a different side of Israel

Tag: Temple Mount



What does Hamas do when they sense things are not going their way? Declare a sloppy Jihad!

Palestinian "Day of Rage"Hundreds of Palestinians held a “Day of Rage” yesterday – the Palestinian Authority announced a general alert and Israeli Border Police did their job.

What does a “Day of Rage” entail? Why, it entails throwing stones at security forces in east Jerusalem and in the West Bank.

Hamas’ parliamentary speaker Dr. Ahmed Bahar called Palestinians to strike Israel with terrorist attacks in its central region as a response to the “desecration of al-Aqsa”, which actually has not been desecrated.

Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen commented on the situation saying:

“The Temple Mount is a national challenge for the police, and an international challenge. Every incident has significant ramifications on the situation. It is our job to maintain the relative calm. At this time, and in recent times, there are a number of signs of attempts to disrupt the order at the Temple Mount. This is why we have prepared in massive numbers, including today, to enable the freedom of worship.”

The Red Crescent in Jerusalem reported that 49 Arabs were injured around the Old City and in east Jerusalem as of noon, including 14 people injured from rubber bullets and 16 who suffered from teargas inhalation.

In total, 31 Palestinians were arrested in Abu Dis, Hawara, Wadi Joz, al-Tur, and around the Temple Mount. The riots also spread to Naalin, where 50 Palestinians hurled stones at security forces. IDF soldiers responded with means of crowd control, causing no reports of injuries.

Palestinian police were deployed in towns and cities in the West Bank to prevent the rioting from spilling over into PA territory. A PA source said, “The security forces are acting almost as if it was an emergency situation, with the aim of maintaining order.”

The PA also upped its surveillance of Hamas figures after the call for the general “day of rage” in the West Bank.

During the rioting to the east of Jerusalem, traffic was stopped for five minutes in the Gaza Strip as a sign of solidarity with Palestinians in the holy city. Trading was slow, and school classes were suspended while students and pupils demonstrated in the streets.


MK Ahmad Tibi said:

“There is a sense that they are trying to reoccupy east Jerusalem, we are here to protest what we call the judaization of Jerusalem. Anyone that claims there is freedom of worship cannot prevent Muslims from coming here to pray. It is obvious that the goal is to leave the al-Aqsa Mosque without worshippers.”

MK Haneen Zoubi (Balad) said:

“Israel is testing the Palestinian and international threshold via the violent policies of judaization and occupation it is applying in Jerusalem: Massive Jewish inhabitation in the east of the city and in the Arab neighborhoods, the demolition of houses, the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes, revoking identity cards, suppressing demonstrations, arresting resident, picking on human rights activists.”

He added:

“This policy is nothing short of ethnic cleansing, and it constitutes a strong motive for the launch of a third intifada, even more than Sharon’s visit to the al-Aqsa mosque. It seems that the official Palestinian and Arab stance has given Israel the wrong message: That the Palestinians will not fight for their freedom and their rights, and that the intifadas are a thing of the past. This is an incorrect assumption, as the ongoing aggression and occupation in Jerusalem make an intifada an unpreventable measure.”

He further stated:

“I am addressing the government and warning of a flare-up that will drag the area into a violent conflict. We will not sit idly by as the rights of the Palestinian people in general and the residents of Jerusalem in particular are trampled. There is no link between the rights of the Palestinian people in east Jerusalem and the honorable Joe Biden or the honorable United States, and there is no right timing to populate Arab neighborhoods with Jews. There is no good timing for occupation! Israel must seek a solution to its true crisis, which is not with the US administration, but with the Palestinian people.”

International Temple Mount Awareness Day

Israeli law prides itself on two cardinal principles of democracy: freedom of access to places of worship, and the freedom of worship to practitioners of all religions.

Israeli government has always cited the Jewish Country’s unflinching assurance of the freedom of worship for Muslims and Christians in the city of Jerusalem. This fact is vitally presented in its case to maintain Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli sovereignty.

Temple MountThe irony is this: in the heart of Jerusalem lies a piece of real estate which has been granted de facto some sort of extra-legal, extraterritorial status, a sort-of “wild West” where the rule of law does not exist and the most basic and inalienable democratic rights are not honored. That is the Temple Mount.

The facts are as such: The Muslim Waqf, controlled by the Palestinian Authority, has been granted absolute say over the administration of the Temple Mount. Illegal destruction of archaeological findings from the first and second Temples takes place on a daily basis, and so does illegal construction. The Waqf’s unambiguous aim of this policy is the transformation of the entire Temple Mount plateau into one massive Mosque, thereby achieving exclusivity to the site for Muslims.

No less pernicious is the manner in which non-Muslims are treated both atop the Mount and upon approaching it. The discriminatory policy is enforced by the Israeli police, go figure. Non-Muslims are simply not allowed to carry with them a Bible or prayer book and are not even allowed to pray. Jews who ascend the Mount, in accordance with Jewish law are singled out and discriminated against in a derogatory fashion. They are detained at the security booth, identification cards inspected and given oral instructions on what they cannot do.

Furthermore, unlike any other group of human beings ascending the Temple Mount, Jews are not allowed to be in gatherings of more than 10 or 20 at a time, and they are accompanied during the entire duration of their visit by police officers and a Waqf official to ensure that they do not violate the prohibitions. It is needless to say, prayer books, the Tanach, tefillin or a tallit are forbidden.

In recent rulings, the Supreme Court has categorically upheld the right of Jews to pray on the Mount, and has had to reprove the police for not honoring this law. If the danger exists that Jewish prayer on the Mount could be met by a disturbance of the peace, then freedom of worship is denied.

The Temple Institute has declared this coming Tuesday, March 16, the first of the month of Nisan, to be International Temple Mount Awareness Day. Supporters are called-upon to petition the government of Israel for change.

Tell Me Lies Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

At least 30 Arab youths who barricaded themselves in the al-Aqsa Mosque plaza at the Temple Mount and hurled stones at passers-by, provoked Israeli Police last night and early this morning.

Stones were occasionally thrown at police officers in the alleys of the Old City, including near the Antonia Fortress, which is one of the entrances to the Temple Mount. There were no reports of injuries. One suspect was detained for questioning.

After the scuffle, police again opened the mount’s gates to worshippers, but restricted entrance to the site to male worshippers with Israeli identity cards over the age of 50 and to female worshippers of all ages.

It seems obvious that Sunday’s fray at the Temple Mount is related to the tension that arose over Israel’s decision to include the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem to its list of national heritage sites.

Members of the Waqf and various Islamic organizations, including the Islamic Movement, advocated for Muslims over the weekend to flock to the Temple Mount, claiming that

“radical Jewish organizations have called on their followers to arrive at the mount today and on Tuesday in an attempt to lay the cornerstone for the temple.”

The Islamic organizations also warned Muslims to be on high alert around March 16, when they that said extreme Jewish organizations were planning to mark the global day for the temple’s reconstruction.

These Flames Are Eternal

Francesco HayezLast Wednesday a collection of coins burned and charred from the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70, were displayed for the very first time. Altogether 70 coins were found in an excavation site near the Kotel.

Gabriela Bijovsky, an antique coin expert from the Israel Antique Authority said:

“These really show us the impact of the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century…These are a very vivid, dramatic example of that destruction… The most important coins we have are from those last four or five years of the rebellion against the Roman army, and one coin we found was actually minted very close to the destruction of the Second Temple.”

MIDEAST ISRAEL RARE COINSThe Jews of Judea rebelled against the Roman Empire in A.D. 66, when they kicked Roman forces out of Jerusalem. In A.D. 70, after Roman legions had won many important battles throughout the country, they breached the city walls. They went through the streets of Jerusalem killing Jewish civilians regardless of gender or age and finally destroyed the Temple, Judaism’s holiest site.

The coins were found in an excavation site of an ancient street below the Temple Mount. Archaeologists sifted through debris and boulders which was thrown off of the Temple Mount during the raid, when they found the road and the hoards of coins.

The coins are part of a larger exhibition at Jerusalem’s Archaeological Garden. They are cased in glass. Some are melted down to unrecognizable chunks of carbonized bronze; the damage is from the flames which destroyed the Temple.

Also featured in the exhibit are other coins found in the holy site at Jerusalem, in the last three years from Europe, North Africa and Persia. The display testifies to the wonderful eclectic and international character of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago; minus one Holy Temple, things have not changed so much.

What Would Jesus Do, Really?

As it stands, it is very taboo for Jews to visit the Temple Mount. When Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon went up there in 2000, it caused the second Intifada. Jews visiting the ruin, which houses the Dome of the Rock mosque, has been the cause of Arabs rioting in the past. And there have been halachic rulings by orthodox rabbis, forbidding Jews to visit the site. However non-Muslims, during the morning on certain days of the week can scale the bridge from the Old City and visit the other side of the Kotel – but alas are forbidden to pray.

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANSOfficially, there really is no plan set in stone for visiting there, like there is in Hebron, at the Cave of Machpelah; and such a plan would have a set time for Jewish prayers, however the Islamic Christian Society in Support of Jerusalem says that this would be unacceptable. However, they have yet to explain their reasoning.

If Israel were to give East Jerusalem to the Palestinians, Jews and probably other non-Muslims would be kissing away their dream of holding religious communion at the Temple Mount. Additionally, Christians should fear what would happen if the Church of the Holy Sepulchre became under Palestinian control. Putting the threat of violence on the State of Israel aside, religious tolerance would obviously become enforced in Jerusalem’s Old City.

In Bethlehem, during the Intifada, PLO terrorists fled to the Christian Church, which is the scene of the Nativity for Christians. They held the monks hostage, stole valuables, left feces all over, starved the Christians and all but ruined the site.

In Jerusalem, Muslims built themselves a mosque taller than the holiest Christian edifice in the city, just to undermine it. They built toilets overhanging it and they broke through a wall into a couple of storerooms of the Church, and occupied them. The PLO refused to return the rooms, until after much protest, Arafat finally gave in.

Religious Christians who would like to see Israel lose control of East Jerusalem and holy sites in the West Bank must be out of their mind, unless they are thinking of converting to Islam.

Haredi Rabbi Elyashiv: Please Don’t Anger the Gentiles!

Here are some of the edicts that Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, who will turn 100 this coming April, has made lately. The internet is forbidden, Shabbat elevators are forbidden, women must acquiesce to every form of extortion from husbands they want to receive a bill of divorce from in order to be free to remarry, Crocs are forbidden on Yom Kippur, it is forbidden to visit the Western Wall on Shabbat, women are forbidden from earning an academic degree but at the same time must support their unemployed husbands who aren’t allowed to work because they have to study all their lives, and now, Jews are forbidden from entering the Temple Mount complex.
Oh happy day.

Rabbi ElyashivThis latest of rulings was mentioned to President Shimon Peres when the latter went to visit him in his Meah Shearim sukkah.

According to Elyashiv, Jews going up to the Temple mount could anger the gentiles and spark a war and further condemnation of Israel by the nations of the world. So it’s better the Jews lay low and put up a do not disturb sign.

This ruling fits perfectly well with the Haredi mentality of, basically, put up a giant wall, and wait for everything around you to collapse on its own, at which point the Messiah will come and the Haredim will inherit the Earth. This translates into the assumption that if Jews do anything to assert their rights anywhere, then we are “inhibiting the coming of the Messiah,” by breaching the wall we’re supposed to put up. This is why, in Haredi eyes, Israel is illegitimate. We breached the wall.

Elyashiv has his critics and slowly but surely, Haredi society is freeing itself from the influence of the old guard. We won’t see this actively happening until Elyashiv passes on and then some, but there is some simmering going on. Building a giant wall and waiting for everything outside of it to collapse just isn’t in style so much these days.
Some actually think that putting up a do not disturb sign encourages people to start rapping at your door. If you don’t answer, it, the knock usually gets even louder.

No Perdone Por Il Papa

Pope In Israel 2009Criticism is still being heard following Pope Benedict XVI’s visit Monday to Yad Vashem, in which a short speech he gave appeared to be a bit lackluster. The Pontiff had begun his visit to Jerusalem with a formal call to President Shimon Peres at his official residence, followed by an entertainment program in which a number of singers and choir groups took part, including children representing the three monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Yad Vashem visit, which took place at the end of day, appeared to be let-down for a number of Rabbinical and other leaders, including Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, a former Chief Rabbi and the present head of Yad Vashem.

Although the Pontiff did say expressions like “I have come to stand in silence before the monument erected to honor the millions of Jews killed in the horrific tragedy of the Shoah,” he didn’t make mention of the Nazis as such and didn’t go far enough to express his sincere regret that the Church did not do enough to save Jews during the Holocaust – especially his predecessor, Pope Pius XII.

Knesset speaker Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin, who was present during the Hall of Remembrance ceremony added that Benedict’s visit there was not enough to receive forgiveness in the eyes of the Jewish People.

“I came to the memorial not only to hear historical descriptions or about the established fact of the Holocaust. I came as a Jew, hoping to hear an apology and a request for forgiveness from those who caused our tragedy, and among them, the Germans and the church. But to my sadness, I did not hear any such thing” Rivlin said.

No doubt that the Pontiff, as the official head of his faith’s 1.2 billion adherents, was not at liberty to express any personal pleas of forgiveness – not that any might have been forthcoming. The words he did say were probably carefully reviewed by church officials, and even practiced beforehand prior to the visit.

For a pope born and raised in Germany, and who was a member of the “Hitler Youth” as a child, his visit to this scared shrine, in which the ashes of unknown Jewish victims are buried under it’s black granite floor, it might be said that his words did at least commemorate their deaths, and raised sincere hope that this horrible tragedy will never happen again. No mention was also made of the Church’s long persecution of Jews, including the 400 year long “Holy Inquisition” in which perhaps millions of Jews were either vanquished from lands such as Spain, Portugal, and Italy; or tortured and put to death in the most cruel and barbaric fashion if found to be practicing their faith in secret after converting to Christianity.

The Pope’s agenda on Tuesday, included visits to the Temple Mount Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall and other holy sites and held an audience with both Jewish and Muslim leaders. Perhaps he will be more forthcoming during this visit, and will say a bit more regarding his church’s responsibility for so much suffering.

Muslim “Zionism”: Do Muslims have a National Home, like Jews do?

By Maurice Picow

Al Aksa JerusalemMany Palestinian Muslims talk about a ‘law of return’ to the lands they had to flee during the ‘double Naqba’ of 1948 and 1967. They feel that just as Jews have a Law of Return, they, the Palestinians should also have a homeland, much of which includes what is now modern Israel. And in respect to these feelings of ‘Muslim Zionism’ the city of Jerusalem is considered to be no less important to them than it is to the Jewish People.

Jerusalem MosquesMuslims have several reasons to be interested in Jerusalem. First of all, since they have control of the Temple Mount, known to them as Kareem al Shariff, they know that their possession of this place, considered sacred to Jews, will prevent the Jewish People from rebuilding the Temple. Their mosques, Al Aqsa and the Mosque of Omar (Dome of the Rock) are considered by Muslims to be the third holiest shrines in Islam (for Sunni Muslims anyway). The Dome of the Rock contains the large boulder on which the Patriarch Abraham was supposed to have almost sacrificed his son Isaac, until God intervened, and gave Abraham a ram to sacrifice instead.
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