We often hear Americans complaining about the liberal leanings of their judicial system, especially the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals, sometimes referred to as the Ninth Circus. Israel knows the problem of liberal judges and courts, especially the Supreme Court under former Presidents of the Supreme Court Aharon Barak and Dorit Beinisch. But there are those blessed exceptions and we had a ruling providing example of such over the weekend. A Jerusalem Court heard a case against a young man who had been charged with attacking an Arab and for praying on the Temple Mount. You would never guess which was considered the more serious of crimes by the police; it was a Jew having the audacity to pray on the holiest place in all of Israel at the center of the Israeli capital city of Jerusalem. The judge heard the youth’s version of events which included that he simply defended himself by kicking the Arab youth who had kicked him repeatedly and returned to prayer as soon as the other youth retreated. The Judge dismissed the assault charges, reprimanded the police for their handling of the case in such an untimely manner so as to intentionally keep the young man locked up over the Sabbath and then made a ruling which is only the second of its kind and may be the first signs of the application of sanity at least in the Jerusalem Courts. The police had ordered the youth be banned from the Temple Mount for fifteen days and were seeking for the court to further ban him from entering the Old City areas of Jerusalem for sixty days which would have placed even the Kotel and Western Wall as off limits. The court’s ruling stated that although Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount was a thorny political issue that requires deep study, it was certainly not a crime thus preventing Jews from praying there was a restriction of their freedom to worship, guaranteed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence and the Knesset’s Basic Laws, echoing a similar ruling regarding Jewish prayer on the Mount was made several months ago.
The Honenu Organization provided the young man with legal counsel as they often will provide for Jews falsely accused of crimes in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria especially in matters concerning the rights of Jews which police and enforcement personnel often use arrest as a means of denying full exercise of these rights by Jews presumably for their protection and to avoid raising the ire of resident Arabs. The court commented as part of their ruling that the police had not made similar arrests of Arab women who had caused a riot on the Temple Mount recently, nor had they sought to have them banned from the Old City for sixty days and that this man was entitled to similar treatment under the law. Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Honenu attorney who represented the youth, was quoted declaring that this was a good decision and “a very important one, and I hope police will study it carefully and internalize it. The right to pray in this country is not just for Women of the Wall, but also for Jews who would like to see the Temple rebuilt. The upshot of this decision is that it is not a crime to pray on the Temple Mount, and police attempts to stop prayers is what is against the law.” May his words become truth in the land.
This will probably not be the last we will hear of such cases and it is very likely that there will be more such cases of Jews being intimidated by the police on the Temple Mount in an all-out effort to appease the Waqf and the Muslims who claim the entirety of the Temple Mount is theirs and only their holy site and that Jews should not even be permitted to enter the area they call the courtyard of the Al-Aksa Mosque. It is usually the case that any religious Jews, or even Jews who wear a Kippah, attempt to enter the Temple Mount they are made to pass through an almost humiliating body search and are escorted by Israeli police and a Waqf representative to assure that they do not pray or act in any manner emotionally thus soiling Muslim holy grounds. Yet visitors to the Temple Mount will regularly witness Arabs playing soccer, holding picnics, and performing a variety of irreligious activities on the presumably ever so holy Muslim grounds. The entire litany of claims put forward by the Muslim Waqf is solely intended to restrict to the point of forbidding Jews access to the holiest site in all of Judaism and not simply out of respect for their Mosque. We can expect that at some point, probably immediately after Arab rioting on the Temple Mount in claimed response to Jewish desecrations committed by their presence, and even worse their praying, near the Muslim holy places which they often claim is an attempt by the Israelis to destroy these buildings. This is often used by Mahmoud Abbas as an instant disturbance which detracts from anything else pushing it from being front page news. Abbas’s next rallying cry to have all good Muslims come and protect their precious al-Aqsa Mosque from Jewish criminal acts aimed at its destruction will produce the same rioting replete with rock and Molotov cocktails being hurled at police and sometimes at worshippers below the Temple Mount at the Kotel. This will be used by political allies on the left to complain and demand that order be restored and the evil and nefarious religious Jews be prevented from inflaming Arab sensitivities with their dangerous insistence on visiting the Temple Mount and, G0d forbid, even insisting on praying there. Then politicians looking to calm the uproar will pass some temporary restriction on visitation to the Temple Mount to be placed solely on Jews, the Arabs would not dream of any action which would prevent tourists from visiting the Temple Mount to whom the Arab merchants sell trinkets. In a short time after this action is taken there will be a challenge made to repeal the edict and before it makes its way into the courts, the edict is rescinded and visitations are resumed until the next false protestation is manufactured and reported on as being of a grass-roots and spontaneous origins.
Hopefully, once the next generation of leadership takes the reins of power all of this nonsense will be dispensed with. Fortunately the next generation in Israel is not as tepid towards all things religiously Jewish and are willing to stand against the world. They appear to have much of the spark of those who stood against the British and then held on to the precious lands against all odds in the miracle that was the Jewish survival and even victories in 1948-9. This was the same spark that was at the heart of the 1967 Six Day War and the Entebbe Operation freeing the hostages. These too were modern miracles for which we owe the credit to both the men who were the instruments of the miracles and the L0rd for working His miracles through these events. But there appears to be a crisis of faith within the halls of the Israeli government which came about as if there were an infection weakening the resolve of men. Some would call this virus by a name, and that name would be Oslo. That is the same virus which caused the needless deaths of over two thousand innocents. If forced to identify the point where this infection was injected into the Israeli leadership, it would have to be the decision by Moshe Dayan to surrender the control over the Temple Mount to the Muslim Waqf simply in order to placate the Jordanians and the Muslim World rather than declaring, as he very well should have, that the Temple Mount has returned to its proper and original owners, to the rule of those who had built it more than two thousand years ago. This is the sin which infects the leadership in Israel today and what must be eradicated before it does additional harm. It was this idea and viewpoint which was recently celebrated as an intricate part of a gala birthday party. It is this infection which has yet to blemish the next generation, may they come to power before succumbing to this deadly virus.
Beyond the Cusp