Israel and the Risk of Blowing Up the Region

  • 27 October 2009

It is clear that Israeli government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, has little concern for the security and stability of the region. Since coming to power, it has been aggravating tensions through its policy on the city of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque and by ignoring about the essential character of the city and its holy monuments—be they Islamic or Christian. Al-Aqsa Mosque holds a very high esteem in the hearts of millions of Muslims in the Arab region and the world and any violation of its sanctity could lead to an explosive situation, which would be difficult to contain and may lead to potentially catastrophic consequences. Israel's arbitrary policy of Judaization breaches all red lines on Jerusalem and its holy sites, as it is turning a blind eye to the racist practices of its extremist right-wing Jewish groups, which seek the destruction of the Holy Mosque and build a so-called temple in its place.

Recently, members of such groups insulted the sentiments of Muslims around the world, when occupation forces entered the courtyard of the Holy Mosque and disturbed worshippers that led to dangerous clashes. Moreover, when Israeli police raided Al-Aqsa Mosque last Sunday and closed entrance to the Haram Al-Sharif, a dangerous move that can lead to rapid deterioration in the situation, especially if Israeli government insists on ignoring this behavior. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the site of Islam's first ‘Qibla’ and is Islam’s third holiest site.  It is also worth mentioning that entry into Al-Aqsa Mosque in 2002 by former Israeli Prime Minister Aril Sharon sparked the explosion of the second Palestinian uprising. The Middle East is rife with tensions, conflict and contentious issues, and does not need more sources of violence and confrontation.

Therefore, Israeli actions against Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque is like playing with fire, and disregards the difficult and complex circumstances that is facing the region. It also blatantly defies all efforts at regional and international levels to revive the comatose peace process, which is outstanding for years, and promotes the currents of extremism and militancy, as well as their confrontation in the region at the expense of the forces for peace, coexistence and dialogue, which Israeli policies under the Netanyahu government have made difficult to achieve. A clear international message should be sent out to Israel and its extreme right-wing government, that sanctity of sacred places is a red line that cannot be breached, and that the Middle East region has had enough of its own tensions and conflicts and does not need more problems. Any plot against Al-Aqsa Mosque could turn the situation up in flames. If the Netanyahu government is so indifferent, then the international community should challenge it and put an end to its fury which could destroy everything and push matters in the region back to square one.