Abbas and the Kotel - A Study in Nerve Factor
By Paula Stern
7/4/2010, 12:00 AM
Paula SternPaula R. Stern is CEO and founder of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical...
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Several Israeli Internet sites are reporting that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has stated that in a final agreement, Israel can keep the Western Wall, the Kotel, located in the Old City of Jerusalem. Suddenly, it seems, Abbas believes he can determine what remains in our hands and in his mind, he has generously offered Israel...what we already own, unquestionably, without doubt, through history, through right, through might.
To put this in terms better understood by others - this is the same as offering the French a deed to the Eiffel Tower, telling President Obama he may keep the White House. Abbas may as well tell the Russians that Red Square can remain in Moscow and telling the British that through his generosity, Queen Elizabeth may continue to reside in Buckingham Palace.
If I have not yet shown the absurdity of Abbas' words, I can come up with hundreds more...just look at any country and promise them...what they already own.
The Western Wall was the western retaining wall of the Holy Temples. It has stood more than 2,000 years and will stand longer than Mahmoud Abbas. It was built by the Jewish leaders of their day, to serve the needs of the Jewish people as they worshiped God in their land. If Abbas were to offer to return the Temple Mount - the land upon which our Temples once stood, where today there sits two mosques - that would be a real offer. Not because he has a legitimate claim to that land, but because we were stupid enough to hand it back over to their control in 1967 and since that time, our access to that holiest of places has been restricted, limited, and often denied by successive Israeli governments who fear upsetting the Arabs.
From 1948 - 1967, to the deafening silence of most of the world, Jews were denied complete access, while since 1967, Arabs have had almost free access while it has been under the security control of Israel. They have enjoyed complete religious freedom up there on our Temple Mount, even to the point that Jews are not allowed today to pray - even silently to themselves, if they dare move their lips in silent concentration.
As for Abbas' less than generous offer - it should be treated with the ridicule and absurdity it deserves. He has no legal, moral, physical, or logical right to offer President Obama sovereignty of the White House...and that has stood less than 200 years. How much less is his right to offer the Jewish people what has stood on our land and in our hearts for 2,000 years.