1931, at an Islamic conference in Jerusalem:
The outstanding question was that of the protection of the Moslem Holy Places. Dr. Abd el Hamid, an Egyptian delegate, in a fiery speech punctuated by wild gesticulations, shouted, “All present must take an oath to protect this Holy Place with the last drop of their blood”. Immediately the whole assembly rose in an uproar, and the delegates shouted, “Allah, Allah!”. The cry was echoed by the shrill screams of veiled women in the adjoining female mosque.
Later an Iraqi delegate cried: “It were better that the Islamic world should be obliterated than that this jewel should fall into the hands of enemies”.
A boycott in all Moslem countries against Palestine Jewish products as a means of protecting the Mosque el Aqsa (Mosque of Omar) from Jewish encroachment was proclaimed by the Conference to-day in adopting a resolution moved by Hobamed Ali, former Egyptian Minister of Wakfs. If the Jews in Palestine succeed in developing their industry, the resolution argues, they will be able to acquire more land in the country, and thus may even menace the Mosque itself, so that the boycott weapon must be used as a check to further Jewish progress.
Let's skip to 1968:
The semi-official Cairo newspaper Al Ahram reported yesterday that religious leaders representing 750 million Moslems in 34 countries have called for a “holy war” on Israel to recover the shrines of Islam in East Jerusalem. According to the paper, the call to arms was sounded after the religious leaders heard a tape recording of what was purported to be Jews desecrating the El Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem.And this article from 1972 could have been written today:
Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah yesterday accused Jordan of “falsehood and distortion” regarding freedom of worship and the protection of holy sites, and stated that “Jordan’s record in those matters, during the 19 years’ occupation of areas on the West Bank, including part of Jerusalem, is notorious.” In a letter to United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, Tekoah denounced a letter written Dec. 11 to Waldheim by Jordan’s Ambassador to the UN referring to Israel’s desecration of the Machpela cave in Hebron which is regarded as a holy site by Arabs.There is no difference between now and then.
The Israeli envoy, who asked that his letter be circulated as a document of the General Assembly and the Security Council and forwarded to the Commission on Human Rights, declared: “The Government of Israel rejects with repugnance the Jordanian habit of introducing religious matters into political issues in order to stir up passions for political ends.” He added that Israel will pursue its policy of ensuring freedom of access to and worship at holy sites under its administration, including the area of the Machpela cave.
And just as then the driving factor was antisemitism, so is it today.
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