


      NO, JULIA, The entire land belongs to the Jews, as does an undivided Jerusalem.

    • What kind of drugs do you use? Your ignorance is truly astounding!

    • Reform School
      The more I read remarks by ‘Julia Clovelley’ the more I see a remote ‘con’ troll experiment. What a pile of camel dung! You could be News Editor at the NY Times, Izvestia, Al Aram, Al Jazeera, ABC, BBC, CNN or MSNBC, Mohammad.
      Going back thousands of years, we see where Israel and Judea were. Why wasn’t Palestine on anyone’s maps? Why do the few references to ‘Palestina’ in classic literature all describe it as a Jewish place? Because it was, even after multiple conquerors out to rule the world (like you, your cousins and grandparents) took half of them home as slaves. Israel is, and (for the rest of time, G-d willing) will be. Why tiny Israel? Chosen to halt oppression by being a Light to Nations, oppression of women (half the world’s population) was certainly not invented by Muhammad, but what other ‘religion’ glorifies and celebrates it as Islam does? What do Muslim leaders fear so much? Their loss of domination of the herd? Ignorant masses overcoming animal instinct and ignorance (as ancient Hebrew slaves did on their Path to Judaism) is what the would-be Rulers of the World, hiding in the bowels of the United Nations and elsewhere, fear most. Turning the ignorant masses against the Jews as scapegoats, to keep both groups subjugated, is the historical basis of [anti-Jewish] anti-semitism, dhimmi laws, pogroms and the Holocaust. Since the Crusades, has similar barbarism been practiced against Muslims, except by rival Muslims?
      Why does Commie Obammie keep stoking the fires of Jew-hatred and fear? Why do the media give him a pass?

  • While the Palestinian murder and injure innocent Israelis , the Obama administration rails against
    Israel. The congress and the senate should stand support strongly Israel , the only democratic
    country and staunchest ally in the Middle East!!!!!