August 6, 2014

The fire that burned on the Temple Mount

Posted in Israel/Zionism, Temple Mount tagged , , at 9:49 am by yisraelmedad

The fire that burned on the Temple Mount

By YISRAEL MEDAD. 05/08/2014

Israel Police spokesman’s office noted that over the month of Ramadan, more than 400 Muslims had been arrested on the Temple Mount for disturbing the peace and some 135 charge sheets had been presented to the courts.

Josephus witnessed the moment, over 1,900 years ago, when the Temple first began to be engulfed in flames.

He writes in his The Jewish Wars, “…one of the soldiers… snatched something of the materials that were on fire, and being lifted up by another soldier, he set fire to a golden window, through which there was a passage to the rooms that were round about the Holy House, on the north side of it. As the flames went upward the Jews made a great clamor… .”

And he adds to his description that, “While the Holy House was on fire, everything was plundered that came to hand.”

On Thursday night, July 24, which marked Laylat al-Kadr, the anniversary of the revelation of the first verses of the Koran, when Muslims believe that God blesses everyone, and forgive all sins, a sacking of a building and the burning of its contents on the Temple Mount was repeated.

This time that structure was an Israeli police station located on the raised platform section, north of the Dome of the Rock. An ecstatic crowd of Muslims were the perpetrators.

Despite the great embarrassment, we can be thankful that no policeman was killed or wounded. That is not because back-up forces raced to the rescue, the heroic defense put up by the police barricaded inside the small building or because they managed to escape, some would say flee, through the back windows.

The simple fact is, as Jerusalem Commander Yossi Parienti announced on Channel 10 television, that the police left the building, locking it and walking away earlier on in an orderly fashion.

They did not desert it, he insisted.

Whether the police prematurely fled before the attackers or beat a strategic retreat in expectation of a worse development, the result was one police station looted, ransacked and burned. To top this activity, literally, two masked Arab youth climbed up the roof and planted a Palestinian flag atop the “Islamic-conquered” police station. The expensive security cameras affixed to the station were destroyed.

But there was more damage. Confidential documents dealing with security issues, including identities of suspected Arabs instigators of violence, as well as Jews, were found dispersed at the site, uncollected.

Have the police learned from their errors of planning and judgment? Monday morning this week, once again specially-equipped police officers were required to enter the courtyard following the throwing of rocks as well as the shooting off of Roman candles.

A surprise awaited them: blockades had been set up that halted their advance temporarily. At least five were wounded.

But why are the police, time after time, still surprised? Why is entrance permitted during the evening hours and if so, why is the Temple Mount not cleared toward morning? Why can the rioters gain the benefit of hours to prepare, to bring in dangerous materials? Why do the police to fail, repeatedly, to deal with what one would presume is a simple matter of security? Several members of the force admitted to Channel 2 TV reporter Shimon Ifergan that they were ashamed at the decision that was made and that they were ordered to withdraw from the Mount for their own protection with the full knowledge that the station was the target.

But how is it that given the dangers faced by police, the policy of our law enforcement is to allow such riots to develop, to be the norm? In a response from the Israel Police spokesman’s office, it was noted that over the month of Ramadan, more than 400 Muslims had been arrested on the Temple Mount for disturbing the peace and some 135 charge sheets had been presented to the courts. Nevertheless, the taking of preventive measures seems to be the police’s weak point.

One could argue that the police are caught in the middle. On the one hand, they are responsible for maintaining peace and order but on the other, the political echelon, ever since 1967, seeks to placate Jordan as the holy site’s patron, hoping to offset any real local Arab control, as via the Palestinian Authority, for example. But this paradigm of false coexistence ignores Jewish rights and involves willful blindness to the inroads of the Islamic Movement.

Israel’s government is not obligated to begin the construction of the Third Temple.

However, the government is obligated to not allow the destruction of state property, the trampling of basic human rights of non-Muslims, the provocative, violent behavior of male and female Islamists, the holding of pro-Hamas assemblies and the flying of terrorist flags and planting of banners on the mosque buildings in support of anti-Jewish propaganda.

Exerting Israel’s sovereignty on the Temple Mount, applying the law of the land, promoting religious freedom, protecting the site’s legacy above and below ground are all things the state must do, in the interest of the Jewish character of the state, for the commitment to human rights for all and even for the Waqf authorities who have proven less than capable of administering the site.

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The author serves as the secretary of the El Har Hashem NGO which promotes Jewish rights on the Temple Mount.

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December 15, 2013

Temple Mount High

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 9:01 pm by yisraelmedad

Temple Mount high

By YISRAEL MEDAD, 15/12/2013

With all the difficulties, the state must resolve the absurdity of the situation whereby a Jew is the second-class citizen at this so very Jewish place.

Lately, hardly ever a day passes without a news item relating in some way to the Temple Mount. This is not only true as regards Israel’s local media, including longer in-depth articles in weekend editions – newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and Le Monde have been devoting special reports to the site, as well.

On the average of once a month or so, the Knesset’s Interior Committee convenes, chaired by Likud MK Miri Regev, who enthusiastically supports Jewish prayer within the compound. Police representatives are required to report on their activities and explain their failure to uphold the law which guarantees free access and worship. Arab MKs shout and rant and warn that their constituents will react violently, a tactic for which they never apologize, and never denounce.

The courts are also a venue for Temple Mount activity. After being arrested four years ago and banned from the Temple Mount for some two years, Yehuda Glick, a central figure of the Coordinating Council of Temple Mount Organizations, recently won a NIS 30,000 payment from the police in the courtroom of Magistrate Malka Aviv for unjustified arrest. Last month, following a two-week hunger strike, another ban was lifted by the police after they realized its arbitrariness could not be defended.

Not only are old customs being revived, but new customs are being encouraged.

The past few years, brides on the eve of their weddings have been visiting the Temple Mount. Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely was one of the more famous such visitors. This has developed from the necessity for ritual immersion prior to entrance for those who observe those halachic instructions. Since religious unmarried women do not visit the mikveh, the first opportunity they have is just prior to their chuppah ceremony. The IDF also has weekly visits of hundreds of soldiers.

Islamists are quite concerned by these developments. Arab-language websites followed by Jewish activists are full of pictures and stories. Video clips are uploaded and Facebook accounts highlight occurrences. They post and translate posters issued by Temple Mount groups. And they exaggerate details or resort to fictitious renditions of reality.

Anyone who visits cannot miss the men of al-Shabab al-Aqsa, recruited by Sheikh Ra’ed Salah’s Northern Branch Islamic Movement, who sit in study circles.

They are there to “defend al-Aqsa” by staking out territory through a squatting maneuver so as to prevent Jews from attempting to pray on the Temple Mount or display any other overt act of obvious Jewish identification with the site.

These extremists are paid for each “shift” that they work, as are those of a “Women’s Corps” who share the “defense” duties. Arab affairs expert Avi Issachoroff has written that these ladies, also recruited by the Islamic Movement, are generally poor, divorced or widows. Their salaries and transportation are taken care of, as are those of the men, by Salah’s group.

They shout insults and cries of “Allah Akhbar” at non-Muslim visitors, and recently, physically move into the space of the Jewish visitors, attempting to cause an incident that will then be exploited, as has happened previously when a policeman was blamed for “throwing” a Koran on the floor.

The Islamic presence is varied. The site itself is administered through the Jordanian Ministry of Religious Trust/Wakf. Hamas tries to make inroads. There are, at times, members of the Kharkat al-Tahrir and Salafist movements as well as others depending of the events of the day, such as pro-Sisi and anti-Morsi demonstrators or supporters of Erdogan of Turkey. More importantly, though, was the March Jordan-Palestinian Authority agreement.

That document recalled “the unique religious importance, to all Muslims, of al-Masjid al-Aqsa” and “the role of King Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali in protecting…the holy sites in Jerusalem… [since] March 11, 1924.” It also recognized “that the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people is expressed in realizing the State of Palestine whose territory encompasses the land within which al-Masjid al-Aqsa (al-Haram al-Sharif) is situated.” The parties operationally agreed that King Abdallah II is to be “the custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites.”

There are other Muslim voices. Mudar Zahran published on December 9 his “Who Is Destroying Al-Aqsa Mosque?” describing a recent visit to the Temple Mount. He was shocked at Al-Aqsa’s neglected state, being in need of maintenance.

Scaffolding has been up for years to impress donors, but nothing gets repaired. He learned that Jordan provides the money for salaries but that there is no accountability for the staff’s handling of the money.

One staff member, asked why al-Aqsa was in such a state, told Zahran to ask Azzam al-Khatib [al-Aqsa’s manager]. Another employee at the Dome of the Rock informed him, oddly, that “this is all the fault of the Jews; they are to blame for all of this.” The answer he received to the question of how the Jews were responsible, exactly, was a shrug of the shoulders. His conclusion was that “it seems that it is we Arabs and Muslims who are harming Al-Aqsa, not Israel or the Jews.”

The real negligence on the Temple Mount is the unwillingness of the State of Israel to assert its full sovereignty there. Ever since Moshe Dayan squatted down with the Wakf on June 17, 1967, together with David Farhi, and symbolically returned the keys to the gates, the state has sensessly kowtowed to the most fanatical behavior.

Only in August 1967 did Dayan take the key to the Muhgrabi Gate back from Wakf head Hassan Tahboub, and military police were stationed at the entrance to the gate. Later, regular police assumed supervision.

On April 22, the above mentioned PA-Jordanian Agreement on Jerusalem caused MK Yariv Levine (Likud) to ask the foreign minister a Parliamentary Question. Noting that the agreement seemingly represents an attempt to negatively affect Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem and its holy shrines, his two queries were: 1) What is Israel’s official stand regarding the agreement? And 2) Why does Israel not declare publicly and firmly that it rejects this injurious attempt?

The answer came a month later from then deputy foreign minister Ze’ev Elkin, and it reads:

“1. The setting of Jordan’s position complies with Israel’s outlook and contributes to the distancing of undesired elements, including Qatar and other Arab Muslim countries.

2. The Jordanian recognition of Palestinian sovereignty in east Jerusalem is not new but has been reestablished by this agreement.

3. The agreement does comply with the terms of the special status awarded to Jordan concerning the holy sites to Islam according to the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty, 9 (2), and therefore restricts the Palestinian aspirations, symbolically and administratively, on the Temple Mount.”

This is an irrational approach, injurious to Israel’s interests. I can imagine King Abdullah singing Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s song, “Two Banks Has The Jordan.”

The Temple Mount is a national site, of religious, cultural and historic importance.

Its intrinsic Jewish value is immeasurable. We still fast over it being besieged and its destructions. With all the difficulties, the state must resolve the absurdity of the situation whereby a Jew is the second-class citizen at this so very Jewish place.

———————

The author is secretary of El Har Hashem, an advocacy group for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and a member of the Coordinating Council of the Temple Mount Organizations.

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December 12, 2012

Busy Temple Mount Visitors Day

Posted in Israel/Zionism tagged at 2:13 pm by yisraelmedad

A lot came.

Via here:-

108

214

118

110

112

130

132

August 15, 2012

MEDIA COMMENT: The inattentive media

Posted in Media tagged at 10:37 pm by yisraelmedad

Media Comment: The inattentive media*

By YISRAEL MEDAD AND ELI POLLAK, 15/08/2012

Is the media afraid Jewish presence on the Temple Mount would undermine their secular cultural and post-modern views?

This year, the Hebrew month of Av, with its three-week mourning period (beginning with the 17th of Tammuz fast) and the 25-hour Tisha Be’av fast, all connected with the destruction of the two Temples 2,500 years ago and 1,900 years ago, coincided with the Muslim month-long Ramadan. As a result, the media was full of reports on issues and incidents relating to the Temple Mount.

Here are a few examples: Jews were disintegrating foundations of the Aqsa mosque through the use of chemicals; Israel was burrowing under the Temple Mount compound in the area of the Mughrabi Gate; a group of youth movement demonstrators intended to march with signs bearing the slogan “the Temple Mount is in Our Hands” (made famous by Mordechai Gur after Jerusalem’s Old City was conquered during the Six Day War) but the signs were banned by police who claimed it constituted incitement; a tree fell over and Israel was blamed, again, due to underground excavations; hundreds of religious Jews who visited the site were described as “storming” the compound.

Then there was the discovery of scaffolding placed on the Foundation Stone as well as pails, shoes and other renovation materials strewn about, a clear case of religious desecration. The US State Department’s annual Religious Freedom Report included a note that “only Muslims are allowed to pray at the [Temple Mount/Haram A-Sharif]… [and] Non- Muslim religious symbols are not allowed to be worn on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif.”

Following an unexpected closure of the Temple Mount to Jewish ascent on the 9th of Av fast, MKs Arieh Eldad (National Union) and coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) announced legislative moves to fix time and location arrangements permitting Jewish prayer at the site and, last but not least (or all), Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein’s letter to the Jerusalem municipality, the Jerusalem police and the Antiquities Authority was made public. The letter stated unequivocally that the Temple Mount is under Israeli law while the authorities must be “extra sensitive” in applying the law.

In June, a visiting Jewish student from the UK was told by a Wakf official to remove his kippa and in August, a Palestinian flag was flying from the Temple Mount. Over the past few months several Jews have been banned from entrance with no time limit fixed and no adequate judicial recourse provided.

HOWEVER, WE must make clear that by “the media is full,” we meant that the Arab-language media. The Hebrew-language press and the Israeli TV and radio broadcasting networks paid minimal attention.

Despite the criminal acts of desecration which in a normal country would lead to prosecution according to Paragraph 2 of the Law for the Protection of the Holy Sites, the blatant attempts by Muslims to agitate, incite and generate acts of violence against Jews and the quite obviously false claims of Jews harming the Mount – and the list above is only partial – Israel’s media hardly paid attention.

The whole issue was portrayed as affecting mostly the extreme right wing. The events were characterized more as an anomaly rather than a fundamental issue of civil liberties and religious freedom, basic rights that the law should guarantee and uphold.

Highlighted was MK Eldad’s suggestion, a reaction to the government’s proposal to slice up the Ulpana neighborhood houses, that the Muslim Temple Mount structures be similarly treated, but no serious panel discussion was conducted nor were government representatives grilled over the discriminatory police actions or their lack of response to the outlandish Muslim claims.

The Arabic-speaking population in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as well as the rest of the Arab world, was being fed a constant stream of invective.

Sheikh Raed Salah, banned from Jerusalem and who has been tried and convicted of funding Hamas, and of having contact with an Iranian intelligence agent, continued his anti-Jewish tirades.

Yet the biggest story in the Israeli press was the belated announcement of the discovery of hundreds of skeletons near the Temple Mount, although the ramifications of that discovery are more historical than current.

This past Sunday, Sheikh Ikrama Sabri, a senior imam at al-Aqsa Mosque, released a statement that the Aqsa Mosque, by which he means the entire Temple Mount compound, “is not subject to negotiation, and… the Jews have nothing to do with al-Aqsa Mosque.”

THE DECIDED lack of Israeli media interest in pursuing these stories, delegating them to the level of religious oddities, has two major effects.

The first is that when violence does break out, as in 1996 when the Hasmonean Tunnel opening caused riots or in 2000 when Ariel Sharon’s visit was wrongfully described as the cause of the second intifada, we are left in the dark. As researched by Dr. Dore Gold, media consumers have no true perspective or knowledge regarding the Muslim fanaticism that feeds a Temple denial attitude.

The second is that the Jewish side of the story is relegated to, at best, eccentricity status. It is presented to Israel’s populace as something insignificant and if it does make headlines, it’s the fault of the Jews.

As Giulio Meotti has pointed out, the Temple Mount is, since 1929, the major front in the effort by the Palestinians and Arabs to erase Jewish historical identity from the Land of Israel. Nevertheless, our media minimizes its magnitude as a reflection of the national struggle between Jews and Arabs.

Michael Freund on these pages was more specific in his accusations that “incidents that should have sparked outrage across the Jewish world but instead were met with stony silence… detestable acts of anti-Semitism elicited neither… a peep of public protest from world Jewish leaders or organizations.”

There is no question that this lack of reaction is at least partially due to the fact that the Israeli media downplays Temple Mount incidents against Jews.

The Israeli media prides itself and even demands special rights as the country’s watchdog. Why then does it react so sluggishly to the real discrimination and delegitimization of anything Jewish in the Temple Mount? Is that how responsible media acts in a democratic country? As we have witnessed during the same period, editors, if they so wish, are quite successful at creating agendas even on rather minor issues, such as Keren Neubach’s broadcasting woes, or Adar Cohen’s firing as civics supervisor for the Education Ministry.

The evidence from the media coverage this summer and the lack of interest by our media icons such as Amnon Abramovich, Ilana Dayan or Motti Kirschenbaum, as well as the self-appointed “guardians of democracy” such as the Israel Democracy Institute, the Association for Civil Rights or B’tselem, all indicates that they are wantonly ignoring the fundamental issue of freedom of religion for Jews and Christians on the Temple Mount.

Is the media afraid Jewish presence on the Temple Mount would undermine their secular cultural and post-modern views? Are our politicians impotent due to the media’s anti-Mount sentiments?

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Original title was The Dismounted Media

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