Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Lessons we learn from arrests on the Temple Mount

(Last updated: June 4, 2015)

In 1993, Israel and Jordan signed a formal Peace Treaty. Article 9 of that Treaty states, among other things: “Each party [Jordan and Israel] will provide freedom of access [emphasis mine] to places of religious and historical significance”. Article 9 also states that the ‘Parties’ “will work towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship [emphasis mine], and tolerance and peace”.

The Temple Mount is a place of religious and historical significance for Jews. Therefore, according to this Treaty, Jews have every right to expect to have freedom of access and freedom of religious worship on the Temple Mount.

Today, Jews have neither.

For example, a Jewish youth was just arrested for praying on the Temple Mount (“Jewish Youth Arrested for Praying on Temple Mount”, Arutz Sheva, June 3, 2015). This isn’t the first time Jews have been arrested for praying. It isn’t the first time Jews have been harassed on the Temple Mount.

Here’s a partial list of what’s been happening on the Mount:  

-“Jewish Youth Arrested on Temple Mount for Praying”, Arutz Sheva, May 7, 2014.

-“Police Warn Jewish Children for Bowing [in prayer] on Temple Mount”, Arutz Sheva, July 9, 2013.

-“Jewish Youth Arrested On Temple Mount for Bowing”, Arutz Sheva, November 13, 2013.

-“Jews Banned from Temple Mount after One Hour”, Arutz Sheva, September 25, 2013.

-“Muslim Extremists Force Jews From Temple Mount”, Arutz Sheva, July 15, 2013.

-“Discrimination Against Jews Continues at the Temple Mount”, Arutz Sheva, October 28, 2013.

-“Report: Jordan vetoes Israeli request to allow Jewish prayer on Temple Mount”, Jerusalem Post, November 12, 2013.

-“Islamic Movement Leader: Temple Mount for Muslims Only“, Arutz Sheva, December 8, 2013.

-“Youth Arrested for Prostrating Self on Temple Mount”, Arutz Sheva, September 25, 2012.

-“Temple Mount Closed to Jews on Tisha B'Av”, Arutz Sheva, July 29, 2012.

Now, June, 2015, Jews face another harassment: Jews are no longer permitted to drink from public water fountains on the Temple Mount (Gil Ronen, “Latest Abuse: Jews Can't Drink Water on Temple Mount”, Arutz Sheva, June 1, 2015). Indeed, when Jews just tried to drink from a public fountain, Muslim women who ‘guard’ the Mount when Jews ascend there, attacked them (Tova Dvorin and Yishai Karov, “Again: Jew Attacked for Drinking Water on Temple Mount”, Arutz Sheva, June 3, 2015).

These attacks, arrests and harassments of Jews on Judaism’s holiest site teach us three lessons: first, apartheid (official, state-sanctioned law directed against a homogeneous group in order to segregate that group so as to discriminate against it) is alive and well in Israel—against Jews, not Arabs.

Israeli police enforce a no-worship rule specifically against Jews. They do that because the anti-Jew Muslim authority whom Israel has allowed to ‘administer’ the Mount, the Waqf, demands it. Israel is afraid to confront him. Israel simply does what he says to do. 

On the Temple Mount, Muslims have freedom of access and freedom of worship, just as you’d expect to find in a democracy. Jews, however, don’t have such freedom.

Instead, they are treated with apartheid rules. They are separated out at the entrance gate. They are treated by police at the gate more harshly than non-Jews seeking access to the Mount. They are discriminated against on the Mount.

That’s a very good look at apartheid in action.

One might expect to find such apartheid rules against Jews in an Arab country where the practice of Judaism is usually illegal. But to find such restrictions against Jews in their own country is unacceptable. It’s undemocratic.

The second lesson we learn from these anti-Jewish incidents is that Israel’s democracy is threatened when anyone’s freedom to worship is threatened. Democracy is very delicate. It needs free elections and the freedoms of speech and religion in much the same way the human body needs air, water and food. Abridge any one of these three freedoms, and democracy will ultimately die.

The more Jews are restricted in their own country, the closer democracy comes to imploding. The reason for this is simple: Jews are a free people. They won’t long tolerate a political system that takes that freedom away.

The third lesson we learn from these incidents is that the pro-democracy Left in Israel is a fraud. It defends something it calls ‘democracy’. But that so-called 'democracy' is a lie. It rejects  religious freedom. It rejects the validity of any non-Left political opposition. Instead, it seeks to restrict and demonize (and would outlaw) both religion and the political Right. This is why the Left is so silent about the Temple Mount.
That's not how democracy works. Look around the world. If democracy is about anything, it's about political and religious freedom, which includes speech, worship and the right to seek public office.

Israel's Left is a sham. It works to replace democracy with a political system that opposes political opposition, stands squarely as Israel's anti-Judaism's Party, and would stamp out  everything that's historically Jewish. 

The Temple Mount: it’s where Judaism teaches us who’s right and who’s the fraud.



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