The surprise arrival into Israeli-controlled territory by
the Muslim leader, with help from Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat who hosted
the trip, stunned authorities of the Jewish state who were caught off guard by the
earlier-than-announced visit. Since Min. Farrakhan holds an American passport he was free
to tour Israel, without hindrance, according to a statement issued by the
However, other officials of the government of Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including Cabinet Secretary Dan Naveh, were openly hostile
and belligerent, calling for the Muslim leader and his delegation of 24 to be expelled
at once ... in a legal way.
In the face of a threatened provocation by the head of
Jerusalem Is Ours, an ultra-nationalist Jewish group, a spokesman for
Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert refused to guarantee the safety of the Muslim group.
Its a free city, Haggai Elias said in a published report. Anybody
can go wherever he likes. But if someone is instigating a provocation, then its for
the police to decide what to do.
Palestinian Authority advisers, including Christian Arabs
who administer the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, advised Min. Farrakhan that they were
concerned for the groups safety because they have no security authority in
Israeli-controlled areas. The Muslim leader considered leaving Israeli-controlled
territory immediately after meeting President Arafat, a delegation official told The
Final Call. The next morning the Ministers desire to go to Jerusalem was
kindled again, but that decision was finally overridden.
My mission was a mission of peace, the Muslim
leader said of his decision to leave without entering Jerusalem, in an interview with CNN
reporter Walter Rogers. And after seeing all the ugly stories on tv and radio, I
felt that if my presence would incite the passion of the hatred of the Israeli people for
me, it would be better that I leave than my presence incite an incident with possible
Recalling the arduous security screening even American citizens
must endure to enter Israel from Jordanlong waits at numerous check points, luggage
and sometimes personal body checksthe Nation of Islam leader recalled the long lines
of Palestinians who receive no diplomatic considerations which he observed on his way into
Gaza. Such daily indignities, President Arafat said in a briefing for the delegation, add
four to six hours per-day to the work day of each Palestinian employed in Israel, when,
that is, Israel opens her borders to permit the entry of Palestinian workers.
There is a saying by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), that
one is not a Muslim, one is not a righteous person, until one loves for his brother, what
he loves for himself, the Muslim leader told reporters. The Israelis wanted a
state. They wanted a flag. They wanted an independent and sovereign land. This they have.
The Palestinians want and deserve the same thing, he said, citing one thing Israelis
can do to help guarantee peace and secure their borders.
In the emotional first meeting between the two men, they
embraced, then embraced again, recalling their mutual admiration for one anothers
commitment to the cause of justice for the downtrodden. President Arafat expressed his
appreciation to Min. Farrakhan for his longstanding support for the Palestinian cause, and
he related his fondness for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who preceded Min. Farrakhan as
leader of the Nation of Islam, from 1934 to 1975.
In addition, President Arafat complained of dozens of
incidents of Israeli violations and non-compliance with (peace) Agreements (already)
signed, by the Israeli government, releasing a document from his Negotiations
Affairs Department, detailing the violations.
Muslims can help solve the problems of Palestine and help
secure the peace process, Min. Farrakhan said. The whole Muslim ummah, if it were
unified, it could go a long way toward ending the suffering of the Palestinian people.
And lastly, President (Bill) Clinton and the nations
that signed Oslo 1, Oslo 2, the Hebron Protocols have a duty to the peace
process, he continued, referring to the broken promises by the Israelis which have
not been enforced by the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Muslim countries which
signed on, guaranteeing compliance by both sides when the Oslo Peace Accords
Comparing Mr. Clintons and his Western
allies appeasement of the Netanyahu government to Britains
pre-World War II Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Min. Farrakhan warned that these
countries, become an accomplice in these atrocious actions that could very well lead
to war in that area, a wider war in the Middle East, and then global war, if the peace
process is not put back on track.
I could not go to Al-Aqsa, Min. Farrakhan told
reporters here, but His Excellency President Yasser Arafat presented me with Al-Aqsa
in the Mother-of-Pearl, he said, displaying a stunning boxed sculpture depicting the
third holiest shrine to Muslims worldwide. I can carry Al-Aqsa with me wherever I
(Photos: #1 -Min. Farrakhan speaks with reporters in Gaza; #2 -Min.
Farrakhan embraces Palestinian Authority President, Yasser Arafat, #3 President Arafat
presents Min. Farrakhan with sculpture, "Mother-of-Pearl".)
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