Thursday, May 26, 2016

Israel is Insane: Democratize the Temple Mount!

Michael L.

{Also published at The Jewish Press.}
daffyTemple Mount activist, Yehuda Glick, was elected to the Knesset and already there are concerns about World War III.

Glick got shot up and almost murdered in 2014 for the temerity to suggest that non-Muslims - even Jews - should be allowed to pray at the holiest site of the Jewish people.

Writing in the Times of Israel, Marissa Newman tells us:
Although Israel has repeatedly reassured the Palestinians and Arab states that it will not alter the status quo at the flashpoint site, Glick is confident he will find allies in the Knesset to support his cause.

And asked whether he would tone down his lobbying if asked to do so for security reasons, he said there would be “no reasoning” behind such a request and maintained: “I will continue advocating.”
I think that I am going to call the guy up and thank him for his bravery and essential human decency.

If there is one issue that genuinely pisses me off it is Israeli policy concerning the Temple Mount. How is it possible that someone like Moshe Dayan could be so naive as to think that handing over the holiest site of the Jewish people to Arabs would somehow placate them?

It did the exact opposite as should have been entirely predictable.

Instead of being grateful to the Jewish people for their generosity, the Arabs use the Temple Mount as a club and Israel allows this despite the fact that it need not do so.

They have even made it a rule that no member of the Knesset shall be allowed to go up there.

I do not know what to say. The stupidity is just breathtaking.

By preventing non-Muslims from praying on the Temple Mount Israel sends a message to the world that Jerusalem is not really a Jewish town. Maintaining the "status quo" is the same as maintaining the idea that Jerusalem actually belongs to the Arabs and, therefore, Jews are nothing more than land thieves.

The problem that Jews have with the Temple Mount is the same problem that Jews have with the notion of "Israeli Occupation of the West Bank." If Israel is illegally occupying someone else's land, including the Temple Mount, and thus Jerusalem, in general, then we might as well pack it in and say goodbye.

If Jewish people think that we stole land from others and if they think that we should not even be allowed to pray at the site of the Temples then what is the point of Israel? I understand that much of the rabbinate, for theological reasons, believe that Jews should not go up to the Holy of Holies, period, but that is not the point.

The point is the question of Jewish sovereignty.
Some critics warn that new MK Glick, a symbol of sought-for change at the Temple Mount, could spell trouble.

“Yehuda Glick’s joining the Knesset would create even more pressure on the government to change the status quo arrangements on the Temple Mount,” said Dr. Motti Inbari, an associate professor of religion at UNC Pembroke and expert on the Jewish Temple Mount movements, speaking days before Glick was sworn in. “I am doubtful that he can change anything, but the two appointments of [presumptive defense minister Avigdor] Liberman and Glick send a message of a harder line by the Israeli government, and I will not be surprised if the Muslims would see it a provocation against them and counterreact.
In my opinion, Israel should actually and honestly be provocative.

The truth, of course, is that the very last thing that Israel has been on this question is provocative. On the contrary, when it comes to the Temple Mount Israel does little more than cringe.

Instead of doing the right thing in regards the Temple Mount, which is to say democratize it, successive Israeli governments prefer to bow to the irrational demands of their tormentors. Instead of standing up for its own alleged values, Israel allows Muslim bigots to decide who may, or who may not, be allowed to pray on a bit of land within the ancient capital of the Jewish people.

It's a disgrace.


  1. I couldn't agree more. When I was in Israel a few weeks ago, my Israeli family and I were watching the news, when a segment about the Temple Mount featured a short interview with Yehudah Glick. My Israeli family immediately started jeering at the TV, accusing Glick of needless provocation and religious extremism. I, of course, let them have it! ;)

    It's stunning to me that Israelis will fight to the last breath for "Palestinian rights", but have no tolerance for the rights of their own people (because it might offend the gentiles, or some other internalized bs). We may have the land back, but even Israeli Jews are still in Galut.

    1. Democratize the Temple Mount.

      And you need to take on an identity and participate in the discussion.

  2. It's quite simple. Glick's efforts to allow prayer on the Temple Mount are no more provocative than were the attempts of Black students to enter "all-White" schools in Little Rock during the 1960s. The Arabs' opposition to such prayer is no different from the Whites' opposition in the 1960s to such integration.

  3. Was there ever one case in history where antisemites were placated by changes in Jewish behavior? So where is the upside in trying to appease them?

  4. Nothing will change because of the Jordan peace treaty. I am sick to death of saying this.

    Contacts in both Israel and Jordan tell me that Israel has to continue backing Abdullah. The Hashemites are only about 20% of the population. If they fall the Muslim Brotherhood or ISIS would seize control and where would Israel be with that on the border?

    Think about it. All this just because people want to go on to the Temple Mount.!!

    1. Shirl, not quite right. The treaty states that both Jordan and Israel must ensure free access to religious sites.


      Article 9 - Places of Historical and Religious Significance and Interfaith Relations
      1. Each Party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.
      2. In this regard, in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.
      3. The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.

      The "special role" of the Jordanian Waqf is given "high priority," but this is not equivalent to Israel ceding sovereignty. What Israel does in practice is an entirely different matter...

      I happen to agree with Michael on this point, however. I believe that access to Temple Mount should be free to all, of all faiths. There would certainly be logistical issues, e.g. where would Jews actually hold a service, but the Temple Mount is a rather large, and largely open, space.

      It would be especially nice if the Waqf would be reasonable and allow tourists, *of all faiths*, to respectfully view the inside of the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque.

    2. What we think is of no consequence. Israel HAS TO keep Jordan on side. If Jordan falls the MB, or worse ISIS, is on the doorstep. That I have from very accurate reliable sources both in Israel and Jordan.

    3. RE #2: Worth remembering, as I did point out. It's also worth remembering, however, that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan dates only to ~1922. Ideally, a sort of "neighborly council" (cf. #3), composed of Israeli & Jordanian representatives, could be established to sort through ever-present implementation details and dispute resolutions, much as a city council does. I don't think it would be useful to undo 14 centuries of history by somehow evicting Muslims from the Temple Mount. That would be counter-productive, in my view.

      That said, where the sovereignty lies---that is, Israel, by both historic & religious right, and by 20th century international law [cf. Eugene Kontorovich])---needs to be clearly (and politely) asserted.

      RE: MB/ISIS: I couldn't agree more. However, King Abdullah rules, in large respect, as a foreign interloper over the native, mostly Palestinian, population (many of whom, themselves, came to Palestine only in the 19th and 20th centuries). The Hashemites, who hail from Hejaz & Mecca, were "installed" in Jordan only in the early 20th century. Jordan is a powder keg that has been threatening to blow up for decades. I don't have a solution, but it's clearly a very serious concern.

  5. I think that Sar Shalom has the best take:

    "Glick's efforts to allow prayer on the Temple Mount are no more provocative than were the attempts of Black students to enter "all-White" schools in Little Rock during the 1960s."

    This is an important analogy that Sar Shalom has put forward for a long time, now, and one that I think that we should take note of.

    At the heart of "the conflict" is Arab and Muslim theocratically-based bigotry toward Jews.

    If Israel was the 23rd Arab-Muslim country in the world, and if it had the same liberal, democratic sensibilities and institutions, then it would be considered by the rest of the planet to be, indeed, a light unto the nations.

    By the way, I am not exactly feeling the Bern.

  6. Although Arabs do not believe in the Universal Declaration, it is a human right to practice faith as one sees fit without undue interference.

    Practice of religion, itself, does not infringe on others to practice their religion.

    Not to mention that the Hebrew connection to this land is far superior to ANY other people.

    Israel should stand, firmly, for its rights and for all to exercise freedom of religion each and every opportunity, to promote Western values and counterbalance the negative and false claims that so easily flow from Islamic tongues.

  7. This post has been included in Celebrating Israel and Jerusalem Havel Havelim! Please take a look, comment and share, thanks.