Mordechai Keidar on Al-Jazeera

Jerusalem is our city forever and is not an issue for you, for Al Jazeera or for anyone else. Period. Jerusalem belongs only to Jews.

20.06.2008 3640 (2)
Mordechai Keidar on Al-Jazeera
Mordechai Keidar on Al-Jazeera

Bar Ilan University political scientist Dr. Mordechai Kedar told a Moslem show host on the Arabic-language Al Jazeera television network, "Jews were in Jerusalem while your ancestors were drinking wine and bowing to idols." In a heated debate with the narrator, he added, "We don't need your permission to build" in the capital of Israel, Jerusalem.

The encounter occurred earlier this week. Dr. Kedar has frequently appeared on the widely viewed Qatar-based network but this time encountered a sharp attack from the show's host, Jimal Rian.

"Building in Jerusalem is another nail in the coffin in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority," narrator Jimal Rian asserted. Dr. Kedar answered in fluent Arabic, "This was our capital 3,000 years ago, and we were here when your forefathers were drinking wine, burying girls alive and worshipping pre-Muslim idols. This is our city and it will be our city forever."

His reference to Muslims drinking wine, which is forbidden in Islam, infuriated the host. Rian wagged his finger in the air and said excitedly, "If you want to talk about history, you cannot erase Jerusalem from the Koran, and don’t attack the Muslim religion if we want to continue talking.

Dr. Kedar replied, "Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Koran. Jerusalem is a Jewish city."

The Al Jazeera host responded by quoting a verse from the Koran in which he thought Jerusalem was mentioned by name, but stopped in the middle upon realizing that it only refers to "the farthest place."

Dr. Kedar: "Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran even once. You can't rewrite the Koran on air on Al Jazeera."

Rian changed the subject to "settlements" and asked Dr. Kedar why Israel is building 1,000 new apartments and deciding to build thousands more while there are rumors that "Jerusalem will include all of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria].

The Bar Ilan researcher replied. "My friend, Israel is not counting the number of apartments that Qatar is building on the Qatar Peninsula so why are you doing so in Jerusalem? Jerusalem is our city forever and is not an issue for you, for Al Jazeera or for anyone else. Period. Jerusalem belongs only to Jews."

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