The United Jewish Appeal-Federation has announced in New York that it will allocate $145 million to support its own and other projects intended to Judaise the city of Jerusalem.
According to the head of the Jerusalem International Centre, Hassan Khater, this is the sum that has been raised in the United States in just one year. He pointed out that there are 13 known Jewish organisations with similar aims and objectives "and each has its own fundraising capabilities".
Khater warned that the Judaisation efforts are part of Israel's plans for the Holy City at a time when Arabs and Muslims are diverted from what is happening in Jerusalem by events across the region. "The Jewish organisations and funding makes Judaisation much easier due to the almost complete absence of Arab and Muslim support for the city," he complained. "The steadfastness of Jerusalemites has to be matched by financial support from outside." Good words and good wishes alone are not enough, he said, adding that if the current situation is allowed to continue the Israelis will have a landslide victory "because they have no opposition".
Commenting on the Knesset's decision to demand that the doors of Al-Aqsa Mosque should be opened for "Jewish worshippers" for a full month, Khater said that this is a serious and unprecedented move. "Such interference by the Israeli parliament is part of the process to acquire Al-Aqsa and divide access to Islam's third holiest site between Muslims and Jews." This, he claimed, includes draft laws which seek to bring Al-Aqsa under the authority of the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs and convert large areas of the Noble Sanctuary into public parks. Israel has succeeded in imposing a similar arrangement at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, which has been divided in two to allow completely separate access for Muslims and Jews.
The JIC head explained that the Judaisation process includes illegal settlement construction, the apartheid wall and the continued manipulation of the Arab demography of Jerusalem, as well as excavations under and incursions upon Al-Aqsa Mosque.
"It is clear," said Khater, "that Israel wants to strip Jerusalem of its Arab and Islamic identity and turn it into a 'unified' capital of a Jewish state." He called on the Arab and Islamic forces, "be they popular or official", to direct their concerns and capabilities towards the real battle which is taking place in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
"The Arab and Muslim world should fulfil its obligations towards Jerusalem," he insisted. "The resolutions adopted by numerous high-level summits should be activated forthwith to prevent Israel turning Jerusalem into one massive Jewish settlement."