Come, Protect the Temple Mount

The Arabs understood one thing long ago.

Dr. Tzipora Pinner,

Arutz 7

It's nothing new and has been going on for many years. Maybe that's how people got used to it and barely react any longer. Now, on Chol haMo'ed Sukkot, it just happened one more time. I'm new here, an olah chadashah, maybe that's why I sharply noticed it and felt ashamed; humiliated as a Jew.

An Arab mob suddenly started attacking and throwing rocks at a group of Hareidi Jews who were visiting the
I'm new here, an olah chadashah, maybe that's why I sharply noticed it and felt ashamed.
Mount of Olives, across the valley from the Temple Mount.

"They were lucky to escape with their lives," Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told Israel National News. The "they" he referred to, of course, were the Jews, not to the Arabs. He then continued that the Temple Mount had been closed as a precaution, "due to the security risks involved."

In most parts of the world, the police keeps rioters out of sensitive areas in order to protect the public. The State of Israel sometimes resembles the city of Chelm, only it's far less funny because it's real. Here, the police locks out the victims of violence instead of the rioters. The Temple Mount was not closed to Arabs after the incident. It was closed, by police order, to Jews.

Yehuda Glick, a leading Temple Mount activist, noted regarding an earlier, similar event: "The police fulfilled the Arabs' desire to keep the Jews away. They learned that if they throw rocks, then the Jews are prevented from coming."

Arabs continued to stream to the mosques on the site after the incident, albeit restricted to men above the age of 50. Arab women of all ages and children were being allowed to enter in unlimited numbers. They all were eagerly following the call of Fatah-linked Islamic clerics to "come protect the Al-Aqsa," meaning to keep the Jews away from the Mount. And they were successful.

Whoever thought these troubles were limited to the Temple Mount alone should think twice. On the same morning, Islamic Movement deputy leader Sheikh Kamal Khatib said as an afterthought that the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount includes the Western Wall.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu canceled a reception for his staff near the Western Wall after rumors spread among the Arab community that the event was part of an alleged plot to weaken the Al-Aqsa Mosque by tunneling underneath it. At the Western Wall, inch by inch, slowly we are beginning to lose our sovereignty even there, after already de facto handing over the Temple Mount to Muslim control.

The Arabs understood one thing long ago: he who controls the Temple Mount will control Jerusalem. And he who controls Jerusalem will control the Holy Land. Spiritually, ideologically and, in the end, politically. They tirelessly work towards this goal. And Israel, always uselessly scrambling to look good in the eyes of the world, helps them unintentionally.

After the Six Day War in 1967, when the Temple Mount was "in our hands," Israel hurried to hand it over to the Muslim Waqf authority, thereby effectively undermining our claim to our own most sacred site. 2,000 years of yearning and prayer abandoned in the blink of an eye for short-term political considerations.

If the Temple Mount is really ours, really Jewish, then Israel should have declared so immediately after the June 1967 war. Had the leadership done so then, the world would not have opened its mouth to protest. A man who has regained possession of something that he lost leaps on it and shouts, "This is mine!" One who does not do so brings into question his own legitimacy. This is how Rabbi Meir Kahane, H.y.d., put it many years ago; and it describes exactly the problem we have today.

Every time Israel gives in to Arab threats and violence and bars Jews from the Temple Mount, we lose a bit of our legitimacy and credibility. Because if it is really our most sacred site, then wouldn't we be expected to protect our own rights and interests there, instead of those of the Muslims?

No, I am not blaming the Israeli police force. I'm not even blaming our government any more, because nothing better can be expected from them. The ruling elites in Israel, for the most part, are secular and alienated from Jewish values and pride. They are alienated from religious feelings. Because of this, they are incapable of understanding the importance of the Temple Mount for Judaism and the Jewish religious claim to all of Eretz Israel. Ironically, for the same reasons, they are also incapable of understanding the motivation behind the Arabs' struggle for the Temple Mount and the mosques on top of it.

Aside from alienation and ignorance, there may be an additional reason for the government's desire to muffle the Jewish claim to the Temple Mount and prevent religious Jews from going there.

Even during permitted visits, Jews are forbidden to pray or bring along religious items such as prayer books - a bizarre case of discrimination against its own citizens in a state that otherwise boasts of guaranteeing freedom of worship to all faiths at their holy sites. The secular Israeli government fears and loathes the religious-nationalist public with their Torah-based claim to Eretz Israel and the Temple Mount. The Torah, as understood by this part of the population, in its complete form, is the blueprint of an ideal, religious society in the Land of Israel. It is the
It is up to religious Jews with a national conscience to stand up against the anti-Jewish discrimination at Judaism's holiest site.
constitution of a potential Torah state - diametrically opposed to the secular State of Israel today. So this may be one of the reasons why the Israeli government secretly prefers Arab control of the Temple Mount and keeps cracking down on the religious-nationalist settlement movement in other parts of the country.

For all of these reasons, one cannot expect any spontaneous change in Israel's pro-Arab, anti-Jewish Temple Mount policy. For that, considerable public pressure is needed. It is up to religious Jews with a national conscience to stand up against the anti-Jewish discrimination at Judaism's holiest site.

We need a clearly voiced demand for an end to the discriminatory prohibition of Jewish prayer.

Those who understand the significance of the Temple Mount are the ones who have to step into the fray and secure the Jewish claim to it; and thereby, the Jewish, Torah-based claim to the Land of Israel.

If we don't do it, who will? Thank G-d, the number of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount has increased steadily in recent years. Everyone who is able to, should go, with guidance regarding the necessary halachic precautions.