Don’t let the boundless appetite of the Joint Arab List to fix what it sees as a historic wrong fool you into allowing Israel to give up one of the few remaining rights Jews have on the Temple Mount.
By Nadav Shragai, ISRAEL HAYOM 03-11-2020
Here it is, earlier than expected. As the country celebrates Purim, the masks have come off: the Joint Arab List is demanding that when Blue and White forms a government, it put an end to Jews visiting the Temple Mount. Or as the Arab Israeli and Palestinian discourse has referred to these visits for years now: “Visit by settler extremists.”
That is how they refer to Jews who wear kippahs, who comprise the vast majority of the Jews who visit the Temple Mount in recent years.
The Joint Arab List’s appetite and audacity, it seems, knows no bounds. The list is counting its chickens before they’re hatched and is seeking to prevent one of the last remaining things the status quo allows Jews to do on the Temple Mount – visit it. This is only the beginning, but what a symbolic beginning it is.
The fact that the Jewish people have risen up in the Land of Israel is like a bone in their throats, and the fact that 53 years ago, Israel liberated holy Jewish sites – first and foremost the Temple Mount – they see as a major accident of history, but one that can be rectified. This is the reason behind the many attempts in recent years to attack Jews who visit the Mount. This also explains the terminology that the Palestinians and some members of the Joint Arab List use: “To save/liberate and redeem the Temple Mount from the hands of the Jews who sully it by their very presence there.”
Some of the Joint Arab List MKs talk about the “Israeli people,” much like the Palestinians do. They don’t recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people. The idea of tolerating Judaism as a subservient minority religion has been replaced by the idea of “a state of all its citizens,” and often this is only the first step of a much longer-term plan.
The idea of a “state of all its citizens” has a handful of blind followers on the far Left, but we need to hope that Blue and White will now open its eyes and see that the Temple Mount is only the first step and that the flag has been raised to erase the “mistake” of a state for the Jewish people.
Don’t be confused: The state of Israel, the state of the Jewish people, made its biggest, most incomprehensible decision about the Temple Mount, a concession that is unlike anything any other religion in the world has done. It allowed its most holy site to be left in the hands of a competing religion, Islam, and forewent the rights of Jews to pray there, and only allowed them to visit the Mount.
For years, because of domestic Israeli consideration – including a halachic position by rabbis – the Jewish side was mostly prevented for exercising its right to visit. Now, with many rabbis having reversed their opinions, we must not apologize. Jordan has already recognized this, as did the Kerry understandings of 2015, as well as US President Trump’s “deal of the century.”
Throughout history, the religions and nations that conquered Jerusalem destroyed the shrines of their predecessors and made them into their own places of prayer. That is what the Muslims and Christians did to each other as Jerusalem passed from hand to hand.
For 1,900 years, both the Muslims and the Christians also barred Jews from the site holiest to them – the Temple Mount. In contrast, when Israel liberated Jewish holy sites, it adopted a different policy, and left the site under Muslim management and took only a small step toward righting the historic wrong – allowing Jews to visit while denying them the right to pray there.
This is the story of the Temple Mount over the past 50 years, and don’t let the Joint Arab List obfuscate it. “Arise, and go up to Zion.” Come to the Temple Mount. Visit it. Respect the government’s instructions, but make it clear that Jews will never forgo the only right they currently have there: access to their holy sites.