Photo Credit: Mohamar Awad /Flash90
Masked Arabs throw stones at Israeli policemen near the Temple Mount’s Lion Gate, October 25, 2009.

Some Muslim traditions are clearly borne by the prophet Mohammad’s need to show that his new religion, ripped off the Jewish Torah and rabbinic law, calls for more stringent acts of devotion than the original. If Jews pray three times a day, on Shabbat four times, and on Yom Kippur five, then Muslims would pray five times every day. And if Jews fast on Yom Kippur from dusk to the next day’s dark, then Muslims would fast for an entire month (dawn to dusk). That’s the historical background for the holy month of Ramadan if you ask me.

According to Surah (chapter) Al-Baqara 2:185, “Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard ‘to distinguish between right and wrong.’ So, whoever is present this month, let them fast. But whoever is ill or on a journey, then let them fast an equal number of days ‘after Ramadan.’ Allah intends ease for you, not hardship, so that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful.”


But the month of Ramadan has long since deteriorated into an annual orgy of violence and murder, reminiscent of Star Trek’s episode, “The Red Hour,” in which the crew of the Enterprise visit a seemingly peaceful planet whose inhabitants enjoy a single night of violence each year during “Festival.”

While the negotiations for a hostage deal continue, the world is preparing with trepidation for this year’s month of Ramadan, which will begin on March 11. The mediators, including the US, are interested in reaching a deal before Ramadan, combining the release of at least the elderly, sick, and infant hostages with improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Everyone in Israel, however, is aware of the distinct possibility that Ramadan would once again become a catalyst igniting the entire region, as Hamas pushes for bloody confrontations with Jews on the Temple Mount and in Judea and Samaria.


National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir decided to answer rage with rage. On Saturday night, he issued a statement saying:

“It is absolutely forbidden to allow the entry of residents from the ‘Palestinian’ Authority into the territory of Israel. It cannot be that while kidnapped women are being raped in Gaza, Israel is allowing a Hamas victory celebration on the Temple Mount. The positions of some of the security officials recommending the approval of a massive entry of PA residents into the Temple Mount show that they have learned nothing from October 7.

“I recommend that those security officials take a look at the polls conducted in the Palestinian Authority, where they will discover the tremendous support for the massacre committed by Hamas on the seventh of October. I will strongly oppose the entry of PA residents into Israel and I hope that this is how my colleagues will act in the expanded cabinet – which is the only forum where this decision should be made, and not a limited forum in which I am not included and does not reflect the opinions of all the members of the cabinet.”

Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben Barak, a former deputy head of Mossad, on Sunday morning attacked Ben Gvir’s statement, cautioning that “The Temple Mount is a very, very explosive place, which can ignite many, many incidents, both in Israel and abroad. We need to behave wisely and carefully there, on the one hand not to give up our sovereignty and on the other hand to do everything so that things go peacefully.”

Hamas has been invested in an indefatigable campaign to turn Ramadan into a direct extension of October 7, with the Al Aqsa Mosque as the focal point of an explosion of violence that would flood eastern Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. All of the above is going to happen, more or less severely, depending on the IDF’s and the Shin Bet’s ability to suppress local outbursts. With that in mind, Ben Gvir’s plan to block the Temple Mount to PA Arab visitors would be an effective way to reduce violence during the month of rage. Why would the former deputy head of Mossad oppose it? After all, this move has been used in the past to curb violence, when Jerusalem police barred Jews from the Temple Mount during significant portions of Ramadan.

Yours truly listened to MK Ben Barak’s interview on 103FM, and I cannot for the life of me understand what he meant when he declared: “The police under Ben Gvir is a very big problem, not only on the Temple Mount, you see it in the demonstrations. I think it’s a very bad idea, but Ben Gvir, like Ben Gvir, in my opinion, wants there to be a flare-up, and he wants to be able to say ‘I told you, you can’t trust the Arabs.'”

These questions come to mind:

1. Should the police under Ben Gvir not handle illegal demonstrations?
2. How would there be a flare-up on the Temple Mount if the Arabs did not have access to the compound?
3. Can you trust the Arabs?


According to The Washington Post (US, Arab nations plan for postwar Gaza, timeline for Palestinian state), Israel’s allies in the West and the “moderate” Arab states are all in agreement that the month of Ramadan should bring the release of the hostages together with a Palestinian State, because, you know, you kill enough Jews, they have to give you a state.

But the Post acknowledges that “The elephant in the planning room is Israel, and whether its government will acquiesce to much of what is being discussed: the withdrawal of many, if not all, settler communities on the West Bank; a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem; the reconstruction of Gaza; and security and governance arrangements for a combined West Bank and Gaza. The hope is that Israel would also be offered specific security guarantees and normalization with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states that would be hard to refuse.”

The Post clearly sees the tightening of the noose around Israel’s neck, except they don’t call it that. Instead, they report happily: “Recent trips to Arab capitals by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and visits to Washington by Qatar’s prime minister and Jordan’s King Abdullah II have focused on what Blinken, on a stop last week in Doha, called ‘the substance and the sequence of all the steps’ needed to set a practical, timebound, irreversible path to a Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace with Israel.’”

In the end, all this goes on the head of this 6th-century Jewish merchant who hired an illiterate Arab kid as a security guard for his caravan going from India to the Mediterranean, and at night, around the campfire, told him some midrashim the kid barely understood and mostly got them wrong.

Rabbi Ami said (Hagiga 13a): “The words of Torah may not be transmitted to a gentile, as it is stated: “He has not dealt so with any nation, and as for His ordinances, they have not known them” (Psalms 147:20).


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