by Stuart Littlewood
Here’s another dastardly twist in the religious hate war against Muslims in the Holy Land.
According to a report by The Times, mosques in the city of Lod are threatened with having their loudspeakers, which call the faithful to prayer five times a day, shut down. The first call is at 4.45am and this is a nuisance to non-Muslim residents, so much so that the mayor recently suggested broadcasting a Jewish prayer to drown out the Muslim adhan. Imagine the pre-dawn cacaphony. No, he’s not exactly the brightest fairy-light on the Christmas tree.
The argument is that hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens routinely suffer from the noise caused by the muezzin’s calls, it’s getting them down and freedom of religion shouldn’t be allowed to undermine their quality of life.
However, a bill going through the Knesset banning the use of outside broadcast equipment by houses of worship, which had the support of prime minister Netanyahu, was stopped in its tracks when it dawned on some members that the wording could backfire on religious Jewish communities who use a siren to mark the start of the Sabbath on Friday evenings. So it’s back to the drawing board on this one. Personally I’d prefer the naturally mellifluous voice of the muezzin from a distant minaret to the electronically amplified and distorted version. It should still disturb the sleep of a useful number of Israelis, especially if muezzins punctuate their performance with an occasional blast from a musical instrument like the bugle.
This is not the first time that the dark forces of Zionism have tried to silence the Muslims of this city. Lod was originally a Canaanite town and in ancient times became the old Arab city of Lydda. Its importance grew under Ottoman rule and the British mandate and by 1948 it had become a key trading centre with an airport and rail hub and nearly 20,000 inhabitants – 18,500 Muslim and 1,500 Christian. The UN’s Partition Plan of 1947 allocated Lydda to a future Arab state.
But in July 1948 Israeli terrorist troops seized Lydda, shot up the town and drove out the population as part of their ethnic cleansing programme. In the process they silenced 426 men, women, and children…. permanently. 176 of them were slaughtered in the town’s main mosque. See here for the lurid details.
Those who survived were forced to walk into exile in the scalding July heat leaving a trail of bodies — men, women and children — along the way. And who was the perpetrator of this foul massacre? None other than the great hero of the Six Day War, Moshe Dayan.
The assault on Lydda was witnessed by two American news correspondents. One recorded that “practically everything in their way died. Riddled corpses lay by the roadside.” The other wrote that he saw “the corpses of Arab men, women and even children strewn about in the wake of the ruthlessly brilliant charge”.
Christians, especially English Christians (and indeed Swedish, Portuguese, Romanian, Georgian and Maltese) will be aware that these outrages were committed in St George’s home town. He was born and buried in Lydda.
Israeli troops carried away 1,800 truck loads of loot. Jewish immigrants then flooded in and Lydda was given its Hebrew name, Lod.
So Israelis have no right to be there in the first place. Nor Ben Gurion airport, formerly Lydda airport. All was stolen in the murderous terror raid.
There’s an amusing story where an irate airline passenger wrote: “This morning (6 May 2003) on a flight from Rome to Tel Aviv, after landing the pilot announced in the microphone: ‘Welcome to Palestine’. I think this is the most disgusting thing for a pilot to say.”
It led to a long and acrimonious argument on the forum with many demanding dire punishment for the Alitalia pilot. It seems an Air France pilot had said something similarly shocking. Had he been sacked I’d have enjoyed chairing his employment tribunal. I salute that unnamed Alitalia pilot. And the Air France one.
So next time you fly into Ben Gurion, if the pilot doesn’t announce over the tannoy the greeting: ‘Welcome to Lydda and Palestine. And may St George protect you!’ remember to whisper it to yourself. Whisper being the operative word seeing as how Israelis tend to get twitchy when confronted with the truth.