No lie is too big to tell in support of the GMJ


The Palestinians and their backers have long resorted to diplomatic war in order to undermine Israel’s legitimacy. The Global March to Jerusalem, scheduled for March 30, is a classic example of this tactic. The organisers claim they are seeking “freedom for Jerusalem” and an “end to the Apartheid, ethnic cleansing and Judaisation” affecting the city.

In reality, they are distorting the historical record for political purposes. They seek to depict Israel as a malevolent custodian of the Holy places and a usurper of Muslim rights, so as to buttress an Arab and Islamic claim to the city. But as it happens, their claim does not stand up to serious scrutiny.

For starters, the city is not mentioned once in the Koran. Mohammed never visited Jerusalem and the only possible religious reference is to the prophet’s night journey, which is essentially a matter of legend. Jerusalem has never been the capital of a sovereign Muslim state and for long periods under Islamic rule, was little more than a neglected backwater. Over the centuries, numerous accounts by travellers testify to Jerusalem’s degraded state under successive Arab empires.

By contrast, Jerusalem is seared into the Jewish national consciousness. It has played a central role in Jewish faith and history for three millennia, being mentioned on no fewer than 669 occasions in the Old Testament. Around 3,000 years ago, King David made Jerusalem his capital and ever since, Jews have prayed in the direction of his royal city. It is referred to in numerous religious services, blessings and customs and at the end of many festivities, Jews say “Next year in Jerusalem”, symbolising their eternal connection with the city.

Thus the popular notion that Israel has wrongly “Judaised” Jerusalem is as absurd as the suggestion that the Saudis have wrongly “Islamised” Mecca. Jerusalem’s Jewishness is at its very core. In the words of the Hebrew writer Elhanan Lewinsky: “Without Jerusalem, the land of Israel is as a body without a soul.”

The suggestion that Jerusalem must be freed from the shackles of “oppressive” Israeli rule is equally absurd. Since 1967, the Israeli law for the protection of holy places has guarded sacred sites from desecration and ensured that there is freedom of access for different faiths. Those who do anything likely to violate freedom of religious access can be imprisoned for up to 5 years. The Islamic Waqf, not the Israeli authorities, control administrative affairs on Temple Mount.

But under Jordanian rule, Jewish east Jerusalem was ransacked. More than 50 synagogues were demolished or desecrated, slums were built near the Western Wall and many thousands of gravestones on the Mount of Olives were destroyed in a grotesque display of cultural vandalism. Jews were also banned from visiting their holy sites, in contravention of the 1949 armistice agreement.

The charge of Israeli apartheid is particularly fraudulent. Walk through the streets of the old city and you see young Muslim girls mingling with ultra orthodox Jews. Jew and Arab sit on the same Egged buses, frequent the same restaurants and work in the same hospitals.

Muslims in Jerusalem, like those in other parts of the country, are not confined to an Islamic “bantustan”, nor are they forced to work in Arab-only business areas or denied access to Israeli universities. As with every civilised country, instances of discrimination are always institutional, not constitutional. Thus the analogy between Israel and apartheid South Africa is both intellectually wrong headed and morally bankrupt.

However, if you want to see real examples of religious discrimination in the Middle East, look no further than Israel’s most vociferous critics. Saudi Arabia, the guardian of Islam’s holiest sites, prohibits the public practice of non-Muslim faiths while it is a capital offence for a Muslim to convert from Islam.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the Saudi Grand Mufti, recently declared that it was “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region” in line with Wahhabi teaching, though the global condemnation was conspicuous by its absence.

Egypt’s Copts have suffered decades of persecution at the hands of Islamist extremists while Christian communities have long been under attack from Gaza to Kabul. Iran is notorious for imprisoning Bahai worshippers for their beliefs. These cases could be multiplied many times over, such is the ubiquitous level of religious intolerance to be found across the Islamic world.

So during the Global March to Jerusalem, the spotlight should fall squarely on Israel’s enemies and critics. It is their hypocrisy and double standards that merit censure, not a Middle Eastern democracy that upholds religious freedom.

Jeremy Havardi is a journalist and the author of two books: Falling to Pieces, and The Greatest Briton

March 28, 2012 | 7 Comments »

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7 Comments / 7 Comments

  1. Yoni, our eldest son is on his way to his unit and we are driving to a potential area of interest if the islamic herds decide to do what they usually do.
    We do not feel impending attacks being on their way, but the beasts are still being instructed during “Friday mosque prayers”.

  2. Another great post, Ted. Your work is such an encouragement to me!

    And for all you out there who have friends who won’t read political blogs and “don’t like to get into a discussion,” that’s why I wrote a novel with all the info above sneaked into it! I readily admit the novel is not great literature, but as a mystery, it’s not too bad. And the point is to grab the attention of “well-meaning” people who sound off about the “judaizing of Jerusalem” and other such nonsense, to trick those “nice people” into learning some FACTS when they think they’re just reading to be entertained. There are a lot of “nice” people out there who “support the poor Palestinians” because they are IGNORANT. So wise ’em up sneakily–hand them the book. (See

    Okay, Ted, is this “cheating”? My motives are the same as yours–education and information to demonstrate Israel’s moral and historic right to the Land–and especially Jerusalem. (To show I’m serious, I’ll send this book at author discount + shipping to anyone who wants one without my making a dime. Just email me at

  3. the author states “However, if you want to see real examples of religious discrimination in the Middle East, look no further than Israel’s most vociferous critics. Saudi Arabia,…” However, you need look no further than every muslim controlled area of the former palestine mandate territory. West bank muslim areas, gaza and Jordan are all JEW FREE. It is strange to me that this is not mentioned. Perhaps if Israelis and the Israeli govt had been focussing attention on these JEW FREE areas, on the ethnic cleansing of Jews from arab lands and on the illegal creation of a JEW FREE state on 77% of the former palestine mandat territories there would not be all this attention today on the enemy’s lies. As usual, it is Israeelis and the Israeli govt to blame. The govt says nothing and the Israelis say or know nothing. How can anyone be sympathetic with this position? Israeli govts which allow Jew free states on most of former Israel without even uttering a word or educating their children to the travesty. Of course to the world it has the appearance that nothing is said because there is no rightful claim or damage. Why aren’t legal, diplomatic and unilateral miilitary actions undertaken? It is ridiculous. There is always only whining and whinging about what the muslims are doing but Israel does nothing. Who speaks for the Jews? Certainly not Israeli govts.

  4. Arnold Harris wrote, “But please, just shut off the damned hasbara about how democratic you really are, and get ready to do something more useful, which is smacking the skulls of your enemies.”

    Mr. Harris, I too am frustrated by the victimization of Jews and Israel. However, my family is not at risk in this matter. Israel has always managed to keep the odds in her favor during conflicts, but no conflict has ever been without its losses. When the number of Fogels reaches critical levels, action will be taken, but there has been suffering both before and after every Israeli action. A common Israeli expression summarizes their feelings about people who make suggestions or demands for action, whether that is to give-in or give’m he!!. “Hu chai b’seret!” “He lives in a movie.”

  5. “Global March to Jerusalem”?

    The first I ever heard of that is here on Israpundit.

    So where is this global march coming from, and through what border are they supposed to be showing up in Jerusalem? Does the State of Israel have some control over whom is allowed into the country via Ben Gurion International Airport? I understand it’s a long swim from Cyprus. From Lebanon, Syria or Trans-Jordan? That’s what ha-Shem and David Ben-Gurion (each in their own way) created Zahal for. If they are coming with guns in hand, machine-guns nests will take care of that problem real handily. If they are coming unarmed, but waving sticks, then a line of Israeli cops back up by armored cars, and with lead-weighted meter-long billy clubs crack skulls and break shoulder bones also real handily. Maybe you don’t have 39″ long lead-weighted billy clubs in ha-Aretz? El Al can fly you over a few hundred Louisville Slugger baseball bats. Go upside somebody’s head with one of those, and you will render them the most unique physical experience of their lives.

    But please, just shut off the damned hasbara about how democratic you really are, and get ready to do something more useful, which is smacking the skulls of your enemies.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI