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Reverse Psychology: Mordechai Kedar on Jerusalem

Mordechai Kedar wants to abolish Al-Jazeera; his motive? That the Emir of Qatar, who is the most influential person in Arabia, uses the channel as a medium to broadcast his personal, political agenda. According to Kedar, the station raises the profile of political Islamic movements and attempts to reduce The United States' influence worldwide. Ultimately the site wants to "tear Jerusalem away from Israel."

His long, drawn out argument is detailed in a piece originally published in Hebrew; a translation of it is also available on the 'Israel against Terror blog'. Here, his insistence that Qatar's money donated to the Gaza Strip will be used to develop the "terror industry" or that "Qatar is an enemy of Israel and the West, and all traces of its presence must be eradicated from our midst" can be found.

The evidence for his claim lies in a recent Qatari Red Crescent event which was held in support of the Al-Asqa mosque in Jerusalem which raised money for health care and education in the city. From other projects which materialised as a result of Red Crescent, Kedar cites the purchase of ambulances, the provision of water to villages and the construction of a women's clinic.

From here, his argument appears to skip a couple of steps. The conclusion he draws from Qatar giving money to Jerusalem (that is the charitable projects outlined above) is that it is deliberate action against Israel, one that serves the ultimate purpose of severing Jerusalem from the State. "There is no reason that Israel should allow him [the Emir] to turn Jerusalem into another Hamastan" he adds later.

Yet though Kedar mentions Qatar's petrodollars ($1/2 million of them) several times in the article, there is nothing in there about the $3 billion which is wired over to Israel from the States every year, around one fifth of America's entire foreign aid allowance; money which has a far bigger effect on the what happens in the city.

The huge contributions Obama hands over to the Israeli government are actually being used to fund illegal building and contributing largely towards attempts to turn Jerusalem into a strictly Jewish city. Not only are numerous settlements being built, designed to cut off the West Bank from East Jerusalem, but Israel issue far fewer building permits to Palestinians than they do for Israelis, and thousands of Arabs have been stripped of their Jerusalem ID cards.

Kedar's position on Jerusalem is not difficult to find, nor is it anything new; his opinions on the city have been recorded in articles littered all over the web. In a particularly offensive interview on Al Jazeera (the news station he's lobbying to ban) back in 2008 he backed up his case that "Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, period" by saying that Jerusalem was not mentioned anywhere in the Qur'an, and that it has been the Jewish capital for over 3000 years. Is this Kedar's justification for the treatment of Palestinians in Jerusalem?

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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