Thursday, February 16, 2006

Tolerance - Intolerance

Gershon Baskin had sent out a Press Release headed:


and I wrote him (see here):

Just as a matter of interest, if we are to protest the building of a Museum on part of a Muslim cemetery, what are we to do about the building of a Mosque on part of the Temple Mount compound?

Well, he replied:-

Thanks for your question – my answer is this:

We are talking about something being done now and today in the State of Israel by Jews and not something that was done more than 1300 years ago.

The Mosques were built there more than 600 years after the destruction of the Temple.

Can you find anything Jewish or tolerant about building a museum on top of a cemetery?

What would you say if they wanted to do something similar in Europe on a Jewish cemetery?


and I responded:-

A) So, if time is a relative element, we can now forget about pre-1948 and all those villages destroyed?

B) If so, why do the Muslims not adopt your thinking and stop destroying archeological artifacts and other historical remnants even if we "can agree", for argument's sake, that they can do so because they built their mosques there 600 years after the Jewish temple was destroyed by Romans? What's so bad about preserving things bygone?

C) No, I don't think it's tolerant and that's why I pursued - and continue to pursue - an answer why we tolerate the Muslims doing something I think very similar. And the fact that Yasser Arafat denied the Temple even being on the Temple Mount at Camp David II is an indication that you, not I, are going in the wrong direction in not raising a voice of protest against intolerable behavior.

D) Again, I do not tolerate what the Museum is doing. I am with you on this but why can't you be with me regarding the Temple Mount? Why go to an ancient Jewish cemetery in Europe when we have a recent one in Hebron that keeps getting desecrated by the followers of that cartoon character who can't tolerate desecration.

To be continued?


Yes, he just came back to me.

So, we continue (let me know what you think - gee, no one really comments on this blog or writes me):-

On the issue of the Temple Mount – as a Jew I leave it in the hands of God and the Mashiah to decide what to do – it is too complicated and too explosive for human beings to take any action on. I have always proposed that whatever happens regarding future agreements, the Palestinians must agree not to build there or to excavate there and that this must be enforced by an international pres ence verifying and if need be, preventing.

And I responded:-

well, that's but one reply to all the issues I raised. and not all that convincing, if I may say, as you simply dodge the issue of Arab responsibility/guilt. We're always at fault; they, rarely. They do "build" there and have been doing so for decades. Israel adopted a status quo position that was silly and non status quo. And the Arabs continue to "build" by destroying. You didn't join Eilat Mazar's committee did you? Did any far-out lefty do so? Humanism and progressive politics should be indivisible.


Gershon promptly wrote back:-

I was not invited to join – and neither were any “leftist” that I know of. I have always been opposed to Muslim building on the Temple Mount and I have told this to the Muslim authorities including the late Minister of religious affairs Hassan Tahboub – who was once a member of our board. Arafat was an idiot on most issues and especially on this one, and I told that to Arafat’s people as well. I also published a very well distributed piece once on my views of Arafat – believe me – I didn’t have very many kinds words to say about him.

No comments: