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Mordechai Kedar in al-Jazeera about Jerusalem & Islam

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Uploaded on Jun 12, 2008

mkedar@mail.biu.ac.il Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University defends the Jewishness of Jerusalem, the Jewish capital for over 3000 years. He also defends the right of Israelis to settle in Judea and Samaria, the West Bank.

Gil Ronen

"We were here when your forefathers were drinking wine, burying their daughters alive and worshipping idols" -- this was just one of Bar Ilan University political scientist Dr. Mordechai Kedar's ripostes to questions by an Al Jazeera interviewer two weeks ago, in an interview that has received rave reviews from Israel-lovers the world over for its forcefulness. "They did not expect me to take the discussion to history and especially not to religion," Kedar told Israel National News. But discuss religion he did in the above video, reminding his interviewer that Jerusalem was not mentioned even once in the Koran and saying directly in fluent Arabic that "Jerusalem is not on the negotiating table," and that "Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, period."

"This was very aggravating" for the Al-Jazeera interviewer, Kedar explained, "because in the Islamic view, Islam came into the world to replace Judaism and Christianity, not to live side by side with them. And here, all of a sudden, the Jews are coming from exile and building their state again and G-d forbid they also regained Jerusalem." Judaism is thus regaining its meaning, and Islam is challenged by this, the Bar-Ilan professor explained. "The mere existence of the State of Israel and the fact that we are in Jerusalem is some kind of challenge to the legitimacy of Islam in their eyes," Kedar explained.

"This is not pro-Israel public relations," Dr. Kedar told Israel National News. "This is a battle for the Arab heart, which Israel is apparently losing because Israel gave up on the main tool which should have served it, which is an independent Israeli Zionist satellite channel in Arabic." Many Arabs, he said, would consider changing their views if such a channel were available.

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