August 12, 2013
by Joshua Levitt
A status update posted Sunday on the popular Arabic “Damascus Gate Now” Facebook page shows a close-up of a Jewish child drinking from a water fountain atop the Temple Mount, with accompanying text attacking the child, accusing him of acting with “audacity and boldness,” as a “thief” stealing water from the mosque.
The page, which boasts a cool 127,000 ”likes,” writes: “After the departure of Ramadan…in poured the Zionists,” adding, “the thief steals from our mosque to drink.”
“God’s curse on the conspirators who are of the unclean Zionist movement from the oldest to the youngest,” it said.
The post in Arabic was flagged by blogger Yisrael Medad of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, in Jerusalem. He titled his post “Zionist Crime: The Photographic Evidence.”
The antagonistic Facebook post was published the same day as an Israeli Knesset Interior Committee meeting to discuss the restrictions on Jewish visitation to the Temple Mount, which editorials across the Arab world decried, lamenting the possibility of equal use of the Mount for Jews.
On Sunday, in an article headlined, “‘Knesset Today to Discuss Legitimizing the Desecration of Al Aqsa,” Emirates newspaper Khaleej Times reflected on “opening the doors of Al Aqsa Mosque” with disgust. How dare the Jews ask for this “in the face of break-ins and the desecration by Jewish extremists throughout all the days of the month of Ramadan, to come to perform Talmudic rituals and rites in it, returning especially on all the Jewish holidays?” the newspaper argued.
Meanwhile, frequent Jewish visitors to the holy site said Jews were denied access to the Temple Mount for all of the past month because of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with the exception of an hour or so, the day after Tisha B’Av, last month, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the destruction of the ancient Jewish temple. On Tisha B’Av, Jews, including Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, were actually turned away at the gate. While access has been granted in previous years, for the past two, Jews were shut out for all of Ramadan.