A guest post by AKUS
“The queues of cars waiting to cross from the tiny 2.6 sq mile territory into [the neighboring country] have lengthened dramatically in the last week, as … border patrols have been ordered to make things more difficult for motorists and workers, increasing security checks in a move condemned … as “childish”.
No, this is not from another article about the attempt to prevent terrorists entering Jerusalem. Nor is the territory in question “Al Kuds”.
It is Jabal Tariq – i.e. Gibraltar – and the neighboring country manning the checkpoints is, of course, Spain. And where better to read about the issue of checkpoints than in The Observer: Gibraltar’s jubilee party sends signal to Madrid .
The reason for the Spanish crackdown is the celebration of the British Monarch’s Jubilee. The Jubilee is being celebrated with particular emphasis in Gibraltar, which was ceded under the Treaty of Utrecht to the British in 1713 by the Dutch, who won the War of the Spanish Succession – whatever that was – which probably had a lot to do with royal jewels and possibly ‘strategic marriage’.
Even worse – Gibraltar – I meant to say the fourth most sacred rock in Islam, Jabal Tariq – was captured from the Caliphate by the Spanish in 1462 – almost 700 years ago.
Of course, history would not be the same without the Jews. Yes, it appears to be the case that the Spanish used their mandatory powers to sell the holy territory of Jabal Tariq to Jews in 1474.
I am not about to check the following, except to note that Spain pulled a particularly dirty trick on the Jews two years later in 1476. In fact, Spain should be using the UN and EU and UNHRC and Amnesty International to force Britain to hand over גברלטר to those to whom Spain sold it then stole it back.
After the conquest, King Henry IV assumed the title of King of Gibraltar, establishing it as part of the municipal area of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar. Six years later Gibraltar was restored to the Duke of Medina Sidonia who sold it in 1474 to a group of Jewish conversos from Cordova and Seville in exchange for maintaining the garrison of the town for two years, after which time the 4,350 Jews were expelled by the Duke as part of the Inquisition.
But as we celebrate Jerusalem Day, the next time the a member of Spanish government has something to say about checkpoints, or Catherine Ashton has something to say about the “occupation”, I will grimly mutter “Tariq Jabal and Utrecht”.
And if, 700 years from now, anti-Zionist activists are still trying to divide Jerusalem (or call it Al Kuds), or the EU is still going on about the plight of the millions of stateless Palestinian refugees and UNRWA’s budget has swallowed up more resources which could be better spent on developing countries, I hope there will be some blogger also whispering the magic words on Jerusalem Day: “A Tariq Jabal and Utrecht to your Al Kuds and Oslo”.