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Fatah: "Pence defiles the Al-Buraq Wall"
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Fatah on Pence's visit to the Western Wall:
"Pence defiles the Al-Buraq Wall"
  • Fatah secretary: The US "is an enemy of the Palestinian people"
     
  • Fatah official: Pence's visit to "the Al-Buraq Wall" - the Western Wall - "is an attack against the Palestinian people"
     
  • Fatah official: "The activities of rage will continue"
     
  • PLO Chief Negotiator Erekat: Pence's speech was "a crusade" and "an attack" that "proved the US administration is part of the problem and not part of the solution"
     
  • PA Mufti: "The Al-Buraq Wall is an inseparable part of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and it is an Islamic site"
By Nan Jacques Zilberdik

After US Vice President Mike Pence's private visit to the Western Wall this week, Abbas' Fatah Movement has accused Pence of "defiling the Al-Buraq Wall":

"Pence defiles the Al-Buraq [Wall] plaza, and the occupation forces reinforce their presence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information, Culture, and Ideology, 
Jan. 23, 2018]

"The Al-Buraq Wall" is the name used by Palestinians for the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple because the wall is said to be where Islam's Prophet Muhammad tied his miraculous flying steed named Al-Buraq during his Night Journey. Palestinian Media Watch has exposed numerous statements by Palestinian leaders denying the Jewish historical ties to Jerusalem and the existence of a Jewish Temple at the site.

Pence is not the only one the Palestinians have accused of "defiling" Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. In a speech in 2014, which has been
rebroadcast numerous times since December 2017 by official PA radio and TV, PA Chairman Abbas called on Palestinians to prevent Jews "in any way" from "defiling our holy places": 
 

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "We have to prevent them, in any way whatsoever, from entering the Sanctuary. This is our Sanctuary, our Al-Aqsa and our Church [of the Holy Sepulchre]. They have no right to enter it. They have no right to defile it. We must prevent them. Let us stand before them with chests bared to protect our holy places."
[Official PA TV, Oct. 17 - Nov. 4, 2014;
Official PA TV and PA radio station The Voice of Palestine,
from Dec. 6, 2017 to most recently Jan. 21, 2018]

At a protest vigil, Secretary of Fatah's Nablus branch Jihad Ramadan called the US "an enemy of the Palestinian people and its aspirations for freedom and independence." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 23, 2018]

A picture from the vigil shows participants waving Palestinian flags and holding a poster showing pictures of US President Donald Trump and Pence with red "X"s over them, and pictures of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The poster carries the PLO logo that features a flame, the Palestinian flag, and the PA map of "Palestine" that presents all of Israel as "Palestine" together with the PA areas. Text on poster in English: "Jerusalem is the heart, Soul, and Capital of Palestine."

When Pence was scheduled to visit Israel in December 2017, PMW reported that Palestinians
burned posters of Pence, and that PA officials repeated their denial of Jewish ties to the Western Wall. 

Fatah Central Committee member and PLO Central Council member Jamal Muhaisen said Pence's visit to the Western Wall this week was "an attack" against the Palestinians:

"Pence's visit to the Al-Buraq Wall is an attack against the Palestinian people, as he is visiting East Jerusalem - the capital of the State of Palestine - at a time when the Palestinian leadership and people are not welcoming him."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 23, 2018]

In a later statement, Muhaisen vowed that "the activities of rage will continue":

"Muhaisen said that
the activities of rage against US President Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem [declaring it Israel's capital], and against the unwanted visit of his Vice President Mike Pence will continue in all of the districts... Muhaisen emphasized that 'the various national activities and their continuation are part of the Palestinian struggle to end the occupation, because in his latest declaration Trump put an end to America's role as any sort of a mediator in the political process.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 24, 2018]

PMW has documented several calls for "rage" and violence by Fatah and the PA since Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, Fatah Central Committee member, and PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat characterized Pence's speech at the Israeli Parliament during his visit as "a crusade" and "an attack":

"[Erekat] criticized the speech that US Vice President Mike Pence gave before the Israeli Parliament. He described it as 'a crusade' that constitutes 'a gift to the extremists.' Erekat said that the attack that Pence led in the Israeli Parliament... proved that the American administration is part of the problem and not part of the solution. He added that Pence's message is clear: Violate the law and international decisions, and the US will reward you."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 23, 2018]

An editorial in the official PA paper stated that the US has entered into "an evil alliance" with Israel, and rejected Pence's assessment that "peace is possible," referring to him as "a crazy person":

"The US is today forming the alliance of baring teeth and arrogance against the Palestinian people with Israel and the racist and extremist right-wing. Through this exclusionary democracy...
[the US] is striving to realize the plans of this evil alliance... With the same arrogance and baring teeth, Pence declares that peace is more possible now after Trump's decision on Jerusalem! On this matter we say to Pence what the people of our country say: 'A crazy person speaks and an intelligent person listens.' What peace is possible, Vice President Pence, without Jerusalem being the capital of the State of Palestine?"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 24, 2018]

Adding to the insults, the writer of an op-ed in the official PA daily compared US President Trump to Hitler, calling Trump "Hitleresque":

"Anything can be expected from those who have committed the historical crime and from the leaders of the new US in the age of the Hitleresque and Balfouresque Trump, who think that the Earth is a cake that they have the right to divide and give pieces of to whomever they want however they want."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 23, 2018]

Reinforcing the PA's denial of Jewish history and ties to the Western Wall in particular and Jerusalem and the Land of Israel in general, PA Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein repeated that "the Al-Buraq Wall" is "an Islamic site":

"We are standing today in the plazas of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, at the same time as US Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the Al-Buraq Wall, in order to emphasize that the Al-Buraq Wall is an inseparable part of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and that it is an Islamic site."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 24, 2018]

The following are longer excerpts of the reports above:

Headline: "Protest vigil in Nablus against Pence's visit to the region"
"Dozens of Nablus residents yesterday [Jan. 22, 2018] participated in a protest vigil against US Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the occupation state and the region.
The participants waved... signs against the visit and chanted slogans condemning the visit and the American pressures on the Palestinian people... Secretary of the Fatah branch [in Nablus] Jihad Ramadan emphasized... that the Palestinian leadership and people will not agree to the US remaining a mediator or partner. He also emphasized that
[the US] is an enemy of the Palestinian people and its aspirations for freedom and independence."
[Official PA daily
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 23, 2018]

The article includes a picture from the vigil in which participants are waving Palestinian flags and holding a poster showing pictures of US President Donald Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence with red "X"s over them, and pictures of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Dome of the Rock Mosque, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in between them. In the bottom left corner of the poster is the PLO logo that features a flame, the Palestinian flag, and the PA map of "Palestine" that presents all of Israel as "Palestine" together with the PA areas. Text on logo: "The Palestinian Liberation Organization
National unity, national mobilization Liberation." Text on poster in English: "Jerusalem is the heart, Soul, and Capital of Palestine"

"Fatah Movement Central Committee member, [Fatah Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization in the West Bank, and PLO Central Council member] Jamal Muhaisen said in a phone call with [the official PA news agency] WAFA that Pence's visit to the Al-Buraq Wall (i.e., the Western Wall of the Temple Mount) is an attack against the Palestinian people, as he is visiting East Jerusalem - the capital of the State of Palestine - at a time when the Palestinian leadership and people are not welcoming him. [Muhaisen added that] the British committee determined in 1929 that the wall belongs to the Muslims and that the Jews have no connection to it or place there (sic., the 1930 Wailing Wall Commission did not rule out the Jewish connection to the Western Wall; see note below -Ed.)."
[Official PA daily
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 23, 2018]

The Al-Buraq Wall - Islam's Prophet Muhammad is said to have rode during his Night Journey from Mecca to "al aqsa mosque", i.e., "the farthest mosque" (Quran, Sura 17), and there tied his miraculous flying steed named Al-Buraq to a "stone" or a "rock." (Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Book 47, Hadith 3424). In the 1920's, Arab Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini decided to identify the Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem as that "rock" or "stone," and since then Muslims refer to the Western Wall as the "Al-Buraq Wall."

The 1930 Wailing Wall Commission was appointed by the British government, with the approval of the League of Nations, to settle the matter of the Jews' and Muslims' rights and claims to the Western Wall. The commission concluded that the Western Wall had served as a Jewish holy site long before it became a Muslim waqf (an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law). The commission's final conclusion was that although the Western Wall was a Muslim waqf, it was holy to both Muslims and Jews and therefore the Jews should be granted free access to worship at the site.

Excerpt of an editorial of the official PA daily:
Headline: "What a democracy!"
"The Israeli democracy of oppression and racism made US Vice President [Mike] Pence happy when it forcibly removed the Arab members of the Israeli Parliament - who were protesting Pence's visit and his [US] President [Donald] Trump's decision to recognize Palestinian and Arab Jerusalem as Israel's capital - from the Israeli Parliament plenum! (After they disrupted Pence's speech; see note below -Ed.)
What is more, Pence, who is apparently worth his name in Arabic (a play on "pence," a plural form of penny -Ed.), declared his absolute bias in favor of this democracy when he described the removal of the [Arab] members of the Israeli Parliament with such arbitrariness as democracy! ...
Truthfully, the Israeli Parliament meeting, which was held in order to honor the US vice president, was nothing more than a meeting of baring teeth and racist arrogance...
The US is today forming the alliance of baring teeth and arrogance against the Palestinian people with Israel and the racist and extremist right-wing. Through this exclusionary democracy... [the US] is striving to realize the plans of this evil alliance... With the same arrogance and baring teeth, Pence declares that peace is more possible now after Trump's decision on Jerusalem! On this matter we say to Pence what the people of our country say: 'A crazy person speaks and an intelligent person listens.' What peace is possible, Vice President Pence, without Jerusalem being the capital of the State of Palestine?
...
The racism of the occupation and its ally the US will not be a decree of fate under any circumstances... We are standing firm on our land and resisting until the defeat of the occupation and all of its aggressive plans, in order to establish the free and independent State of Palestine whose capital is East Jerusalem, with a fair solution to the problem of the refugees."
[Official PA daily
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 24, 2018]

Headline: "Muhaisen: The activities of rage will continue"
"Fatah Movement Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization [in the West Bank, Fatah] Central Committee member, [and PLO Central Council member] Jamal Muhaisen said that
the activities of rage against US President Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem [declaring it Israel's capital], and against the unwanted visit of his Vice President Mike Pence will continue in all of the districts...
Muhaisen emphasized that 'the various national activities and their continuation are part of the Palestinian struggle to end the occupation, because in his latest declaration Trump put an end to America's role as any sort of a mediator in the political process.'"
[Official PA daily
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 24, 2018]

Excerpt of an op-ed by Muwaffaq Matar, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council and regular columnist for the official PA daily:
Headline: "The Arab members of the Israeli Parliament - the frontline of Jerusalem"
"Yesterday [Jan. 22, 2018] the people of Palestine made US Vice President [Mike Pence] hear what he must hear from the Palestinians, the original owners of the land... certainly when the voices of the Palestinian (i.e., Israeli Arab) members of the Israeli Parliament, the native residents of the land, shattered the [US President Donald] Trump - [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu map, and eliminated the statement: 'a Jewish state' (the Arab members of the Israeli Parliament disrupted Pence's speech and were removed; see note below -Ed.). That is on the assumption that the one who stood at the [Israeli Parliament] podium (i.e., Pence) has... the intelligence of a diplomat in a superpower, who is supposed to be wise... But this cannot be hoped for from the vice president of the country of [US Ambassador to the UN] Nikki Haley with her high heels (refers to her remark that her heels are in order to protect Israel at the UN -Ed.)...
Here, in this [place] that the world calls 'Israel' even though it has no borders,
there are two million Arab Palestinians whose historical roots sprouted here the first time the sun rose on the world after the great flood [of Noah from the Bible]. So where do those who came to it while fleeing from Europe and near and far countries get the right to claim that Palestine is the state of the Jews or a Jewish state? ...
Anything can be expected from those who have committed the historical crime and from the leaders of the new US in the age of the Hitleresque and Balfouresque Trump, who think that the Earth is a cake that they have the right to divide and give pieces of to whomever they want however they want. Those who inherited the colonialist mentality in the American continent and are silent about the crime of the destruction of the Indians will certainly agree with the inheritors of the project expelling the Palestinian people from its land."
[Official PA daily
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 23, 2018]

During US Vice President Mike Pence's speech before the Israeli Parliament on Jan. 22, 2018, the Arab members of the Israeli Parliament disrupted his speech by waving posters showing a picture of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Dome of the Rock with the following text in English and Arabic: "Jerusalem is The Capital of Palestine." They were quickly removed from the plenum.

The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild stating that "His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." In 1922, the League of Nations adopted this and made the British Mandate "responsible for putting into effect the declaration," which led to the UN vote in 1947 and the establishment of the State of Israel.

Headline: "The US vice president was witness to the expulsion of the Arab members of the Israeli Parliament from the Israeli Parliament, and bragged that the [US] embassy will be transferred to Jerusalem by the end of 2019 - Erekat: Pence's racist attack at the Israeli Parliament is a gift to the extremists, the US is part of the problem"
"Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, [Fatah Central Committee member, and PLO Chief Negotiator] Saeb Erekat yesterday [Jan. 22, 2018] criticized the speech that US Vice President Mike Pence gave before the Israeli Parliament. He described it as 'a crusade' that constitutes 'a gift to the extremists.' Erekat said that the attack that Pence led in the Israeli Parliament... proved that the American administration is part of the problem and not part of the solution. He added that Pence's message is clear: Violate the law and international decisions, and the US will reward you."
[Official PA daily
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 23, 2018]

Linked article and text posted on the Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information, Culture, and Ideology:
Posted text: "[US Vice President Mike] Pence defiles the Al-Buraq [Wall] plaza, and the occupation forces reinforce their presence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque
#Fatah_information"

The Facebook post links to an article from Jan. 23, 2018, from the website of the Fatah Commission of Information, Culture, and Indoctrination, which includes a picture from US Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the Western Wall on the same day. The following is an excerpt from the article:

Headline: "Pence defiles the Al-Buraq Wall, and the occupation forces strengthen their presence in the Al-Aqsa Mosque"
"US Vice President Mike Pence today, Tuesday [Jan. 23, 2018], defiled the Al-Buraq Wall (the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque) [parentheses in source], and conducted Talmudic (i.e., Jewish) prayers and rituals (sic., Pence prayed privately) together with several leaders of the Israeli occupation state and the extremist right-wing parties (sic., no Israeli government officials accompanied Pence's visit to the Western Wall)."
[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information, Culture, and Indoctrination,
 Jan. 23, 2018]

Headline: "A strike throughout Jerusalem and Palestinian flags wave above the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Pence's visit"
"The [PA] Mufti of Jerusalem and the Islamic (sic., Palestinian) Territories [and Deputy Secretary-General and acting Secretary-General of the PLO Popular National Conference of Jerusalem] Sheikh Muhammad Hussein said to [the official PA daily]
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that Jerusalem, with its history and culture... will not change due to American steps.
The mufti added: 'We are standing today in the plazas of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, at the same time as US Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the Al-Buraq Wall (i.e., the Western Wall of the Temple Mount), in order to emphasize that the Al-Buraq Wall is an inseparable part of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and that it is an Islamic site.'"
[Official PA daily
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 24, 2018]