By Haider Abbas
The political analysts focused on Middle-East affairs, know it very well, that the cardinal principle of the Jewish or the Zionist State of Israel is to establish Temple-Mount, on the site, where stands Al Aqsa mosque, which is the third holiest Islamic site after Mecca and Medina. Temple Mount was destroyed by the Roman Empire 2000 years back. Doesn’t it sound so similar to the polity back home? As Babri Masjid had lay demolished on December 6, 1992 and finally the land where it stood was given to the Hindu side to built a Ram Temple on it!
The latest escalation of violence, which is quite routine, between Israel Defense Forces ‘Operation Breaking Dawn’ on Palestinians at Gaza strip, started on August 5, when IDF started to bomb and flatten buildings, against Islamic Jehad. The IDF onslaught ended in a truce on August 8, but not before killing 44 people including 15 children with leaving around 350 wounded. There are about 2 million residents in Gaza.
The Jerusalem Post, a hardline newspaper from Israel is laudatory in its editorial on August 9, as to how Israel had learnt to finish with finesse, of what it could not achieve in May 2021 when ‘Operation Guardian of the Walls’ was launched. This time, as the name signifies ‘Operation Breaking Dawn’ is a suggestion that sooner rather than later, Israel is all set to lay hands on Al Aqsa mosque! Israel new caretaker PM Yair Lapid has everything for ‘accolades’ as he sat over with his Opposition members, Intelligence Chief and Army Chief to launch the strikes, after which ironically this time, even the international media, was found to be typically conspicuous by its silence. Yair Lapid is likely to increase his chances to become PM, locked in a race with outgoing PM Benjamin Netanyahu, in the coming elections.
While during the 66 hours strike, when rockets and bombs rained on Palestinian residents, thousands of Jews marched into Al Aqsa mosque, as the attacks were calibrated as per Jewish Tisha B’Av, which is the ‘Jewish day of mourning commemorating destruction of two Temples, in an act that seeks to demonstrate Jewish attachment to and control over site’, informed Times of Israel on August 7. The turn-of-events, however, this time, has shown that ‘Temple-Mount-Settlers’, as they are popularly known, barged into the prohibited area of Al Aqsa mosque, to read Talmud and underwent other Judaism rituals, and everything was led by an ultra-rightist Israeli politician Itamar Ben Gvir.
Far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir speaks to the press, as he arrives to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City on August 7, 2022. Courtesy: Times of Israel.
What unprecedented, however, happened this time is that unlike on previous occasion when IDF/Israel police etc were to enter Al Aqsa, only to the thwarted by Palestinian people, this time ordinary Jews walked into Al Aqsa, led by its hardline parliamentarians etc, despite the resistance of the heavily outnumbered Palestinians. The move, of the presence of Israel parliamentarian, is an official declaration, at the behest of Yair Lapid, that the attacks were co-ordinated, as a gameplan to actually test the waters, to finally make a plunge on Al Aqsa, which is what is the ultimate score-line of the State of Israel.
The other big surprise, is that there was no reaction from the Muslim world, as well as from the international forums. This time virtually the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) or Arab League etc has shown a total indifference to the development as only a muted response could be found, which all of course, is glee to the State of Israel, and now it can well be understood, that owing to Arabs general silence over it, Israel is soon to put more impetus into it plan to demolish Al Aqsa, in order to achieve its ultimate goal.
If Israel was to have been a bit concerned, it was for Russia, which had been in the forefront to help survive Bashar Al Asad regime in Syria, in immediate neighborhood to Israel, but Russia is right now tied-up with its war in Ukraine and the other nation is China, which too, has been embroiled into with Taiwan, after the provocative visit of US Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
It may well be deliberated that hadn’t been late when Russia had declared it won’t let ‘status-quo’ change in Israel and which was also backed by China, and if Israel imagines that these nations would let the situation escalate in favour of Israel, then, Israel may be caught on the wrong foot, as both these nations, see Israel to be a protégé of US, which is foe to both Russia and China alike. Hence, Israel is bound to face the fallout of anti-US stand of both these nations.
How are the Arab nations to situate to it? Perhaps, the same trepid and twitchy response is to continue, particularly so when there is a mad race, from the Arab nations, to embrace Israel, after UAE could establish full-diplomatic relations with Israel since August 14, 2020. The dress-rehearsal, however, for the final demolition of Al Aqsa has begun and Israel by every standard is going to further aggravate its political agenda and is not likely to scale down the stakes. It is now a matter of time when an assault is to happen, and this is what is to trigger towards the ultimate world-war as the world is already standing on the verge of it, in Ukraine and Taiwan. India has to watch-out as if China is also to engage India into it, India would then seek it from Israel and US to take-on with China, and then, the ‘fallout of it all’ would be extremely detrimental for the world to survive.
The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner and writes on politics.