By Tuvia Brodie
When the United Nations passed UN Resolution 181 (November, 1947), it intended to divide British Palestine into three entities: (1) a Jewish State; (2) an Arab State; and (3) a separate Jerusalem under UN control.
The plan for Jerusalem was to keep all the city’s Holy sites intact. The UN wanted to make sure that each of the three major religions which held Jerusalem to be Holy—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—would have free access to and freedom of worship at all Holy sites. They made rules to ban discrimination.
The Arabs did not like any of the UN’s ideas for Jerusalem or a Jewish State. They rejected every idea. They attacked the Jews.
Within a year, Israel was a sovereign state. The war was over. But Arab Jordan had captured the Old City of Jerusalem. They had captured the Temple Mount. They would keep it.
Muslims destroyed almost every Jewish synagogue they found. They blocked Jews from the Western Wall. They blocked Jews from ascending to the Temple Mount. They declared that the Temple Mount was theirs: no Jews allowed.
The UN idea of freedom of worship ended. In the Arab Jerusalem, there would be no freedom for Jews.
There would also be no Jews. All Jews living in the captured Old City were exiled.
In 1967, Israel fought another war against the Arab. During that war, Israeli troops re-captured the Old City—and the Temple Mount.
The Temple Mount was in Jewish hands. Jews could now pray there. Jews could now have free access to their religion’s holiest site.
Israel celebrated. Then it did a strange thing. It handed over the administration of the Mount to the Waqf, the Muslim religious leadership of Jerusalem. From that moment on, Jews have been restricted from and discriminated against on the Temple Mount.
Since 1967-9, Israel has had laws to protect the freedom of religion for all faiths in Israel. Israel is proud of its record of protecting access to holy sites.
Israel gives freedom of religion to all religions in Jerusalem—except Judaism. Jews in Jerusalem do not have free access to the Temple Mount. They do not have the freedom to worship at the Mount.
Israeli police have told MK (Member of Knesset) Moshe Feiglin that restrictions against Jews come from the Waqf. The Israeli police simply enforce those restrictions.
The Waqf does not want Jews on the Temple Mount. He claims that the Temple Mount is Islamic, not Jewish.
Increasingly, Jews have tried to ascend to the Temple Mount. As Judaism experiences a religious revival, the Mount has become a focal point of Jewish interest.
Visiting non-Jews can ascend the Mount without trouble from police. Only Jews are restricted.
Israeli police operate on the assumption that the Waqf owns the Mount. That is not correct. Israel has that control.
That’s why MK Feiglin has brought the issue of Israeli anti-Jewish discrimination at the Temple Mount to the Knesset. He wants to make sure that all understand that Israel owns the Mount. He wants to make sure that Jews at the Mount are no longer discriminated against.
The Arab world is incensed. Hamas calls for an urgent Arab meeting to discuss the ‘repeated Israeli attacks and aggressions’ against Al Aqsa (the Muslim name for the Temple Mount). Hezbollah decried the "increasing Zionist attacks against the Al-Aqsa Mosque [the Temple Mount area]” (Ynet, “Knesset holds volatile discussion on Temple Mount sovereignty”, February 25, 2014).
The Arab League announced it will hold an emergency session to discuss ‘recent Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque’ (“Arab League to Discuss 'Israeli Attacks' on Al-Aqsa,” Arutz Sheva, February 26, 2014). The Palestinian Authority’s Ambassador to Egypt declared that this policy of allowing Jews to go to the Temple Mount proves that Israel ‘does not want peace but continues to violate international laws’ (ibid).
These accusations are all false. First of all, there have been no Jewish attacks on the Temple Mount. Arabs have been attacking Jews there.
Second, the offense which so outrages Arabs is the very presence of a Jew on the Mount. That presence is the ‘attack’ to which they refer. The Arab’s language, however, misrepresents what happens on the Mount. That language distorts—and makes it appear that Jews are aggressors on the Mount when in fact they are the victims there.
Third, the UN has, since 1947, expressed its desire to see freedom of access and worship at the Mount. Israel has consistently protected that right for Muslims. Muslims have consistently violated that right by discriminating against Jews.
Fourth, Jewish interest in praying on the Mount is not a violation of international law. Instead, it is a right promised to Jews by a 1994 Treaty between Jordan and Israel. Look it up. The Treaty is called, The ‘Treaty of Peace Between The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan And The State of Israel’, dated October 26, 1994. The promise of freedom of access and worship to all religions in Jerusalem is found in Article Nine.
Despite that Treaty, the Arab acts as if he owns the Mount. He does whatever he wants. He discriminates against Jews.
Then he accuses Israel. He libels Israel. He demonizes Israel.
Right now, he does all of this with impunity. Right now, he exercises what is called, ‘incidents of ownership’ over the Temple Mount.
‘Incidents of ownership’ means you are in control. Right now, the Arab appears to control the Temple Mount.
He says he owns it. He acts like he owns it.
This question should never even be asked. The Temple Mount is Jewish. It is in Jewish hands. It belongs to the Jewish people.
Yet, there are Jews in Israel who support the Arab. These Jews do not want to see Jewish Israel control the Temple Mount. If we are silent, they could succeed, they think.
Wonder what would the G-d of Israel thinks of that and them?