Beyond the Cusp

December 3, 2014

Temple Mount Status-Quo Not so Static Though

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When Israel gained control of all of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount after defeating the Jordanian Army after Jordan which, in a misadvised act, joined the Six Day War the morning of the second day, the Israeli government faced a situation which they imagined might cause difficulties after the fighting ended. As the Israeli government of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan was largely secular and placed minimal religious importance to the Temple Mount figuring while both Muslims and Christians had holy structures on the Temple Mount making it a religious site for both religions, Judaism’s last Temple was destroyed almost two thousand years earlier by the Romans led to the decision that the Temple Mount was mostly a historic site for Jews and not as much sacred grounds. The figuring was to not make any disagreements over the Temple Mount a religious subject thus adding religious overtones to what the Israelis perceived as simply a territorial conflict. As those who have followed the growing conflict between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb have realized that as far as Muslims are concerned, everything is a religious conflict and nothing is merely territorial as even once any territory is integrated from Dar al-Harb, the world of war, into Dar al-Islam, the world of Islam, then those who are not or have not accepted Islam as their faith initially are permitted to retain their religion but must follow restrictive rules designed to forcibly coerce conversion through the imposition of a punitive tax, Dhimmi second class status, complete ban of constructing new religious buildings, no proselytizing, no repairs without special permission on existing religious structures and even threat of death for not converting if all else fails. This is simply proof that all conflict with Islam is a religious conflict regardless of the basic inspirations of their enemies. This little fact has finally, after the better part of a century, begun to sink in to the perception of the average Israeli, yet even now there are a sizeable number of Israelis, almost universally secular Israelis, who still deny this reality refusing to grasp what has slowly become more and more obvious to others.

 

The realities must be realized even by the deepest skeptic with the riotous behavior designed and inspired solely to prevent Jews from ascending to the Temple Mount as their presence is being described by Palestinian political and religious leadership as prevention of the Jews despoiling and desecrating the al-Aqsa Mosque, a structure located on the Herodian expanded area of the Temple Mount that despite its rather impressive size, the Mosque is about 35,000 square meters (380,000 sq. ft.) and could hold up to 5,000 worshippers, is completely located outside of the areas where the two Jewish Temples stood. The Muslims, especially those instigating the current Arab confrontations, are fully aware that the al-Aqsa Mosque would not need to be touched in order for the Third Temple to be constructed which is why they have expanded the area which they claim are parts of the al-Aqsa Mosque to include the entirety of the Temple Mount and through this description they now claim it would be sacrilegious for Jews to enter the al-Aqsa Mosque. This is why Mahmoud Abbas referred to Jews ascending to the Temple Mount as herds of unclean beasts when initially urging the Arab rioting on the Temple Mount recently, but this is nothing new and is a form of Arab protest which has been witnessed before which is all part of the supposed status-quo which really has been more of a sliding definition than a static set of realities.

 

When after the Six Day War in June of 1967 the hostilities were brought to an end the Israeli government was faced with a set of situations unique and new. Israel had taken control of the Sinai Peninsula during the 1956 Suez War which saw Israel allied with France and Britain demanding that the Suez Canal be reopened for universal maritime traffic and that the Straits of Tiran be reopened to allow Israeli shipping from their southern port of Eilat, after both of the waterways were closed by Egyptian President Nasser. Israel had been pressured, especially by the United States, into returning all of the Sinai Peninsula receiving in exchange the promise that the Straits of Tiran were promised to remain open with assurances from the United States, many European nations and the United Nations and with any such closing being described under international agreement that such future closings would be considered as an act of war against Israel and a casus belli into the future. Israel now also held the entirety of Judea and Samaria, Jordan had renamed the area West Bank and that name should have been relegated to the trash bin of history once these lands were liberated by Israel, as well as the Golan Heights taken from Syria as part of the defensive war Israel fought, the Six Day War. When allowing the Jordanian appointed Waqf to continue to adjudicate the maintenance and other day-to-day care and other duties the Israeli government of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan set forth rules whereby the Christians continued to be responsible for the care and operations of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Muslims were responsible for the care and maintenance of the Islamic structures located on the Temple Mount including the al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and other Islamic buildings while the Waqf would be responsible for most everything else while access to the Temple Mount was to be permitted freely by peoples of all religions and not restricted to the three Abrahamic faiths and while Jews were to be granted totally free access to the Temple Mount, they would be barred from conducting prayers. This arrangement was referred to as the status-quo.

 

Back after Israel was assailed by over a half dozen national armies upon being founded and declaring her statehood in mid-May of 1948 and fought almost a year and a half war to establish her existence against a genocidal war which eventually left Gaza occupied by Egypt and Judea and Samaria occupied by Jordan. Egypt never annexed Gaza nor offered the Arabs in Gaza Egyptian citizenship. Jordan, on the other hand, annexed Judea and Samaria renaming it West Bank and granting the Arabs living there Jordanian citizenship while expelling every last Jews residing there, particularly the Jewish communities in Hevron, East Jerusalem and other towns, kibbutzim and farms across Judea and Samaria. Jordan also destroyed all the synagogues throughout the areas they held including many centuries old structures, used the grave stones to build latrines for the Jordanian military barracks and generally attempted to remove all evidence of Israeli or Jewish history throughout the areas they controlled. Compared to being forbidden from even approaching the Temple Mount, which being in the Old City Jerusalem was within the areas of East Jerusalem held by Jordan, any access permitted by a negotiated status-quo was an improvement. This improvement was not going to remain consistent as the status-quo mediated with Jordan, the controllers of the Waqf, was altered through treaty when peace was finally reached between Jordan and Israel which left Judea and Samaria as belonging to Israel. There has been another manner by which the status-quo has been altered, that being violence. This was accomplished by the Arab leaders of the Arabs residing in Judea and Samaria who had been granted Jordanian citizenship only to have it nullified by Jordan after they lost the areas to Israel in the Six Day War. This was most likely done by Jordan to avoid having the population of Judea and Samaria from remaining Jordanian citizens and thus being relocated into Jordan as part of any peace treaty or even by Israel as part of retaining the lands gained in a defensive war. The eventual actual reason was to allow these Arabs to take on an independent identification with which to wage a new war on Israel through their new identity being defined such they had equal or superior claim to the Jews to the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea eventually leading to their supplanting the Jews from within their ancient homelands.

 

Whenever there was a desire to alter the status-quo, either by the Jordanians or the Arabs who remained within Israel, the Arabs residing in Judea and Samaria would riot and continue ramping up the levels of violence forcing Israel to accept further and further compromises by which Jewish rights, and by association Christians, and limiting further Jewish freedoms on the Temple Mount. From the original status-quo which permitted universal access to the Temple Mount for Jews and others as long as the Jews refrained from conducting prayers while on the Temple Mount that being the sole restriction; the status-quo currently being enforced only permits Jews to access the Temple Mount from the Mughrabi Gate via a dangerous wooden bridge that rises above the Western Wall plaza, as are all non-Muslims. Starting last spring the Arabs began a systematic set of confrontations taunting Jews who were permitted to access the Temple Mount. Jews also began facing longer and longer wait times and excessive and invasive searches of their effects and bodies in order to assure they were not taking any religious objects onto the Temple Mount as the display of such objects might insult and disturb the sensitivities of the Muslims. Additionally, despite numerous rulings that all of the Israeli guarantees for religious freedoms are applicable everywhere throughout lands under Israeli control including particularly the Temple Mount and the uttering of prayers by the Israeli Supreme Court in a number of separate decisions through the years. All of these rulings had no effect or change to the reality that any Jews who attempted praying on the Temple Mount would find themselves whisked off the Temple Mount and likely banned for days, weeks or months, all depending on the whims of the Israeli police who are tasked with securing the Temple Mount and enforcing the orders from the Jordanian Waqf. The confrontations which began in the spring ramped throughout the summer into rioting at the request of the Arab leadership in Ramallah who continued calling for increased levels of violence where now the Arab rioters are stoning and throwing Molotov cocktails and shooting flaming fireworks at the Israeli police. These violent riots have produced the desired result of Israeli police forbidding Jews from accessing the Temple Mount.

 

The frightening thing came when we heard Prime Minister Netanyahu guaranteed one leader after another including but not limited to the King of Jordan, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, United States President Obama and numerous European leaders or almost anybody who demanded Israeli compliance to any restrictions the Arabs leadership in Jordan or Ramallah desired to impose. While thus far the rhetoric has only referred to keeping the sacred nature of the status-quo intact with extra identification of willingness to comply with the prohibition of Jews uttering prayers or even appearing to have thought of a prayer while and if they were permitted to enter the Temple Mount, or as the Arabs are fond of calling it, the al-Aqsa Mosque. This obsessive attention paid to complying with the oppressive, dehumanizing and belittling impositions of the so-called status-quo is disturbing enough and the claim that enforcing these observances are required in order to placate the Arabs thus bringing the rioting to an end. The problem is that these riots are not being controlled from Ramallah but instead are being supported by Hamas, paid for out of Qatar and choreographed from Hamas headquarters in Turkey. Mahmoud Abbas could jump up and down and hold his breath until he turned blue and his demands would have no effect on the rioting. His call for riots came after the rioting had been escalating for weeks possibly months. These riots are serving two important goals, the first being the restricting and prevention of Jews accessing the Temple Mount and the other is to provide endless violence which will prove to be beyond the ability of Abbas and the Fatah leadership to control and bring to an end. The aim is to order up a constantly escalating violence level throughout Judea and Samaria with the highest concentration being in Jerusalem, both Eastern and Western Jerusalem. This is presumably to eventually prove Abbas is incapable of ruling the unity government or even the areas he claims he was elected to high office to coordinate and exercise authority which would lead to Mahmoud Abbas and company calling for help from the Israelis. The hope is then to double down and call for the rioting to grow into a full-fledged intifada attacking throughout Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and potentially throughout Israel from the southern tip of the Negev to the northern farms of the Galilee. The continuing escalation is planned to result in the calling for IDF troops to regain control that Hamas has planned to instigate their takeover of Judea and Samaria replacing Abbas and then miraculously ending the chaos and rioting. Then the status-quo will have finally reached its end-point where Jews are not permitted to set foot on the Temple Mount. Then all will have hopefully realized that the Arab-Israeli war has little if anything to do with territories and borders, it is a religious war between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb. The actual conflict only has a tip of the iceberg and only one of numerous tips showing in this war to impose Islamic rule across the entire world. The war with Israel is the front where Islam must reassert their supremacy over the lands where Israel now sits as it was once ruled over as part of the last Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, and as such must always be under Islamic rule. That is the real status-quo, the return of these lands called Israel to Islamic rule with the Jews and everybody else currently residing in Israel either converted, dead or paying the Jiyza and accepting their position as Dhimmis. After Israel the next target will be Europe but for now I pray for an Israeli miracle and the government extending Israeli law to all of Jerusalem and returning the members of the Islamic Waqf to Jordan with a note informing the Jordanian King that his controllers are no longer required and that free access and right to pray just as things were under King Solomon had announced after he completed the building of the First Temple saying according to scriptures, “Thus all the peoples of the earth will know Your name and revere You, as does Your people Israel; and they will recognize that Your name is attached to this House that I have built” (I Kings 8:43). This was King Solomon’s invitation to all people from every corner of the globe and from slave to ruler to come and make their sacrifices to Hashem and learn to know Hashem’s laws. The pledge of King Solomon to openly share the Temple Mount and the abundance of spiritual greatness which emanated from that holy place be accessible to all without any searches of their bodies and artifacts and restricting the time allotted each visitor was the status-quo of which Hashem would approve. And that should most definitely and even defiantly be the status-quo we need to have rather than the existing Sharia compliant rioting and lawlessness which is the status-quo defiling the Temple Mount with the blessings and approval of the Waqf and all those who believe the supposed status-quo should be applied.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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