Av 24, 5772, 12/08/12
Op-ed:Olympic races don't mean a thing, but the race for the control the Temple Mount is one that we must win.
by Giulio Meotti
A Palestinian flag is now flying on the Temple Mount, the most holy site on earth, where the First and Second Temples stood and the Holy of Holies was.
Piece after piece of Eretz Israel is becoming a symbol of Arab nationalistic achievements. Several months ago, the Palestinian Rehabilitation Committee raised the UNESCO flag next to the Palestinian flag in front of Hevron's Tomb of the Patriarchs.
A Palestinian flag on the Temple Mount not only makes the Jewish people psychologically weaker, it looks as though Islam won the race in climbing to the top of the most sacred mountain. It's an implicit recognition of Muslim hegemony.
Has Israel lost the Temple Mount race?
Jews are daily banned and discriminated against on their most holy site by the Israeli authorities, archeological Jewish treasures are destroyed by Muslims, tractors are used to change the Jewish history and the "al-Aksa is in danger"'s blood libel is spreading like a virus in the Middle East, getting support also from the Vatican (see the shameful PLO-Vatican Agreement in 2000).
The latest travesty is banning signs with the historic words "The Temple Mount is in Our Hands", proclaimed by Motta Gur, commander of the forces that reached the Temple Mount in the 1967 War after 19 years of Jews being banned from the site while it was under Jordan occupation.
Very few people know that the Israeli leadership allowed the Palestinian flag to be flown on the Temple Mount.
In 2000 the Israeli ministers supported allowing a Palestinian flag to fly over the Temple Mount, an idea raised by then Justice Minister, Yossi Beilin, in the Beilin-Abu Mazen agreements of 1995, and late supported by then Prime Minister, Ehud Barak. In 2000 the Palestinians raised their flag over the Temple Mount during the Pope's visit to Al-Aksa Mosque.
Abba Eban was quoted in a 1995 interview as saying: "It's not so terrible that a Palestinian flag will fly in this square kilometer".
It is, however, quite terrible.It is taken to mean that Islam has superseded the Jewish religion and has the right to "inherit" its holy places.
In the last years, despite the official policy of Israel's government to downplay the importance of the Temple Mount, and the Chief Rabbinate's halakhic opinion against ascending to the Mount, awareness has increased greatly among Jews. Rabbi Yisrael Ariel's Temple Institute published many popular books, and the Shocharey HaMikdash was formed under the chairmanship of Bar-Ilan University Professor Hillel Weiss in an attempt to unite all the grassroots activists.
The official atmosphere is still one of capitulation to Arab ransom, terrorism and lies.
The Temple Mount is the major front in the effort by the Palestinians and Arabs to erase Jewish historical identity with the Land of Israel. Since 1929, the Temple Mount is a symbol of the struggle against Zionism.
If the Temple Mount becomes a Palestinian-Islamic site, Jews are by definition newcomers to Jerusalem, they arrived there with the "Zionist invasion" and they are not descendants of the Bible's Jews.
Last June, a Wakf official told a Jewish student from the UK who was visiting the Temple Mount to remove his kippa, saying that he was not allowed to wear it because he was "in a holy place".
The Jerusalem Wakf, the city's Moslem properties trust, has experienced a "renaissance" under Israeli rule. During Jordanian rule between 1948 and 1967, the wakf became less important. Since the Gulf war, the influence of Muslim extremists on the Wakf has also increased.
The goal is to de-Judaize the Temple Mount. A Palestinian flag over the mountain means that there is no right of Jews to worship at Judaism's holiest site.
Ordinary Israelis and their government must not understimate the Mount's role in the Islamic psyche and in the Arabs' war against the Jews.
A replica of the Al Aksa mosque has been built a few hundred meters from the Lebanese border with Israel in honor of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit. The structure in the village of Maroun al-Ras looks exactly like its Jerusalem prototype – including the dome on top. An Iranian flag flies over it.
Last year, the Muslim Brotherhoood's guru Yusef al Qaradawi also prayed for "the conquest of the al-Aksa mosque" on the Temple Mount. The Second Intifada was also named after that goal.
Will Ariel Sharon be remembered as the last Israeli prime minister to have visited the Temple Mount in 2000? If the Jews lose the Temple Mount race, there will be dire reults for the Zionist endeavor.