Fri, 03 Dec 1999

On Islam-Israel ties

In response to my letter in The Jakarta Post on Nov. 17, 1999, entitled Israel destroys mosques, Mr. Kevin Price accused me of being prejudiced and one-sided and did nothing to promote the cause of peace. He also said that I did not realize that Israel has already been diplomatically recognized by Egypt, Jordan and PLO (the Post, Nov. 25, 1999).

It's his right to say that. But I think such accusations go to the wrong address, because, in my letter, my focus was to deny Dirk Vleugels and David Jardine's statements that Israel did not destroy mosques, by presenting some facts that actually show Israel has done so.

I can even give you an additional list of Israel's sacrilegious acts. I don't know whether or not Dirk Vleugels, David Jardine or Kevin Price intentionally manipulated the facts.

My statement was partly based on the citations of Grace Halsell's articles in the Washington Reports on Middle East Affairs. She was an American writer and former speech writer at the White House during President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration.

Mr. Kevin is right in saying that the arson attempt on Al Aqsha Mosque was done by "a crazed fundamentalist Christian from Australia", not by a Zionist zealot. The Australian terrorist has been identified as Denis Michael Rohan. I'm not sure about this man's identity because some said he was an Australian tourist in Jerusalem, but the others said he was an Australian-born terrorist. But today there is a hypothesis, which has been particularly developed in the United States, that there is a secret pact, based on the bible and the messianic spirit, between Zionists and Christian fundamentalists to destroy Al Aqsha Mosque.

According to Grace Halsell, there is a strain of Christian fundamentalism known as "dispensationalism", which believes that God will destroy the world through a terrible battle or Armageddon (World War III?) to prepare for the second coming of Christ. Halsell wrote that there are Christian fundamentalists who donate generously to Jewish terrorism, including Terry Reisenhoover, an oil and gas tycoon, Dr. Hilton Sutton, chairman of the Mission To America and Dr. James DeLoach, pastor of Houston's Second Baptist Church. They boasted that they had established a Jerusalem Temple Foundation specifically meant to aid those intending to destroy the mosque and build a temple.

However, the spirit to build the Temple of Solomon (Haykal Sulaiman) for Zionists on the site of Al Aqsha Mosque keeps burning. Since the Israeli occupation in 1967, Al Aqsha Mosque has been the target of several attempts by the Jews to destroy or burn it, including several attempts to make it collapse through underground excavations.

On Aug. 14, 1970, The Gershon Salmon group was formed, an ultra-fanatic group dedicated to the so-called rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon on the site of Al Aqsha Mosque once it has been demolished. Ten years later, on April 19, 1980, a group of Jewish Rabbis and sages held a semi-secret conference devoted to exploring ways and means "to liberate the Temple Mount from Muslim hands".

Mr. Kevin asked why Indonesians seemingly continue arguing about the Jewish-Muslim conflict, while their "Muslim brothers" are making peace with Israel. The answer is Muslims here still consider Israel a colonialist power who unhesitatingly conducted sacrilegious acts.