The attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick simply because he stood and vocally demanded freedom and equal rights for all people of all religious convictions regardless of their heritage, race, gender, origin and, most of all, religion on the Temple Mount should hasten the day when his dream be realized and make that day this day. The entirety of the Temple Mount is not the al-Aqsa Mosque nor is it the Dome of the Rock nor anything else which qualifies it as exclusive solely for Islamic observances. This is not to desire to open either Muslim structure or any structure located on the Temple Mount for public access or to compromise them or the other places of worship or religious significance for any use other than intended by the religious order that holds them sacred and holy. This is an allowance to promote and achieve religious equality and to provide religious tolerance which is inclusive and universal, especially in regard to the three Abrahamic religions of which Islam is included. Israel is a nation of laws which protect every religion and religious equality with freedom to pray as one desires and wherever one desires as long as it is a public venue or an institution or structure of their religion. These laws also protect any religious structure from being usurped or compromised by any act while still allowing for maximum rights to pray and perform one’s religious acts and fulfillments. These laws apply just as much to the Temple Mount as they do to any other place within Israel and to all religious practices of the many and varied peoples within and visiting Israel.
Imagine the outrage that would explode where Jews and Muslims and all others who were not Catholics being denied the right to pray silently while visiting the gardens and walkways or even the heliport before leaving or after successfully landing by helicopter or within any of the lands reserved for the Vatican in Rome. Such a restriction would be absurd and impossible to enforce as silent prayers can be uttered entirely without any outward manifestations and thus without any evidence provided to the committing such prayers making their detection impossible and any enforcement of such restrictions becoming simply a method for denial of access to any areas under such a legal writ for abstaining from prayers from other religions. Yet this is one of the criteria which the members and guardians of the Waqf use to remove Jews from the Temple Mount. Their restriction that no religious artifacts or signs including jewelry, beads, prayer books, fringed garments or other items which the guardians of Islamic purity on the Temple Mount decide arbitrarily are disallowed is simple religious discrimination, an act illegal within Israel and the lands under Israeli law which the Temple Mount, all of Jerusalem and the rest of Area C are within such jurisdiction. This makes any restrictions of prayer, access or any other discriminatory restriction prosecutable under Israeli laws.
There have been threats from Jordan to negate the peace treaty with Israel should the Temple Mount be opened to any form of prayers other than Islamic prayers or if Jews are permitted access to visit the Temple Mount under less restrictive conditions and especially if Israel were to enforce permitting Jews entrance to the Temple Mount from any of its entrances other than the difficult entrance delegated for Jewish access by the Jordanian Waqf. The Arab League has also issued similar warnings of dire consequences should Jews and others not of the Islamic faith be granted freedom to pray and unfettered access to the Temple Mount or should the ruling that every millimeter of the Temple Mount is an Islamic holy place is challenged (which makes one wonder if this ruling also applies to the Christian sites and buildings on the Temple Mount). Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has also threatened extreme consequences should the Islamic nature and restrictions over the Temple Mount be challenged or altered in any manner, emphasizing that Jews not be permitted even access to these holy Islamic grounds.
Then there is another threat which has been leveled against Jewish rights on the Temple Mount which deserves special reference and that is the assault made on the Facebook page for the Temple Institute. This threat was more specific and personal as it listed fifteen Jewish activists and authorities over the Temple Mount complete with their pictures which include Yehuda Glick, which were taken from Islamist pages. These pictures included Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the founder of the Temple Institute; Rabbi Chaim Richman, the Temple Institute International Director; as well as other activists and members of both Yehuda Glick founded LIBA Project for Jewish ascent to the Temple Mount and the Temple Institute. Along with the pictures was this warning, “We, the Muslims, will not allow anyone to touch Al Aqsa. Your actions are liable to drag the entire region into war. The Al Aqsa mosque is for Muslims only, and we will not allow you to control it.” What must be understood about the wording in this threat is that when referring to al-Aqsa the Muslim entities and individuals imply every millimeter of the Temple Mount and not simply the mosque by that name. This threat to the persons listed and the other threats are vile in their intent but as repugnant and immoral as these threats may be, we expect that many European governments, the European Union, the United Nations, the United States (or at least the State Department and numerous administration officials though the latter will only be referred to as ‘high administration officials on the condition of anonymity’) and near countless NGOs and other organizations will affirm their support for such restrictions though some, likely very few, will denounce the threats to individuals such as in the Facebook posted warnings and threats.
Lastly we come to the Israeli leadership and their disgraceful groveling before these threats and the demands to restrict Jewish visitation, if not their outright banishment, from the Temple Mount. The statements from the Prime Minister and those issued as originating from his office assuring that the current status quo will remain in effect and be enforced by Israeli law officers and the Knesset. These declarations from Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu are repulsive displays which are potentially indicative of a Dhimmi attitude and of being shameful utterances which imply that Jews are lesser to Muslims and are deserving of being subjected to shameful treatment and must be accepting of shame and discriminatory restrictions and denial of access to the most holy site to Judaism. His acquiescence reinforces the Islamic claims to absolute rights and ownership of the Temple Mount and is tantamount to ceding all rights and privileges to the Islamic influence managed through the Jordanian Waqf and thus inferring the Israeli intent to surrender all claims to East Jerusalem before the world. Such conflict avoidance inspired concessions will only lead to greater and more restrictive and demeaning treatment and rejecting of Jewish rights and even equality regarding religious rights where Islamic rights will trump all Jewish and Israeli laws, rights and concerns. The Jordanian Waqf has crossed the line from adjudicating officials for the protection of the rights for Muslims on the Temple Mount and their access to Islamic holy sites within to a terrorist leadership which intends to deny Jews followed by Christians and eventually all who are not Islamic, potentially even the right version of Islam, of any rights or visitation to the Temple Mount with the intent to make the Temple Mount into the Islamic Vatican of the Middle East. The Waqf has intertwined themselves, if not outright joined, with those from the Muslim Brotherhood as well as ISIS and numerous Islamic Imams, including especially Yusuf al-Qaradawi who in his celebratory return to Egypt speech of February 18, 2011, in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt where he exclaimed his desires to preach in the al-Aqsa Mosque when it became the center for the new Caliphate. Making all of Jerusalem the capital city for the next Caliphate on top the crushed state of Israel which will have removed the Jews from power if not from even more is the stated aim of many Islamic leaders and is part of the goals expressed by ISIS and bowing to Islamic restrictions and discriminations in the here and now only bodes for the realization of the Islamic goal of claiming all of Jerusalem and conquering Israel. There is no reason to give the impression that the Jewish People have such little pride and love for the Temple Mount and for its sanctity and importance to Jews and Jewish history as such will only lead to one conclusive event when the Mufti of Jerusalem claims Islamic victory and complete ownership of the Temple Mount. These current threats are the opening lines which conclude with that declaration of ownership.
The Israeli and world Jewry must make known that they will not accept secondary and lesser rights to have unfettered access to their most holy Temple Mount and do not demand their right to pray there as that is a right given from G0d and thus no mortal may reject the authority for Jewish prayers, or any other prayers as Judaism teaches tolerance for those who deserve respect and thus protection of their rights because they offer respect, not intolerance, on the Temple Mount. This time is developing into a crucial time in history, another pivot point which may have similar impact to humankind as did the emergence of the Greco-Roman influence or the initial spread of Islam or the Mongol conquests. The promise of a great, bright technological world with wonders, inventions and innovations of which many are not even yet imagined.
Alternatively, the future may hold conflicts and destructions beyond reason or measure, each one greater and more violent than the last until we reach that point prophesized by Albert Einstein when he replied to the query as to what kind of weapons would be utilized during World War III. Einstein replied, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” Our fears are that his prediction while not necessarily completely valid as mankind, providing we survive World War III, will still have the knowledge to build at the very least bows and arrows, spears, clubs, swords, catapults, trebuchets, ballistae and other rudimentary weapons which do not necessitate fabrication, heavy metal works or boring with the necessary spin making rifles more accurate than muskets, is otherwise spot-on and a piece of logic and wisdom to be heeded. Unfortunately, with the world on the cusp of a nuclear arms race across the Middle East and North Africa combined with the increasing tensions in every corner of the world to the extent that it appears the world has lost all reason and cautions, should beyond this cusp a war erupt and one nation believing it was on the brink of total annihilation or believing that a nuclear launched knockout strike the most assured route to ultimate victory, they introduce the utilization of tactical nuclear weapons or worse, full strength city destroying nuclear weapons which would spawn nuclear counterstrikes and a nuclear escalating conflict which would leave no corner of the world untouched by the destruction and fallout. The entire direction of the immediate and long-term futures for the human race may once again depend on the decisions made in seemingly innocent and unimportant situations thus enabling and empowering some leaders to believe they have greater power and a military advantage that they will choose to exercise leading to an ever-growing conflagration.
Because of such sensitivity and the necessity to weigh every decision from numerous angles the choice made by Prime Minister Netanyahu assuring King Hussein of Jordan that the Waqf will remain in place and Jews would observe the limitations placed upon them, allowing the Waqf to continue to have complete say over the Temple Mount was difficult, especially as it forces Jews and other non-Muslims to be good little Dhimmis. Obviously we have great difficulty and disagree with this exhibition of weakness and lack of will to take advantage of the sliver of hope to press for the equal rights and respect for all peoples, religious faiths, and all of mankind to visit, pray and enter the Temple Mount through any of many gates, archways and other entrances. The one overriding and horrid reality is that should Prime Minister Netanyahu, with the affirmation and support of the Knesset and the full backing of the Rabbinical leadership, obviously including the vocal support and affirmations by the two Chief Rabbis and the Rabbi overseeing the Temple Mount, actually decide to open the Temple Mount to equal access and equal rights for prayer and equality in all areas the rest of the world would demand that he retract that decision and would accuse Israel of fomenting violence and attempting to start a regional war. Perhaps this weighed heavily on him forcing his decision on the side of caution and avoidance of any confrontation. The problem is that there will eventually be this very confrontation and if Israel has not pressed equal rights for all religions and peoples, then the confrontation will be over the banishment of Jews from any form of entrance to the Temple Mount and eventually to the Western Wall and all of East Jerusalem including all of the Old City, or perhaps over demands that all Jews be removed from Hevron or even from east of the Green Line. The claim to the 1949 Armistice Lines (also called the pre 67 lines) as the new border for a Palestinian state has already been affirmed and set in motion by the Swedish formal recognition of the Palestinian State. Should a number of European States and even the Security Council and the United Nations as well as any nations in the Americas, especially the United States also recognize this as the true Palestinian State and drop any reference to agreed upon borders which provide Israel with defensible borders and instead simply recognize the Green Line as the new border, such will be traced back to the timidity of Israeli leadership and even the Israelis themselves for not strongly defending their claims and rights even on the place most holy to them. Why should the rest of the world give it more effort than the Israelis themselves. The truth is they should not be expected to do more than we Israelis and our leaders are willing to do and go the distance ourselves. There is still time to pressure the Knesset and Prime Minister to do the rightful thing and make the righteous decision.
Beyond the Cusp