The gift by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the Greek Orthodox Church leader Archbishop Maximos Sallum has revealed the intention of the Israeli government to obliterate all Muslim holy places. The gift, a relief model of Jerusalem's old city, lacks the most leading aspect of Jerusalem - the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam. The site is simply not there.
Instead of the compound comprising the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the model shows a Jewish temple. Netanyahu's act, plus a statement by one of his party hacks, failed to mollify the Muslims who view it as a serious provocation. In fact, however much Netanyahu and his cohorts try, they cannot help but reveal their true feelings. Ever since he defeated Shimon Peres, Netanyahu has been backtracking on the peace process - an act that will bring violence and bloodshed back to the region.
Netanyahu apparently believes in brinkmanship. This may lead Israel to the abyss of destruction, something that many fair-minded, peace-loving Israelis do not want. The peace process was a long time coming. It is now faltering because one man is playing to a gallery consisting of zealots bent on fanning the flames of hate.
The Israeli Prime Minister's fascist tendencies vis-a-vis the occupied lands and people are also causing alarm. He has delayed the hand over of Hebron as agreed in the Oslo accords. Israeli soldiers are killing innocent Palestinians every day and justifying their acts by accusing the victims of terror attacks. Rabid Jewish settlers come down in hordes upon innocent Palestinian children, battering their brains. All this is reported in the Western press but nothing seems to be done about it. In fact Israel is emboldened by the pro-Netanyahu stand of the U.S. mediator Ross and the assurances given by the Zionist U.S. Ambassador to Tel Aviv, Martin Indyk.
With the clout of these men at Clinton's side as well as the anti-Arab Madeiline Albright conducting U.S. foreign policy, the Palestinians have to be especially on guard. Sweet words will not make them succumb to Israeli designs. All the wiles and guiles that these three possess is going to be used to persuade and browbeat the Palestinians to accept a formula other than the one based on the Oslo peace accords.
The present Israeli government has devious intentions which must seen and thwarted. They consists of not only erasing all Arab and Islamic features of the occupied lands but also trying to dominate the original inhabitants psychologically and reduce them to the level of serfs.
The present peace interlude is being used as a period of testing these designs to see how the Arabs react.
In the light of all this, Netanyahu's gift of the model of Jerusalem's old city minus the Al-Aqsa mosque clearly indicates his nefarious designs.
The Arabs had better watch out or it will be too late.