Palestine: Anger At Opening Of Hurva Synagogue

Last week the rebuilt Hurva, or Ruin, Synagogue was opened in the old city of Jerusalem, amidst a wave of protests by Palestinians. The opening has been denounced by a number of Palestinian leaders as being part of a project to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is only 700 metres away.

Mohammed Abu Allan is critical of the attitude of the Palestinian Authority towards what is happening in Jerusalem; it has called for major national conference to make a decision about the steps to be taken. He says:

الأمر يبدو وكأن الإجراءات الإسرائيلية في القدس وغيرها من المدن الفلسطينية أمر مستجد وليس سياسة دائمة منذ عشرات السنين .. هذه الخطوة الفلسطينية المنتظرة دلالة واضحة على غياب إستراتيجية واحدة موحدة في مواجهة الاحتلال، وسياسة فلسطينية قائمة على ردة الفعل بالدرجة الأولى وليس ضمن سياسة مؤسسية مرسومة تتناسب مع حجم الحدث المضاد من قبل سلطات الاحتلال
It seems as if the Israeli actions in Jerusalem and other Palestinian cities are a new matter rather than a policy that has been in place for decades… This prospective step by the Palestinians is a clear indicator of the absence of a single, united strategy against the occupation, a Palestinian policy based primarily on a reaction, which is not part of a planned systematic policy commensurate with the scale of the opposing actions of the occupying authorities.

Ola Eliwat reminds her readers of what Golda Meir did and said 40 years ago at the time of a fire in Al-Aqsa Mosque. She says:

قبل 40 سنة لما انحرق المسجد الأقصى، كانت رئيسة الوزراء الإسرائيلية وقتها هي جولدا مائير، فلما صار اللي صار اختبات وطلبت تشديد الحراسة عليها، فسألوها ليش هيك مرعوبة، قامت حكت: إنتوا عارفين شو يعني المسجد الأقصى ينحرق؟ هلأ الأمة العربية والإسلامية كلها رح تثور علينا ..
Forty years ago when the Al-Aqsa Mosque was on fire, Golda Meir, the Israeli prime minister at that time, hid herself and requested extra security. She was asked why she was so terrified, and she replied, “Do you know what the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque means? Now the Arab and Islamic worlds are going to rise up against us…”

After listing a series of angry statements and questions, Ola asks:

بس يا ترى لو انهدم الأقصى رح يصير اللي كانت مائير خايفة منه وهو إنه أمة كاملة تصحى؟ ولا حيصير اللي إحنا خايفين منه، وهو إنه أمة كاملة تنمسح بكرامتها الأرض؟
But if Al-Aqsa were destroyed, would the thing that Meir feared happen, namely that an entire people would awaken? Or would that which we fear happen – that an entire people would be humiliated?

The blogger calling herself Hayat El Alam describes the patriotic feelings towards Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque that she has as a Gazan:

كَوْني فلسطينية كل قطرة دم تجري في شراييني هي غَزِّية بحتة خالصة لا شائبة تشوب أصالة نسبي لابدَّ وأنّ كلّ خليةٍ في جسدي تتوجه الآن بكل أيضياتها نحو القدس -على اعتبارها الشغل الشاغل للإعلام وأفواه الناس هذه الأيام لما لا يخفى على أحد من محاولات تهويد ومسح لكل أثر يدل على وجود معلم تاريخيّ أثريّ دينيّ إسلاميّ قدسيّ يسمى المسجد الأقصى عن أرض بيت المقدس , بل ومحاولة ليس فقط محو التاريخ بل وإعادة صياغته من جديد ..
As a Palestinian, with every drop of blood flowing through my veins being pure Gazan, and no impurity adulterating my origins, every cell in my body must now turn in the direction of Jerusalem, in view of the fact it is the major concern of the media and people's conversations these days. This is because of an obvious attempt to Judaize the city and remove every trace of the existence of a sacred Islamic historical monument called Al-Aqsa Mosque from Jerusalem's land. Indeed it is an attempt not just to erase history but to rewrite it.


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  • Yehuda

    “Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is only 700 metres away.”

    Synagogue located in Jewish Quarter of the Jerusalem. So, what’s your complains?

    • Latifa

      The Synagogue is actually in East Jerusalem which was initially allocated to the Palestinians as their capital by the UN. The Palestinians fear that the opening of this Synagogue in “their territory” with Israel’s new plans to expand the settlements in East Jerusalem would eventually lead to Israel accepting Jewish extremist requests to build a new temple within the Al-Aqsa compound to replace the one destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. So it is a big deal if you actually look at the situation from both perspectives and take into consideration the Israeli policy in East Jerusalem and with the Palestinian territory. The Al-Aqsa mosque is sacred to Muslims and is considered to be the third holiest site in Islam. Nonetheless, we must recognize that it is a holy site for the Jews as the “Temple Mount”. Still the fear of rebuilding on holy land that is sacred to millions of Muslims around the world, would of course cause unrest and be troublesome.

  • Dan

    I don’t get it? So what if there is a mosque 700 m away? Do you hate Jews so much that need a large area of space separating ur places of worship?

    • Latifa


      The Synagogue may be 700 m away from Al-Aqsa Mosque, but it is on Palestinian territory in East Jerusalem. These Palestinians are highly segregated from the rest of Palestine and are now facing an additional expansion of Jewish settlement on their territory. The majority of Palestinians are Muslims who do not hate Jews. Jews are one of the 3 people of the book which are mentioned in the Quran and are therefore Judaism is recognized as well as respected as a practicing religion by Muslims throughout the world. What they may disagree with is Israeli policy in Palestinian territory and their occupation of Palestinian territory for the past 62 years. The building of this Synagogue also triggers fear of reopening the possibility of rebuilding a temple within the Al-Aqsa compound by the request of Jewish extremists. This would anger millions of Muslims around the world since Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site for Muslims. Although it is also a holy jewish site as the “Temple Mount”, rebuilding on ancient holy land would be taboo since the temple was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. Please do not assume that the Palestinians hate Jews for they have been living with Jewish Palestinians long before the state of Israel was formed in 1948. Islam encourages tolerance for other religions and/or religious practices. I encourage you to do a little bit more research about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict before making any assumptions and of course look at the issue from both perspectives.

      • Yehuda


        Just to pint you out on the typo You’ve made.
        Please, keep in mind that the Holy Old City of Jerusalem was, is, and will be forever and ever the only Jewish! Yes, it’s as simple as such.

        Moreover, Muslims know the fact that Jews would rather die then hand this Holy, by all means!, place over.

        It’s so simple, and obvious that both Jews and Muslims avoid this topic of nonsense discussion.

        Just to let you know what every Jew feels towards Jerusalem, I dare to ask you for what treasure in the world You would pass your mother over? That’s the answer.

        Solution? Well, there is NO rational solution for this. Only a bunch of irrational ones.

        Hope it helps.

        Yehuda HaYehudi

        • aaron1313

          You are arguing with an imbecile.(Latifa).She claimed that Res.181 designated Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian Arab state when it reality it designated it as a city under UN control.Pointless to discuss anything with her.

      • aaron1313

        We will re-build our Temple when the time is appropriate.And at that time the al-Aksa Mosque (falsely and stupidly claimed to be the place where your “prophet” made his alleged trip to heaven ) will come down.Same goes for the Dome of the Rock.And that “prophet’ of yours respected Jews so much he massacred them at Khaiber.Any more stupid comments?

  • MERC

    YehuDan, It’s very simple. Your new synagogue, just like your settlements, is in occupied territory, and like your settlements has no right to be there. End of story.

  • Rosemary Porter

    Jerusalem has lost any “holy” traits it’s once held. Everyone, Christians, Jews, and Muslims are all to blame. It’s used a battleground for a war that holds no definition. In the eyes of the Jewish Community, Muslims will be wrong, in the eyes of Muslims the Jewish Community will be wrong, and according to Christians everyone is going to hell. Everyone just needs to take a step back, calm down, and really THINK about what they are fighting for. Everyone, I mean everyone has forgotten why we were put on Earth, and that was to learn from one another.

    Just because a certain group is considered “chosen” that doesn’t mean they can throw their weight around and act like the spoiled rich kid. Just because you dunk your head under water doesn’t mean that you have the right to condemn everyone to hell. And the teachings of a prophet go in vain when followers are senselessly blowing themselves up in the name of a god of war and oppression.

    WE ARE ALL WRONG! If you really look at the situation, no one is right. We have all made mistakes. We are all descendents of peoples who were wronged.

    That mosque is a holy landmark for the Muslims, the synagouge is a holy landmark for the Jewish community. There is nothing wrong with that, what is wrong is when things are done to purposely incite violence…THAT’S what people are upset about. It’s not a “hate the Jews or Muslims” thing, it’s all about POLITICAL actions undertaken all in the name of a religion.

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