Palestinians barred from Al-Aqsa Mosque

Zionist regime targets Ramadan

Al-Aqsa Mosque and its courtyard are seen empty before Friday prayers as Israeli forces impose restrictions on Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Photo: Mohammad Hamad/Anadolu

Every year during Ramadan, Muslim people from around the world travel to the occupied city of Jerusalem to make a pilgrimage to the Mosque Al-Aqsa. This sprawling religious site includes the iconic Dome of the Rock. Al-Aqsa is one of the most revered and significant sites in the Muslim faith. 

This pilgrimage is viscerally sacred for all those who adhere to the Islamic faith. The journey should be peaceful, solemn, and bound in love. Unfortunately, the Zionist entity has for decades criminalized this pilgrimage for many Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza.

For years, Zionist shock troops have brutally and arbitrarily raided the Al-Aqsa complex and violently attacked worshippers inside or attempting to gain entry. Just three years ago, the Zionist forces conducted exactly such a raid on Al-Aqsa during Ramadan. “Israeli” forces deployed pepper spray and rubber bullets against unarmed worshippers. Over 50 Palestinian people, many children, were injured in the Zionist pogrom. 

Unfortunately, it seems that Zionism intends to escalate its war to not only eradicate the Palestinian people but to eradicate their cultural foundation. As such, the Zionist dictator, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced on Feb. 19 that there would be militarily enforced restrictions during Ramadan this year against Palestinians living within the 1948 borders or Jerusalem. 

Even with all of Zionism’s horrors, the “Israeli” state has never gone as far as to ban Arab citizens of “Israel” from entering Al-Aqsa during Ramadan. One would think that a state that asserts itself as that of the Jewish people would know better than to wage war on sacred religious sites. This is just another indicator of the solemn truth about Zionism: It is no more about persevering the sanctity of Jewish life than it is about democracy. If Zionism respected Judaism at all, then its institutions would never dare to enact cultural violence against Muslim Palestinians so similar to that enacted against the Jewish community for centuries. 

As if this new Islamophobic and racist policy wasn’t bad enough on its face, even Shin Bet, the police wing of the IOF, was made uneasy at the potential of the restrictions to spark a Palestinian uprising. 

However, Netanyahu and his fascist running dog, security minister Ben Gvir, will continue with their implementation of this plan to restrict worship at Al-Aqsa during Ramadan. They will do so because this is the real nature of Zionism: to terrorize, oppress, and eradicate the Palestinian people on behalf of U.S. imperialism. 

Lev Koufax is an anti-Zionist Jewish activist.


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