Esor Ben-Sorek

Saudi Surprise and Muslims on Jerusalem

A stunning new statement by leading Arab Muslim scholars on the status of Jerusalem is a surprising eye-opener that must be followed carefully by the Muslim world.

A Saudi academic made the amazing statement that “Arabs should accept Israel’s historic right to Jerusalem”. Abdulhameed Hakeem, the director of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia declared that “we have to adjust and realize that Jerusalem is a religious symbol for the Jews which is just as holy for them as Mecca and Medina are for Muslims”.

His words have traveled across the Middle East and into Islamic Asia.

Mobarak Haidar, a famous Pakistani historian, has written “Muslims of the world have no real basis to rule Jerusalem”. In his Facebook page he wrote an article “Jerusalem and Muslim Claims” in which he debunked the myth about Jerusalem “which has been the capital of the Jewish people for the last 3000 years, long before Islam was conceived”.

And another scholarly voice is heard in Egypt.  Professor Youssef  Ziedan, a well-known novelist and scholar, conceded in a 2015 interview that the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is not the one referred to in the Quran. He stated that Muslim scholars agree that the Haram al-Sharif and the mosques which stand on the Temple Mount  are where the two Jewish temples once stood and is Judaism’s holiest religious site.

Following President Trump’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the historic capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, Arab and Muslim nations from our nearby neighbors to Pakistan and Indonesia and Malaysia are denouncing it. Rioters in the hundreds of thousands are protesting in the streets.

Egypt has brought the case to the UN Security Council, demanding a vote that Trump’s decision be declared null and void. It was known, a priori, that the entire membership of the Security Council would vote for the Egyptian proposal…. every member nation with the one brave exception… the United States of America which used its veto to kill the proposal.

Disappointed Arab and Muslim diplomats at the UN will refer the matter to the General Assembly where again most members will vote to renounce Trump’s declaration over Jerusalem. But General Assembly rulings are not legally binding. And every sovereign nation has the right to declare its own capital.

Nevertheless, the City of Peace will not know real peace for some time. The riots will continue. The protestors will still march with their flags and signs. More Israeli soldiers may be stabbed or injured in other ways. But we, the Jewish people, will never surrender our rights as legitimate owners of the entire city of Jerusalem.

New Muslim voices are speaking out, most negative but a few, as mentioned, are positive. A new wind may be blowing in the Muslim world. A wind that will bring with it tranquility for all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the holy city.

Yerushalayim shel zahav…. The Jerusalem of gold.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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