Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A more modest suggestion for the Temple Mount

Sar Shalom

The situation on the Temple Mount, under which Jews and only Jews are restricted from prayer, has led many to call upon the government of Israel to simply declare a change of policy. Such a prescription ignores the diplomatic reality of today. I do not advocate throwing up our hands and saying that we can't do anything until that diplomatic reality somehow magically changes. However, taking action to change the situation on the Temple Mount must be preceded by action aimed at changing the diplomatic reality.

With changing diplomatic reality in mind as the ultimate goal, I'd like to suggest a start of having Yehuda Glick address the House or Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The intermediate goal would be to start a conversation that would go viral outside of Israel-advocacy circles that rejects the Arab narrative of the Land of Israel. Such a discussion would accept that the Muslims have a right to the footprints of and access-ways to the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosques, but such rights should not include restrictions of activity elsewhere on the Mount that respect the sanctity of the location. Glick testifying before Congress won't directly start such a conversation, but the coverage of such testimony might. If not, we could also seek out another spark for a conversation about how rights on the Mount should be delineated.


  1. I love the idea of Yehuda Glick addressing the House or Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but how to arrange such a thing?

    I think that ultimately, Sar Shalom, that Israel can best change the diplomatic reality through asserting its own sovereignty.

    First you change the reality on the ground and then the diplomatic reality will follow.

    But, as you well know, I am writing from Northern California. I can recommend whatever I want for Israel, but the consequences will be paid by Israelis, not Californians.

    Nonetheless, what do you suppose would happen if Israel simply cleaned every living soul - aside from cops and members of the IDF - off of the Temple Mount prior to democratizing access?

    This will be the general topic of my usual Sunday piece.

    We know, obviously, that many foreign governments will scream bloody murder that it is only just to descriminate against Jews in the Old City, but just what would they do about it other than bitch and moan?

    Is Paris really going to forego Israeli trade, technology, and medical breakthroughs out of moral indignation at the idea of Jews praying in Jerusalem?

    They can say whatever they want, but the money and goods and services will continue to flow back and forth.

    And as for the Muslim governments, they already boycott Israel, most of them, or say that they do.

    Jordan would be upset at the ousting of the waqf, but who cares?

    I am pretty sure that whatever military TransJordan can muster it is no match for the IDF and they damn well know it.

    The US under this heinous president would twist arms and that, in fact, would be the hardest pressure on Israel.

    And, yes, local Arab youth who have been trained since birth to despise Jews will hide their faces like Klansmen and then go about acting like Klansmen.

    People will die and the hospitals will likely be filled with the injured, but the alternative is submission to al-Sharia in the very homeland of the Jewish people.

    I may reside in California, but ultimately Israel is my home, as well.

    1. "but how to arrange such a thing"

      There are at least four people with the ability to do so unilaterally. The Chairs of the House Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the respective subcommittees on the Middle East. It's possible that leadership in either chamber could make it happen as well. Somewhere in that group there must be support for such an endeavor.

  2. Exactly, and this is why the Jewish people must stand up with confidence on the political level.

    Israel is fascinating. I cannot wait to get back there... if just for the food, for chrissake.

    But the country seems to advance itself technologically and culturally, but not politically, very well.

    That is, they are great at science and technology and medicine and Natalie Portmans, but they suck at marketing.

    What drives me crazy about this - as someone who knows a bit about Jewish history - is that their should be nothing to market.

    We should not have to justify ourselves.

    The Indian PM, or a high level minister, just said that Palestine is Palestinian in the way that England is English or France is French!

    We have got to stand up and be bold and speak out.

  3. As in 2000 this minitafada has nothing to do with the Temple Mount. It never has and never will. It's an excuse, a crutch. Jews are being attacked in Netanya, Dimona and elsewhere. Hardly near the so called al Aqsa.

    If the Arabs want to be pretend sicarii then so be it. They will die in the effort until they get tired of throwing away their lives. Consider that you're talking about 15 year olds intentionally committing suicide in the attempt to kill or injure a single Jew. There is no 'plan' or 'method' to deal with that. As Brett Stephens noted, this what a society that becomes psychotic looks like.

    As a logistical plan, the soundest thing to do would be to bar all use of the Temple Mount BY EVERYONE for up to a month.

    1. I would go with that prescription.

      The Temple Mount is basically a peg that the majority Arab population hang their hat on.

      It has, at least for them, nothing really to do with religion and pretty much everything to do with power and imperial domination.

    2. "It has, at least for them, nothing really to do with religion and pretty much everything to do with power and imperial domination."

      To highlight that, we should post billboards showing either soccer games in front of the Dome of the Rock or scenes of the Mount covered in weeds from before Israel's liberation of it with the caption "Does this look like a holy site to you?"

    3. Trudy: Your prescription doesn't address the issue of the international community's non-recognition of Jewish rights to Jewish holy spaces, particularly the Temple Mount.

      For instance, if the Temple should be shown to have been at El Kas (roughly midway between the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa) and thus could be rebuilt without disturbing either shrine, what would be the consequence. We know that the Waqf will not care. Would the world's Very Serious People care? Why do they back the Waqf's prohibition of any measure to find out it such is the case?

    4. There is no bar the Jews can ever set that would be 'accepted'.

      What group are you talking about? If you're referring to the Islamists, I'd agree. But they are limited by what western leaders tacitly accept. If you're referring to western opinion makers, we just have to contrast that with their steadfast to all forms of racism targeting anyone besides Jews.

    5. The Arabs have been a lost cause for a thousand years. The "bar" is whatever the idiots in the west assume is a reasonable degree is societal suicide they should impose, self righteously, upon the Jews,

      What really has changed since psalm 137? Anything? I don't thing so.

    6. My sense, if I may jump in, is that when Trudy says, There is no bar the Jews can ever set that would be 'accepted'.

      I feel reasonably certain that the idea refers to much of the world, in general.

      It obviously varies among groups. Over 90 percent of Palestinian-Arabs, according to recent polling data, hold anti-Semitic views and that percentage plunges to something merely over 80 percent when you look at the rest of Arab and Muslim worlds.

      In Europe large percentages believe that Arab-Muslims despise Jews because Jews are said to be mean to Arabs and Muslims... with the obvious implication that 1.5 billion Muslims have every right to beat the holy crap out of 13 million Jews.

      But given the fact that Israel provides greater freedom and civil liberties for Arab peoples anywhere else within Arab cultures then, yes, There is no bar the Jews can ever set that would be 'accepted'.

      Not by the Arabs and not by the Euros.

      We do have friends, tho. Yet, strangely, taking a page from Obama's book, we tend to disdain those friends.

      It astonishes me that we cannot seem to find any reasonable and friendly way to speak with American Evangelicals. We do not need to agree with them on every issue, but they are far more supportive of Jewish interests than are progressives, for crying out loud.

    7. I have no problem accepting support from Evangelicals. I'm actually quite appreciative. It never occurs to progressive bigots that these people have any brains.

    8. "What really has changed since psalm 137? Anything?"

      A hundred years ago, no one would have denied being an anti-semite. Today, everyone outside of the Klan and a few like-minded groups twists themselves into pretzels to say, "I might believe that the Jews ..., but I'm not an anti-semite." All we need to do is adopt a formulation of anti-semitism that they can't dismiss, such as the State Department definition, and show how the fit the formulation. We have to get barring Jews from the Temple Mount into the same category as enforcing Saturday attendance in school.

    9. How about relating to segregated drinking fountains?

  4. "We should not have to justify ourselves." Now you know what pisses me off. It's the problem in a nutshell.
    Palestine is not Palestinian the way France is French or the way England is English. In fact, Palestine has never been Palestinian in the way England is English and France is French...ever! The Indian PM is a real Bozo for saying it and the government of Israel should be objecting to such revisionist anti-history, and it is important to any prospect for peace and stability to do so.

    Funny, but I was just thinking about this yesterday. I can't think of another allegedly indigenous people or culture that doesn't have an indigenous name for itself or the land it regards as home. Just one more way that the Palestinian Arabs are special. I always like to tell "progressive" (regressive) robots that I like to use the indigenous name, Israel. Drives 'em nuts.