Trouble at the Temple Mount

From Ynet:

Clashes between security forces and Palestinians at the Temple Mount continued for the third consecutive day on Tuesday, the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

Jerusalem Police said: “Following intelligence collected by the Shin Bet and the police regarding Arab youths, some with their faces covered, who barricaded themselves inside al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, Jerusalem Police organized additional security forces at the entrance to the Temple Mount, who are prepared for any eventuality as has been done throughout the entire holiday.

According to police, the youths inside the mosque collected stones and fireworks and set up barricades to prevent closing the entrance, using shoe racks, iron rods, and rope tied to the doors of the mosque, and other methods.

As soon as the Temple Mount was opened to visitors on Tuesday morning, police said, rioters began throwing stones towards the Mughrabi Bridge.

The aim of the rioters is irrelevant. See if you can spot any condemnation of their violence.

Police and border guards then entered the Temple Mount area, at which point the rioters fled inside the mosque and began throwing dozens of stones, concrete blocks, and fireworks at security forces.

A firebomb was also thrown at security forces, setting wooden beams on fire.

Security forces began dismantling the barricades at the entrance to the mosque and shut the door with the rioters still inside.

Visits by Jews and tourists began on time and without disturbances.

On the surface, job well done by the police. But they are handicapped in that they do not have control of the site. The Waqf does. It sure looks like time to revisit that arrangement.

Later in the day, police arrested an Arab man suspected of attacking two Jewish youths in the morning in the Old City. He fled the scene, but was detained after police said they recognized him on security footage.

Another one bites the dust.

Meantime, how is that condemnation coming along?

Khaled Mashal, head of Hamas’s political bureau, had a phone conversation with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas regarding events at the Temple Mount.

The Middle East; where logic comes to die, and Arab politicians come to lie.

The United States said on Monday that it was deeply concerned about the violence and urged both sides to lower tensions.

What they mean: surrender to this terrorism. No, thanks. Bloody fools.

Jordanian King Abdullah II condemned Israel, saying it was acting aggressive at al-Aqsa.

I hope this is window dressing for his home audience. Otherwise he is joining the ranks of the fools. (And by all accounts, he is no fool.)

Turkish President Recep Erdogan called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to reprimand Israel for “violating the mosque’s sanctity.”

What he means: Israel is not surrendering to the terrorists. His pronouncements are unlikely to carry much weight anywhere outside his immediate family.

Real status quo on the Temple Mount

From a letter to the Jerusalem Post:

Everyone is talking about the ‘status quo on the Temple Mount’, but no one really knows to what status quo they are referring. Logically, the status quo to which we should all be referring is the one which existed between 1967 and 2000.

During those thirty three years, apart from modest clothing, not only were there no limits as to who could visit the Temple Mount, everyone who did visit, after paying an entrance fee to the Wakf and removing shoes, was able to visit the interior of the Dome of the Rock and of the El Aqsa Mosque, excluding during prayer time. Guides were not hindered when giving brief or lengthy explanations while inside.

No one objected if a Christian minister or priest conducted a quiet prayer session or read from the New Testament in a remote corner of the Temple Mount. Nor did anyone object if a guide held up a picture depicting the Jewish Temple, the first or the second, which stood on the Temple Mount before being destroyed by the Babylonians or the Romans.

The Palestinian Wakf changed the status to what it is today – limited visiting hours; no entry to the Dome of the Rock or El Aqsa; a ban, enforced by the Israeli police, on even carrying a bible in one’s bag on to the Temple Mount; absolutely no prayers, which includes moving one’s lips and, in some instances, insisting that the women in the group cover their heads.

Every Israeli guide who worked during the afore-mentioned period can confirm that that was the status quo and, if they are still working, can attest to the changes.

We should all be aspiring, nay demanding, a return to those halcyon days.

Beryl Ratzer
The writer is a registered guide and author of A Historical Tour of the Holy Land

Bit of an eye opener, don’t you think. Puts Palestinian protests in a whole new and uncomplimentary light. Again.