The Jerusalem District Court Judge Aryeh Romanov last Friday evening accepted the police’s appeal of the Magistrate’s Court’s decision which effectively allowed Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Judge Bilha Yahalom on Wednesday revoked a restraining order that was handed to a Jewish rabbi who prayed on the Temple Mount, and confirmed that it is permissible for Jews to pray silently in the holiest Jewish site (Bombshell: Jerusalem Court Approves Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount).
On Friday, however, Israel Police appealed the decision of the Magistrate’s Court, and Minister of Internal Security Omar Bar-Lev (Labor), warned of a regional flare-up should the court’s decision be allowed to stand: “A change in the existing status quo would endanger public peace and may cause a flare-up,” the minister said, adding, “The State of Israel advocates freedom of worship and prayer for all, but at the same time, in view of the security implications, the status quo which states that the prayer of Jews on the Temple Mount will take place next to the Western Wall and that the prayer of Muslims will take place in al-Haram a-Sharif (Arabic for the Temple Mount compound, yes he actually used the enemy’s phrase – DI) – must be maintained.
Abdul Rahman Younes, a columnist for the Hamas publication Felesteen News (poor chaps can’t pronounce the P sound in the Roman empire’s second century’s name for Eretz Israel), on Saturday published a glowing response to the Jewish district court’s nullification of Jewish freedom of religion, under the headline: هكذا قُطعت “الصلوات الصامتة” قبل أن تبدأ (roughly translated as “This is how the ‘silent prayers’ were cut before they even began.”
This is how the court’s decision was perceived by the nice folks over on the Hamas side of the border:
The resistance factions in Gaza have ably succeeded in weaving a solid line between their weapons and Jerusalem, and imposed new rules of engagement with the Israeli occupier, forcing it to change many of its tactics, and deterring it from carrying out criminal plans against the occupied city of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, starting with the [rerouting of] march of their wobbly flags and ending with their prohibition of silent prayer and the temporal and spatial division of the Blessed Mosque, and between them their reluctance to make a decision to displace Sheikh Jarrah’s families, and their postponing of the court sessions again and again.
All these achievements would not have been possible without the steadfastness of our people in Jerusalem and the support of the people in the occupied territories of 1948, who constitute a safety valve for the Holy City after the Palestinian Authority and the Hashemite guardians abandoned it, and before them the leaders of the Arab League, the owners of statements of empty condemnations and denunciations
In other words, Arab violence work, and more Arab violence works even better. Israel capitulates before the Arab determination to round up thousands every time Jews are permitted to exercise their religious, national, and even legal rights, and the Arabs win the day through sheer intimidation, rioting, and even murder. It all pays off.
This retreat did not come out of nowhere. The Palestinians took the initiative – because they are the most worthy and capable – and stopped it at its own end after they rose up against the Occupation and clashed with it in all locations, with their backs protected from the south, because they know that there are people standing at the missile positions waiting for the decisive moment. Because they know that silence about this decision or allowing it to pass will waste their right to Al-Aqsa, so they cut off the prayers before they begin.
The District Court’s ruling last Friday reminded me of the Khaqra citadel which was built by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 BCE in the corner of the Temple Mount and remained under Syrian control until its destruction by the Hasmoneans in 141 BCE. For 35 years, despite the removal of Syrian rule from Judea, the rulers of Damascus continued to maintain their enclave, complete with armed soldiers, in the heart of otherwise liberated Jerusalem. The day of the destruction of the Khaqra became a holiday, on Iyar 23 (Ta’anit 2).
The Syrian kings were able to maintain their citadel on the Temple Mount because the Hellenized Jews (that era’s equivalent of secular Israelis) wanted them to stay. They feared their own demise both culturally and literally, should their foreign protectors be made to leave.
Today, very much like the time of the Second Temple, the absence of Jewish control over the Temple Mount represents the deep gap in the nation over our national future. And as long as the vast majority of Israeli Jews reject the Temple Mount, Jerusalem will continue to be ruled by Hamas, represented unwittingly by the likes of Omer Bar-Lev.
The only way to change this is to convince massive numbers of Israeli Jews to go up to the Temple Mount, to visit the earthly home of our Father in Heaven. If the other side amasses 100 thousand – let us bring half a million. Otherwise we should just shut up and let the Arab owners of the land manage its fate through their Israeli secular agents.