Tag Archives: Jews

Malaysia: Muslim group calls for New Year’s celebrations to be canceled because they reflect Jewish culture

As far as Islamic supremacists are concerned, if it is something they hate, it must be Jewish — since the Jews are, according to the Qur’an (5:82), the worst enemies of the Muslims.

“Islamic groups call for NYE to be cancelled,” by Courtney Trenwith for ArabianBusiness.com, December 29:

A Malaysian Muslim group has called for New Year’s celebrations to be cancelled because they reflect Jewish culture and will cause Muslim youths to commit sins.A top Muslim cleric in the Asian state also said the New Year should be recognised with pray and religious speeches rather than parties.

“The celebrations will have excessive entertainment, which can cause the majority of Muslim youth to let their guard down and commit a lot of sin,” Malaysia International Institute of Islamic Cooperation (Ikiam) Datuk Mustapha Idrus was quoted as saying by Malay daily Sinar Harian.

“It is not just a matter of culture, but it is also time for the government to save money, seeing that the cost of living is going up.

“The government needs to look at the necessity of such events. Celebrating New Year’s Day alone will cost millions of ringgit.”

Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Hassan Ahmad said the New Year – which is based on the Gregorian calendar and is different to the Islamic calendar, which began its most recent new year on November 3 – the Islamic way, rather than follow the Western traditions.

“It would be great if we could celebrate the New Year by having religious speeches, prayers and Yassin recitals, so that our youth will not be attracted to inappropriate cultures,” the Mufti was quoted as saying by Sinar.

“I’m certain that if we celebrate the Islamic way, we’ll definitely be able to reduce the social ills that are associated with New Year’s Day revelry. Maybe there won’t be any more drunken celebrations.”

Some New Year’s celebrations already have been cancelled in Indonesia – the world’s largest Muslim country – in response to protests by extremist Islamic groups.

The Ulema Advisory Council of Banda Aceh (MPU) told the Muslim community in Aceh, the only Indonesian province that enforces Shariah law, not to celebrate Christmas and New Year because they are not Islamic holidays but are based on the Christian calendar, leading a hotel to cancel its planned multiple-day events.

The fundamentalist movements in Aceh also have warned they will conduct raids and punish organisers of New Year’s Eve parties, including any fireworks or alcohol consumption.

They said the celebrations could be moved to another night of the year because it did not correspond with the Christian tradition.


UNRWA: 64 Years Later

By Jordan Schachtel

“A great evil has been loosed upon the world,” said former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Patrick Moynihan, following a 1975 United Nations Resolution declaring Zionism as a “form of racism and racial discrimination.”

The same United Nations (U.N.) that was once engaged in trying to find a peaceful accord between the Jews and Arabs of Israel has declared in clear-cut language and implicit actions its hostility to the ideal of a homeland for the Jewish people.


Following Israel’s decisive victory in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the Jewish population still living in Muslim countries was treated with contempt and turned out by the local Arab governments.  Hundreds of thousands of Jews were forced to leave their home countries, in which they had been living for generations.  Their property was immediately confiscated, they were stripped of rights, and they were subject to brutal discrimination solely because of their religion.  These refugees, scattered throughout the Middle East, had no U.N. agency to turn to in times of great despair.  However, many of the displaced families found a home in Israel where they could finally live in peace.


The Jewish population forced out of Arab countries was nearly double that of the number of Arabs who left after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War of Independence.


Since World War II, over 50 million people worldwide have been displaced as a result of armed conflict, yet the only group of refugees anointed by the United Nations for specific attention is the one composed of Palestinians.  On their behalf, the U.N. created an exclusive agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).


This week marks the 64th year since its creation.  On December 8, 1949, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 302 was approved, creating the UNRWA; its goals were to provide public relief and public works programs for displaced Arab refugees who were formerly inhabitants of the British territory of Palestine.


UNRWA is currently the largest agency-subdivision of the United Nations, employing a staff of 30,000, most of whom are Palestinians.  From its creation in 1949 to the present day, the number of refugees recognized by the UNRWA has grown from roughly 750,000 to 5,000,000.


The agency now considers “refugees” to include not only the first generation of Palestinians who were displaced in the 1948 Israeli-Arab War, but also their progeny, the children and grandchildren of the initially displaced population.  Given the U.N.’s liberality in designating refugees, it would not defy expectations if the next generation of Palestinians were similarly designated as such, or even if the policy continued in perpetuity.


Despite its purported mission, UNRWA has drawn attention for its ties to radical Islam, rather than its humanitarian relief efforts.  Credible information has surfaced linking UNRWA-funded sites to keeping suspected terrorists on payroll and unreported surrendering of ambulances and supplies to Hamas.


Videos such as Camp Jihad have exposed the true nature of UNRWA camps.  These preach jihadist ideology to an audience of uncritical grade school-aged children.  The UNRWA’s dean of education was recently exposed as having an affinity for former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, proudly quoting him on his Facebook page — the quote accompanying a photo of Hitler engaging in his infamous Nazi salute.


The United States is the UNRWA’s largest donor, having contributed 233 million dollars in 2012.  Many suggest that, by sponsoring this organization, the United States is unwittingly playing a role in perpetuating the Arab-Israeli conflict and stirring tensions in the Middle East.


The United Nations did not stop its partisan exercise with just the UNRWA.  It has created other exclusive platforms for the Palestinian people, including


1. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People


2. The United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights


3. The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People


4. The United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine


5. The Palestinian International Day of Solidarity


Many argue that the United Nations’ role as a “big tent” organization was established from the Liberal Internationalist ideal that a world without conflict was truly attainable.  Others argue that UNRWA is one of many examples that should more properly categorize the U.N. as a case study in failure.


Jordan Schachtel serves as a foreign policy analyst at the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

#Israel: Temple Mount high

With all the difficulties, the state must resolve the absurdity of the situation whereby a Jew is the second-class citizen at this so very Jewish place.

Police patrol near the Temple Mount

Police patrol near the Temple Mount Photo: REUTERS

Lately, hardly ever a day passes without a news item relating in some way to the Temple Mount. This is not only true as regards Israel’s local media, including longer in-depth articles in weekend editions – newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and Le Monde have been devoting special reports to the site, as well.

On the average of once a month or so, the Knesset’s Interior Committee convenes, chaired by Likud MK Miri Regev, who enthusiastically supports Jewish prayer within the compound. Police representatives are required to report on their activities and explain their failure to uphold the law which guarantees free access and worship. Arab MKs shout and rant and warn that their constituents will react violently, a tactic for which they never apologize, and never denounce.

The courts are also a venue for Temple Mount activity. After being arrested four years ago and banned from the Temple Mount for some two years, Yehuda Glick, a central figure of the Coordinating Council of Temple Mount Organizations, recently won a NIS 30,000 payment from the police in the courtroom of Magistrate Malka Aviv for unjustified arrest. Last month, following a two-week hunger strike, another ban was lifted by the police after they realized its arbitrariness could not be defended.

Not only are old customs being revived, but new customs are being encouraged.

The past few years, brides on the eve of their weddings have been visiting the Temple Mount. Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely was one of the more famous such visitors. This has developed from the necessity for ritual immersion prior to entrance for those who observe those halachic instructions. Since religious unmarried women do not visit the mikveh, the first opportunity they have is just prior to their chuppah ceremony. The IDF also has weekly visits of hundreds of soldiers.

Islamists are quite concerned by these developments. Arab-language websites followed by Jewish activists are full of pictures and stories. Video clips are uploaded and Facebook accounts highlight occurrences. They post and translate posters issued by Temple Mount groups. And they exaggerate details or resort to fictitious renditions of reality.

Anyone who visits cannot miss the men of al-Shabab al-Aqsa, recruited by Sheikh Ra’ed Salah’s Northern Branch Islamic Movement, who sit in study circles.

They are there to “defend al-Aqsa” by staking out territory through a squatting maneuver so as to prevent Jews from attempting to pray on the Temple Mount or display any other overt act of obvious Jewish identification with the site.

These extremists are paid for each “shift” that they work, as are those of a “Women’s Corps” who share the “defense” duties. Arab affairs expert Avi Issachoroff has written that these ladies, also recruited by the Islamic Movement, are generally poor, divorced or widows. Their salaries and transportation are taken care of, as are those of the men, by Salah’s group.

They shout insults and cries of “Allah Akhbar” at non-Muslim visitors, and recently, physically move into the space of the Jewish visitors, attempting to cause an incident that will then be exploited, as has happened previously when a policeman was blamed for “throwing” a Koran on the floor.

The Islamic presence is varied. The site itself is administered through the Jordanian Ministry of Religious Trust/Wakf. Hamas tries to make inroads. There are, at times, members of the Kharkat al-Tahrir and Salafist movements as well as others depending of the events of the day, such as pro-Sisi and anti-Morsi demonstrators or supporters of Erdogan of Turkey. More importantly, though, was the March Jordan-Palestinian Authority agreement.

That document recalled “the unique religious importance, to all Muslims, of al-Masjid al-Aqsa” and “the role of King Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali in protecting…the holy sites in Jerusalem… [since] March 11, 1924.” It also recognized “that the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people is expressed in realizing the State of Palestine whose territory encompasses the land within which al-Masjid al-Aqsa (al-Haram al-Sharif) is situated.” The parties operationally agreed that King Abdallah II is to be “the custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites.”

There are other Muslim voices. Mudar Zahran published on December 9 his “Who Is Destroying Al-Aqsa Mosque?” describing a recent visit to the Temple Mount. He was shocked at Al-Aqsa’s neglected state, being in need of maintenance.

Scaffolding has been up for years to impress donors, but nothing gets repaired. He learned that Jordan provides the money for salaries but that there is no accountability for the staff’s handling of the money.

One staff member, asked why al-Aqsa was in such a state, told Zahran to ask Azzam al-Khatib [al-Aqsa’s manager]. Another employee at the Dome of the Rock informed him, oddly, that “this is all the fault of the Jews; they are to blame for all of this.” The answer he received to the question of how the Jews were responsible, exactly, was a shrug of the shoulders. His conclusion was that “it seems that it is we Arabs and Muslims who are harming Al-Aqsa, not Israel or the Jews.”

The real negligence on the Temple Mount is the unwillingness of the State of Israel to assert its full sovereignty there. Ever since Moshe Dayan squatted down with the Wakf on June 17, 1967, together with David Farhi, and symbolically returned the keys to the gates, the state has sensessly kowtowed to the most fanatical behavior.

Only in August 1967 did Dayan take the key to the Muhgrabi Gate back from Wakf head Hassan Tahboub, and military police were stationed at the entrance to the gate. Later, regular police assumed supervision.

On April 22, the above mentioned PA-Jordanian Agreement on Jerusalem caused MK Yariv Levine (Likud) to ask the foreign minister a Parliamentary Question. Noting that the agreement seemingly represents an attempt to negatively affect Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem and its holy shrines, his two queries were: 1) What is Israel’s official stand regarding the agreement? And 2) Why does Israel not declare publicly and firmly that it rejects this injurious attempt?

The answer came a month later from then deputy foreign minister Ze’ev Elkin, and it reads:

“1. The setting of Jordan’s position complies with Israel’s outlook and contributes to the distancing of undesired elements, including Qatar and other Arab Muslim countries.

2. The Jordanian recognition of Palestinian sovereignty in east Jerusalem is not new but has been reestablished by this agreement.

3. The agreement does comply with the terms of the special status awarded to Jordan concerning the holy sites to Islam according to the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty, 9 (2), and therefore restricts the Palestinian aspirations, symbolically and administratively, on the Temple Mount.”

This is an irrational approach, injurious to Israel’s interests. I can imagine King Abdullah singing Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s song, “Two Banks Has The Jordan.”

The Temple Mount is a national site, of religious, cultural and historic importance.

Its intrinsic Jewish value is immeasurable. We still fast over it being besieged and its destructions. With all the difficulties, the state must resolve the absurdity of the situation whereby a Jew is the second-class citizen at this so very Jewish place.

The author is secretary of El Har Hashem, an advocacy group for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and a member of the Coordinating Council of the Temple Mount Organizations.