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UK architects, planners and other construction industry professionals campaigning for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.


Qatar Says UN Should Investigate 'Judaization' of Jerusalem

Qatar calls UN to investigate the “Judaization” by Israel of east Jerusalem, says Israel's “occupation” is unacceptable.

By Elad Benari    27 February  2012

Qatar urged the United Nations on Sunday to investigate the “Judaization” by Israel of east Jerusalem and said that Israel's “occupation of the Palestinian territories” was unacceptable, AFPreported.

The remarks were made by the Qatari leader at the International Conferencefor Defense of Jerusalem being held in Doha.

“We must act quickly to stop the Judaization of Jerusalem,” Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, was quoted by AFP as having said at the conference.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani at Jerusalem Conference

Sheikh Hamad also called on the UN to “investigate the measures Israel has taken to Judaize Jerusalem since its occupation in 1967.”

According to the report, he warned that public opinion in the Arab world, where months of popular protests overthrew four long-time strongmen in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, “has awakened and will not accept” anything “less than a just peace based on the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

He added, “Is it conceivable that the people that could no longer tolerate oppression at home will accept the oppression of a foreign occupation?”

Speaking at the same conference, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel  of trying to remove Jerusalem’s Arab and Christian character.

Abbas charged Israel with “using the ugliest and most dangerous means to implement plans to erase and remove the Arab-Islamic and the Christian character of  east Jerusalem.”

He charged that Israel’s alleged apartheid wall has isolated Arabs from Jerusalem and said that Arabs find it “almost impossible” to enter because of the lack of permits. In fact, thousands of Arabs from Judea and Samaria enter Jerusalem every day.

Dozens of Palestinian Authority clerics have denied any Jewish connection to the holy site, and the Muslim custodians at the Temple Mount have used backhoes and tractors to remove tons of dirt that might contain Jewish artifacts.

Abbas said, “Jerusalem belongs to all of us and no one can stop us from accessing it.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned Abbas’ remarks on Sunday, calling his speech “a harshly inflammatory speech from someone who claims that he is bent on peace.”

“The time has come for the Palestinian leadership to stop denying the past and distorting reality,” Netanyahu said. “For thousands of years Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People. Jerusalem, under Israeli sovereignty, will continue to be open to believers of all faiths. There is freedom of worship for all and Israel will continue to carefully maintain the holy places of all religions.

“Abu Mazen [Abbas -- ed.] knows full well that there is no foundation to his contemptible remarks, including his baseless and irresponsible claims regarding the al-Aqsa Mosque. The State of Israel expects that one who supposedly champions peace would prepare his people for peace and coexistence and not disseminate lies and incitement. This is not how one makes peace."

The conference in Doha is also being attended by at least two Israeli Arab MKs, Ahmed Tibi, and MK Taleb El-Sana. Despite them being members of Israel’s parliament, they were listed as representatives of “Palestine


Israel rebukes UN official over Doha parley

Hern Keinon    02/27/2012        Jerusalem Post

Diplomatic officials slam UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry for taking part in the “International Conference for the Defense of Jerusalem.”

Photo: Ronen Zvulun         Reuters

Israeli diplomatic officials slammed UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry on Sunday for taking part in the “International Conference for the Defense of Jerusalem” in Doha, a parley the officials described as a two-day Israel-bashing carnival.

“It is extremely disappointing and infuriating that the UN secretary-general’s envoy, who never finds the time to properly condemn the shootings on Israeli territory from Gaza, has all the time in the world to take part in what is unashamedly an anti-Israel propaganda fest, intended to subvert and deny the very foundations of Jewish history,” one diplomatic official said.

“To dignify this kind of shameless bashing sponsored by the Arab League, and to dignify this with an official UN blessing, is to do a huge disservice to Serry’s mission, to the role of the UN and to the cause of peace,” the official said.

The official said the Doha meeting was not a “respectable conference,” but rather a stage “for the denial of Jewish history and the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. Is this the role that Serry wants?” The official added that by taking part in the parley, Serry was “jeopardizing” and “betraying the good relations” Israel had – and wanted to maintain – with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, during his speech to the conference, questioned the Jewish connection to Jerusalem while saying that Israel was “using the ugliest and most dangerous means to implement plans to erase and remove the Arab Islamic and the Christian character of east Jerusalem.”

Serry’s spokesman Richard Miron responded by saying that the UN envoy went to Doha as the secretarygeneral’s representative to read a message from him.

Referring to the criticism that Serry did not properly condemn missile attacks from Gaza, Miron said that both Serry and Ban “have repeatedly condemned attacks on Israel,” and that Serry has “been actively involved in trying to bring about calm in the area.”

Serry, who termed the Doha conference an “important international forum,” told the participants during his speech there Sunday that the “status of Jerusalem and other core issues” should be resolved through negotiations. He called on the Palestinians to remain “constructively engaged” in talks with Israel.

He then censured Israel for “continued settlement activity in occupied east Jerusalem as well as in the rest of the West Bank.”

“Home demolitions, forced evictions and the revocation of permanent residency” in east Jerusalem were “also cause for continued deep concern,” he said.

“Access into east Jerusalem remains severely restricted by checkpoints, permits and the barrier, whose route is contrary to the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice,” Serry said, without mentioning Israel’s security rationale for those measures.