Haaretz has found a Jerusalem-based Egyptian-Belgian journalist and a blogger, Khaled Diab, to be a contributer to their paper's website.
In a previous article, he seeks to justify, I think, conquest and foreign occupation. No, not by Israel but of Islam, writing of Spain:
during its seven centuries of presence in the Iberian peninsula, Islam became an indigenous faith,
Hebron's David Wilder appreciates him, though.
Diab does not have a very positive opinion of the wild BSDers but writes:
a campaign could be launched to force SodaStream to relocate its facilities to areas of the West Bank under the control of the Palestinian Authority.
A while ago, relating to the so-called "right-of-return", he noted the
fixation on return focuses aspirations on a remote, distant and perhaps unattainable goal, while drawing attention and energy away from the very real issuesand moderately assumed that the Naba, the dispossession, should be kept "alive", nevertheless,
...this is likely to become more spiritual and symbolic with the passing of each generation
Today, his op-ed is entitled:
Jerusalem's holiest site - once again triggering crises between Muslims and Jews and between regional states - cannot remain hostage to extremists.
He sticks to the Arab propaganda narrative writing
a provocative visit by Ariel Sharon to the site caused simmering tension to overflow into the costly second intifada.
And he cannot liberate his writing from prejudices as here:
...a group of Jewish extremists – led by the messianic rabbi, Yehuda Glick, who is part of the tiny fringe movement which fantasizes about building the Third Temple - stormed the complex...lunatic fringe
Khaled, they visited and toured. Who is the extremist here?
He does find merit, though:
...for all Israel’s many failings, it is possibly, at least for now, the only conqueror of Jerusalem not to have 'converted' the religious identity of the site, despite the best efforts of extremists.
Laughably, and ironically, he quotes Hanan ("Jesus was a 'Palestinian'") Ashrawi, as saying,
“Using religion as a pretext to impose sovereignty on historical places of worship threatens to plunge the entire region into great conflict and instability,”
Just a moment, is Sheikh Raed ("Four Fingers for Allah") Salah not using religion? Was Arafat not using religion? Nor Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein or his predecessor, Sheikh Akram Sabri? How much of history and politics can Diab alter, twist and misrepresent?
Fairly, he does note that
Omar Ibn al-Khattab, Muhammad’s second successor, or caliph, allowed Jews, who had been expelled by the Christian Byzantines, back into Jerusalem.
“There is strong evidence to suggest that the Jews were not only permitted to return to Jerusalem, but that the Muslims allowed them to worship at their side on the Temple Mount,” wrote Francis E Peters, a professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University.
...Omar ordered the cleaning of the Temple Mount, which had been used as a rubbish tip by the Byzantines, and permitted Jews to worship there. One convert, Rabbi Kaab al-Ahbar, even located the foundation stone for the Muslim conquerors.
It is even possible that the caliph allowed the Jews to construct a synagogue on the mount and appointed a Jew as the first governor of Jerusalem, according to the 7th century Armenian historian Sebeos.
With all this "permissiveness and interfaith interaction", Diab asks
Is it possible today, in the supposedly more enlightened 21st century, for the Noble Sanctuary/Temple Mount to become a common ground, rather than a battleground, for Muslims and Jews?
but his personal response is skepticism for there is an
...illusion, or misconception, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a religious one.
Go tell that to the Mufti.
Why cannot there be sharing of time and space?
it would be a grave, reckless and dangerous error for Israel to think it can unilaterally take action.
and that is after he admits the Muslims unilaterally acted in conquering the city, taking over Mount Moriah, building there a mosque (and twenty years ago adding two more), denying Jews entrance after the fall of the Crusader Kingdom and killing Jews who mistakenly entered (Itzkowitz, April 1947, for example) and who continue to erase all traces of historic Jewish identity in staone and in narrative, ,even denying the Temple's existence and so much more negativity. We can't do what Muslims do.
He trots out the
Jews and Muslims were, for many centuries, friends and allies and that they once stood side by side as brothers in faith on Jerusalem’s most hallowed ground.
But, today, no coexistence, no sharing of God, of his holy sites. No respect or common decency. Jews are yelled at. Muslim men and women are padi to sit in their pathway, to shout and threaten and to attempt to cause violent provocations. They claim Jews chemically poison trees, dig tunnels where there are none, extend Al-Aqsa outside its walled precincts, foment hostility with anti-Semitic caricatures and they aren't "extremists" or "fanatics"?
is playing dumb?