So why are Jews constantly discriminated against – by Israeli police! – when they seek to enter their holiest site?
Violence is bad. But must the fear of it lead the police to allow Muslim women to determine by their actions whether Jews are allowed to visit the Temple Mount at a given time? If so, this means that Israel is no longer allowing free Jewish access to Jerusalem’s holy sites.
How can Israel complain about Arab entities restricting Jewish entry to holy sites when its officials often do the same thing on the Temple Mount as a matter of policy?
Incidentally, and apropos the election of a new Pope, let us not think it’s only Muslims who have a problem with Jewish rule in Jerusalem. Back in 1919, Pope Benedict XV reacted to the Balfour Declaration with these words:
“There is one matter on which we are specially anxious, and that is the fate of the Holy Places, on account of the special dignity and importance for which they are so venerated by every Christian. Who can tell the full story of all the efforts of Our Predecessors to free them from the dominion of infidels, the heroic deeds and the blood shed by Christians of the West through the centuries? And now that, amid the rejoicing of all good men, they have finally returned to the hands of Christians, our anxiety is most keen as to the decisions which the Peace Congress in Paris is soon to take concerning them. For surely it would be a terrible grief for us and for the Christian faithful if infidels were placed in a privileged and prominent position: much more if those most holy sanctuaries of the Christian religion were given to the charge of non-Christians [emphasis added].”
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In addition to visiting Yerushalayim, there is much our readers can do to become strong advocates for keeping Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty. Visit the Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech website at www.keepjerusalem.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information on our bus tours in news-making areas of Jerusalem.
About the Author: Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel's minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel, past senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7, is a veteran writer on Jerusalem affairs. Both have lived in Jerusalem and now live in Beit El.
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