Murders, lynchings, shootings and multiple violent arrests – the conflict around Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem continues with little sign of abating. It is clear that a group of extremist Israeli settlers have decided the holy site is perfect for the baiting of Arabs. Recent weeks have seen an escalation in Muslims being prevented from entering the holy site, restrictions initiated by the armed settlers but reinforced by the inaction of Israeli troops and police, who appear to be allowing the settlers free rein to vent their anger and aggression on any passing Arab without restriction. The Palestinians are retaliating. When a Palestinian bus driver was strung up and hanged by a Zionist rabbi, a number of settlers were shot dead in a revenge attack. That Al Aqsa is now being referred to as “a flashpoint” for a possible third Intifada comes as no surprise. It is astonishing to most of the civilised world that the international organisations charged with keeping a modicum of peace in countries of the developed world where a legal system is in place, remain as inactive as the Israeli security forces that watch these human rights’ abuses take place on a daily basis. Jerusalem is a sacred city to the world’s three major religions Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It is therefore an international problem when such levels of violent unrest erupt there. It is time that the Israeli security forces in the area were replaced by international peacekeepers. Jerusalem does not belong solely to the Zionists, nor to the Arabs, it is the property of the world community and, as such, sacred to us all.
Rev. B.H. Rushton