If Israel will not stand up for the Jews, how can diaspora Jews do so?
Israeli media are reporting that Israel is implementing a plan to severely limit the number of Jews who can visit the Temple Mount, while imposing no such restrictions on non-Jewish tourists or Muslims.
According to the story, Jews who want to visit their holiest site must register head of time with Israeli authorities. Only two sets of Jews are allowed to visit – a limit of 45 in one morning group and 15 in an afternoon group, so no more than 60 can visit on any day.
Notices of the new policy were posted at the Rambam (Moroccan) gate that non-Muslims use.
The official reason being given is that this is to maintain the security of Jews visiting the Temple Mount.
This issue gets under my skin because it is so blatantly bigoted against the Jewish people.
I support Israel for a number of very good reasons.
The first reason, I suppose, is that it is the lone, sole Jewish country in the world and I happen to be Jewish.
The second reason is that it is unjustly maligned.
It is not only surrounded by a much larger hostile majority, but it is blamed by the world community for the hatred toward it. It is even blamed for Muslim attacks on innocent Christians in Europe.
The third reason is because it is liberal and democratic.
In fact, not only is it liberal and democratic, but it has maintained liberality and democracy under violent pressures that no other country has ever done in the history of the world while still maintaining a democratic system… yet it is still maligned by its supposed democratic partners as not doing enough for peace in the region or enough to maintain universal human rights as defined by the United Nations.
I admire Israel for being strong under pressure. I admire the Jews of the Middle East for the steel in their spine.
And I definitely believe that Israel must fight back against those Arab Jihadis running around the country stabbing Jews in the neck in the name of Allah.
Recent news tells us that the Netanyahu government is beginning to tighten the screws a bit with some special attention to Hebron where Palestinian-Arabs are in the process of losing their rights to travel to Jerusalem. Israel, also, shut down the al-Khalil radio station in that city because they persistently screamed for Jewish blood.
We seem to be at a turning point.
Israel, following the French (amazingly enough) will take a harder line on Islamist violence, but how far will Netanyahu go?
Diaspora Jews can only stand up for Israel when it stands up for itself.
Netanyahu, like all politicians, is about balancing issues in a manner that is beneficial to himself and to his constituency, but acceptable to his negotiating partners.
It might be that limiting Jewish access to the Temple Mount is meant as a gesture of good will to our enemies.
But it is discriminatory against Jews and defies everything that Israel stands for.
First published at Israel Thrives
Mike Lumish is a PhD in American history from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at PSU, San Francisco State University, and the City College of San Francisco. Recently he joined Vocal International a news magazine out Brussels, Belgium, as an analyst, writer, and a member of the Academic Board of Trustees.