Beyond the Cusp

February 27, 2014

Jewish Prayer in Jerusalem Becoming Point of Contention

The Jordanian Ministers in their Parliament had 86 of the 150 Ministers vote to expel Israeli envoy Daniel Nevo over the Israeli Knesset holding discussions over whether freedom of religion within Israel, including all of Jerusalem, extended as to permit Jews to offer prayers while visiting on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in all of Judaism as well as extending similar protection for Christian prayers as well. This vote in Jordan is the second part of their rejection of the possibility of Jews being permitted to pray openly as one day earlier forty-seven Ministers of the Jordanian Parliament signed a motion demanding that 1994 peace treaty with Israel be annulled over the debate in Israel. Prominent lower house deputy Khalil Attieh was quoted as saying, “All deputies who attended a meeting today to discuss Israel’s debate on sovereignty over Al-Aqsa voted to kick out the Israeli envoy and recall the Jordanian ambassador in Israel (Walid Obeidat). This was in protest at the Knesset debate. It is up to the government to act on the vote. If it does not, we will consider a no-confidence motion.” Jordan’s State-run Petra news agency said the MPs, “demanded the government take immediate action to stop Israel’s schemes.”

 

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy labeled the Knesset Ministers who proposed equal treatment for all religions, especially Jews and Christians, on the Temple Mount, as they are currently reserved solely for Muslims, to be “extremists” to corrupt the political scene and intentionally lead to a crises “in Palestine and the entire region.” He further demanded that Israeli leadership take the necessary steps to curb these extremists who were taking such drastic and dangerous moves and who he claimed, broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque and quarreled with the mosque visitors. Fahmy stressed that eastern Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state and that the Al-Aqsa Mosque and all sacred places are part of eastern Jerusalem. He saw no reason to disturb the rules which have been in place since 1967 as they had served to contain the peace and prevent the destruction of any of the holy places found on the Al-Aqsa Mosque Plaza, Islam’s third most holy site. Of course Foreign Minister Fahmy did not see to include that the areas of the Temple Mount are also holy to Judaism and Christianity which seems to be a blind spot found in the vast majority of Muslim spokespeople. They are quick to demand that Islam and its beliefs and places be protected and respected but not quite as adamant to have other religions beliefs and places protected and respected.  

 

Then there was the emergency session of the Arab League called to address the crisis of the Israeli Knesset discussion on equality of rights to pray for all religions which was described as part of the series of “recent Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” Protesting that recent visits of Israeli rightists to Al-Aqsa will lead to more tension and turn the conflict into a religious one, Palestinian Authority’s Ambassador to Egypt Barakat al-Farra stated, “If Israel continues this policy, it proves that it does not want peace but continues to violate international laws and resolutions.” He further demanded that the international community must fulfill its duty to protect holy sites. Palestinian Authority’s Barakat al-Farra commenting about recent visits of Israeli rightists that threatened the Al-Aqsa Mosque was probably a reference to Minister of the Knesset Moshe Feiglin (Likud-Beytenu) finally being permitted to again ascend to the Temple Mount after ten months of being banned by Israeli police after the Muslim Waqf protested his insistence of acting in a threatening manner and performing actions which desecrated the holy al-Aqsa Mosque. The offensive actions committed by Minister Feiglin was to have appeared to have moved his lips which may have been an effort to pray, which would not have likely been an Islamic prayer but rather the prayer of an unbeliever, a heretical infidel, which, by its nature, is a direct threat both religiously and structurally to the Islamic purity and holy structures within the areas claimed to be wholly holy Islamic area named Haram al-Sharif by Muslims.

 

Meanwhile, back at the debate over whether religious freedoms guaranteed to all people within Israel also extends to non-Muslims while visiting the Temple Mount just as it protects Muslims, Christians, Baha’I and every other religion throughout Israel, the debate took some heated twists and turns. The most extreme disturbances during the meeting of the Interior Committee chaired by MK Miri Regev (Likud Beytenu) occurred once the Arab Knesset Ministers were granted the floor. Among the most egregious examples was provided by Taleb Abu Arar (Raam-Taal) who claimed the Jews have no reason to visit the 3,000 year old site of their First and Second Temple. This is not any new provocative example of revisionist history about the Jewish attachment to the Temple Mount or false narrative concerning the First Temple and Second Temple. Recently the Islamic Waqf, the authority permitted to supervise the Temple Mount by the government of Israel as a sign of deference to possible sensitivities of Islamic concerns for their holy sites built on this location, have issued a pamphlet that makes new claims regarding the Temple Mount which arguing that King Solomon was a Muslim and that there is no Jewish connection to either the Temple Mount or the Western Wall (Kotel). Such revisionist claims reveal that the Muslims refuse to return the consideration and extreme efforts by Israel and her Jewish majority to avoid trampling on any rights or sensitivities of their Muslim citizens and other Muslims within Israeli jurisdictions including those currently living within the semiautonomous rule of the Palestinian Authority. One section which is titled, “Al-Buraq Wall and NOT the Wailing Wall they have written that, “Al-Buraq wall is part of the western wall of the Al-Aqsa mosque.” They also refer to the belief that Mohammed rose into heaven and that the Western Wall is the location where he “tied his winged steed, Al-Buraq.” The pamphlet continues stating, “Jews and some Christians, while falsely claiming it is part of their so-called ‘Temple,’ have made a ritual of standing in front of it, and wailing over the power they say was lost to Muslims. Despite the lack of a shred of proof to support these claims, they have turned it into a Jewish shrine since occupation in 1967.” Still, the most egregious and breathtaking claim has to be that, “Solomon (PBUH) was one of the prophets of Islam.” This is just a small portion of the claims that place in question all claims made by Jews and Christians among which they also claim that Jesus was a Muslim prophet who will serve the Mahdi during the Muslim rendition of the End Times. Despite these offensive and insulting declarations and practices by the Islamic Waqf and other general insults emanating from many among the Palestinian Muslim leadership, Israel continues to grant equal, if not preferential, rights to the Muslims and have no intentions of changing such since, as Jews, we obey the Jewish commandments of Torah which instruct us to treat the stranger among us as if he were a fellow Jew and to always remember that we were strangers in the land of Egypt. All of this is simply another example how in today’s world, no good deed goes unpunished.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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