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Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR
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Eli E. Hertz
Middle East 11:29 AM 4/23/2014
Middle East 8:33 AM 4/23/2014
Inside Israel 8:16 AM 4/23/2014
Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR
Eli E. Hertz
Tamar & Tovia Dynamite
Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast
I am a resident of Shiloh, with my wife and children, and now grandchildren, since 1981, having come on Aliyah in 1970. I have served in a volunteer capacity as a Yesha Council spokesperson, twice a member of Amana's secretariat, Benjamin Regional Council plenum member and mayor of Shiloh. I was a parliamentary aide for Geula Cohen and two other MKs, an advisor to a Minister, vice-chairman and executive director of Israel's Media Watch and currently, am Information and Content Resource coordinator for the Begin Heritage Center.
A thought came to me (no, not in a brilliant flash of light) regarding the Temple Mount.
One of the central difficulties in advancing the full implementation of the Law for the Protection of the Holy Places is the position of the High Court of Jusice which views the issue not fully in terms of juridicial application.
The Law states:
The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places.
Whosoever desecrates or otherwise violates a Holy Place shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of seven years.
Whosoever does anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of five years.
This Law shall add to, and not derogate from, any other law.
The Minister of Religious Affairs is charged with the implementation of this Law, and he may, after consultation with, or upon the proposal of, representatives of the religions concerned and with the consent of the Minister of Justice make regulations as to any matter relating to such implementation.
There are several problems.
In the first instance, the whole policy of the governments of Israel since 1967 has been - do not alter in any way the status quo. That might be acceptable but as we know, or should, the status quo only applies to Jews. Muslims have constructed two undergound mosques (and we recently discovered that the Barclay Gate vestibule has also been rennovated) in addition to gardening (to cover up Herodian paving stones), walkways, building open-air prayer platforms Iwnere they play soccer) and they hold political demonstrations within the esplanade. Oh, and besides Sheikh Raed Salah being prosecuted for incitement, have you ever heard of a Muslim tried for hurting my feelings when they destroy historical and cultural and religious artifacts on the Temple Mount?
In the second instance, the "sensitivity" quotient of the site, that is, its "flashpoint level", is what concerns the justices, not justice, not human rights, not what the law guarantees. To estimate that, the justices depend on the ... police. They have no independent verification method to confirm what the police tell them.
And in the third instance, that last element in the law - the "regulations" - is a real stumbling-block. In the last forty-six years, they have not been made. So, the judges say, how can we provide you with assistance if there exist no regulations.
What would those regulations define? Well, the days Jews can enter freely; the hours of those days; the places where Jews can exercise their freedom of access, their freedom of worship.
A Catch-22 situation in a sense. If there are no regulations, the argument goes, how can we permit you to do something, like praying, if it is administratively non-existent? After all, in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron there are regulations.
All this has bothered me for decades. But the flash came.
If the lack of regulations handicap the court from providing Jews our rights, well, the lack of such should equally handicap the government from preventing us from having our rights fulfilled. Full bureaucratic equality.
What's 'good' for the government, and is 'bad' for us, should be turned on its head: what's 'bad' for the government must be 'good' for us. If the regulations are required for us to possess and exercise rights, regulations must be applicable to the government in order for it to prevent us our rights. But, since the regulations do not exist, how can the government deny us rights, except in the case of immediate threats to public order.
Is that flashy or what?
My bank is still Bank Leumi.
Banks are for financial transactions, loans, savings and investments.
A river has a "bank" but that surelyy does not extend for dozens of miles, up and down hills.
Judea and Samaria are the historical and geographical names of the area I live in, posrtions of the Land of Israel not yet under full Israel sovereignty. They are where Jews have lived for over 3000 years, very rarely not residing there and most recently, banned from living there due to a Jordanian occupation - illegal, I might add, between 1948-1967.
Jews lived in Gaza, in Hebron in Judea and Shchem of Samaria up until 1929 for many centuries.
They are not the "West Bank", a foreign term, one applied in April 1950 by a former Saudi Arabian who invaded Transjordan in November 1920 and,, incidentally, stymied the political aspirations of the Arabs of the Mandate of Palestine.
If you want to use the term "west" in describing the territory of the Land of Israel west of the Jordan River, it is not the "West Bank" but:
20 And the west side shall be the Great Sea, from the border as far as over against the entrance of Hamath. This is the west side.
That's from Ezekiel/Yechizkel 47:20.
Noting that the agreement seemingly represents an attempt to negatively affect Israel's sovereignty in Jerusalem and its holy shrines, his two queries are:
1. What is Israel's official stand regarding the agreement?
2. Why does Israel not declare publicly and firmly that it rejects this injurious attempt?
The answer came a month later from then Deputy Foreign Minister Zev Elkin:
Re: Israel's Ignoring of the Agreement between King Abdallah and the PA President as regards the Temple Mount
1. The setting of Jordan's position complies with Israel's outlook and contributes to the distancing of undesired elements, including Qatar and other Arab Muslim countries.
2. The Jordanian recognition of Palestinian sovereignty in East Jerusalem is not new but has been reestablished by this agreement.
3. The agreement does comply with the terms of the special status awarded to Jordan concerning the holy sites to Islam according to the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty, 9 (2), and therefore restricts the Palestinian aspirations (symbolically and administratively) on the Temple Mount.
This is outrageous.
I complained about the ignoring at the time.
I have asked Yariv to pursue the matter.
We don't want Abdallah singing "Two Banks Has The Jordan".
P.S. For those who comprehend Hebrew, here's a recording of Internal Security Minister informing his questioners that PM Netanyahu reconfirmed to him the government position not to permit Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.
"Consistent with our commitment to consult closely with our Israeli friends...he wants the United States and Israel to begin consultations immediately regarding our efforts to negotiate a comprehensive solution,"...
What should be the campaign focus now?
What Benjamin Netanyahu is thinking I do not know. And I doubt he'll tell me.
But what I would suggest is to focus on Obama and to highlight the following points:
a) is he reliable? can he be trusted based on his performance these past few years? how to we track his future moves on Iran?
b) is a proper supervisory mechanism in place? will it work? will it report publicly?
c) based on those reports, does the US and its allies have a military alternative response is infractions and violations happen?
We must emphasize that a strike is the only alternative to this deal's failing. No more deals. No more negotiations.
Instead of having Israel being pressured all the time, the object is to pressure the United States and its President (as for its Secretary of State, if Obama prefers someone else to negotiate, we can leave him out).
But we can name a new term: to be kerryed which means to be circumvented but employed to mislead as a useful idiot.
Amazing but it seems that the United States wouldn't mind Israel retaining control over Judea and Samaria, as long as the autonomy plan is resurrected.
It does so for Morocco. Here:
The United States said Friday that a plan drawn up by Morocco regarding the autonomy of Western Sahara was "serious, realistic and credible" ahead of a meeting between President Barack Obama and King Mohammed VI.
"Morocco's autonomy plan is serious, realistic and credible," White House spokesman Jay Carney said. "It represents a potential approach that can satisfy the aspirations of the people in the Western Sahara to run their own affairs in peace and dignity."
Wait, didn't Menachem Begin suggest that?
Isn't that progress?