Friday, August 22, 2008

There are articles literally daily in the Arab press about Israeli "schemes" to do various evil things to the Temple Mount, like dig tunnels under it or to build a synagogue on top. The very presence of Jews in the area is regarded as a serious crime and every tiny gesture that Jews make asserting the holiness and centrality of the site to Jews is regarded as an illegal encroachment on the entire religion of Islam.

The religious dimension of the Temple Mount has thus been almost entirely hijacked by Muslims. The world generally regards the Western Wall as Judaism's holiest site, not realizing that it is not even close in holiness to the Temple Mount itself, and indeed gets its own holiness only because of its proximity to the Mount.

What is sorely lacking, from a public relations perspective, is the Jewish counterpart to the Muslim claims. I'm not talking about the merit of the idea that Mohammed magically transported himself to a city that is not mentioned in the Koran; I am talking about the fact that from a Jewish perspective, the very presence of multiple mosques on the holiest site on Earth is a daily and hourly desecration of that site.

Why do we hardly ever see this Jewish point of view publicized? Why are there not daily articles in the Jewish press that state clearly: Muslims are desecrating the Temple Mount by deliberately placing their own religious sites on top of hallowed ground. Every visitor to the area where the Kodesh K'dashim once stood is insulting Judaism. Every Muslim prayer said there is spitting in the face of Jews worldwide. Their presence and actions are hugely offensive to Judaism and violates Jewish law. It would be infinitely better to have the entire Mount stand empty than to allow this profanity to continue for one more day.

The Muslims are not embarrassed to make these sorts of statements regarding non-Muslims; why are so many Jews willing to cede the rhetorical battle of the Temple Mount?

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