The snippet below was written by Kochava Rozenbaum and published at Arutz Sheva.
In wake of Tuesday’s decision by police officials in charge of the Temple Mount to ban non-Muslims entrance to the holy site, some two hundred protesters stood Wednesday morning at the foot of the Mugrabi entrance seeking to reverse their exclusion.
The mass protest was prearranged following an announcement by Police Commander Avi Bitton that the Temple Mount will remain closed to Jews and tourists at least until after the end of Ramadan’s closing festival of “Eid” which is to be next Sunday, the 11th of August.
When my wife Laurie and I were in Israel about a year and a half ago we, needless to say, visited the Old City of Jerusalem. It’s a pretty amazing place, as I am certain that everyone who participates here would readily agree, and as we were wandering about, soaking up the mood and feel of the ancient Jewish capital, I stopped by one of those little shops that sells a variety of religious paraphernalia and purchased a rather smallish shofar.
Having forgotten about the prohibition against non-Muslims bringing religious items up to the Temple Mount, Laurie and I got on line for the Mughrabi Bridge in order to access the site. My shofar was then taken from me by Israeli authorities and we were told that when we came back down we could retrieve it, which is precisely what we did.
The administration of the Temple Mount is thus discriminatory against Jews and all non-Muslims.
Furthermore, if you were to go atop the Temple Mount and start davening you could very easily get arrested. For reasons that I entirely fail to understand only Muslims are legally allowed to pray at the site. In the Jewish religious tradition the area is prohibited to Jews because it represents the “Holy of Holies,” which I must suspect goes some way to explain how it is that Moshe Dayan handed over the administration of the Temple Mount to the Jordanian Waqf.
It is, however, one thing for the rabbinical leadership in Israel to recommend that Jews not ascend the top of the Mount and another thing entirely for Muslims to deny rights of prayer, and to limit Jewish access, to the Mount in collusion with Israeli authorities.
I have considerable respect for Moshe Dayan but – to be quite blunt – giving up control over Judaism’s holiest spot to the Arabs was among the stupidest moves that Israel has ever made. The Temple Mount should be open to anyone with the sole exception of those who go up there to throw rocks at people and otherwise cause trouble. If a Muslim wants to pray at the al-Aqsa Mosque, he or she should obviously be allowed to do so. Just as obviously, if a Hindu wants to pray to Shiva atop the Mount, who is to say that this is wrong?
At this point the obvious question to ask, and answer, is how to solve the problem? One obvious solution is for Israel to take administration of the Temple Mount back from the Waqf because they are administrating the site in a manner that is discriminatory against all non-Muslims. The Temple Mount is in Jerusalem and Jerusalem is the ancient capital of the Jewish people and should, therefore, be fairly administrated by the Jewish State of Israel. Because Jewish authorities have shown far greater tolerance and respect to other faiths than have Muslim authorities, control of the area should revert to Israel.
Would such a move cause considerable grievance among Muslims? Yes, it would. Would some resort to violence? Undoubtedly. But the Jewish people in the Middle East have been living under the threat of Muslim violence for fourteen centuries. As long as contempt for Jews and other infidels remains embedded in the faith of Islam, it will remain so generation after generation and century upon century.
The way to deal with this never-ending threat of violence is not to bow to it like good dhimmis, but to defy it.
I would not go so far as to say that the Jews should rebuild the Temple on that site because I am not qualified to speak to the religious implications for Judaism in such a move; implications that would undoubtedly be profound and that might fundamentally alter the entire nature of the Jewish faith. But, Muslim anger aside, there is no reason for Israel not to administrate the place that represents the single, holiest spot for practicing Jews throughout the world.
This will, sadly, not happen anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot advocate for it.
Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.