By Moshe Feiglin
Although I anticipated that Netanyahu would remove the metal detectors from the Temple Mount, and although I very much hoped that I would be proven wrong, things are developing in such an amazing and fascinating manner , that you cannot but think that perhaps we are on the threshold of an historic change of direction. I will even take the bold step and say that I am not certain that the Arabs will return to the Temple Mount.
Everything happening today on the Temple Mount is the opposite of what you would expect. After Israel liberated the Temple Mount in the Six Day War, then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan returned the keys to the Temple Mount to the Moslem wakf. They were in shock. Fifty years later, Netanyahu is begging the wakf to take the Mount back, and they are simply not willing to do so. This is inexplicable. Israel has already removed the metal detectors and has even taken down the security cameras. My feeling is that no matter what Netanyahu will do to try to get them to come back to the Temple Mount, they will not return.
The forces that rule Israeli society sincerely do not want the Temple Mount. Eight days ago, I wrote on my Facebook page: Did you really think that the person who prevented Trump from moving the US embassy to Jerusalem will insist on safeguarding the Temple Mount for the Jewish People? If the US had moved its embassy to Jerusalem, it would have been a major strategic coup for Israel. When the world’s superpower would have officially recognized that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, there would have been far-reaching, historic implications. But Israel’s current strategy is to get to 12 o’ clock at night with no major incidents. Deep down, Israel’s leadership is afraid of Jerusalem, afraid of Jerusalem’s message, of the connection between the Nation of Israel and its identity, its destiny and its vision.
Just as Moshe Dayan didn’t want Jerusalem, Netanyahu doesn’t want it, either. Jordan’s King Hussein forced Six Day War Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to liberate Jerusalem against his will – and all the stenographic records show that Dayan offered Hussein the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood. “Take it and just stop shelling us. We will be out of here in no time.” Actually, just as Hussein forced Israel to liberate Jerusalem, so the Moslem wakf is forcing Netanyahu to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Temple Mount. What the wakf is actually saying to Netanyahu is, “I will shoot at you and I will not allow you to protect yourself.” This historic change can only happen to the Nation of Israel. It is simply amazing.
The problem is that Am Yisrael does not have leadership that is capable of understanding these historic processes and translating them into practical strategy: to a different strategic direction that translates into different tactics – leadership that is capable of taking advantage of the wondrous opportunities that have now arisen.
The Temple Mount is empty. After fifty years, it is in our hands. The Arabs are not there. Only Jews are on the Temple Mount. This is absolutely amazing.
The Moslem wakf is completely right about the metal detectors. For years, Israel has been saying that the Temple Mount belongs to the Arabs. So if it is theirs, why are we putting metal detectors at the gates of their home? The Arabs understand very well that the metal detectors are a flag that symbolize sovereignty. The entire situation on the Temple Mount revolves around sovereignty – not prayer. When Netanyahu folded and agreed to remove the metal detectors, he cut the rope that ties us to this Land precisely at that stake to which everything else is tied. All of rights on this Land, all of our connection to this Land, to Zionism (Mount Zion – the Temple Mount), everything from which we draw our identity, all revolve around the Temple Mount.
From the moment that Netanyahu folded and indicated that the Mount is theirs, not ours, he opened the door, G-d forbid, to ever-increasing pressure on Israel. The US, which wanted to stand with us on this issue, will turn against us. Trump will turn against us now. It is not his fault – it is ours. We have just missed an extraordinary opportunity.
In my estimation, Israel’s weakness on the Temple Mount will bring a very serious conflict upon us with much more difficult starting conditions because, with the metal detectors, we have lost the sense of the justice of our cause. A nation that has lost its sense of justice cannot win – even if it has the most sophisticated army, the smartest submarines, the F-15, the F-16 and the F-35. A young Arab girl with a pair of scissors who knows what she is doing here will defeat an Israeli soldier with the most sophisticated weapon. Ultimately, justice is the best weapon of all. We have lost our justice on the Temple Mount.
I can only hope that Jews who were apprehensive about visiting the Temple Mount will now visit there. It was not very pleasant to have the wakf following every movement of one’s lips on the Temple Mount to make sure no Jew would pray there. Even now, the government has instructed the police to conduct the Jewish visits to the Temple Mount as if the wakf is still there. Jews are still not allowed to move their lips in prayer on the Temple Mount. The police still watch their every move as if the Arabs were still there. They have not yet freed themselves of the servile, exile mentality that has prevailed there until now. Nevertheless, it is much more pleasant to be on the Temple Mount without all the violent Arab groups who would scream at and threaten the Jewish visitors.
I can only hope that the Nation of Israel will vote with its feet and restore our sovereignty to the Temple Mount and to our justice, saving us from paying the price that we pay when the world sees that we are incapable of connecting to the most sacred place for the Jewish Nation.
The war for the existence of the Nation of Israel is first and foremost spiritual. It revolves around the question of the ownership of this Land. This war is not being fought today by the IDF, not the police, the Shabak or the Mossad. It is being fought by those Jews who are not willing to surrender their connection to the holiest place on earth.