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'Jerusalem belongs to Jews!'
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Jerusalem and Al-Jazeera's patience

Dr. Keidar of university Arab studies department tests Qatari network's patience by saying during televised interview, 'Jerusalem not mentioned in Kuran'

It can be assumed that Al-Jazeera's top journalist Jamal Rayyan will not soon forget this year's Jerusalem Day, which was celebrated this week. Following reports of Israel's intentions to construct housing units in areas located beyond the Green Line (1967 borders), the news agency decided to hold an interview with Dr. Mordechai Keidar, a lecturer from Bar Ilan University's Department of Arabic Studies. The interview – in Arabic – can be seen in full on youtube.

 

Rayyan opened with the question, "Mr. Mordechai, is this decision meant to constitute another nail in the coffin of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations?"

 

The journalist appeared taken aback when Keidar answered, "To tell you the truth I don't quite understand this. Must Israel ask permission from some other authority in the world? It has been our capital for 3,000 years. We have been there since the time your forefathers used to drink wine, bury their daughters alive, and pray to multiple gods."

 

Keidar was referring to a period Arabs call Jahiliyyah (ignorance of divine guidance), which prevailed in the Arab world before the time of the Islam. "So then," he continued, "why must we speak about this? It has been our city for 3,000 years and will be for eternity."

 

'Jerusalem is ours for eternity'

The stunned Rayyan refused to give up. "Excuse me Mr. Mordechai! If you would like to speak about history let's talk about the Kuran as well. You cannot deny the existence of Jerusalem in the Kuran! I ask you to refrain from making statements that offend Arabs and Muslims. Let's please stay with our topic," he said.

 

"Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Kuran," Keidar said.

 

Rayyan stated the verse that, according to Muslim belief, refers to Jerusalem, but Keidar continued to object. "Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Kuran even once."

 

Rayyan continued: "Let's talk politics, please. Doesn't this decision oppose the Road Map, which determines that Israel will halt construction of the settlements in Jerusalem?"

 

"The Road Map does not mention Jerusalem," Keidar argued. "Jerusalem is outside of negotiations. Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, Period! We cannot discuss Jerusalem in any way. You return to this issue time and again, but Jerusalem is not referred to in the Road Map. My brother, go and read the Road Map."

 

"At this rate Jerusalem will soon include all of the West Bank," Rayyan countered.

 

"My brother, Israel does not involve itself in housing that Qatar constructs in the Qatar Peninsula," Keidar answered. "What do you want with Jerusalem? Jerusalem is ours for eternity and no one, not Al-Jazeera or anyone else, has any say in it. Jerusalem is solely a Jewish city and no one else has any connection to it."

 

The interview went on for a few more minutes, after which Rayyan parted from Keidar without thanking him. It is interesting to point out that Al-Jazeera's slogan is "The opinion, and the other opinion". It seems this slogan has never been put to such a test.

 


פרסום ראשון: 06.07.08, 20:41
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