I was listening to some news about the Israelis renewed the attempt to demolish the Mughrabi Gate and the installation of the new bridge, in preparation to create a museum…under the tunnels… and somehow behind all the political games of occupation and attempts of seizing more control over Jerusalem and AL-Aqsa and everything else. And somehow behind the reality that Israel wants to shake the grounds under the Aqsa. And somehow also that Israel works within a matrix of control as well in the surrounding of the old city, and this attempt would increase the possibilities of seizing the area at any needed time. There lies a good thing behind the current excavations and tunnels unveiling what the Israeli calls the Torah city. And that is what disturbs me when I hear our closed circle defense and shallow calls for defending the Place. The fact that there is a Torah city that existed thousands of years ago only complements the greatness and authenticity of this town. The ignorance of the Israelis in trying to make a myth about their history and forcing it into a new reality that denies our existence is a mere act of ignorance and panic. And the fact that we Muslims deny the existence of two or three thousand years of history where Jewish people lived and that life was under the earth of the modern Jerusalem is also ignorance.
I really cannot understand that we have to fight against the city’s findings under the current city. It is part of our history as people of this land. It is part of our history of monotheists. It is part of our history as human civilization as well.
And admitting, recognizing, acknowledging, whatever term we might use, the presence of these people (the Israelis) in this land doesn’t take our rights in it. The Islamic Jerusalem (Christian as well) cannot be denied. It is all there standing up high and proud, and deeply rooted and evolved despite three thousand years of history of various people who lived, resided, or existed and continued to live on this land.
Paulo Freire says in the pedagogy of the oppressed: “It is only the oppressed who, by freeing themselves, can free their oppressors. The latter, as an oppressive class, can free neither others nor themselves. It is, therefore, essential that the oppressed wage the struggle to resolve the contradiction in which they are caught, and the opposition will be determined by the appearance of the new man: neither oppressor nor oppressed, but the man in the process of liberation. If the goal of the oppressed is to become fully human, they will not achieve their aim by merely reversing the terms of the contradiction, by just changing poles.”
When would it be time when we rise for who we indeed are and acknowledge our existence without denial of the others? When we get there, we can end our brutal occupation, or at least can manage it as human beings, not as dehumanized people.