Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Temple Mount Makes It Into the NYTimes

Via Shmuel Rosner at The Latitude:-

A week ago, just days before his U.N. speech, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met a small number of so-called American Jewish leaders...Even those Jewish leaders who participated found reason to complain. Why, one of them asked, won’t Abbas acknowledge the Jews’ ties to Jerusalem? In a statement two months ago, the Palestinian president’s office declared that the city “will forever be Arabic, Islamic and Christian.” Other Palestinian officials have also said that Jerusalem was Palestinian “throughout history” and questioned whether there ever was a Jewish temple on Temple Mount.

In response, according to reports from participants at the meeting — some of whom I’ve spoken with — Abbas made a pledge: he would show more sensitivity...As for Jerusalem, Abbas supposedly made good on his pledge to show more sensitivity to Jewish history by saying that the “land of peace” was “the birthplace of Jesus (peace be upon him), and ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the final resting place of Abraham (peace be upon him) — the land of the three monotheistic religions.”

This would seem to be a subtle acknowledgment that Judaism, being one of the three monotheistic religions, has some vague connection to the land of Israel. But that’s a bit too subtle for most Jews. Note Abbas’s shrewd choice of characters: Jesus is, no doubt, the ultimate Christian icon, and Muhammad is the Muslim prophet. But Abraham, as the father of all three monotheistic religions, is a much safer pick than Moses, Jacob or King David...The day before Abbas’s speech, in synagogues around the world Jews recited the Yom Kippur prayer. A central part of it describes the sacred rites performed by the high priest at the temple on the mount. And it ends — and so the holiest day of Judaism ends – with this wish: “Next year in Jerusalem.” Abbas may deny, but Jews remember.

...the long road to peace may be very long indeed.

You would think that the events of the past few months and the heightened atmosphere these last weeks and the developments of the last days would be of interest as a story in the paper of record.

My comment left there:

Ehud Barak's comment back in 2000, at Camp David, is still the best when he said to Arafat 'when Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers, he wasn't in a mosque'.  The inability of a Muslim, either theologically or nationalistically, to recognize and respect the Jewish actual historical connection with Jerusalem and the Temple Mount is not a quirk but the main stumbling block to peace - not settlements nor any other particular or specific action by Jews.  It's an opposition in an existential character and thanks to Rosner for highlighting the problem.

It got in.


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