Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist and the author of A New Shoah, in which he researches the personal stories of Israel's terror victims. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He is currently working on a book about the Vatican and Israel. On 27 August, Arutz Sheva carried an Op-Ed article by Meotti entitled Expose: the Islamic-Christian assault on Jerusalem.
A strange alliance between Christians and Islamists is aimed at getting the Jews out of Jerusalem, says Meottis. The Temple Mount is under assault from the Islamic-Christian Committee (ICC). In the following summary of the article, most of the time I deliberately place the term ‘Christian’ in quotes.
This relatively new institution has warned that the Israeli authorities are working to impose ‘a false Jewish history’ in Jerusalem, ‘the occupied city’, especially ‘on the area known to Jews as the Temple Mount’. The ICC warned of new ‘Judaization’. Such fabrications help the Palestinians to conquer a seat in the international agencies like UNESCO and to excite Muslim feeling against the Jews.
The Vatican’s former archbishop in Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, who supports the ICC, has appealed to the European Union and United States to ‘stop the Hebraization of Jerusalem’. When the new Latin Patriarch, Fouad Twal met the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, he denounced the ‘more than 550.000 Israelis living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank’ and ‘the demography of Jerusalem changing rapidly with the sacred space being threatened’.
The ICC was founded by the former Greek Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna and enjoys the participation of Catholic leaders like Claudette Habesch, Secretary General of Caritas Jerusalem, the most important Vatican humanitarian arm in the world. Hanna called for the creation of an Islamic-Christian union that would ‘release Palestine from the river to the sea’.
Archbishop Hanna also supported suicide attacks against Israeli civilians: ‘The suicide bombers who carry out their activities in the name of religion are national heroes and we’re proud of them’, said Hanna.
The ICC also enjoys the participation of Sheikh Tamimi, the most high profile Islamic judge of the Palestinian Authority, a self-professed anti-Semite deported by Israel in 1980 after terrorists killed six Jewish students in Hebron. ‘Perhaps one day the world will awake and realize that these Zionist elements are the bloodletters who hang on the peoples, sucking their blood and consuming their resources,’ Tamimi has said.
The PA campaign to eradicate Jewish history at the Temple Mount , as well as in the rest of Israel, has escalated sharply in the past two years. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has documented statements from Palestinian Authority leaders, including Mahmoud Abbas, all of whom refer to an ‘alleged [Jewish] Temple’.
Abbas has said in the official PA WAFA news agency, ‘[Israel's] purpose is to achieve its black goals: Destroying the Al-Aqsa Mosque, building the 'alleged Temple,' taking over the Muslim and Christian holy sites, and destroying its [Jerusalem's] institutions in order to empty it, uproot its residents, and continue its occupation and Judaization.’
Abbas has also stated ‘that all of Israel's archaeological digs and tunnels . . . will not change the reality of the city . . . and will not create a [Jewish] right based on fantasy and legends . . . There will be no peace, security, or stability unless the occupation [Israel], its settlements and settlers will be evacuated from our holy city and the eternal capital of our state.’
Abbas has declared that ‘Palestinian’ history is 9,000 years old and, on the eve of Israel’s Independence Day last year, ‘Netanyahu, you are incidental in history. We are the people of history. We are the owners of history’.
Historian Bat Ye’or explains that at a 2004 conference in Amman, Jordan the Organization of the Islamic Conference recommended ‘cooperation with Churches in the fight against Israel’. Their proposals included the adoption of the Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem by mosques, churches and monasteries, and by Muslim and Christian institutions worldwide. ‘Promoting ‘al Quds’ would be done through films, television, songs, and festivals, under the supervision of a special Muslim and ‘Christian’ cell that would be working with all the appropriate means’.
23 December 1995 was the turning point for the Islamo-‘Christian’ alliance against the Jews in Jerusalem. The Greek Orthodox patriarch of the Holy Land handed over the custody of churches in Jerusalem to Yasser Arafat in the presence of the Catholic, Anglican and Greek Orthodox archbishops, declaring: ‘I am the heir of Sophronius and I am handing the keys (to Christian holy sites in Jerusalem) to the heir of Omar Ibn al-Khattab’.
To understand the significance of the archbishop’s words, it needs to be understood that in 638AD, the Muslim Caliph Omar Ibn al-Khattab who claimed Jerusalem from Byzantine rule, gave the Patriarch Sophronius custody of churches. The Patriarch was now returning the Christian holy places to the custody of Arafat, a Muslim, thus strengthening the Arab-Islamic claim to Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.
Arafat saw himself as conquering Jerusalem a second time for the Muslims, so that any Arab reference to Omar means Jerusalem must be 'Judenrein’.
The goals of this unholy Muslim-‘Christian’ dialogue are. first, to erase any Jewish presence in the so called ‘holy basin’, an alliance of the mosques and the sepulchre which will exclude the Jews from the Temple Mount. Secondly, the new Islamo-‘Christian’ alliance will seek to convince the EU, the UN and the US to recognise Israel's capital city as ‘Al Quds’. From such a giant leap will follow the relatively small step of persuading the international community to recognise the entire region as ‘Palestine’.