World Bulletin/News Desk
A group of Islamic and political thinkers on Thursday decried Israeli policies in the occupied city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), saying they threatened the city's religious sites and its Arab/Islamic identity.
"I have to say that we're losing Al-Quds," said Abdel-Qadir Yassin, a Palestinian thinker living in Cairo.
"Arab rulers are preoccupied with problems in their own countries," he told a conference held by the Cairo-based Arab Medical Union.
Repeated raids by Jewish settlers on Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, a religious site central to the Islamic faith, have infuriated Palestinians and Muslims worldwide.
Israeli settlers routinely break into the outer courts of the mosque complex to celebrate Jewish festivals and holidays.
The Israeli authorities have recently opened most of the outer courts to the general public, drawing large numbers of extremist Jewish settlers to the heart of Islam's third holiest site.
Egyptian Islamic thinker Mohamed Emara, for his part, has warned against a drive by the Israeli authorities to further expand the ongoing occupation of Palestinian land.
Speaking at the conference, he said that Israel was now in control of 42 percent of the West Bank and 34 percent of the border area with the Gaza Strip.
The self-proclaimed Jewish state, he went on to warn, was well on its way to occupying the whole of historical Palestine.
Emara called on Arabs and Muslims not to forget their usurped rights in Palestine as they sought to resolve the internal problems currently plaguing their respective countries.
"It's important to keep the memory of Israel's occupation of Palestine alive," Emara insisted. "One day, a new generation will come to take these usurped rights back by force."
Other conference speakers called for a "new discourse," by which Arabs and Muslims might inform the world about their rights in Palestine.
Such a discourse, they said, should refute longstanding Zionist myths about Palestine and its historical inhabitants.
"Arab governments spend millions of dollars to suppress their people," said Egyptian political science professor Seif Eddin Abdel-Fattah. "This money would be much better spent on challenging international misconceptions about Arab rights in Palestine."
"It's time we spoke a different language to convince the world that we are here to defend our historical and religious rights," added Abdel-Fattah.Last Mod: 19 Eylül 2013, 17:15