The Temple Institute: The Temple Mount: Freedom of Worship?



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The Temple Mount: Freedom of Worship?

August 10, 2004
2002 The Temple Institute, Yitzchak Reuven - All Rights Reserved

A concerted effort seems to be afoot among the various Israeli security services, with the full active cooperation of the local media, to create a new "fringe right" individual, who, by perpetrating a deed so dastardly, will, (with the help of the same media), blacken and delegitimize the gathering opposition to forced removal of Jewish residents from Gaza. Despite repeated pronouncements of "hunches" by Avi Dichter, (head of the Israeli general Security Services). and Tsachi Hanegbi, (Minister of Internal Security), that some radical Jewish fiend may be at this very moment planning how and when to blow up the Al Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount, they have yet to conjure up such an individual, or make any arrests. Carefully laying the groundwork for a sensational arrest, or two, at the appropriate time politically, (as the planned date for the transfer of Jews nears), they have brought up the spectre of "administrative detention". This holdover from British Mandate law enables the police to arrest and imprision individuals without filing charges, or allowing them to meet with their lawyers or view the "evidence" against themselves. While such individuals may most likely be released at some later date, all "charges" having been dropped, the desired effect will have already been accomplished.

But why choose the Temple Mount as the scenario for the "impending attack"? Some suggest it is a ruse for Tsachi Hanegbi to gain an increase in his ministry's annual budget. Or perhaps the Muslim Wakf, which de facto controls the Mount has been grousing about too many "infidels" visiting the Mount. For, in fact, thousands of Jews have visited the Mount since it was reopened less than a year ago. Having to countenance these observant Jews, day after day, visiting this, the holiest site on earth for the Jewish people, may prove more that the Muslim Wakf henchmen and their enforcers can bear. As it is, they utilize any excuse they can to disrupt the Jews, and cause their expulsion from the Mount. For example, the Jews are not allowed to pray, or possess any religious articles while on the Mount, (such as a book of Psalms), and even the slightest movement suggesting of "prayer" will cause a Wakf stalker to charge, "compelling" the Israeli police to "remove" the offending Jew from the Mount. So perhaps Dichter and Hanegbi have caught wind, not of a Jewish plot to harm the Muslim structure on the Mount, but rather of a Muslim plot to create a "cassus belli" for violent rioting that will lead to the barring of Jews from the Mount, as they did in 2001. Or perhaps our security experts see the Temple Mount as an easy scare, with all the images it conjures up of an all out religious war between Jews and Muslims, and therfore are simply employing the threat as a means to head off Jewish opposition to the above mentioned forced removal of Jews from Gaza.

Unfortunately, the real issue involved concerning the Temple Mount, that of equality before the law, freedom of worship and access to holy cites, issues at the core of a democratic society, are consistently shunted by the local "watchdog" media, not to mention the Israeli judicial system, otherwise considered one of the most enlightened and activist in the western world. Those of us who go up to the Mount are demanding no more and no less than Moses demanded of Pharoah: "Let my people go, that they may worship Me." Unfortunately, the Israeli Supreme Court consistently defers to the desire of the police to "keep the peace", and prevent Jewish prayer on the Mount, fearing that it will provoke a violent Muslim reaction. If the subordination of man's basic rights to the will of those who would violently prevent them were the rule of history, the Jews would still be slaves in Egypt, and the African Americans would still be slaves in America. The struggle for equality and freedom of worship is the real story. This travesty of justice has perpetrators, victims, and reams of evidence to back the accusations. Imagine if our security experts and guardians of our freedom only gave a damn?

Yitchak Reuven
Assistant Director, The International Department of the Temple Institute



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