Tuesday, August 24, 2021

  • Tuesday, August 24, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

The New York Times writes about Jews praying on the Temple Mount and how supposedly dangerous this is:
Since Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967, it has maintained a fragile religious balance at the Temple Mount, the most divisive site in Jerusalem: Only Muslims can worship there, while Jews can pray at the Western Wall below.

But recently the government has quietly allowed increasing numbers of Jews to pray there, a shift that could aggravate the instability in East Jerusalem and potentially lead to religious conflict.

 “It’s a sensitive place,” said Ehud Olmert, a former Israeli prime minister. “And sensitive places such as this, which have an enormous potential for explosion, need to be treated with care.”

[D]ozens of Jews now openly pray every day in a secluded part of the eastern flank of the site, and their Israeli police escorts no longer attempt to stop them.

To many Palestinians, the shift is provocative and unfair. They feel that Muslims have already made a big concession at the Western Wall, which is now used mostly by Jewish worshipers despite its also being important to Muslims. 

Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, the director of the mosque, said that the Aqsa compound should be reserved for Muslim prayer, in recognition of its importance to Muslims. 

“It has been named Al Aqsa since the Prophet Muhammad rose to heaven there,” Sheikh Omar said.

The de facto change in policy is just part of a larger pattern of slights against Palestinian dignity across the occupied territories, he said.

“This is the prevalent reality, not only at the Aqsa Mosque, but also at checkpoints and other places in Palestine,” he said. “We face constant racist discrimination and infringement on our human rights.”
The tenor of the article is that the Israeli government has recently changed the status quo and there is a danger of this exploding into a religious war.

But buried in the middle of the article is this:
The policy began to change during the tenure of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, who led coalitions of right-wing and religious parties. Rabbi Glick said that the police began to allow him and his allies to pray on the mount more openly five years ago.
And as this Los Angeles Times article from 2012 shows, Jews were more or less openly praying longer ago than that.

A simple, ancient ritual is threatening the delicate security balance atop Jerusalem's most sacred plaza: Jews are praying.

On most days, dozens — sometimes hundreds — of Jewish worshipers ascend to the disputed 36-acre platform that Muslims venerate as Al Aqsa mosque and Jews revere as the Temple Mount with an Israeli police escort to protect them and a Muslim security guard to monitor their movements.

Then, they recite a quick prayer, sometimes quietly to themselves, other times out loud.
Jews praying on the Temple Mount is not a secret. We've been doing it for years. Arab media obsessively covers it with angry headlines about "settlers performing Talmudic rituals." Videos of worshipers are easily available. I myself prayed with a minyan (quorum) two years ago. No one asked me not to take pictures or not to write about it.

The prayers occur at the perimeter on the east side of the Mount, a spot Muslims typically don't visit. 

And despite the articles warning of imminent violence erupting, nothing has happened - even though this has been going on for years. There are no clashes, no shouts, no "Allah Akhbar" chants.  It is a daily event, observed by the Islamic Waqf. 

In other words, organized Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount has become the status quo. 

The only thing that can cause violence is articles like this one that interview Muslim leaders and put them in a position where they have to escalate tensions to keep their "honor." In that sense, warning of potential violence has the potential of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. In fact, this is the second NYT article on prayer on the Temple Mount this summer - the first one also gave dire warnings:
Bassam Abu Labda, a veteran Waqf official in Jerusalem, described the situation as “very dangerous,” adding, “The government is giving cover to the extremists.”

“Every day we have people making movements, performing prayers, lying on the ground and dancing,” Mr. Abu Labda said.
Daniel Seidemann, a longtime advocate for a shared Jerusalem, said there has been “a de facto erosion of the status quo going on for years,” with Temple Mount activists testing the boundaries, first by moving their lips in silent prayer, then whispering and swaying and now gathering in groups.
Look at that awful progression!

The fact is, Jews praying has become normal, and the sky didn't fall. The New York Times, embarrassed to have not picked up on this story years ago, is now pretending that something new and dangerous is happening which will make angry Muslims rise up and attack Jews - and they almost seem to want to provoke exactly that. 


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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