Tourism in Israel is up. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, a record-breaking 382,000 visitor entries were recorded in Israel in May 2014. You see it everyday at the Kotel.
The Western Wall plaza is busy with visitors from all over the world day and night.
The top-hatted doorman at the new Waldorf-Astoria Jerusalem is busy opening doors. Hotel lobbies are bustling and streets are full of tour buses.
Last April in Amman, the fatwa banning Muslims from visiting The Temple Mount was reversed.
Now, The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has named Jerusalem as the capital of Islamic tourism for 2016.
Mahmoud Habbash, PA minister of religious affairs, said the decision is a step towards breaking Israel’s siege of the city’s Islamic and Christian holy site.
Of course, he is not worried about access to Judaism’s most holy site which is extremely limited today and where any Jewish prayer is forbidden.
The Palestinian minister accused Israel of trying to hide the Arab and Islamic identity of Jerusalem.
Any chance to slam Israel, should not be missed. While Muslims on the Temple Mount have gotten increasingly violent against Jewish groups there.
“Jerusalem is the religious and political capital of Palestine,” Habbash said on Thursday, adding that he hopes the Islamic designation will encourage Muslim officials to visit Jerusalem in greater numbers.
Palestinians and Islamic clerics in the Middle East have for years accused Israel of “judaizing” Jerusalem.
Yep, all Jewish prayers going back centuries mention Jerusalem.
Further, The Organization for Islamic Cooperation that met last week in Indonesia to promote ‘Islamic tourism” said in a press release on its website,
the goal was to promote the development of Shariah-compliant hotels and resorts, entertainment and sport facilities, in addition to visits to Islamic cultural sites, promotion of Halal food and drinks, and family dedicated swimming and spa areas.
I wonder where and how they will build those “Shariah-compliant hotels and resorts,” since PA says it is too poor to pay its electric bills.
Under 19 years of Jordanian rule, No Jews were allowed in The Old City or near The Temple Mount. Today all visitors who come to pray at the Western Wall are welcome.
Will Muslim visitors in large numbers try to keep others away once again?
Is that the real Jerusalem Islamic tourism plan?