Monday, December 14, 2015

Watch: Discrimination against religious Jews on the Temple Mount

The Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest place on earth. But when the State of Israel was born in November, 1947 through a United Nations General Assembly vote, the UN did not consider the Temple Mount to be a specifically Jewish site. The UN wanted the Temple Mount to be free and open to all three monotheistic religions. 

As you probably know, the Arabs surrounding the new as-yet-unnamed Jewish State rejected the idea of a Jewish State in their midst. They didn't care that the UN was creating that Jewish State. They rejected the UN authorization for it. 

They attacked the Jews. They wanted to destroy the Jewish State before it even had the opportunity to give itself a name. 

Because of the Will of HaShem, the G-d of Israel, those Arabs lost that war. But in that loss, they still conquered important parts of Jerusalem. That conquest of Jerusalem meant that the Temple Mount would be in their hands exclusively. 

Because of the Will of HaShem, the G-d of Israel, those Arabs immediately showed the world what they thought of the freedom of worship. They banned Jews from the Temple Mount. 

That Jew-free status lasted until 1967. Then, HaShem the G-d of Israel stepped into history again. 

In 1967, the Arabs surrounding Israel decided it was time to drive the Jews into the Sea once-and-for-all. Again, they organized an attack against the Jews.

Because of the Will of HaShem, those Arabs lost again. As a result of that loss, the Arabs lost Judea-Samaria. They lost the Golan Heights. They lost Jerusalem's Old City. 

Through the Will of HaShem, the modern borders of Israel grew to conform more accurately to the borders HaShem had originally described for Israel some 3,280 years before, in the Torah

Through the Will of HaShem, 1967 also changed something else: when the Arabs lost that war, they lost the Temple Mount. As of June, 1967, the Temple Mount fell into Jewish hands. HaShem had returned the Temple Mount back to the Jewish people.

At that time (1967), the Jews showed the world what they thought of the freedom of worship: they kept the Temple Mount open to Muslim worshippers.

Since then, Israel has done what the Arab had refused to do: offer freedom of access and freedom of worship on the Temple Mount. In practical terms, this has meant that, even though Muslims no longer controlled the Temple Mount, they nonetheless had the right to ascend to the Temple Mount to pray. 

What began for the Muslims in 1967 remains true to this day. Muslims retain the freedom to worship as they please on the Temple Mount (except when public safety is an issue). 

The idea of freedom of religion is important to modern Israel. Israel's official policy is that the State of Israel is a democratic state which guarantees freedom of religion to all its citizens ("The meaning of Israel as the State of the Jewish people," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, February 20, 2014). Israel's Declaration of Independence states clearly that "it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions" (ibid).

But while Muslims have the freedom to worship on the Jewish Temple Mount, that same freedom is not entirely available to all Jews. Today, certain Jews are denied the freedom to worship on the Temple Mount. They are discriminated against.

Israel denies that. As you'll see at the end of the video below, Israeli authorities say they treat all religions alike on the Temple Mount.

The video itself, however, may prove that assertion to be false. Since the video was filmed by Israel's channel 2 TV--which is not a pro-religious TV station--you may conclude that Israel has a problem here. 

If the video is correct, officials at the Temple Mount have divided Jews into two groups. You'll see in the video how that plays out on the Temple Mount.

The video is 4:11 long. The language spoken is Hebrew. There are English subtitles. 

Because Israelis speak very quickly, you may need to watch this short video more than once, in order to have enough time to read the subtitles and watch the video images.

Here's the video. It comes to you courtesy channel 2 TV in Israel. As I understand it, the video has become part of the effort of the Temple Institute (in Jerusalem), to bring Temple Mount issues to the attention of the public.

Israel is the State of the Jewish people. Because Jews have been so discriminated against for so long--2,000 years--it's important for us to have our own State. Because our State is ours, it's supposed to end anti-Jewish discrimination so that Jews can 'come home' to be free, to live as Jews and to be able to work and worship as Jews. 

But--as you just saw--Israel's journey to freedom for the Jewish people isn't over. For Jews to be free, Israel must change. 

Israel isn't perfect. If anything, Israel's government is proof-positive that Man is flawed. 

This modern government of Israel operates according to man-made Western law. This means that Israel is more democratic than Jewish.

For some of us, that's a flaw.

But Israel is also changing. If you're pro-Israel and a religious Jew, you may not believe that. As you look around, there are simply too many anti-Israel/anti-Jewish decisions emanating from the halls of Israel's government.

But then, Israel is changing. There is more Torah in Israel today than any time in history. The Jewish population in Israel is growing. The religious Jewish population in Israel is growing. More important, the number of Jews who say they are both religious and pro-Israel is growing.

Israel is not perfect. But Israelis increasingly believe in HaShem. They increasingly see His Hand in our Destiny.

There is trouble for Jews on the Temple Mount. But Israel is changing. 

If you don't believe that, stay tuned. This movie isn't over.

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