Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Reminder of the Problem

The recent flurry of articles and interviews relating to the Temple Mount and the right of the Jews to enter and worship is not new.

In 1930, an international committee was appointed by the League of Nations following the 1929 riots to ascertain exactly that question. Its findings were published in December that year. Consisting of Eliel Lofgren, formerly Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chairman, Charles Barde, Vice-President of the Court of Justice at Geneva, and C.J. Van Kempen, a Dutchman, formerly Governor of the East Coast of Sumatra, the committee concluded that as the Temple Mount is indeed Waqf property. Moreover, it follows from this that "to the Moslems belong the sole ownership of, and the sole proprietary right to, the Western Wall, seeing that it forms an integral part of the Haram-esh-Sherif area". The British prohibition on the blowing of the shofar at the Western Wall stemmed from this conclusion based, in part, upon a 1193 Waqf dedication by Afdal, the son of Saladin.

Yasser Arafat and other PA spokesmen have reiterated this assertion time and again, especially at the 2000 Camp David gathering.

That while we Jews know the absurdity of this claim, it has gained an element of that mythic status of "internationally recognized" hogwash.

We need to do something a little bit more than what Israel's government's have done (or actually, have not done).

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