Photo Credit: The Lid

{Originally posted to the author’s website, The Lid}

One of the “sticky points” surrounding President Trump’s trip to Israel is his visit to the Western Wall (known in Hebrew as the Kotel or wall). President Trump’s team insisted that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu couldn’t go to the Kotel with the American President saying that it was meant to be a private moment. In truth they didn’t want Netanyahu there because it would be an acknowledgement of Israeli control of the Kotel and the Temple Mount. Keep in mind that if it were not for the progressive hubris of the man considered to be the hero of Jerusalem’s liberation Moshe Dayan, the Kotel and the Temple Mount would not be the issues they are today and Bibi Netanyahu would have been to the Western Wall along with the President.


Jews were denied access to the Holy sites in the Old City Jerusalem since 1948, when Jordan took it over during the War of Independence. In the intervening 19 years the Jordanians waged systematic destruction, desecration and looting of Jewish sites. But on a day  50 years ago, celebrated by Jews across the world as Yom Yerushalayim  (this year the celebration begins on the evening of May 23) the IDF liberated the Old City of Jerusalem. Jews were allowed to approach the Temple Mount, for the first time in two decades, and as soon as it was liberated Moshe Dayan gave it back.

Even if you cannot understand the Hebrew in the recording below, you can understand the joy, and reverence as Jews approached the Temple mount for the first time in nearly 20 years.

It should be noted that despite what commentators and the mainstream media will tell you, the Kotel, the “Wailing Wall” is not the holiest site in Judaism, it is the retaining wall for the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount. The Kotel is closest place to the holiest spot for Jews that Jews are allowed to pray. Thanks in part to Moshe Dayan, Jews are not permitted to pray atop the Temple Mount (Christians aren’t allowed to pray either).

When Israel gained possession of the Temple compound during the Six Day War, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol wanted to create a multi-faith council to run the compound. The Muslim Mosque would not have been touched, but all faiths would be allowed up on top of the mount and it would “belong” to all three faiths.

Dayan didn’t like that idea. He thought the Temple Mount should remain in Muslim possession.  In his biography Dayan clearly stated that he was worried that Jews would try to rebuild the Beit Hamikdash (the Jewish Temple) and that was the last thing he wanted.

Of course there was no way, that a third Temple would be built, by Jewish tradition that is supposed to wait until the coming of the messiah, but that didn’t stop Dayan, like most progressives he felt he knew better than anybody. He didn’t consult the Prime Minister or the Knesset, nor did the Israeli people have a say.

Dayan took it upon himself, he “gave” control of the Temple Mount back to the Arabs because he wanted to make sure that there wouldn’t be a third Temple.  There was nothing that Prime Minister Eshkol could do about it, after all Moshe Dayan, was a war hero.

President Trump’s visit to Jerusalem would have so much extra meaning if he could participate in a beautiful ceremony where the two holy Temples to God  stood, on top of the Temple Mount, but that isn’t possible because of Dayan.  Thanks to the General, only Muslims are allowed to pray on top of the Temple mount.

The Jewish people have lost possession of the Temple Mount three times since King David purchased the site 30 centuries ago. Only once, was the site given away voluntarily, that was when Moshe Dayan gave it away 50 years ago. Moshe Dayan will go down in history not as a hero, but as the man who gave away the Temple Mount, providing the Palestinians the opportunity to make Jerusalem an Issue:

……….”It’s true,” Eldad said, “that the original sin was when the Jewish People, immediately after the Six Day War in 1967, ceded its hold on the Temple Mount in an unholy alliance between the Chief Rabbinate and Moshe Dayan – each side for its own reasons – but now the danger is that the Arab sovereignty on the Temple Mount will spill over to the Western Wall plaza, and from there to other places.”

Then-Defense Minister Dayan, just days after Israel’s liberation of the Old City, informed the Muslims running the Temple Mount that they could continue to run the mosques there – and later went further by preventing Jewish prayer all over the Mount.

“It was evident that if we did not prevent Jews from praying in what was now a mosque compound,” Dayan later wrote, “matters would get out of hand and lead to a religious clash… As an added precaution, I told the chief of staff to order the chief army chaplain to remove the branch office he had established in the building which adjoins the mosque compound.”Source Israel National News

The evening of May 23 until sunset the next day, Jews across the world will celebrate Yom Yerushalayim commemorating the day Jews once again had access to their holy sites in East Jerusalem. But thanks to Moshe Dayan, the holiest site in all of Judaism is off limits, and the Prime Minister of Israel cannot accompany President Trump to the Kotel. That is what Jews call a shanda (a shame).


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Jeff Dunetz blogs at Yid with Lid