Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reconciliation on the Temple Mount

Excerpts from Israel Harel's column, on the Temple Mount:

If Israel would dare to grant Jews equal rights at the Temple Mount, then, after time, it will become the new norm.

.... it quickly became clear that the government of the Jewish nation didn’t want to embrace the historic, unparalleled gift that the paratroopers had bestowed upon it [in June 1967].  In their iniquity, successive Israeli governments, the Chief Rabbinate and all those others responsible for blocking a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount have led to the Jewish people’s loss of sovereignty over the site. Those that succeed in ascending feel like unwanted strangers at the Jewish people’s holiest place...
In 1967, officials of the State of Israel, including its clergy, were struck with a spiritual blindness. They didn’t understand the enormous national significance of returning to the Temple Mount, just as they only partially understood the significance of the liberation of Judea and Samaria...
...The recent Arab rioting on the Temple Mount − just another link in the chain of innumerable previous disturbances − is the rotten fruit of the refusal to assert Israeli sovereignty, due to a congenital Jewish fear that “it will set the entire region aflame.” ...
...An amazing convergence of powers prevents this wrong from being righted − Israeli governments, the Waqf, the rabbinical establishment (including the religious-Zionist rabbinical establishment), the United Nations, the Arab League and, of course, human rights groups. The latter fight ferociously for Arab freedom of worship anywhere, but object with equal vehemence to the right of Jews to pray at their holiest site, and the Supreme Court of the Jewish state supports them, automatically rejecting with the same responses petition after petition in which Jews seek the right to freely worship there.
So long as the Arabs feel that this government coalition is essentially backing them on this, the Temple Mount will continue to erupt and the destructive lava will continue to flow. But if the state would dare to declare equal rights for Jews there, if only the right to pray, and enforce that right with all the means at its disposal, then a new status quo will emerge. It will be tense at first, but over time, perhaps a long time, it will become the new norm. And eventually, the frequent intermingling may well create a dynamic of closeness.Anyone who opposes this opposes an historic reconciliation between Jews and Arabs in the Land of Israel and the possibility of fostering true peace.


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