History and sovereignty are slipping away

A column, possibly from the Second Temple, lies in a pile of rubble on the Temple Mount

A column, possibly from the Second Temple, among rubble on the Temple Mount

This is one of those issues that ought to be shocking, but about which nothing is done. For years — I’ve written about this before — the Muslim waqf that controls the Temple Mount has been systematically destroying archaeological artifacts of Jewish provenance at the site. The photo above, (h/t Israel Matzav) taken by journalist Michael Freund on the Temple Mount,  shows a piece of a column that he believes was part of the Second Temple, in the midst of a pile of rubble.

Apparently out of fear of inflaming Muslim sensibilities — and we know how easy that is — the government of Israel, which theoretically has sovereignty over the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, has never done more than file mild protests over the deliberate destruction of Jewish history.

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials, including Mahmoud Abbas (like Yasser Arafat before him) actually deny that there was a Jewish Temple on the site, calling it an ‘alleged Temple’! So what do they think their waqf buddies are smashing up?

But this is only half of it.

Executing their usual maneuver of accusing Israel of doing what in fact they themselves are doing (or trying to do, like genocide), the Palestinians regularly accuse Israel, on the flimsiest of pretexts, of undermining the Al-Aqsa Mosque or otherwise trying to destroy it. There have been countless Friday riots — last week’s was an example — after Arabs are incited by Imams with stories about the ‘imminent danger’ facing the mosque.

Meanwhile Jews are prohibited from praying on the Mount — Jews have been arrested after being seen moving their lips there. The justification for the criminalization of prayer is, of course, that it will anger the Arabs, and therefore is a matter of public safety. As in so many other cases, the Muslim tactic of extorting unreasonable concessions by threatening violence has been successful.

Numerous lives were lost in 1967 in order to reverse the ethnic cleansing of eastern Jerusalem, to rescue synagogues and cemeteries from desecration, and to make it possible for people of all faiths — even Jews! — to visit their holy sites.

Now, as a result of bad decisions, timidity and inaction, Israel is allowing its sovereignty to slip away and the Arabs to destroy the evidence of Jewish history.

Secular Israelis and Jews may think that this does not concern them. They are wrong. These sites — and their history — belong to the Jewish people, and are part of what unites them as a people, regardless of their degree of observance.

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5 Responses to “History and sovereignty are slipping away”

  1. sabashimon says:

    I think of all the very real reasons to be angry at our government in Israel, the absurd situation regarding the Temple Mount is at the top of the list.
    I long for the day that a true leader will step up and remind us that we are indeed a sovereign Nation. Unfortunately I don’t see that person anywhere near the horizon.
    Thanks Moshe Dayan for your utter lack of vision and outright stupidity. Your betrayal will never be forgiven.

  2. Aside of that remark about secular Israelis and Jews, which I, frankly, don’t understand, a good article.

    This reluctance to deal with Waqf is inexplicable indeed.

  3. Vic Rosenthal says:

    I simply meant that secular Jews (Israelis or not) may think that the question of the Temple mount is purely a religious issue and not relevant for them. In my opinion it relates to Jewish history and peoplehood, and is important for all Jews.

  4. sabashimon says:

    “In my opinion it relates to Jewish history and peoplehood, and is important for all Jews.”

    Wholeheartedly agree…….no question!

  5. Shalom Freedman says:

    The self- defeating policy of forbidding Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount does go back to 1967. Rabbi Shlomo Goren hoped to have a synagogue in the area of the Temple Mount which he reckoned permissible for Jewish prayer. He was stopped and the rest is the long sad history of exclusive Islamic religious control of the area.
    My sense is that this policy has not been changed also because there is much Jewish religious opposition to any Jewish religious activity on Har- ha- Bayit. Had there been Jewish unity and will on this question the government probably would have acted differently in the course of the years.