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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Temple Mount’

Temple Mount Reopened to Jews and Arab Soccer Game Halted (+ Video)

Monday, October 21st, 2013

After the Temple Mount was closed to Jews for almost a week, the Israeli police permitted Jewish access to the holy site on Sunday.

The police closed the site after a group of Jews had the audacity to pray ‘Shema Yisrael’ out loud and then pulled out an Israeli flag.

Dozens of Jews went up to the Temple Mount on Sunday.

In what is an unusual response, after the Jewish visitors complained to the police about the Arabs playing soccer on the Temple Mount, which is both illegal and disrespectful, the police actually confiscated the ball, and stopped the game. At best, the Arabs simply ignore the police, and at worst, the the police simply let the soccer games continue unabated, despite the court order forbidding this disrespect on the Judaism’s holiest site.

Source: The Temple Mount Blog

Book Review: Simon Sebag Montefiore’s ‘Jerusalem: The Biography’

Friday, October 18th, 2013

By Henry Goldblum

At first glance, Simon Sebag Montefiore’s best seller Jerusalem: The Biography is surely impressive. Media critics as well as Henry Kissinger have showered it with praise, and the BBC devoted a timely three-part TV series to the author, providing invaluable publicity. Indeed, the book is not dull by any standards. Drama abounds – be it in chapter headings (take chapter 5, “The Whore of Babylon”) or in the description of events, such as the Moloch ceremonies in the days of King Menasseh, “the sacrifice of children at the roaster…in the Valley of Hinom…as priests beat drums to hide the shrieks of the victims from their parents” (p. 39). The Muslim invasion is depicted in graphic detail, particularly the battle of 636 CE, which took place “amidst the impenetrable gorges of the Yarmuk River” (p. 172) – although the area through which the Yarmuk flows is in fact more of an open plain.

Renouncing Uniqueness

Sebag Montefiore has clearly invested much effort in conveying his vision of Jerusalem – past, present, and future. The result reflects thoughtful study of many sources relating to different features of the city, and the author certainly recognizes its special status. However, in his apparent desire to deal evenhandedly with the various local religions, he fails to make it clear that it is only for Jews and Judaism that Jerusalem is, was, and has always been the sole spiritual center on earth. This omission is unacceptable. The author rightly refers, if only en passant, to Midrash Tanhuma and the writings of Philo of Alexandria as two examples of this basic, constant belief, unlimited by time or circumstance. The intensity of Jerusalem’s sacred status for Judaism is such that later monotheistic faiths have attempted at various times to gain a foothold in the city, despite their having other, holier places (Mecca and Medina, Rome and Bethlehem). Perhaps recognizing the significance of capturing the “chosen status” of Judaism, they have utilized diverse strategies to prop up their variant “histories,” including reinterpreting Muhammad’s miraculous night visit to the “Farthest Mosque” on the outskirts of Mecca to include a stopover in Jerusalem.

It has always been fundamental for the Jew to appreciate this imbalance, and it cannot be overlooked in any attempt to describe Jerusalem. Sebag Montefiore has downgraded this uniquely Jewish aspect of the city; as far as he is concerned, Judaism’s monopoly on Jerusalem is limited to part 1 of his book, extending until the year 70 CE. Parts 2-8 belong primarily to other faiths and peoples, and the final section of the book, dating from 1898, is titled “Zionism,” as if the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty is a separate chapter in the history of the city rather than the restorationof a violently interrupted continuum. Significantly, he neglects to emphasize thata Jewish majority has dominated the citywhenever circumstances have permitted,including from the early 19th century onwardwithout interruption; nor does he remind thereader that only when Jews have ruled thecity have all other faiths enjoyed full rights ofworship there.

Historically Dubious These omissions are partially explained by the almost complete absence of references to classic Jewish works compiled in the Land of Israel – despite their obvious relevance in terms of place, time, and subject. Thus, the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds are together accorded a mere four quotations; the output of Jewish historians from Graetz to current Israeli scholars not of the revisionist mode is similarly glaringly absent. In contrast, detailed descriptions of events and individuals taken from non-Jewish sources abound – even when their relevance is historically uncertain or unsound – notably the passages on Jesus in chapter 11. The sole reference to Jesus in Josephus (Antiquities, book 17, 63-64), whom Sebag Montefiore cites among other non- Jewish sources as confirmation of his existence as a historic character, is widely regarded as being of dubious authorship (see Emil Schürer’s History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus, vol. 1, p. 428ff.).

The reliability of the author’s statement at the opening of the Islam section is similarly questionable: Muhammad is said to have come “to venerate Jerusalem as one of the noblest of sanctuaries” (p. 169). With all due respect, the Koran never mentions Jerusalem, and by beginning his discussion of Islam with the reinterpretation of the passage regarding “the furthest place of worship,” Sebag Montefiore creates a false impression, especially since in Sura 2, the Prophet commands that prayer be directed exclusively to Mecca. The other quotes on page 168 are all from later Muslim sources. The term “Iliya,” a corruption of the pagan name Aelia Capitolina coined by Hadrian, continued to be used by the Muslim conquerors of Jerusalem for a generation or more following Muhammad’s death, with examples from as late as the end of the 10th century. This is the name of the city appearing on the milestones of Caliph al-Malik, who built the Dome of the Rock in the 690s. The name Al-Quds, “The Sanctuary,“ came into common use only in the 11th century, in the context of the struggle between Crusaders and Saracens for dominion over the Holy Land (see Moshe Gil, The Political History of Jerusalem in the Early Muslim Period, p. 10). The anecdote concerning Caliph Omar’s tour of the Temple Mount (p. 175 in Sebag Montefiore’s book) only reiterates the secondary status of Jerusalem in Islam – the caliph rebukes Kaab, a converted Jew, who suggests praying in the direction of the Temple on the mount rather than toward Mecca. As Bernard Lewis has stated in The Middle East, “Much of the traditional narrative of the early history of Islam must remain problematic, whilst the critical history is at best tentative” (p. 51). Why, then, has Sebag Montefiore adopted Islamic accounts regarding this period so readily? Is he perhaps playing to Muslim sensibilities? All this leads us to an epilogue that looks forward, as might be expected from the previous sections, to a permanent division of the city into two capitals for two states, in accordance with current liberal and revisionist dogma. The hope of witnessing such a chapter in the history of Jerusalem rankles coming from a scion of the illustrious Montefiore family, whose philanthropy was once invested in the furtherance of a quite different destiny for the city.

Admittedly, Jerusalem: The Biography provides an enjoyable ride. A more appropriate destination and a less controversial and dangerous route might be preferable, but that, presumably, would require a change of driver.

Dr. Heny Goldblum is a lawyer and a scholar of history

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‘Plan to Divide Al-Aqsa’ Media Blitz Behind Waqf Banning of Jews

Monday, October 14th, 2013

According to the official news agency of the PA, WAFA, Palestinian newspapers and other media over the weekend ignored most of the al-Qaeda induced mayhem, tearful poverty stories, victim worship items and run of the mill Jew hatred stories, in favor of one big story: Israel is building the Third Temple, or at least a big synagogue.

All three Palestinian papers reported on this plan, according to WAFA, with “al-Quds” saying the Israeli deputy minister of religious affairs supports this plan and is working on getting approval for it.

Poor Rabbi Eli ben-Dahan – they attack him in Shas, they attack him in the PA, he can’t catch a break.

The same papers also reported on an interview Chairman Abbas gave to Palestine TV on Thursday evening, in which he said he would not give up on the 1967 lines as the borders of the future Palestinian state, which will have Jerusalem as its capital.

Our frequent contributor, Elder of Zion, reported back in August: “There have been a bunch of articles … throughout the Arab world claiming that there has been some sort of official approval to build a small synagogue on the Temple Mount, mostly because of this illustration (see above) that is on some Israeli sites showing what one might look like.”

If you’ve been wondering why some clean cut, well mannered frequent visitors to the Temple Mount, like Yehuda Glick, have been banned indefinitely by police – Arab hysteria might provide a reliable answer.

So then, according to the other guys, the Islamist-affiliated Ahlul Bayt News Agency, the Hamas Movement has also issued a warning to the “Israeli occupation regime and its extremist Jewish groups” (do you get the feeling Ha’aretz’ Ezra Pound scholar in residence Gideon Levi is writing their press releases?) of building a synagogue on the land of the Aqsa Mosque and affirmed that there would be dire consequences for such violation.

“We, in Hamas, warn the occupation and its extremists of executing such grave plan or touching any part of the Aqsa Mosque,” Hamas said on Saturday.

“Attacking the Aqsa Mosque and attempting to divide it temporally and spatially are a major crime and a red line that our people cannot allow to be crossed,” it explained.

Hamas also expressed its belief that all the occupation’s plans to Judaize the Aqsa Mosque are only desperate attempts and will never succeed in imposing a fait accompli.

Of course, a proper Jewish government response (and all its extremists) would be to rebuild the synagogue that had been constructed by the late Israeli chief rabbi, Rav Shlomo Goren in the area of the compound which is permissible for Jews to access. If the Arabs respond with violence, Israel police should arrest the violent ones, as they do so skillfully when a Jew dares spend a night with his family in, say, Yitzhar.

And should our enlightened allies in the west protest, all we have to do is produce the U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2012, which states for all the world to see:

The Jordanian-controlled Jerusalem Islamic Waqf that manages the site generally restricts non-Muslims from entering the Dome of the Rock shrine and Al-Aqsa Mosque, a practice it started in the year 2000. The Waqf does not allow non-Muslim religious symbols to be worn on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif.

On October 3, (2012) a Jerusalem magistrates’ court judge noted that “the explanation that Muslims do not approve of Jews’ praying on the Temple Mount cannot, in and of itself, prevent Jews from fulfilling their religious obligations and praying on the Temple Mount.” However, the judge noted he was not providing an instruction to the police. While arrests are subject to judicial oversight, the government, not the courts, has the authority to decide matters relating to religious rights in holy places, and the Supreme Court has upheld that governmental authority.

Israeli police controlled access to and the security of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif compound with police stationed both inside the compound and outside each entrance to the site. Entrance to the Temple Mount was legally permitted regardless of one’s religious beliefs, although access was often restricted. Police cited security concerns when restricting young Muslim men from entering the site. Police often removed from the site Jewish individuals who appeared to be praying, in accordance with a government policy dating back to 1967. Some Jewish groups were prevented from entering the Temple Mount without a police escort due to security concerns, and there were reports that the police escorts at times did not detain these groups when they prayed. The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, part of the Jordanian Ministry of Waqf, exercised administrative control over the site and prohibited from the site non-Muslim symbols, the Bible and other religious literature, and clothing deemed immodest by Muslim standards, as well as non-Muslim entrance into the Dome of the Rock, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Al-Marwani Mosque, and the Islamic Museum.

In other words, building a synagogue on Temple Mount is practically urged by the State Dept. And since the Arabs are all worked up about it even when there are no such government plans—and if there are, they didn’t tell me—why not go ahead and build one?

Temple Mount Closed, 3 Jews Arrested for Saying Sh’ma Israel

Monday, October 14th, 2013

UPDATE: According to Ma’ariv, the Temple Mount compound has been closed to visitors, following the arrest of ten men who danced and waved Israeli flags at the site. The area is now clear for Arab kids to continue their soccer matches.

We previously reported that Jerusalem police on Monday morning detained for interrogation three Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount on suspicion of praying and bowing in the area which is designated for strictly Muslim worship.

According to Yehuda Glick, a Temple Mount Heritage Foundation official who has been detained last week and banned from setting foot on the holiest Jewish site, the three Jews, Mevo Horon Rabbi, Rav Micha Peled, and Rabbis Yaakov Heiman and Danny Simmon, were arrested after they had been caught saying the “Sh’ma Israel,” the twice-daily utterance of the covenant between God and the Jews.

Not a very popular document near the Al Aqsa…

The United States Dept. of State has deplored numerous times the unequal treatment of non-Muslims on Temple Mount. Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims who are spotted shutting their eyes meaningfully or moving their lips silently are immediately approached by police who usher them off the compound.

According to Glick, there appears to be anew campaign emerging on the part of the police, whereby they would be guaranteed a measure of peace by the Waqf, the Jordanian charity supervising the site, in exchange for banning anyone who manages to upset the Arab bosses of the place.

Several months ago, MK Moshe Feiglin, a frequent visitor to the holiest site for Jews, was banned indefinitely, backed with an order from Prime Minister Netanyahu.

An IMAX Film of the Jerusalem You Never Have Seen Before (Video)

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Five years in the making, the first IMAX film ever made about Jerusalem is as much a visual tour de force as a marvel of cultural diplomacy.

“Jerusalem,” which had its world premiere last week at Boston’s Museum of Science, uses cutting-edge cinematography to immerse the audience in the ancient city’s historic sites from rarely seen perspectives.

Over the course of 45 minutes, viewers are treated to rare aerial views of the Old City as Jews gather at the Western Wall for the priestly blessing, Christian pilgrims march down the Via Dolorosa and Muslims gather at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the first Friday of Ramadan.

Distributed by National Geographic Entertainment, the film, narrated by the British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, will show on IMAX screens and in digital 3-D cinemas across the United States in the coming weeks.

Gaining access to some of the world’s most sensitive and contested locations was a test of devotion and artful negotiations that took the film’s three producers and a team of advisers years to accomplish. Preparations required dozens of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials, the Israeli army and the many clerics who control the city’s religious sites.

Filming from a low-altitude helicopter in the Old City of Jerusalem’s strict no-fly zone required a permit that had not been granted in more than 20 years, the filmmakers said, and acquiring the permit took eight months of negotiations.

In advance of the shooting, producers took out ads in the major Hebrew- and Arabic-language newspapers to notify residents about the helicopter filming.

“There was nothing that was not complicated,” Taran Davies, one of the film’s producers, said at the premiere.

Even the terrestrial shots were difficult to carry off. For the scene filmed at the Western Wall, an IMAX camera was mounted on a crane above the crowds.

The most challenging authorization by far was for the Temple Mount, known in Islam as the Muslim Noble Sanctuary, which required permission from the Islamic custodial body, the religious affairs ministry in Jordan and Israeli security forces.

A critical figure in helping the producers navigate the logistical maze was Ido Aharoni, now Israel’s consul general in New York. Aharoni first learned about the film six years ago when he directed Brand Israel, a project to promote Israel around the world.

He recognized the potential of portraying the country’s historical and cultural gems in such a visually powerful medium. IMAX films also typically screen in museums and can run for years.

“The whole purpose of the movie is to produce a visually awesome experience for the moviegoer who happens to be a museumgoer; it can’t be judged like any other movie,” Aharoni told JTA. “Realizing that, we told [the producers], ‘Whatever you need, we’ll help you.’ ”

The film’s mesmerizing visuals are woven into a narrative propelled by the voices of three teenage Jerusalemite women — Jewish, Christian and Muslim. Fluent in English, the women offer eloquent descriptions of the deep religious, cultural and family ties that bind them and their respective religions to their home city.

Though the film was carefully planned down to the last minute and camera angle, Daniel Ferguson, the film’s producer, writer and director, told JTA the teens’ words were their own.

“My goal is to promote understanding,” Ferguson told JTA. “The film will change assumptions and give a window into another point of view.”

The voices of the women are supplemented by that of Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina, who guides viewers through an ancient tunnel and visits active excavation sites that continue to unearth the history of the land.

The filmmakers took great pains to balance the presentation of all three religions, according to George Duffield, another producer with longstanding ties to Israel. He and Ferguson say they were at times pressed to take a position on controversial or political issues, but insisted on neutrality.

“Everyone wanted the film to be about their own faith,” Duffield said. “That’s how they see the city.”

The producers hope the film can be used to promote tolerance and understanding. Profits will be donated to the Jerusalem Foundation and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to underwrite projects that benefit all residents of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum in a still from the IMAX film “Jerusalem."

Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum in a still from the IMAX film “Jerusalem.”

Arab Violence on the Temple Mount (Video)

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Arab violence on the Temple Mount is not a new thing. Nor is their abuse of what they supposedly consider a holy site, such as a mosque.

The video from ‘Chadashot 0404′ below is a closeup of what the police regularly face from the hooligans who hide inside the Al Aqsa mosque and attack the police and visitors outside.

Police Bar Jews from Holiday Visit to Temple Mount

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Jerusalem police once again have prohibited Jews from visiting the Temple Mount because of security officials’ unintended admission that they cannot or do not want to deal with violent Arabs.

Officially, police say that they blocked the planned visit of hundreds of Jews to the holy site on Tuesday, the sixth day of the Sukkot holiday, because of intelligence information that Arab protesters would be violently upset, which is par for the course when Jews try to ascend the Temple Mount.

Among those barred on Tuesday was Jewish Home Knesset Member Shuli Moalem-Refaeli as well as busloads of school children.

The Temple Mount remained open for Muslims, of course.

Policeman Injured, 3 Arrested on Temple Mount Following Attack

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

On Wednesday morning, following Arab calls for disturbances on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, one policeman was injured in the face and needed to be taken for medical treatment.

Israeli Police dispersed approximately 20 Arab youths on the Temple Mount who were throwing stones at them. Another dozen ran inside the mosque and locked the door to avoid arrest.

Police managed to arrest two of the stone throwers, and a third Arab who was inciting the rest of the mob to attack.

On Tuesday, police arrested two leaders of the Islamic Movement in northern Israel, on suspicion that they called for Arab riots on the Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount is now quiet.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/policeman-injured-3-arrested-on-temple-mount-following-attack/2013/09/18/

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