On Temple Mount, the Status Quo Fuels Violence

You can't say any religion has more rights to Mecca than Islam, and you can't say any religion has more rights to the Temple Mount than the Jews. But we ourselves say it. And today is Friday.

Tags: Temple Mpunt
Prof. Alan Friedlander

OpEds Prof. Alan Friedlander
Prof. Alan Friedlander

Do not blame anti-Semitism alone as the source for all anti-Israel media bias. True, there is rabid anti-Semitism in the world today, and that is unconscionable as it is shocking. There are people who hate Israel for no good reason and some of them have key positions in the media. But there is a another reason - on a deeper level - behind some of the bias against Israel. 

What can that reason be? And how do we know this to be so? When we see that even some friends of democracy and freedom of religion are showing bias against Israel. And that's the problem, it's not only the media all people know or strongly suspect to be anti-Semitic, it is the moderate media mimicking them that is the main problem causing the current hasbara nightmare out there.

Why? Everyone knows, even if they say the opposite, that Israel tried its best to carry out a negotiated peace deal. Everyone knows that Israel does not hate peace. Everyone knows you can't hate Jews in public, that's anti-Semitism, still a no-no. You can't hate Judaism, that's culture bias. So why?

Go back in time before the recent stabbing attacks began. It began on the Temple Mount. Jews prayed there, and the Arabs complained, but there was no outbreak of stabbings. The Knesset reiterated support of the current status quo on the Temple Mount and only then this new dimension of terror, with accusations against Israel vis a vis the Temple Mount, ensued.

Why? Is it true that the status quo is fair? No, the Temple Mount is the Jews' Holy of Holies, literally. You can't say any religion has more rights to Mecca than Islam, and you can't say any religion has more rights to the Temple Mount than the Jews.

At least if truth is the agenda.

But it isn't and for any deception to be believed by a friend, against you, it must have a ring of what they perceive as truth, otherwise the friend would never stoop to that level. 

It is not because your friends hate you that they speak against you. It is because they are basing their reactions on what you said against yourself and against God's holy mountain. 

Israel's president recently said

"What has happened in the city over the past few days and weeks is heartbreaking and must be strongly condemned. Let me be clear; those who wish to turn the tragedy between us into a religious war have blood on their hands."

If only the president had stopped there, but he continued,

"We hear again and again, lies about Israel's intentions toward the holy mountain - holy to Jews and Muslims. So again, I say clearly, Israel has no intention to change the status quo. But this status quo - this important understanding - needs two sides to keep it.”

President Rivlin stressed that Israel would “continue to respect Muslim prayer at the site, the Mosque and the Shrine. But Muslims must respect the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, the Jews who live in Jerusalem, and the Jews who visit its holy sites. Only then can we begin – Jews, Muslims, and Christians - to live like we did before , together in the city of Jerusalem and all the holy land.”

This doctrine of the Israeli political center is a can of worms. Fuel for igniting the problem. It brings in the concept of Freedom of Religion to the forum of Palestinian Arabic attempts to establish statehood (aka to destroy Israel). But in truth, this is a lie. It is exclusively the Jews' Holy of Holies!

Stop trying to share what you have no mandate to share. Let our rabbis lead in this. Let them suggest the fitting status quo.

It is the above doctrine that the current government has been handing out to the very terrorists that plague our nation. The doctrine of minimizing legitimate Jewish claim to the Holy Mountain is akin to doing things for the sake of friendliness to your neighbor, at the expense of abusing your own family. Politicians should stop interfering in Judaism and ask the Rabbis how to proceed from here.  Stop the foreign worship of a foreign policy, and things will immediately begin to get better. 

We can say, "We tried to share this holy mountain with our Arab neighbors, but they themselves do not wish to share. Under those circumstances, unless they change their actions, we must reclaim our Holy of Holies. From now on, no one shall approach this holy mountain, as per the Will of the Creator who bestowed this mountain to our forefathers as an everlasting abode for the Temple worship we direct towards Him. Before Isaiah's prophecy of "a House of Prayer for all people" can occur, the words of Joel must first be adhered to.  "And you shall know that I, the Lord your God, does dwell in Zion, My holy mount, and Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall no longer pass through there."