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Thursday, August 26, 2004
PMW:Subject: PATV: Israel conspired to burn Al-Aqsa Mosque, Golda Meir "laughed"

Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin
Aug. 26, 2004

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PATV: Israel conspired to burn Al-Aqsa Mosque, Golda Meir "laughed"

By Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook


The Palestinian Authority (PA) regularly invents and disseminates distorted
versions of history that present Israelis as villains and Palestinians as
victims. One of the most prominent examples, which receives great attention
every year and has been featured on PATV this week, rewrites history by
blaming Israel for a 1969 arson attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Aug. 21, 1969, a non-Jewish Australian named Michael Rohan set fire to
the podium of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israel arrested and tried the mentally
deranged arsonist.

For years, the PA has been portraying this as a Zionist attack on the
mosque. This week, a special program dedicated to the issue described the
incident as a premeditated attack by the Israeli government. According to
this broadcast, Israel conspired with the arsonist, then deliberately
allowed the fire to spread by delaying the arrival of fire engines and
cutting off water to the site.

The PA version of events -- this week and in previous years -- also states
that then-Prime Minister Golda Meir referred to the fire as both the
"hardest" and "happiest" day of Israel's history: the hardest because she
feared the incident would lead to an attack by neighboring Arab countries,
and the happiest because such an attack never occurred. One account from
2001 even claimed that Meir "laughed" when there was no attack.

The following are excerpts from this week's broadcasts and one from last
year, demonstrating the systematic repetition of the libel:

Taissir Rajab Al-Tamimi, the Chief of Judges, and the chairman of the
Islamic law high council in the Palestinian Authority: "The Israeli
government conspired and formed an alliance with this criminal -- who came
from Australia, and is a Jew -- for the burning of the blessed Al-Aqsa
Mosque. On August 21st, 1968, a year before the burning of the Mosque, he
came to the Mosque and tried to burn it. He inserted the [flammable]
substances to burn the Mosque, but the guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque
prevented it. The Israeli government expelled him to Australia."

Dr. Hassan Khater, founder of the Al-Quds encyclopedia: "This happened in

Taissir Tamimi: "In '68. A year later on the same date, on August 21st,
1969, this criminal arrived and set fire to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.
This is why we claim that the Israeli government is the planner and
executer. The area burned by the fire, which included a large portion of
the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, confirms that the one who committed this
catastrophic action is not [Australian] Michael Rohan, as claimed, but a
number of people . . . There is a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that
Israel is the one that planned the burning, [including] the delay of the
fire engines to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. If it were not [for the delay]
of the fire engines from Hebron, Ramallah, Nablus, and other cities in the
West Bank, the fire would not have spread to the whole mosque. . . One
piece of evidence that clarifies that the Israeli government participated
in the event is that it shut down the water to the Al-Aqsa Mosque."

[PATV special broadcast, Aug. 23, 2004]

Ibrahim Mudayris, a PA religious leader: "About 35 years ago the blessed
Al-Aqsa mosque was set to burn by an oppressing Zionist terrorist."

[PATV Friday sermon, Aug. 20, 2004]

Mudayris: "On this day the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque was subjected to the
cursed fire by the treachery of the Zionist oppressors . . . On August
21st, 1969, it was set afire by a Zionist gang.

[PATV Friday sermon, Aug. 15, 2003]

The following are fictitious accounts, from this week's broadcast and from
previous years, of Golda Meir's reaction to the burning of the mosque:

Taissir Tamimi: "When the Al-Aqsa Mosque burned on August 21st, 1969, Golda
Meir, the Israeli Prime Minister at the time, said that the hardest day
that the Zionist Entity ever had was the day of the burning of the Al-Aqsa
Mosque, and that was also the happiest day. How is this? She assumed that
the Islamic Nation would move the armies and they would all come to
Israel... but in the evening the Nation turned to the Security Council . . .

[PATV special broadcast, Aug. 23, 2004]

Ibrahim Mudayris:"When the accursed Golda Meir was asked what were the
hardest days of her life, she answered, 'The day the Al-Aqsa mosque was
burned.' And when asked for the happiest day of her life, she answered,
'The day the Al-Aqsa mosque was burned.' They asked her, 'How can this
be?' She said, 'The day the Al-Aqsa mosque was burnt I thought that [we
have come to the] last day of the state of Israel, but when I saw the
Muslim responses, I understood that Israel is safe in the region of the
Arab world.'"

[PATV Friday sermon, Aug. 20, 2004]

Mudayris: When the Mosque burned, an old woman was prime minister of the
Zionist Entity. Her name was Golda Meir. She controlled the Zionist Entity,
and when she heard that a gang of Zionists dared to burn the blessed
Al-Aqsa Mosque, she clapped her hands [in sorrow] and mourned the [bad
luck] of Israel, for she assumed that the Muslims and Arabs would hurry
instantly to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the hands of the Zionist

[PATV Friday sermon, Aug. 15, 2003]

Dr. Ismail Radwan, lecturer at the Islamic University of Gaza: "The
incident of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the burning of the Sallh [Al-Din] podium
remind us of what Golda Meir did, Allah's curse be upon her, when she cried
on the first day of the burning of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and laughed on the
next. When asked about it she said,'I cried on the first day fearing that
the Muslims will act, in fear of a worldwide Muslim action for Al-Aqsa. But
when the Muslims did not act, and all I heard the next day were calls of
condemnation, I laughed about it.'"

[PATV Friday sermon, Aug. 17, 2001]




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