...Visiting the Temple Mount is a schizophrenic experience. When standing there, it is impossible not to be awestruck by the magnitude of where you are and the enormity of the colossal events that took place there. It is on the Temple Mount that both the First and Second Temple stood for nearly 1,000 years...Throughout history, whenever and wherever Jews were engaged in prayer, they faced Jerusalem. And when in Jerusalem, they pray in the direction of the Temple Mount...imagine your family tree and to consider when the last time anybody in the family line had been on the Temple Mount...
But now...I was forbidden to pray. Simply moving my lips in whispered prayer could be grounds for removal. Why? Because I am a Jew. And only a Muslim can pray on the holiest site in Judaism. A Jew may not.
...[in 1967] defense minister Moshe Dayan decided to allow the Muslim religious council, the Wakf, to retain administrative authority over the Temple Mount. Thus, a truly bizarre and unacceptable situation developed.
Israel has scrupulously upheld Muslim worship at the Aksa Mosque...But in glaring contrast, Israel has, for the past 43 years, failed to challenge the Muslim ban on Jewish worship on the Temple Mount...the pattern of Islamic religious imperialism, exemplified by the Wakf's contemptible conduct on the Temple Mount, must not be ignored.
The problem is not simply that the Arabs have attempted to take as their own every site in Israel holy to Judaism, whether it be the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem or Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. But in doing so, they have consistently attempted to obliterate the historic Jewish connection and claim to each of those sites.
In...Bethlehem, a concerted policy by the Palestinian Authority to Islamicize the city and terrorize the Christian population resulted in a reduction in the percentage of Christians living there from 60 percent to less than 15% today.
We pay a terrible price when we close our eyes to the trampling of human rights and religious freedom out of fear of enraging the Muslim world. The Temple Mount is a huge area. It is the length of nearly five football fields north to south, and nearly three football fields east to west. It is certainly large enough to accommodate the ancient call of the prophet Isaiah recited in fervent prayer by Jews on Yom Kippur: "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations."
The sooner we take action to help bring this about, the better.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
On Muslim Intolerance and Israel's Wrong-headed Policy on the Temple Mount
Extracts/selections from David Kirshenbaum's Intolerance on the Temple Mount: