[(Continued from p.11)]Amman. Jordanian radio transmitted the Friday sermon not from Al-Aqsa but from a minor mosque in Amman. Jerusalem also fell off the Arab diplomatic map: the PLO covenant of 1964 did not mention it. No Arab leader (other than King Hussein, and he rarely) visited there."
It was only after Israel assumed control of Jerusalem that the Al Aqsa Mosque -- in cooperation with Jordan -- was restored. The work began in 1969 and terminated in 1984. The Aga Kahn, spiritual Moslem leader, offered the following words in granting an Architectural Restoration Award to the project:
"In 1969, at the time its work commenced, the precinct of the mosque and the Dome of the Rock, known as the Haram al-Sharif area, as well as the great monuments themselves, were in a sorry state of disrepair. Most noticeably, the dome of the mosque had been reconstructed in concrete and covered with anodised aluminium instead of the original ribbed lead sheeting. The programme of extensive conservation began with the damaged dome and its paintings. The ribbed aluminium outer covering was replaced with lead to match the original. The 14th-century painted decorations of the dome interior, thought to be irreparably lost, were brought to light and completely reconstructed using the trateggio technique, a method that uses fine vertical lines to distinguish reconstructed areas from original ones. The rest of the mosque is also being restored as is the entire Haram area. A systematic and scientific spirit pervades the entire effort. The jury commended the very high technical quality of every aspect of the work, and particularly the restoration of the inner decoration of the dome which they found to be 'exceptional and aesthetically satisfying'."
If all this were known and understood, all but hardened Arabists and anti-Semites would realize that the only negotiations with any historical validity are to be conducted between Jordan and Israel.
Of course, this would require learning history, and that is too exhausting for journalists whose crib notes on local conflicts are the only education they have.
Ruth King is a member of the executive committee of Americans For a Safe Israel.
(Continued from p.2)
From October 10-12, Rutgers University will be playing host to the Third National Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement, an outfit whose web site affirms "we stand for the total liberation of all of historic Palestine" and endorse "all methods" to achieve it, including suicide bombings. As Charlotte Kates of the New Jersey chapter (and a law student at Rutgers Douglas Law School) put it: "Why is there something particularly horrible about 'suicide bombing' -- except for the extreme dedication conveyed in the resistance fighter's willingness to use his or her own body to fight?"
New Jersey Solidarity is part of a coalition of groups making up the International Solidarity Movement, the supposedly "non-violent" group to which Rachel Corrie belonged -- prior to being inadvertently killed by an Israeli bulldozer as she sought to protect with her body tunnels through which arms were being smuggled from Egypt into Gaza. Writing in The Nation, the reliably disgraceful Susan Sontag has praised Corrie as an "emblematic figure of sacrifice."
Americans For a Safe Israel
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New York, NY 10128
Outpost - 12 - July-August 2003