Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Meet Dr Norman Gary Finkelstein, 64, an American political scientist, activist, professor, author, and Jewish.

His primary fields of research are the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust, an interest motivated by the experiences of his parents who were Jewish Holocaust survivors.

Finkelstein, who is one of the most courageous Judaics in the world and has been a real thorn in the side of the Zionist machine, has an answer to Christians and Jews who refer to the Bible as their base for their claim over Palestinian land.

"If I came with a Bible in one hand and came to your home, I knocked on your door and said `according to my Bible, my family lived where your home is, my family lived there two thousand years ago,` would you pack up your bags and leave?" Finkelstein asked a Zionist Israeli, who claimed that he and his parents just followed the Bible as a guide to claim Palestinian land as their ancestor`s land.

Having been decisively anti-war and an ardent defender of First Amendment rights to free speech, he has called Israel a "lunatic state" and asked, "Why should these Palestinians, who have lived in Jerusalem for hundreds of years, be evicted from their homes so that Jews from Brooklyn can live in them?"

Jerusalem is the Holy Land for three major religions, namely Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

For Muslims, Al Aqsa Mosque, which is located in Jerusalem and mentioned in the Holy Book of Quran, belongs to every Muslim in the world, not only Palestinians.

Al Aqsa Mosque is Islam`s third holiest site after Masjidil Haram in Mecca and Nabawi Mosque in Medina; the first qibla (direction faced while praying); and the second mosque to be ever built on Earth.

The Prophet Muhammad, a descendant of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) through his son Ismail, was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to Al Aqsa during the Night Journey (Israa Miraaj).

On reaching Jerusalem, the Prophet Muhammad met and led all the previous Prophets in prayer at Al Aqsa and then embarked on the Miraaj to the Heavens.

The journey of Israa was such a momentous occasion that Allah revealed verses relating to this journey in the Holy Quran - "Glorified be He [Allah] Who did take His servant for a journey by night from Al Masjid Al Haram to Al Masjid Al Aqsa, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of Our Signs. Verily He is the All Hearing, All Seeing" [17:1].

Given the significance of Jerusalem (Al Quds, in Arabic) to Muslims and witnessing the sufferings faced by Palestinians whose land has been stolen, homes have been destroyed, families have been evicted, and children and women have been jailed or killed by Zionist Israeli colonialist, it is not surprising if many people, who are against Zionist colonization, strongly oppose the decision of US President Donald Trump who recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

So far, all Muslim-majority and Arab countries have expressed opposition to the Trump`s move. Indonesia and its immediate neighbor, Malaysia, have expressed strong condemnation of the US decision.

Leaders of 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), including President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, on Dec 13, and voiced their united stance against the Trump`s move.

In the Istanbul Declaration on "Freedom for al-Quds," they have rejected and condemned Trump`s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and have called on the world to recognize east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi had initiated a visit to the European Union (EU) Headquarters in Brussels to gather EU`s support for Palestine and conveyed the outcomes of the OIC Extraordinary Summit.

EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, Vincent Guerend, on the evening of Dec 13, confirmed the planned meeting of Marsudi and EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini in Brussels on Dec 14, 2017.

Guerend also confirmed that Mogherini had agreed to meet Marsudi, as the EU also shared a similar view as Indonesia on the Jerusalem issue.

In Brussels, Marsudi conveyed the need for International community, especially European countries, to uphold the international laws and norms to respect and maintain the status quo of Jerusalem in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.

"Indonesia expects European countries not to follow US` unilateral move on the status of Jerusalem," Marsudi told Mogherini during the bilateral meeting in the EU Commissioner Office.

Furthermore, Marsudi also asked European countries to recognize Palestine as an independent state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently took his case to Europe to ask allies to join the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel`s capital but met a firm rebuff from EU foreign ministers, who saw the move as a blow against the peace process.

Mogherini rejected the call made by Israeli prime minister and said that there was full EU unity in support of the status quo of Jerusalem.

The EU remains committed to a two-state settlement for the Israelis and the Palestinians, with Jerusalem as the capital of both - East Jerusalem for Palestine, and West Jerusalem for Israel.

If Trump does not revoke his decision, he and Netanyahu will be further isolated by the world community.


Reporter: Fardah Assegaf
Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2017