Friday, November 09, 2012

Academics Can't Get The Temple Mount Issue Straight

In a review of a book by Marshall J. Breger, Yitzhak Reiter, Leonard Hammer, eds.- Sacred Space in Israel and Palestine: Religion and Politics. - by Harold Brodsky, I read:-

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is holy to Judaism, and holy to Islam, but Israel and the Palestinian Authority each lay exclusive claim to sovereignty over this site, which makes it one of the most contentious in the world. The site’s potentiality for conflict became manifest on September 28, 2000, when Ariel Sharon (at that time a candidate for prime minister) entered the Temple Mount accompanied by over one thousand security guards. Sharon’s presence was seen as an effort to reinforce Israel’s claim to sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. Whether his act was a cause of the Second Intifada, or only a contributing factor in what was already an incendiary situation, will continue to be debated. What is clear is that almost seven thousand lives were lost during uprisings that followed.

Let's skip over that "Sharon is guilty for 7000 dead people" calumny.

Let's go back to this:

Israel and the Palestinian Authority each lay exclusive claim to sovereignty over this site

If I wanted to be exact, I should point to this 2009 statement:

The newly appointed minister for Jerusalem affairs in the Palestinian Authority cabinet, Hatem Abdel Khader, has released a statement Monday noting that he favors transferring control of the Temple Mount to the 57-member Islamic Conference Organization in the framework of an Israel-PA peace agreement.

Or this

The Movement for the Establishment of the Temple has called on its members not to back Jerusalem mayoral candidate Meir Porush, citing a recent interview in which the Knesset member (United Torah Judaism) said he was in favor of upholding Arab authority over the Temple Mount.

Why the Haredim are not pressed on the fact that while they maybe will 'give up' the Temple Mount, they well never do so on the matter of the Mount of Olives which is further away from the former Green Line than the Temple Mount.  Awkward that.

And we could take note of the Clinton Parameters:

According to the Parameters, Israel would retain sovereignty over the Western Wall. The Palestinians would gain sovereignty and Israel would gain "symbolic ownership" over the rest of the Temple Mount, with both parties sharing sovereignty over the issue of excavations under the Temple Mount.

But there was, true, this:

Palestinian officials said that in final discussions on Jerusalem, Mr Arafat rejected an Israeli proposal, backed by the US, to give Israel "residual sovereignty" over all the holy sites in the Old City. But this would have amounted to mere symbolic sovereignty for the Palestinians, according to Palestinian officials. The Palestinians were adamant about their demand for full sovereignty over all of Arab East Jerusalem, including the Old City with the exception of the Jewish quarter and the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site. It was Mr Arafat's refusal to buckle to US pressure on Jerusalem, which has boosted his stock in the Arab world.

And, as Yoel Cohen detailed:

Sever Plotzker dismissed the Clinton proposal "as having been devised by two rival real estate agents, on the principle of population size: What is populated by the Jewish people will belong to the Jewish people [the Western Wall], and what is populated by the Muslims as belonging to the Palestinians [Haram al-Sharif]. The plan doesn’t manage to deal with historical rights or religious connection. These are stronger than anything political or anything demographic." On January 26 Yediot’s senior political columnist Nahum Barnea, perhaps the country’s foremost political writer, characterized the Temple Mount as "a difficult matter: For religious and political reasons [a peace settlement] is impossible with it. For religious and political reasons it is impossible without it."

And this:

Although Israel retains formal sovereignty over the Temple Mount, the site is governed by an Islamic trust that allows non-Muslims to visit the compound during limited hours and prohibits Jewish or Christian worshipers from reading prayers aloud. The Chief Rabbinate, which was to make a decision on the establishment of a synagogue on the Temple Mount last week, delayed its verdict under pressure from the Israeli government.

But let us clarify, it is not a question as much as sovereignty for the present but the fact that regardless of that matter, Israel permits Muslims freedom of religion and worship whereas the Islamic Waqf does no such thing as regards Jews and will not if they gain full sovereignty rather than the administrative control they now possess.

And we can't ignore the "Jerusalem/Temple Mount Denial" campaign.


1 comment:

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