Thursday, August 11, 2016

A chronicle of violence and lies - Nadav Shragai

by Nadav Shragai

The original sin was committed by former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, who gave the Temple Mount over to the Muslims and forbade Jews from praying there

Today, 1946 years after the destruction of the Second Temple, most of the media maintains a shroud of silence when it comes to the Muslim chronicle of violence and lies about the Temple Mount. They behave as though it wasn't the holiest place to the Jewish people. 

Only two weeks ago, six Israeli archaeologists touring the eastern part of the Temple Mount were attacked and beaten. The incident garnered only marginal coverage, much like the regular ambushes on Jewish visitors to the Mount by the Morbitun and Morbitat guards affiliated with the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement. 

The attack on the archaeologists was reminiscent of another egregious, violent event that took place on the Temple Mount a few years ago, when an Israel Police station there was attacked and set on fire and the police officers were run out. Then, too, most of the media looked the other way. 

The Muslim violence at the site is yet another aspect of the bias and discrimination against Jews on the mount -- a situation Israel put itself into knowingly. The original sin was committed by former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, who gave the Temple Mount over to the Muslims and forbade Jews from praying there. Since then, what has come to be known as the "status quo" has evolved, with almost all the guidelines pertaining to Jews changing for the worse. Visits by Jews (unlike Jewish prayer) that in the past were permitted have become so difficult they are nearly impossible. Too often, the Mount is closed to Jews because the Muslims are making threats. Even when Jews are allowed to visit the Mount, they are subject to limitations that were not part of the original status quo agreement: they may no longer visit the Mount on the Sabbath or enter the Temple Mount mosques. The areas Jews are allowed to visit have been curtailed, as have visiting days and hours. The length of individual visits has also been restricted. 

All these changes dovetail perfectly with a well-oiled machine of Muslim incitement and lies. In face of the many archaeological discoveries that confirm that the Second Temple existed there, and a range of historical sources by Jews and non-Jews that document its existence, the Muslims today refer to the Temple as "Al-Mazoum," which means the false or imaginary. Their lies place the Temple's location as far away as Nablus or even Yemen, claiming it never stood on the Temple Mount. 

They also fake history and move the Muslim presence in Jerusalem back to the historical time of the Jews here. When discussing the Temple, the Palestinians go as far as to reject the writings of certain Muslim historians, whose assertions they wholeheartedly accept in reference to other historical points. These historians -- such as geographer Al-Muqaddasi of the 10th century C.E.; Bachar al-Wasti, who preached at Al-Aqsa Mosque at the beginning of the 11th century C.E.; or 13th-century Iranian scholar Hamdallah Al-Mustawfi -- identify Al-Aqsa Mosque with Solomon's Temple. Even the abbreviated guide to "Al-Haram al-Sharif," as the Muslims refer to the Mount, that was published by the Supreme Muslim Society under Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini (who would later collaborate with Hitler) in 1924, says that "this site is one of the most ancient in the world…" and that "its identity as the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond doubt." 

At the same time, the Muslims decided that the Temple Mount compound and walls would be as sanctified as the name Al-Aqsa and the mosque itself. Today, they claim that it was never any other way, but that's also a lie. In an official Jordanian tourist map from 1965, which can be found in an extensive collection of maps of the Land of Israel belonging to Mr. Haim Steinberger of New York, Al-Aqsa Mosque is labeled simply as a structure located at the southern end of the compound. The Mount itself is labeled using its biblical name -- Mount Moriah -- yet another detail that Muslims today deny. 

Another problematic element of the current reality on the Temple Mount, the location of the Second Temple, stems from the relations between Jordan and Israel, which are based on mutual interests of security and economics. But Israel is paying Jordan too high a price in the currency of the Temple Mount. Jordan has in effect become Israel's partner in managing the Temple Mount. It has vetoed the construction of a replacement for the Mughrabi Bridge; clearing trash out of the plaza of the "little Western Wall"; and even intervenes when it comes to the number of religious visitors to the Mount and how the police will conduct themselves there. Israel went too far with the Temple Mount. The verbal and physical Muslim violence there feeds off the mistakes we made here.

Nadav Shragai


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