Israel is once again attacking the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Israeli forces storming the ancient religious complex fired tear gas and rubber bullets, seriously injuring hundreds and killing at least one person.
The latest series of attacks is the most consequential since those in May last year, events that led to the Israeli military killing hundreds of Palestinians, injuring thousands, and forcing tens of thousands to flee their houses.
“What is happening at Al-Aqsa right now is more dangerous than at any other time in the past,” Dr. Ramzy Baroud told Lowkey today. Dr. Baroud is a journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, as well as a non-resident senior research fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs. He is the author of six books, including “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak Out,” co-written with Professor Ilan Pappé.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam. Israel’s latest attack – timed as it was to coincide with the holy month of Ramadan – has drawn opprobrium from across the world. Yet most Western corporate media have whitewashed the violence as mere “clashes,” rather than the systematic destruction of an ancient place of worship.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett insisted that his nation was acting in good faith and that he was trying to preserve peace and dignity for both Israelis and Palestinians. Baroud was far from convinced, telling Lowkey:
The fact is Bennett himself is a liar. He speaks about Palestinian dignity, and yet a few years ago, he would take part in killing many Arabs and have no problem with that. Where is the dignity of killing people and having no problem with that? Where is the dignity in stealing Palestinian land, annexing their territories, and depriving them of basic medications, access to hospitals, food and schools?”
Baroud noted that a majority of Israelis now consider themselves to be “right-wing” – a position that would be analogous to “far-right” or “ultranationalist” in other countries. Support for the extremist Temple Mount Movement – a group that advocates for the destruction of Muslim sites of worship and their replacement with Jewish ones – is at an all-time high.
On the other hand, there is some reason to think positively. Israeli actions at the al-Aqsa Mosque have united Palestinians as never before, Baroud claims. Divisions among classes, political parties and religious sects have lessened, and the nation is more determined than ever to resist.
The MintPress podcast, “The Watchdog,” hosted by British-Iraqi hip hop artist Lowkey, closely examines organizations about which it is in the public interest to know – including intelligence, lobby and special interest groups influencing policies that infringe on free speech and target dissent. The Watchdog goes against the grain by casting a light on stories largely ignored by the mainstream, corporate media.
Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist, academic and political campaigner. As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Racial Justice Network and The Peace and Justice Project, founded by Jeremy Corbyn. He has spoken and performed on platforms from the Oxford Union to the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury. His latest album, Soundtrack To The Struggle 2, featured Noam Chomsky and Frankie Boyle and has been streamed millions of times.