By: Moshe Ma’oz
Sussex Academic Press, Brighton & Chicago, 2021, ISBN 978-1-78976-081-1 [hardback], 270 pages
JEWS, MUSLIMS AND JERUSALEM: DISPUTES AND DIALOGUES
Jews, Muslims and Jerusalem: Disputes and Dialogues examines Muslim–Jewish relations during significant periods of history in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. A deep concern in the Muslim Arab world concerns the status of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock. Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank since 1967, and its control of East Jerusalem, has reinforced anti-Jewish (Judeophobia) and anti-Israel movements. The most prominent are the Hamas, the “Liberation” Party (tahrir), the Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah, the Islamic rulers in Iran, and recently Turkey. Conversely, amongst Jews in Israel and the Diaspora (and amongst many Christians) the last decades have witnessed a rise in extreme Islamophobia in reaction to Arab terrorist attacks, and out of a religious-cultural prejudice against Muslims. Spearheading these trends are members of the Jewish underground, Gush Emunim, Loyalists of the Temple Mount, Holy Temple organizations, and members of the religious Zionist and political movements, the Bayit Yehudi Party and Likud Party.
It is noteworthy that there are numerous proactive movements for coexistence and peace amongst Jews and Muslims in Israel and throughout the world, and in that prevailing spirit dozens of ongoing religious and cultural dialogues are maintained. These interactions, and the political and economic engagement at state level, are distinguished by ambivalence given not only the historical record but through contemporary zealotary by hardliners. The US, the UN and the EU have tried to mediate, but to no avail. President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” has abandoned Washington’s neutrality. PM Netanyahu promotes Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. This book is the most comprehensive, integrated and updated study on these formidable issues. Given the increasingly volatile language by hardline players the Middle East is at a point of critical historical change: Is it to be a political settlement via dialogue or a downward spiral to a dispute that in an age of offensive weaponry available to all parties can only have dire consequences