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On the road to Jerusalem

Mashari Althaydi

Published: Updated:

I understand Arab and Muslim anger and general anger of the American decision to transfer the US embassy to West Jerusalem after it recognized it as the capital of Israel.

The word “Jerusalem” alone is enough to move general sentiment of Muslims in particular and of course of Christians and Jews. Jerusalem is the city of prayer, as Fairuz sang, and the soul’s capital where all three monotheistic religions meet.

The image of Jerusalem’s mosques has been printed on Saudi currency for a long time now. It reflects the special attention, which Saudi Arabia gives to Jerusalem, whether politically, financially and militarily, like in the 1948 war.

Morocco’s king is the chairman of al-Quds Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Jordan’s King has special responsibilities toward Jerusalem for many reasons.

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Iran, in its Khomeini version, tried – though late – to employ Jerusalem’s special status. It created Quds Day and the Quds Brigade or Force – as Nasrallah tends to correct it. All there is of “Jerusalem” is the name of that day and brigade.

Meanwhile, they kill and displace the Syrians and engage in destructive practices that harm the Iraqis, Lebanese, Bahrainis and Yemenis, upon the blessings of Jerusalem’s major conqueror Hajj Qassem Soleimani.

How did things escalate to this day?

It’s an old, painful and complicated story. Palestinians as well as Arabs and Muslims contributed to it. And of course, it was the British colonial authorities which troubled the entire world with it.

Jerusalem is the city of prayer, as Fairuz sang, and the soul’s capital where all three monotheistic religions meet

Mashari Althaydi

Exploited in politics

However, today is nothing like yesterday. Have the Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims learnt from the past’s lessons and tragedies? Have they understood how Jerusalem and Palestine were exploited in politics, whether by leftists, nationalists or the Brotherhood and finally by the Khomeini regime?

Not at all, no one learnt anything. We have seen insolent protestors in Gaza insult some Arab countries and burn their flags, including Saudi Arabia’s. It’s such a shameful deviation from the real arena of confrontation.

There are bids, lies and outrageous screams that deafens ears, and what is the end result? Absolutely nothing that serves the cause itself and Jerusalem and Palestine.

ALSO READ: US embassy to Jerusalem: The Aftermath

Last Wednesday, the Iranian news channel al-Alam broadcast a statement, which Syria’s Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun made from Tehran. “The road which connects Tehran to Mosul, Aleppo and Beirut is clear toward Jerusalem,” he said. For God’s sake, what deprives the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem of their worth more than this?

“We await clear Iranian alertness to reap the fruits of this anger,” Hazem Saghiyeh wrote in his recent article in Al-Hayat daily. He also inquires, “is Palestine the central cause?” only on the verbal front while on the practical level it’s actually the means to escape from all actual causes?

At the end of the day, how do all this fuss and all these insults and bids by groups affiliated with Iran, Qatar and the Brotherhood serve Jerusalem and Palestine?

This article is also available in Arabic.
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Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.