Arutz 7: “The Temple Mount is to Jews as Mecca is Muslims…
Reasons why Israel must defend Temple Mount:
Palestinians will destroy Jewish archaeological remains;
The area of the Temple Mount is the holiest site for Judaism even without the Temple there. (Jews around the world face Temple Mount when they pray, Muslims face Mecca even when on or around Temple Mount)
More Arabs live in Israel than in the West Bank, 1.8 million Israeli Arabs have the same claim to Al-Aqsa than Abbas.
Since Israeli democracy demands equal rights to Jews and Arabs, Israeli Arabs must share Temple Mount with the Jews
by Ezequiel Doiny
In “The Temple Mount is to Jews as Mecca is Muslims” published in Arutz 7 I wrote “The Europeans claim that Temple Mount has to be in ‘Palestine’ because the Jewish Temple is no longer there while the Al-Aqsa Mosque is there now. This argument is wrong for three reasons:
1. There are more Muslims in Israel than in the ‘West Bank’, Israeli Arabs have the same claim to Al-Aqsa as ‘West Bank’ Arabs.
2. Israel preserves Muslim Holy sites while Arabs destroy Jewish Holy sites if given a chance. Israel has not destroyed Al-Aqsa or the Dome of the Rock from 1967 till now, 2014, under Israeli sovereignty. The Palestinians destroyed Joseph’s Tomb and illegally excavated and destroyed Jewish Archaeological remains from Solomon’s Temple and would destroy much more if given sovereignty.
3. The area of the Temple Mount is the holiest site for Judaism even without the Temple there. (Jews around the world face Temple Mount when they pray, Muslims face Mecca even when on or around Temple Mount)
The Temple Mount was the site where the two Jewish Temples were located. King David blessed the Temple Mount before King Solomon built the First Temple in 957 BCE. The First Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE by the Babylonians. The Second Temple was built in 538 BCE and destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans. The Al Aqsa mosque was built on top of the ruins of the Jewish Temple after the Arab conquest of Jerusalem in 709 CE.
This is an excerpt from Mark Twain’s “The Innocents Abroad” describing his visit to the Mosque of Omar and the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in 1867:
“Everywhere about the Mosque of Omar are portions of pillars, curiously wrought altars, and fragments of elegantly carved marble – the precious remains of Solomon’s Temple…see the costly marbles that once adorned the inner Temple…the designs wrought upon these fragments are all quaint and peculiar…one meets with these venerable scraps at every turn, specially in the neighboring mosque Al Aqsa, into whose inner walls a very large number of them are carefully built for preservation. These pieces of stone, stained and dusty with age, dimly hint at a grandeur we have all been taught to regard as the princeliest ever seen on earth; and they call up pictures of a pageant that is familiar to all imaginations – camels laden with spices and treasure – beautiful slaves, presents for Solomon’s harem – a long cavalcade of richly caparisoned beasts and warriors – and Sheba’s Queen in the van of this prison of Oriental Magnificence. These elegant fragments bear a richer interest than the solemn vastness of the stones the Jews kiss in the place of wailing can ever have for the heedless sinner.
“Down in the hollow ground, underneath the olives and oranges trees that flourish in the court of the great mosque , is a wilderness of pillars – remains of the ancient Temple, they supported it. There are ponderous archways down there…we never dreamed we might see portions of the actual Temple of Solomon…”
Deliberate Destruction by the Waqf
The Jewish Temple was not only destroyed by the Romans 2000 years ago, it continues being destroyed by the Arabs today. If the Palestinians assume responsibility over the site they will have freedom to destroy much more.
Journalist Ilan Ben Zion reported in December 2012: “The Muslim authority managing the Temple Mount on Sunday dumped tons of unexamined earth and stones excavated from the holy site into a municipal dump, in violation of a High Court injunction, Maariv (Hebrew Daily, ed.) reported on Monday.”
Israel’s top court in September 2004 prohibited removal of earth from the Temple Mount and ruled that, should it be necessary [to do so], the Antiquities Authority must be notified a month in advance so it may examine the earth for artifacts.
Jews regard the Temple Mount as their holiest site, where the First and Second Temple were located. Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary andregard it as their third holiest site after Mecca and Medina. According to the existing arrangement, the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, or trust, administers the Temple Mount complex.
Despite the High Court of Justice’s ruling, the Waqf has reportedly removed large piles of dirt from the Temple Mount in recent years and dumped them in the valley east of the Old City walls, provoking an outcry from biblical archaeologists and Jewish groups.
Tzachi Dvira, the archaeologist managing the team that sifts through soil excavated from the Temple Mount, told Maariv that mounds of earth containing historic relics were carted off and dumped on Sunday without notification and before archaeologists could investigate them.
Police claimed the removal of the soil was coordinated in advance. Dvira, however, said there were no Antiquities Authority officials on site, and the one police officer monitoring the operation had no idea of its significance.
Dvira claimed Waqf workers exploited a permit for removing construction waste from renovations done at the al-Aqsa Mosque on the site, which also contains the Dome of the Rock, in order to cart off artifact-laden earth from the Temple Mount.
He stated that official oversight of earth removal from the Temple Mount has grown lax in recent years, and said that “the fact that no one has succeeded in stopping the Waqf’s destructive actions raises many doubts about the role of the government in this matter.”
Soil from the Temple Mount that had been removed by the Waqf to the Kidron Valley in recent years has yielded “tens of thousands of finds, including signet rings from the First Temple era, painted floor tiles from the Second Temple era, ancient gold coins, and horseshoe nails and arrowheads belonging to the Knights Templar, who stabled their horses in Solomon’s Stables,” Dvira said.
Suzanne Singer, a contributing editor to the Biblical Archeological Reviewreported about Palestinian destruction of Jewish Archaeological remains in Temple Mount in September 2000: “Large-scale illegal construction on the Temple Mount and wholesale dumping of earth in the nearby Kidron Valley resumed this spring…”
“… The Temple Mount is, of course, sacred to three great Western faiths and is part of the world’s cultural patrimony. Here may lie remnants from the time of the First Temple of Solomon, the Second Temple built by Herod, the Byzantine period and the early Islamic eras. Israeli excavations around the exterior of the Temple Mount since 1967 have found remains from all these periods, but the Mount itself has been terra incognita, protected by an understanding between Israel and the Waqf that says no construction will take place there…
” …Last November, we reported that the Waqf, in the dead of night, had dumped hundreds of truckloads of earth from the Temple Mount into the Kidron Valley and municipal garbage dumps. About 6,000 tons of earth were removed …Despite the flagrant disregard by the Waqf of the requirement for IAA supervision, there was no serious response by Israeli authorities. Today the dumped earth is unprotected and is being covered with garbage, making it unlikely that the IAA will ever act on its announced intention to salvage artifacts by sifting through the piles.”
“…This spring and early summer, trucks and tractors returned to the Temple Mount, bringing building materials in and carting earth away through the Lions’ Gate, just north of the Temple Mount. For 200 yards along the inside of the Temple Mount’s eastern wall, from the al-Marawani Mosque’s new entrance to somewhat south of the Golden Gate, lie stacks of paving stones, scaffolding, wood and iron materials, along with large architectural fragments, such as pieces of ancient columns…
” …The construction on the Temple Mount is only the latest, albeit perhaps the most egregious, example of the Waqf’s disregard for the protection of antiquities. In 1993 Israel’s Supreme Court found that the Waqf had violated the country’s antiquities laws no less than 35 times, with many of the violations causing the irreversible destruction of archaeological remains.
” …Due to Prime Minister Barak’s concern for negotiations with the Palestinians, no effective archaeological oversight is taking place on the Temple Mount. No one halts the work so that potential damage can be assessed and prevented; as a result, heavy equipment is free to move about the Mount for projects that are neither approved nor supervised. The frequently heard view is that a tough stance by Israel will enflame the Palestinians and set back the peace talks…”
While Israel preserves Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock, Arabs have proven that they cannot be trusted to respect Jewish Holy sites. In 2000 the Palestinians destroyed Joseph’s tomb.
Sidney Brounstein wrote for the Los Angeles Times “Oct. 8: Where is the outrage? Imagine what would have happened if Jewish police stood by and allowed a Jewish mob to destroy a Muslim holy place! Does the destruction of a Jewish holy place by an Arab mob while Palestinian police stand by (after promising to protect it) deserve no more than inclusion in a list of other damage done by rioters? Is this an acceptance of attacks on Jews and things Jewish as a normal part of life?”
“It makes a mockery of any thought of giving Arabs any control of Jewish holy places. The destruction of dozens of such places in the Old City of Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, along with the exclusion of Jews entirely from their most holy site, the Western Wall, was clearly of a piece with the current destruction.”
The Temple Mount Area Has Always Been Holy to Jews
The Temple Mount was holy to the Jews even before the Temples existed because there is a special connection with God at the site:
According to the Torah (Bereshit [Genesis] 22:1-14), God told Abraham to bring his son, Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice there.
It was also at Temple Mount that Ya’akov (Jacob) had his famous dream where he saw angels going and coming from heaven on a ladder.
“Ya’akov was fleeing from his brother Esau. Ya’akov left Be’er Sheva and went towards Charan. He came across the place and spent the night there because the sun had set. He took some of the stones of the place and placed them around his head, and he lay down to sleep in that place.
“He dreamt, and – look! – a ladder was wedged in the ground and its top reached to heaven, and – look!- angels of God were going up and down on it.
“Suddenly, God was standing over him, and He said, “I am God, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. I will give to you and to your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be as the dust of the earth, and you will be strong to the west, to the east, to the north, to the south. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. Look, I am with you, and I will guard you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land, for I will not abandon you until I have carried out what I have spoken for you.””
“Ya’akov woke up from his sleep and he said. ‘God is truly in this place, and I didn’t realize.’
He felt frightened. He said, ‘How awesome this place is! This is none other than the house of God, this is the Gate of Heaven.
“Ya’akov arose early in the morning. He took the stone that he had placed at his head, set it up as a monument, and poured oil on top of it… Ya’akov made a vow saying ‘If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then God shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house’.” (Bereshit 28:20-22)
While the Jewish Temples existed it was believed that the Schechina (God’s Presence) rested in the Holy of Holies, the part of the Temple where the Holy Ark (with Moses’ tablets) was. Now that the Temple is no longer in place, even with the Mosque there, Temple Mount continues being the Holiest Site for Judaism, a place where God’s presence is closer.
The Europeans believe that because the Jewish Temple was destroyed and there is a Mosque on the Temple Mount, the Palestinians have a stronger claim to the site: This shows a great ignorance about Judaism. Jews around the world face the Temple Mount when they pray. Muslims face Mecca even when they pray on or near the Temple Mount.
Even without the Temple, the Temple Mount is the Holiest Site for Judaism. The Holiest site for Islam is the Ka’ba in Mecca. Taking away Temple Mount from the Jews would be like taking the Ka’ba in Mecca from the Arabs.
One of Maimonides 13 principles of the Jewish faith, for which Jews pray three times a day, is the belief in the resurrection of the death and the coming of Messiah, the descendant of King David. When Messiah comes, the Temple will be rebuilt – on the Temple Mount.
There are more Arabs living in Israel than in the West Bank
On December 2 David Keene wrote in the Washington Times that “…Israel’s 10 million inhabitants include something like 1.8 million Muslims…in most ways they know they are better off in Israel than if they were under the control of the Palestinian Authority.
This is particularly true in terms of their standard of living. Family income in Israel averages around $35,000 a year for both Jewish and non-Jewish residents, while Muslims in Ramallah earn about $13,000 a year and those in Gaza subsist on something like $3,000 a year. Many Muslims in Israel own their own businesses and live in neighborhoods or villages virtually indistinguishable from those housing their Jewish countrymen except for the many mosques one sees as one drives by Muslim areas.
…The Israeli-Muslim village of Umm al-Fahm backs up on the Palestinian Authority’s lands and was the scene of demonstrations a year and a half ago as protesters attacked Israel and declared they would rather live under Palestinian-Muslim rule. Israel’s foreign minister, perhaps in frustration, announced that they could have their wish and proposed that the boundary around the town be redrawn to take it out of Israel and cede it to the Palestinians.
That proposal didn’t go down well with the town’s Muslim residents, who filed petitions within hours challenging the very idea that they be turned over to the Palestinian Authority. As Israeli citizens, they said they could not simply be abandoned or have their citizenship canceled. They made it clear that regardless of what a few demonstrators might be demanding they had no desire to leave Israel and its benefits — both economic and in terms of the security they enjoyed…”
If Israeli Arabs can live anywhere in Israel why does Abbas incites the murder of Jews and want to expel all Jews from the West Bank? On November 2010 Khaled Abu Toameh reported in the Jerusalem Post that “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Saturday that when a Palestinian state is established, it will have no Israelis in it.
“We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it,” Abbas told reporters in Ramallah.
On February 2011 Herbert London reported in Gatestone Institute that “In a recent discussion of the anticipated Palestinian state, Mahmoud Abbas, leader in the territory, said he “would not tolerate one single Jew in his new country, Palestine.” Speaking before journalists in Ramallah, he clearly noted, “We have already said, completely openly, and it will stay that way: ‘If there is a Palestinian country with Jerusalem as its capital, we will not accept that even one single Jew will live there.’”
Abbas rejected any suggestion that Jews in Judea and Samaria, who have lived in their homes for decades, could remain under Palestinian rule. Meanwhile, in all negotiations, the Palestinian position is that “Palestinian refugees” have the right of return to Israel. According to the Abbas proposition, therefore, Israel should open its borders for Arabs while Palestine closes its borders for Jews.
Here is the deal: Arabs, who now represent about 20% of the total population in Israel, can now live in Israel as full fledged citizens with all the rights that being a citizen confers. They can have their own political parties and settle in their own communities. But on the other side of this political ledger, not one Jew, including those who reside on the West Bank, can remain, once Palestine becomes an independent nation.
What more does one have to know? Sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. There is, and will remain, in the proposed new state, different standards for Arabs and Jews. Hence, what precisely is a two state solution? An Arab state that immediately becomes a threat to the very existence of Israel, as Jews are regarded as the enemy and, by virtue of law, must be ostracized — or worse…”
Arabs build 3 times more houses in Israel than Jews build in the West Bank. Why are Arabs allowed to live anywhere in Israel while Jews are murdered for living in the West Bank?
On July 2013 Jonathan Tobin reported in Commentary Magazine that “While in Cairo yesterday to meet with Egypt’s new leaders, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas let drop a few remarks about the peace negotiations with Israel that began in Washington last night. As the Times of Israel reports, Abbas left no doubt about what his vision of peace entails:
“In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands,” Abbas said following a meeting with interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour in Cairo.
…The Abbas statement provides some important context for the key Israeli demand that the Palestinians refuse to accept: PA acknowledgement of the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state. If Palestinians think there is something racist about Israel being accepted as the sole Jewish state in the world, why is it OK for them to envision an independent state of their own where Jewish communities would have to be destroyed and their inhabitants be evicted?
…The Palestinian position remains that specific acceptance on their part of Israel as a Jewish state would undermine the rights of the Arab minority inside the pre-1967 lines and force them to make a judgment about the country’s internal arrangements. But the whole point of the conflict since its beginnings a century ago has always been the Arab rejection of the return of the Jews to their ancient homeland. If Palestinians are determined to create an independent state where there are no Jews, why then are they so afraid of agreeing that their neighbors will be a Jewish state?
The reason for this is no mystery.
More than any compromise on borders, accepting Israel as a Jewish state would be an open acknowledgement that the conflict is finished. It would mean the descendants of the Palestinian refugees of 1948 would have to be resettled elsewhere and all terrorism and efforts to erase Israel inside its contracted borders would cease.
The demand for recognition of a Jewish state is often represented as something new created by Prime Minister Netanyahu in order to make peace more difficult to achieve. But it should be remembered that the original United Nations partition resolution of 1947 spoke of the country being specifically divided between a Jewish state and an Arab one, not Israel and “Palestine.” The effort to deny the right of the Jewish people to a sovereign state in their own land is an act of prejudice since no other group in the world is treated in this manner.
…What Abbas is asking for is for Israel to be a bi-national state of Jews and Arabs while Palestine would be a solely Arab nation…”
Abbas rejects the two state solution. Lt. Col. (ret) Jonathan Halevi explained in the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs that Abbas supports a phased plan for Israel’s destruction “…Beneath the moderate guise that Abbas tries to project is a Palestinian leader who unreservedly supports terror and demands to implement what the Palestinians call the “right of return.”
…What the Palestinians mean by “right of return” according to Resolution 194 and the Arab Peace Initiative is simple enough and was ratified as an official law by the Palestinian parliament with Abbas’s approval.
According to the 2008 Law of the Right of Return of the Palestinian Refugees:
“The right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes and property, while receiving compensation for their suffering, is an inalienable and enshrined right that cannot be compromised, replaced, reconsidered, interpreted otherwise, or subjected to a referendum.
The right of return is natural, personal, collective, civil, political, passed on from father to son; it is not nullified by the passage of time or by the signing of any agreement and it cannot be abolished or waived in any way.
The Palestinian refugees shall not be resettled or displaced as an alternative to the right of return.
Anyone who violates the provisions of this Act shall be guilty of the crime of treason and will be subject to all criminal and civil penalties prescribed for this crime.
Anything that contradicts this law is considered null and void, and any legislation or agreement that will derogate from the right of return or contradict the provisions of this Act shall be deemed null and void.”
In other words, even after an Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders and the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state, the conflict will remain unchanged and Palestine will demand the “return” to Israel of the millions of refugees and their descendants. The Palestinian demand for “return” entails the transfer of millions of Jews from their homes and the end of the state of Israel…”
Despite Abbas rejection of the two state solution and his commitment to the destruction of Israel, Obama blames Israel for the failure of negotiations and threatened to abandon Israel in the UNSC. On March 2015 Newsmax reported that “The White House on Wednesday suggested it could reverse its decades-old policy of using its veto in the United Nations Security Council to protect Israel. It could refuse to veto resolutions related to the Palestinians or introduce a measure of its own, The Wall Street Journal reported. The U.S. could also lend its support to a two-state solution based on Israel’s 1967 borders, a senior White House official told The New York Times.”
Obama is in a rush to pass a UNSC resolution imposing a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank before his time in office ends. He knows that the next administration will not be willing to concede this to the Palestinians without taking into consideration Israel’s security needs.
To justify the UNSC resolution, Obama needs to create a sense of urgency. Abbas is escalating the violence through stabbing attacks to create the sense of urgency that Obama needs. Abbas wants to provoke an Israeli reaction which Obama can use as an excuse to justify the anti-Israel UNSC resolution.
The Palestinian Media Watch translated an interview by one of Hamas founders Mahmoud al-Zahar to the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam in which he said “transfer what it has [in Gaza] or just a small part of it to the West Bank, we would be able to settle the battle of the final promise [to destroy Israel] with a speed that no one can imagine…[Some] have said Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate in Gaza. We won’t do that, but we will build an Islamic state in Palestine, all of Palestine…”
Those who advocate for a solution in the UNSC cannot ignore that what happened in Gaza can also happen in the West Bank. After Israel withdrew from Gaza, Hamas took power and started missile attack against Israel.
If a Palestinian State is created in the West Bank Hamas will attack Israel with missiles from the West Bank as it does from Gaza. Imposing a solution in the UNSC will make the situation much worse, it will make life in Israel impossible and lead to war. Only those that do not care for the safety of Israel’s citizens would advocate for this.
Jews have been persecuted and expelled from most Middle East Countries and they managed to find refuge in Israel, a country smaller than New Jersey. Jimena.org reported that since 1948, 850,000 Jews have been expelled from Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lybia, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia,Yemen and other Middle East Countries. Obama’s threat to impose a Palestinian State through the UNSC endangers the existence of Israel, the only safe heaven for Jewish refugees in the Middle-East.
Posted in Freedoms.