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If you were quiet during Hagia Sophia, you are not entitled to speak in the matter of Sheikh Jarrah.



Current Israeli-Palestine conflict began on Jerusalem Day, when Israelis celebrate the capture of the eastern part of the city during the 1967 Six-Day War.


The deep lying reason for the ongoing conflict is believed to be the Sheikh Jarrah property dispute.


So, what is the Sheikh Jarrah property dispute?

In short, it can be described as Jewish Landlords vs Muslim Tenants. The Sheikh Jarrah dispute is primarily a property dispute which involves several properties with tenants whose leases have expired and, in a few cases, squatters with no tenancy rights at all. These tenants, who are almost exclusively Palestinian, are facing a legal challenge from their landlords, who are the owners of the property, as has been established by multiple rulings in Israeli courts. The property owner/landlords, who are primarily Jewish, have pursued this litigation throughout the years and have won at every level of the Israel judicial system thus far. On May 10, the Israeli Supreme Court was supposed to rule on an appeal from the Sheikh Jarrah tenants against their landlords. However, this ruling has been delayed for at least 30 days in wake of the violent clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli Police.


Back in the 1870s when Jerusalem was under Ottoman rule, the Jewish community bought the land of what is now Sheikh Jarrah, by overpaying, in order to live close to the supposed tomb of a Jewish High Priest dating back to antiquity. The Jewish community enjoyed uninterrupted ownership of Sheikh Jarrah till 1947. However, after the 1947 Arab-Israeli War, the Kingdom of Jordan occupied East Jerusalem, including Sheikh Jarrah.


Under Jordanian rule, Sheikh Jarrah was re-populated by Palestinian refugees, although the title and ownership of properties in Sheikh Jarrah were not handed over to the Palestinians. Eventually, Israel took over East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967, and the Jewish community began to re-assert its ownership over Sheikh Jarrah. The ownership claim of the Israeli Jewish landlords of Sheikh Jarrah is not seriously disputed, at least in Israeli courts.


Basically, the entire issue in debate can be explained by a short story- Where the landowner is unable to get hold of his land, which is under the control of the tenant.


Jews want their own land, which they purchased way back in the 1870s.


Although, Left leaning organisations, media houses will lead you to believe that Israel is trying to displace innocent Palestinians and how their claim is not justified.


Now, let us move on to the next ‘place’ mentioned in the title- Hagia Sophia.


Hagia Sophia, an important Byzantine structure in Istanbul and one of the world’s great monuments. It was built as a Christian church in the 6th century CE (532–537) under the direction of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. In subsequent centuries it became a mosque, a museum, and a mosque again. The building reflects the religious changes that have played out in the region over the centuries, with the minarets and inscriptions of Islam as well as the lavish mosaics of Christianity.


The initial conversion to Mosque has two theories:


1.Mehmed II bought Hagia Sophia after his conquest of Constantinople(1453) and then converted it into a Mosque.

2.Mehmed II allegedly conquered Hagia Sophia after the successful conquest of Constantinople, didn’t purchase the place, but, converted the Church into a Mosque.

We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the assumption of him being a kind-hearted “CONQUERER” and he performed the act mentioned in (1).


Fast forward to 1934, Turkish President Kemal Atatürk secularized the building, and in 1935 it was made into a museum. Art historians consider the building’s beautiful mosaics to be the main source of knowledge about the state of mosaic art in the time shortly after the end of the Iconoclastic Controversy in the 8th and 9th centuries.


In 1985 the Hagia Sophia was designated a component of a UNESCO World Heritage site called the Historic Areas of Istanbul, which includes that city’s other major historic buildings and locations.


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made the controversial decision in the year 2020 to convert the building back into a mosque citing the alleged purchase/conquest of the year, 1453.


Ironically, Erdoğan is trying to present himself as a defender of the Palestinians and the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.


Timeline of Hagia Sophia:


Credits- On the image

Now, moving on to the main part of this article, the discussion with regards to the sheer hypocrisy of the Left Ecosystem. There was no large scale rallies, long media posts, social media posts with numerous hashtags when it came to the incident of Hagia Sophia. However, Sheikh Jarrah has aroused the inner activist of these hypocritical people.


Sheikh Jarrah property dispute has passed several legal tests, it was purchased in absence of any sort of hostile conquest, unlike Hagia Sophia. But, somehow all these facts are irrelevant because it is not in sync with the agenda of the Left Ecosystem.


To conclude in one line- If your lips were stitched during Hagia Sophia, don’t you dare utter a word with regards to Sheikh Jarrah.




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References:

  1. Britannica

  2. Besacenter

  3. Tripster

  4. Swarajya

  5. Opindia

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