By Haider Abbas
The COVID-19 pandemic or plandemic will be for the world to find out, but since its onset, the world has seen more and more turmoil, apart from the whole apparatus of world system and economy having turned sterile and gone into a meltdown. Which country, however, seem to have stridden up for all its purposes, if not Israel! This deadly coronavirus, however, is turning out to be a moon-harvest for Israel, as since the Beirut blasts on August 4, 2020 1 towards which Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu had forewarned, in fact he had twice warned Hezbollah, one of the ruling-partners in Lebanon before the blasts took place. ‘Netanyahu warns Hezbollah against ‘playing with fire’’ was the headline of The National on July 27, 2020 2 , a week before the blasts. “We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers. We will do what is necessary in order to defend ourselves. These are not vain words; they have the weight of the State of Israel and the (military) behind them and this should be taken seriously,” informed Al Jazeera, on August 4, 2020 3, before the day on the blasts, and sometime before to it, the speech of Netanyahu at UNGC on September 28, 2018, available on Youtube 4 , where he showed a map, purportedly of the missile sites of Hezbollah, showing the map and calling it ‘a picture that it worth a thousand missiles’. The blasts have killed more than 181 people, gutted property worth billions of dollars and rendered more than 3,00,000 people homeless 5 .
Israel denied any role in the blasts, US president Donald Trump, twice in 48 hours, signaled that that blasts were not an accident but an attack 6 , paving a warning as to what ‘all had in-store’ for the Gulf-states. Lebanese president Michel Aoun on August 8, 2020 7 referred towards an ‘external interference’ in the blasts and on August 13, 2020 8 Lebanon Ex. interior minister Nohad Machnouk accused Israel to have blown the Beirut port. One month has gone past since the blasts and Reuters on August 13, 2020 has deliberated that ‘Seismic data suggests string of blasts preceded Beirut explosion’ and on September 2 and 6, 2020 9 & 10 Veterans Today has carried a series as to how infrared images reveal Israel nuclear missiles hitting Beirut. No wonder, the Gulf-states have been ominously herded into submitting to formalise their relations with Israel, as UAE did just ten days after the Beirut blasts, on August 14, 2020 11.
The Arab states, apart from bleeding each-other since four decades have lately got hit by the proverbial ‘Arab Spring’ which now is turning out to an Arab autumn. The UAE-Israel bonhomie is not just granting full-diplomatic relations, but certainly much more to what meets the eye. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the hand behind UAE and it is expected that all the Gulf-states with the exception of Iran and Pakistan, are to normalise their relations with Israel sooner or later. Ironically, this whole Israel embassy move has come in the wake of ‘deal of the century’ 12 announced at the beginning of the year 2020, which actually was the ‘annexation-plan ‘ for West Bank by Israel. ‘In January, the plan (was) to extend Israeli sovereignty to parts of the occupied West Bank, a proposal included in President Trump’s “Deal of the Century”’ cited The Washington Post on August 17, 2020 13 (this disclosure is came after the embassy announcement) and now this annexation-plan, which has been apparently put-on-hold, is very much supposedly ‘still on the table’ 14 despite the deal with UAE, the agenda for the time has been shelved as China 15 had opposed the move. UAE claims that it went ahead with normalisation to thwart the ‘annexation-plan’. The ‘going’ is as worse at it goes.
About three weeks back to the August 14, 2020 declaration I had written an article in countercurrents 16 in which I had referred some parts of the ‘deal’ between Israel and US ( of January 2020) and which may need reiteration. ‘(A) covert-deal with Israel which was to approve Jerusalem as Israel capital, which he did, and this startling fact has come out from the redacted FBI documents . Trump made to his promise through a Christmas gift on Dec 6, 2017 , triggering a political storm in the Middle-East. Another ingredient of the Israel -Deal was to annul the Nuclear-Deal Trump predecessor Obama had made with Iran , which Trump scrapped on May 8, 2018 , Trump very-well kept to his promises but still is to be expected for more as Israelis want the ‘annexation’ settled. Trump is being coerced to facilitate ‘annexation’, building of the Third Temple’ This Third-Temple or Temple-Mount is what is the most crucial and most pivotal project to which the state of Israel is cruising for, and notably, things are being-arranged for the purpose. Israel was created out of Palestine which was a part of Turkish Ottoman empire in 1948.
The Turkish premier news organ Anadolu Agency 17 , with a legacy of 100 years, on August 20, 2020, brought everything to light as to what all-murky had happened around the UAE-Israel deal, primarily focused on Third-Temple. ‘ The normalization agreement recently announced between UAE and Israel is a “betrayal” of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque( on which Jews want to build the Temple-Mount) Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Sami al-Arian, the director of the Istanbul-based Center for Islam and Global Affairs of Turkey, said the agreement was “of course a total capitulation on one of the most sacred mosques across the Muslim world”. Al-Arian said such situation applied by the UAE rulers or anyone else “grants Israel the keys to Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem”. “This is betrayal, not only of the trust that has been given to the Muslim world over 1,400 years ago, but also of the Palestinian cause and people,” the Palestinian academic asserted’.
What makes Jerusalem So Holy 18 was a catchy headline in BBC on October 30, 2014 which shows as to how much importance is accorded to the place by all the Abrahamic religions i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is no doubt that hundreds of books, in practically all the leading languages have been published on the subject but right now the issue under consideration is the Jewish attempt to consolidate the position for building of the Temple-Mount, by demolishing the Al-Aqsa mosque, which is at a distance of the Dome of the Rock, aided and abetted by Christian Zionists and helped by the Gulf-states on the behest of US.
The Temple Institute in Israel has been relentlessly pursuing the agenda for the construction of the Third-Temple. It was on August 7, 2019, Israel prominent newspaper Jerusalem Post 19 carried an article exhorting Jews to be ready for the Third-Temple. ‘It’s time to vote with our feet and send a clear message to the world that we truly believe that the Temple Mount is ours and we truly hope and pray for the rebuilding of the Third Temple, ’ said the sub-headline. The content of the story is worthy to mention , ‘The Temple Institute has released a new video encouraging Jews to hope for the building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. The video comes as religious Jews around the world observe the traditional “Nine Days” mourning period leading up to the ninth of the Hebrew month of Av, Tisha Be’Av, when the two Jewish Temples were destroyed. In the video, entitled – “Tisha b’Av: People Get Ready!” – pictures of dozens of people form a collage as an announcer reads the second verse of chapter 2 of the biblical book of Isaiah, which reads, “It will happen in the end of days: The mountain of the Temple of Hashem will be firmly established as the head of the mountains, and it will be exalted above the hills, and the nations will stream to it.” This video available on the site of Jerusalem Post was the seventh in the series.
How important is the Temple-Mount for the state of Israel was spelt further by another article in The Jerusalem Post on November 12, 2019 20 , its opening lines being , ‘The Israelite Temple, which served as the religious and national center of the People of Israel since the days of King Solomon, was preserved in the historical memory of the nation as a symbol of national independence from foreign rule, Jewish uniqueness, and unity’, and finally, in October 2019, by the reference Israel Antiquity Authority it was declared about findings of an ancient city 21 , but crucially it was not disclosed then that the findings were of the once City of David.
The timing is now conducive as Israel has ranged itself as a super-power in the Gulf-region and with the doors opened-up with UAE, commercial flights begun between Israel and UAE ( August 31, 2020) 22 , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia airspace now available for Israel 23 , Israel declared that ‘Ruins from First-Temple-period palace found in Southern Jerusalem’ on September 6, 2020 , in Haaretz 24 ‘The palace was likely built in the early seventh century B.C.E. in King Hezekiah’s time, after Jerusalem had survived a siege by the Assyrians – capitals uncovered show palm tree motif typical of Kingdom of Judah’ . In BBC 25 it was informed through Yaakov Billig, the director of excavation under Israel Antiques Authority, ‘Israeli archaeologists have discovered what they say is evidence of a “magnificent” palace from the era of a Biblical Jewish kingdom in Jerusalem. Elaborately carved stone structures and other relics associated with such a building were found about 3km (2 miles) south of Jerusalem’s Old City. The archaeologists say some of the artifacts had been neatly buried, although they do not know why. The palace is thought to have been built around the 8th or 7th Century BC. The IAA expressed “great surprise” that two of the three capitals were found “neatly buried, one on top of the other”. “At this point it is still difficult to say who hid the capitals in the way they were discovered, and why he did so,” said Prof Yaakov Billig, director of the excavation, “but there is no doubt that this is one of the mysteries at this unique site, to which we will try to offer a solution.” Prof Billig said the grand building was probably destroyed during the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 BC’.
This declaration from Israel cultural minister Hili Trooper, on September 3, 2020 26 is the biggest in its dire-consequences as it is now a message that the state of Israel is just no more for the gentile (sic) Arabs or Palestinians. Tropper spoke on the occasion , ‘“I am happy and excited with the revelation of the remains from the period of the Kings of Judah. The uncovering of the remains of the building reflects the glorious roots of the Jewish people and our rich past here in the capital city Jerusalem. I see great importance in the work of the Israel Antiquities Authority and in the work of the City of David in their discoveries over the years, which reveal parts of the illustrious Jewish past. The past is the cornerstone of a nation, and the cornerstone of culture, and its discovery also affects the present as well as the future’.
The state of Israel believes that once when the Third-Temple is to be built the promise of the golden reign of King Solomon will become fulfilled but for that Al-Aqsa mosque, which is the third holiest site of Muslims and inside the compound of Haram Al Sharif, has to be demolished! This sudden disclosure is a message that only Jews have always had the right to exist in Israel, as what the remains of the City of David have proved, and now a new xenophobia is to be generated to even push the annexation-plan to the back burner as the real claimants of the sons-of-soil have arrived to stake their claim, of course to the complete ouster of Palestinians.
There are speculations in Jordon, which is a custodian of the religious Christian and Muslim sites in Jerusalem, that soon Jordon would be forced to abdicate the ‘keys’ of the holy sites to the Jewish state. The US Israeli embassy, after the ‘Abraham Accord’ was signed, made it very explicit to declare, on August 13, 2020, in context to Al-Aqsa mosque, ‘”Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem’s other holy sites should remain open for peaceful worshippers of all faiths”’27 . The MiddleEastEye
The Jewish state might still find it hard to demolish Al-Aqsa which has a resounding parallel with Babri Masjid which lay demolished to the designs of Hindu Zionists on December 6 1992 in UP, India, and its site has finally been given to the same Hindu side, on November 9, 2019, by the highest court of the country and those involved in its demolition are no where around to be ‘brought to justice’ even by the remotest possibility, after 28 years of demolition. Let’s see what all is to’ become’ in the Middle-East.
The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner. He writes on international politics.