Friday, August 15, 2008

Temple Mount Update

This magazine cover

really ticked off the Waqf.

And The Economist devoted some of its print space to the Temple Mount, too:-

Temple temptations

The issue of Jerusalem’s holiest site may again be dividing Jews

...For two millennia, ever since the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, Jews have continued to study, write and indeed sing about the intricate rituals of service and sacrifice, in the belief that one day the Messiah would come and the Temple would be rebuilt. Meanwhile, the faithful were forbidden even to walk on the Holy Mount, let alone worship there.

This suited the regime instituted on the Temple Mount by Moshe Dayan...[who] ruled that the mount...would remain an exclusively Muslim place of worship, administered by the Waqf, or Muslim religious trust. Jews and Christians could visit but not worship there. Rabbis of all religious and political stripes agreed.

This arrangement broadly endured, between periodic bursts of violence. But it never allayed Arab fears that the Jews had designs on the mount...

Recently the rabbinical consensus has been fraying. Nationalist rabbis close to Jews who have settled on the Palestinian West Bank are permitting—even encouraging—their followers to visit the mount...

The larger, ultra-Orthodox community remains ostensibly unaffected. Its rabbis still forbid even walking on the mount and are content to wait for the Messiah without spurring him on. But between the two groups there is a theological overlap that translates into a tough brand of politics. The ultra-Orthodox Shas party, a pivotal part of the government’s coalition, has given notice that it will walk out if there is any negotiation over Jerusalem. Sure enough, in leaked draft proposals put by Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, the question of Jerusalem is postponed indefinitely. Or until the Messiah comes?

And what do you think?

1 comment:

Kae Gregory said...

I like the picture on the right. Not so ... what is the word ... abominable - as the one on the left. But even the one on the right would look better yet with the Beit H-Bayitt dominating the view.