For my review, I looked at Al Jazeera World’s short documentary titled, Jerusalem: Dividing al-Aqsa. The documentary examines and shows us the importance of al-Aqsa to both the Muslims and the Jews. It starts off with a clip from a conference between members of the Knesset, Israel’s unicameral parliament. The topic of the conference was al-Aqsa, and
attempting to resolve the issues and tensions surrounding the mosque.
After the clip is played, a brief history on what al-Aqsa includes and its history is shown. In the documentary they take a look at both perspectives by including people from both sides, both Israelis and Palestinians, to talk about the division. And although both groups were on opposite sides on the issue, one thing they seemed to have in common during the interviews was that neither group wanted to cause any changes to al-Aqsa Mosque. Despite this, Israels politicians have come forward with different proposals that would do just that. For example,
building a tunnel leading to the mosque for the Israleli people or building a third temple on the grounds of al-Aqsa.
The film also brings up the Ibrahimi Mosque, where Israel has placed restrictions on Palestinians access to the site as well as prayer restrictions. And after bringing it up the filmmakers pose the question of whether or not al-Aqsa Mosque would share the same fate. A lot of the Israeli citizens that were interviewed were for the idea of placing a split schedule, where the Jews would have their times and days to pray and the Palestinians would have their own times and days as well. And the Palestinians were against this idea, which is what led to
the disagreement during the Knesset conference meeting that was shown in the beginning of the documentary. The Palestinian members of the Knesset believed a split schedule at the Aqsa would lead to a third intifada, because they believed by doing so, it would give the Israeli government too much power over the Aqsa Mosque.
The documentary does a good job of presenting how much of an important topic that al-Aqsa is to both sides of the debate, as well as the tensions that come with it. And just how sensitive the topic of al-Aqsa to both groups. The Palestinians in the documentary believe that fighting
against the policies and changes the Israeli government is trying to impose, is effective against the further occupation. The film also shows us the bigger picture, like the occupation of the West Bank, the division of Jerusalem as a whole, etc. And by doing so it presents us with a better understanding of the conflict as a whole, that it is not just one specific factor that is the cause or the root of the problem, there are multiple factors that contribute to the problem as a whole.