Muslim leaders do not work enough to protect Jerusalem

"Their reaction is not suitable, it is less than what anyone expects from them to support Jerusalem," said Abir.

16 Desember 2017 14:13

As a native Jerusalem resident, Abir Ziyad is frustated and angred by the recognition declaration of the US President Donald Trump against Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

She emphasizes that Jerusalem, especially East Jerusalem, include the Old City is belong to Palestinians for generations. She says that she was born and gre up in the Old City, like her parents and her grand grand parents.

She acknowledges that she is very upset and so sad to see unsuitable reactions from the muslim leaders. "Their reaction is not suitable, it is less than what anyone expects from them to support Jerusalem," said Abir, a 41 year old mother with four children, in an exclusive interview yesterday with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co


As a Jerusalem resident, what do you feel about Trump's recognition on Jerusalem as a the capital of Israel?

We feel frustated, we refuse it, we are protesting. The protest continue in daily basis. Of course, we know and we were expecting from Trump. We know he is a Zionist that he is supporting an apartheid system here (in Jerusalem), the colonialism. But even though, it was not something that we would like to hear.

And we know now that it will harder on us in Jerusalem. Now, our only chance is to fight as much as we can, to protest as much as we can. Maybe it will stop other effects that is going to be on Jerusalem.

Do you feel hopeless or otherwise Trump's recognition made you are more encouragely to fight against Israeli occupation?

All the time we feel hopeless. The only way we go back to have a reason to live is to fight.

We are hopeless from America, from world countries but we are still living in ourselves as we can. We are hopeless in one side but in another side we will continue to fight because this is our reason to keep alive.

Do you think the leaders from muslim countries give honest supports for the Palestinian struggle?

I don't think the reaction from muslim governments is enought to the declaration of Trump. Their reaction is not suitable, it is less than what anyone expects from them to support Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is suppoosed to be the third holiest city for them, So how they just ignore that and they just do the minimum actions to protect it. We don't think what they are doing is enough. We do not see them inside Jerusalem. We do not see their work.

We do not see something from them to say that they are really supporting Jerusalem or working for Jerusalem.  

So, what kind of concrete actions should be done by muslim leaders to protect Jerusalem from the Israeli occupation?

First for example, is to close American embassies, to close Israel embasssies, to stop dealing with Israel, to really support the existing Palestinians in Jerusalem.         

Is it true that Jewish conglomerates contribute millions of dollars to but Palestinians' lands for the Jews in Jerusalem?

For example, one organization from the Jewish settlers which is inside Jerusalem, they are supported by the Jewish from around the world, from the Israeli government with around US$ 12 millions each year just for this organization alone.

All the fundings that arrive to Jerusalem is not from muslim and Arab countries. Even the minimum donations that they can do they are not doing.

Do you think muslim tycoons should buy lands from settlers in Jerusalem for the Palestinians?

At least to help these people to be able to get lawyers when Israel making fake papers to check their houses. At least to give the people whose their houses demolished tents to live in and help them to rebuild their houses.

It is important to help these people who are starving in Jerusalem as a muslim. When they are standing for Al-Aqsa Mosque that means they are giving their life for it.

Each one, especially who are living in the Old City and around it, had been to jail, had lost one of his family, had been beaten, had been humiliated many times. Their life is not easy at all and most of them are very poor. They something can not afford the food on their table.

So, it is very important to help them, to stand with them. They pay a lot of taxes and they do not have a lot of choices. Their choice is only to stay or to sell to the Jews and run.  
Rare people that accept to sell their houses and to go away. Can you imagine how much the Jews offer them for their houses?

For example, they offered my own father's house which is 50 square meters inside the Old City for US$ 20 millions. Can you imagine that? He can choose instead of living in harsh situations to get that money and leave but he refused.

Most of the people are refusing this. They prefer to be next to the mosque, protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque. People live in poor cinditions for that. At least to stand with them to keep them not to worry about food or their children, especially when they are in jail. They are fighting for the mosque.

Most of time the Jews never sell their properties too muslims or Arabs. Some times there are some buildings belong to Jews from other countries like America. Some times they accept to sell but they ask for a lot of money.

So, it will be very good if they (muslim tycoons) start buying land or houses. But before start buying, it is better to protect what we have.

What is the biggest change made by Israeli authorities that caused Israel are more difficult?

The change has happened since 1967 and it is still effective until now. They take most of the lands and they left for us in Jerusalem as native people only 15 percents of our lands. They do not give us permission of building at the same time they are giving permission building for Jewish on our land they took it.

For example, since 1967 until 2016 they give the Palestinians only 5,000 permissions of building and they give the Jewish people 55,000 permissions of building.

Nowdays, after the declaration of Trump, they said there will be more and more houses and buildings for Zionists inside Jerusalem. So, this is the main effect. Israel is trying to make a whole our life hard.

Another matter that make Palestinians afre suffered in Jerusalem  is in eduction sector. For the last ten years, Israel has stopped to use Palestinian teachers to teach our students. They use Israeli teachers and they use this policy to brainwash our children.  

As a Palestinian who were born and live in Jerusalem, do you want a whole Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine or only East Jerusalem?

The definition of whole Jerusalem is different between Palestinian, Israel, national law. So, it is very complicated to define the territory of Jerusalem because there was Jerusalem before 1948, there was Jerusalem before 1967. There is East Jerusalem after the occupation in 1967 and there is West Jerusalem.

For us, we just want to live in peace. We don't care really if it is only East Jerusalem or all Jerusalem. What we really care about and the most important thing is an area where Palestinians are living around Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City.

Now our official government say they want only East Jerusalem. Nowdays, East Jerusalem is enough for us. We just hope to have it and to be able to protect the people and the land. 

Jamal, nelayan asal Kota Gaza, tengah mempersiapkan sarapan buat putranya berupa roti lapis isi sardencis di tepi pantai, Kamis, 25 Oktober 2012. (Faisal Assegaf/Albalad.co

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