Sunday, May 5, 2013

MK Moshe Feiglin on the Temple Mount: isn’t that illegal?

Last updated May 6, 2013

When the United Nations voted in November, 1947 to create a two-state solution ‘for the future government of Palestine’ (read UN Resolution 181), Jerusalem received special attention. This was done deliberately, to establish Jerusalem “as a corpus separatum under a special international regime”. Jerusalem would not be a part of the proposed two-state solution. Instead, it would be carved out. It would be an ‘international city’  administered by the UN.

UN Resolution 181 created two states, Jordan for the Arabs and Israel for the Jews. The concept was to create a ‘Partition—with Economic Union’ between the two states. In separate ‘Parts’, the Resolution discussed “the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem (see Part 1A3)”.  In Part III, Sections C-1a; 12-a,b; and 13-a,b,c, the UN specified requirements for Jerusalem’s holy sites: (1) all holy sites were to be protected and preserved; (2) all citizens were to have freedom of religion and worship; (3) there should be no discrimination of any kind on grounds of race or religion; (4) rights to holy places, sites or buildings should not be denied or impaired; (5) there should be free access for everyone to all holy sites; and (6) no act is allowed that could in any way impair a holy site’s sacred character.

According to Wikipedia, what happened next was, ‘Civil War’. While this might be technically correct, it misrepresents actual events: the Jews accepted the UN plan; the Arabs attacked the Jews in order to impose their own one-state solution. Research contemporaneous news accounts of the 1947-48 war. That war was not between two peoples vying for the same national homeland (as many want you to believe). Resolution 181 had just created two separate homelands, Jordan for the Arab and Israel for the Jew.  The Arab rhetoric of the day was not nationalism; it was pure, unadulterated genocide—to kill Jews.

By 1949, this first Arab anti-Israel war ended with no peace. Boundaries were drawn--and because Arabs won major parts of Jerusalem, the city did not become an international city. It remained Arab-controlled and, as a consequence, all Jews were cleansed from Arab-controlled sections, Jewish holy sites were destroyed, and the Temple Mount was sealed off from Jews.

That Arab rule of Jerusalem lasted 19 years. During that time, no Jew had access to the Temple Mount. No Jew had freedom of worship within Arab-controlled areas.

In a 1967 war of self-defense, Israel won back Jerusalem. As part of that victory, Israel allowed the Waqf of Jerusalem—Muslim’s religious leader for the Jerusalem ‘area’—to remain (until this day) the ‘manager’ of the Mount.

Since that Jewish victory, all requirements for holy sites described in Part III of UN Resolution 181 have been enforced by Israel, for all religions. The Waqf, however, has violated every one of those requirements. Specifically, no Jew can worship on the Temple Mount; Jews approaching the Temple Mount are discriminated against because of their religion (their presence on the Mount is heavily restricted); Jewish rights to the Temple Mount are regularly denied and impaired; Jews are refused free access to the Mount;  Muslims have committed heavy damage to the Jewish character of the Mount (removing perhaps 15,000 tons of Temple Mount dirt, including  thousands of archaeologically rich Temple-era artifacts); and instead of preserving and protecting the Jewish nature of the Mount,  they have desecrated it by aggressively removing evidence of Jewish history—and have now begun to declare (after all the damage they have done) that there is no evidence of Jewish life on the Mount.

Someone has further desecrated the Temple Mount by chipping the word, ‘allah’ into one of the large stones there.

All of this becomes important in May, 2013 because MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud), who has been ascending to the Temple Mount once a month for years as a private citizen, has now been blocked from ascending by the Prime Minister himself. Feiglin insists that a Jew has the civil legal right (within  Jewish religious guidelines) to walk on the Temple Mount. He insists that it is illegal to forbid him to do so.

He’s right. When Israel won back the Mount in 1967, the Knesset realized the site’s religious significance. Just weeks after victory Israel’s Knesset passed the ‘Protection of Holy Places Law’, which made it illegal to (1) desecrate holy places; and (2) violate freedom of access to holy places.

Feiglin has the right to ascend the Mount.
But on visits to the Mount as far back as March, 2013, his ascent has been aggressively restricted. On one visit, when MK Feiglin attempted to approach the Dome of the Rock (which is not a mosque and which has been managed by the Waqf as a tourist attraction) a representative of the Waqf told him, ‘only Muslims may enter’--a direct violation of law. Then the police told Feiglin, ‘This place belongs to the Waqf.’

Now, Israel’s leader forbids him to ascend the Mount.

In case you missed it, there has been no change of law. The Mount and its tourist sites do not ‘belong’ to the Waqf. He has no legal right to restrict access. He had no right to forbid worship (if Jews even move their lips while on the Mount, they are arrested). Such restriction is illegal.

What’s going on here? Why are Jews so discriminated against in their own country?

Why does the Prime Minister break the law?

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