Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Arabs’ war against the Jews (cont.): Root causes & red herrings

 The Arabs’ war against the Jews (cont.): Root causes & red herrings


If the Jews are to prevail in the Arabs’ war against them it is essential that they accurately differentiate misleading red herrings from real root causes.

Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse any aggression, but to initiate it ourselves, and to destroy the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland of Palestine. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united. I believe the time has come to begin a battle of annihilation.

– Hafez Assad, then Syrian defense minister, later president, May 20, 1967 We will not accept any... coexistence with Israel.

The existence of Israel is in itself an aggression...against the Palestinian people. 

– Gamal Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt, to the international media, May 28, 1967

The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear – to wipe Israel off the map. 

– Abdul Rahman Arif, president of Iraq, May 31, 1967 

The Arabs have been waging war against the Jews and their presence in the Land of Israel for over a hundred years; they have been waging war against the Jewish political sovereignty for almost seven decades.

The war has ebbed and flowed over the years, but as I have pointed out in recent columns, we are entering a new, and particularly menacing, phase of ongoing Arab aggression aimed at the annihilation of the Jews and their nation-state. As Shmuley Boteach wrote in his column earlier this week, the sense is that “it’s open season on the Jews of Israel.”

Diagnosing root causes & red herrings 

If the Jews are to prevail in this brutal assault to drive them out of their ancestral homeland, if they are to preserve their national independence, it is essential that they diagnose the true reasons for Arab aggression, and distinguish misleading red herrings from real root causes.

After all, if the diagnosis is flawed, the prescription for remedy will be similarly flawed – even fatally so.

Sadly, if we judge by the tenor of public discourse in Israel today, there is little ground for optimism.

One senior public figure after another – not only on the Left of the political spectrum – have come out with declarations that have ranged from regrettably inappropriate, through hopelessly unfounded, to dangerously counter-productive.

From the newly elected president, Reuven Rivlin, to veteran Police Chief Yohanan Danino, statements explicitly alleging or insinuating that the Jews’ own conduct – such as exercising their right of access to religious sites or legislative initiatives to codify in law the values reflected in the Declaration of Independence – precipitated, or at least, exacerbated, recent Arab butchery of innocent Jews in the streets, on the roads, inside synagogues, and at building sites across the country.

Apart from a resurgence of a shtetl mentality that Zionism was supposed to eradicate, such unfortunate proclamations reek of the “soft racism” of low expectations for the Arabs, and a craven desire to avoid upsetting non-Jews that is dangerously detrimental. These personages hopelessly conflate red herrings with root causes – and in so doing, promote misguided policies and foster the very problems they mean to contain.

What the Jews are, not what they do 

Only the moronic or the malevolent could seriously contend that Arab animosity toward the Jews is a result of anything the Jews do.

No matter what the Jews do, they are assailed for what they don’t; and no matter what they don’t do, they are assailed for what they do. If they do not concede to Arab demands, they are accused of being intransigent. If they make far-reaching concessions, they are berated for those not made.

As the introductory excerpts show, Arabs harbor a burning Judeophobic hatred, and a blatant Judeocidal desire to annihilate the Jewish state infuses the entire Arab world – from Iraq through Syria to Egypt. This obdurate enmity had nothing to do with the policies of the Jewish state, but with its very existence.

For these bellicose proclamations all predate the 1967 Six Day war. They were all made before any Jewish presence in Judea-Samaria (a.k.a. the “West Bank”); before “occupation” and “settlements” – the perennial buzzwords for rallying anti-Israeli sentiment – had any practical relevance or conceptual significance.

It was before there was any access for Jews on the Temple Mount, or any legislative initiative to declare Israel a “Jewish state.” It was a time when Jewish holy sites in the Jordanian-controlled “West Bank” were desecrated, made into public urinals or converted into goat sheds; when Jewish cemeteries were defiled and Jewish gravestones uprooted to be used as construction materials; when, under the Hashemite monarchy, Jordanian snipers lurked atop the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, randomly picking off civilians going about their business on the Israeli-controlled western side of the city.

The mortal sin of existence 

Yet despite this, on March 8, 1965, fully two years before the outbreak of the 1967 war (!), long before Israel controlled a square inch of territory now claimed as “Palestine,” long before any “radical right-wing rabbi” could offend Arab sensibilities or ignite Arab rage with “rabid religious rhetoric,” Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser laid out the Arabs’ bloodcurdling objective: “We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand, we shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood.”

Not to be outdone in the expression of sheer savagery, Yasser Arafat’s predecessor as PLO chairman, Ahmad Shukeiri, crowed in a somewhat premature expression of triumph, a few days before the crushing Arab defeat: “The Arabs... will not flinch from the war of liberation...

This is a fight for the homeland – it is either us or the Israelis. There is no middle road... We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants and as for the survivors – if there are any – the boats are ready to deport them.”

It is clear, therefore, that the Arabs cannot countenance Jewish existence itself – or at least, the existence of a sovereign Jewish political entity. They unequivocally state and actively strive to fulfill their stated intention: “The [very] existence of Israel is in itself an aggression; they “will not accept any... coexistence with Israel” since “the existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified.”

‘establishment of the state of Israel entirely illegal’ 

The same implacable refusal to accept any form of Jewish national independence is clearly reflected in the founding documents of all Palestinian political organizations.

Thus, Fatah’s constitution declares its goal to be the total “eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence,” which it pledges to achieve by “armed struggle...

[which] will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished”; the Hamas Charter candidly asserts: “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims,” cautioning that the Day of Redemption will not come “until Muslims fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him; while the Palestinian National Covenant declares: “The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time,” denying that “Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own,” since “Judaism... is not an independent nationality.”

But this adamant inflexibility is by no means confined to documents alone. It epitomizes the unequivocal positions of the current leadership of the Palestinian-Arabs – including the allegedly moderate Mahmoud Abbas and his PLO.

Breathtaking duplicity & double standards 

The PLO’s response to the proposed “Jewish state” legislation (The Jerusalem Post, November 25) should be extremely edifying for anyone at all open to being edified.

According to the PLO, the bill “is a racist political decision to complete the theft of Palestinian land and rights,” and “the so-called historic homeland of the Jewish people is a racist and ideologically exclusionary attempt to obscure the Palestinian historic narrative and abolish Palestinian existence.”

With a breathtaking display of hypocrisy and double standards, Abbas, who has unabashedly and consistently proclaimed that any Palestinian state must be entirely judenrein, had the temerity to declare that the initiative to codify Israel’s status as a Jewish state in law “places obstacles in the way to achieving peace.”

There you have it. The prospect of a Jewish state is a racist obstacle to achieving peace on the basis of the two-states-for-two-peoples principle, but the exclusion of all Jews from a Palestinian one, is not? Hmmm.

It is against this background of uncompromising rejection by Abbas and the PLO of any permanent acceptance of, or possible reconciliation with, some arrangement that would allow the Jews national sovereignty in land the Arabs perceive as theirs, that Israel’s policy options should be evaluated.

Corroborating breaking news 

The Arabs’ war against the Jews has taken on many forms and configurations. When one method proved ineffective, another was adopted – fedayeen insurgency, conventional warfare, terrorist attacks, suicide bombings, rockets and missiles at civilian targets.

All were tried. All failed to bring about the demise of the Jewish nation-state. We are entering a new phase: Ideological incitement to provoke individuals, or small unorganized groups, to commit acts of slaughter, and to foster insurrection among Arabs with Israeli citizenship.

But before considering how this should be dealt with, one must grasp that none of the manifestations of Arab endeavor to eliminate the Jewish state were a result of provocation on the part of the Jews – not “occupation” (there was no “occupation” prior to 1967), not settlements (there are no settlements in Gaza), not Jewish access to the Temple Mount, not any legislative initiative to declare Israel what it is – a Jewish state. Rather, they are all rooted in the abiding hostility and hatred that Arabs harbor for the Jews, or, at least, for Jewish sovereignty.

And consistent with this, breaking news came while this column was being composed of a massive terrorist plot, initiated from Hamas headquarters in Turkey, that was uncovered and thwarted by the security services.

The Post reported that the terrorists planned massive attacks against Jerusalem’s main Teddy soccer stadium, the capital’s light rail system, car bombings, and kidnappings of Israelis in the West Bank and elsewhere.

Significantly, the terror network began operating at the end of August – well before MK Moshe Feiglin’s visits to the Temple Mount or MKs Yariv Levin and Ayelet Shaked submitted their proposal (based on former Kadima MK Dichter’s initiative) for “Jewish state” legislation.

None of those are the real reason for Arab violence against Jews – only opportunistic excuses, sadly endorsed by many Jews.

Ruthless resolve, not reticent restraint 

The Arabs cannot be appeased or placated into abandoning their quest to eradicate Jewish national sovereignty. Each gesture of conciliation will only fuel further demands for additional such gestures.

They can only be deterred from pursuing their design, or – should deterrence fail – be defeated in doing so.

Anything else is a dangerous delusion, which will result in tragedy.

Tough measures – punitive and preemptive – are called for. Arab communities must be saturated with intelligence collection efforts – whether conducive, consensual or coercive.

Challenges to Jewish sovereignty must be met with stiff penalties, including deportation and loss of citizenship/residency for offenders and their dependents. The Jews must convey an unambiguous message to the Arabs – on both sides of the Green Line – that they will not brook any challenge, domestic or foreign, from within its borders or from without, to their national sovereignty and political independence.

Unless the Jews convey the unequivocal message that any such challenges will be met with overwhelming force, they will increasingly be the victims of such force at the hands of their Arab adversaries.

There may be those who find this prescription excessively harsh.

Sadly, the only way the Jews can avoid living permanently by the sword is to convey convincingly to the Arabs that they have the resolve to do so. I invite everyone to consider the alternative.

Only Arab despair can bring any hope for peace.

Martin Sherman ( is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

The Arabs’ war against the Jews and what must be done

The Arabs’ war against the Jews and what must be done


As long as Israel acknowledges that the Palestinian Arabs’ national claims to statehood in Judea-Samaria are authentic and legitimate, Israel can never be secure externally, or internally.

The Arabs... will not flinch from the war of liberation... This is a fight for the homeland – it is either us or the Israelis. There is no middle road. The Jews of Palestine will have to leave...We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants and as for the survivors – if there are any – the boats are ready to deport them. 

– Ahmad Shukeiri, Yasser Arafat’s predecessor as PLO chairman, few days prior to the Six Day War 

Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong. 

– The Palestinian National Charter 

In my column last Friday, I warned that we were on the cusp of carnage. This grim prognosis came true even more rapidly than I had feared.

Early on Tuesday morning, Arab terrorists brutally struck down Jews at prayer inside a Jerusalem synagogue.

New phase in old battle

In the wake of the column, I was interviewed by the Voice of Israel’s Dan Diker, who asked me whether the recent incidents of Arab terror constituted a new phenomenon, or merely a continuation of the Arab enmity experienced in the past.

My response was that they were, in fact, both.

On the one hand, they reflect the continuation of obdurate Arab refusal to countenance any expression of Jewish political sovereignty. On the other hand, they are part of the emergence of a new, more menacing phase of that process. It is, sadly and predictably, a ghastly culmination of almost a quarter-century of gutless, guileless Israeli policy that has drastically undermined Israel’s deterrence, and dramatically emboldened its Arab adversaries.

In my column, I cautioned that a “perfect storm” is brewing against Israel, from all directions and on every front – on every one of its borders with neighboring states, within those borders from an increasingly recalcitrant Arab population, and far beyond them, with the looming specter of an Obama-facilitated nuclear Iran.

All of these are dovetailing into a peril that could overwhelm the country and jeopardize its survival.

‘… disrespect for Israeli sovereignty’ 

But as daunting as external threats are, I suggested that “perhaps the gravest threat of all is the prospect of insurrection and revolt by the Arab citizens of Israel – if they sense weakness and vacillation on the part of the Jews.”

Corroboration of this concern appeared in an opinion piece, written this week by Jerusalem-based freelancer Yoel Meltzer, who deftly described the disastrous degrading of Israeli authority that this deadly combination of flaccidity and foolishness has produced in the Arab sector. Commenting on the lawlessness in Arab villages in the North, coupled with the reticence of law enforcement agencies to intervene, Meltzer remarked: “Already for years the Arabs in many parts of the country have become increasingly brazen in their disrespect for any semblance of Israeli sovereignty.”

In the South, the situation is, if anything, worse, with disdain for the rule of law often the rule rather than the exception. With the absence – some might say, abdication – of law enforcement bodies in large tracts of the Negev, crime among the Beduin – theft, extortion, drug trafficking, gunrunning and polygamy – is rampant. After a group of Israeli officials were attacked earlier this year, a senior government minister declared, “This is yet another illustration of the unbearable impunity of the Beduin in the area, which began with illegal building and continues with violence and refusal to accept the authority of the state.” With commendable – but, sadly, yet to be implemented – vigor, he pledged, “We must deal with this national problem as soon as possible, without blinking and without apologizing,” and vowed, “We will do it.”

Misconceived one-state proposals 

The perpetrators of Tuesday’s attack, Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, came from the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood in Jerusalem, annexed by Israel after the 1967 Six Day War.

Both reportedly held (blue) Israeli identity cards – like most residents of Jabel Mukaber – and, consequently, were formally “Israeli Arabs,” who in contrast to the Arab residents of the “West Bank,” enjoy most of the rights of Israeli citizens, including National Insurance benefits, and the right to vote in municipal elections.

Yet despite this, numerous terror attacks have been carried out/aided by perpetrators who hailed from this neighborhood – including the horrific 2002 Patt junction bus bombing, the 2008 massacre at the Merkaz Harav yeshiva, the 2008 car attack against a group of off-duty soldiers outside the wall of the Old City, and the recent “tractor attack” in the city center.

These and other instances of savagery conducted by inhabitants of other areas annexed by Israel convey an important message for anyone willing to heed it. They provide yet further evidence – if any was needed – as to how poorly conceived are the one-state proposals being bandied about by some prominent right-wing pundits. Typically these proposals suggest that to avoid the dangers of a two-state solution, Israel should create a single state by annexing all of Judea-Samaria, while setting up mechanisms to allow the Arab residents the possibility of acquiring Israeli citizenship or permanent residency.

Clearly the terrorism that has emanated from within the annexed areas of east Jerusalem proves – or at least, strongly suggests – that this will do little to attenuate the fierce enmity the Arabs have for Jewish statehood.

Perceived collapse of Jewish resolve

Last week, I laid out a clear rationale explaining why any consideration for, or acknowledgment of, Arab demands would be counterproductive, not satiating appetites for such concessions but merely whetting them – spawning further and more far-reaching demands.

This is why the Oslo process was so disastrous.

For by acknowledging the alleged validity of demands previously vehemently rejected, Israel has not created any progress toward amicable resolution of differences, but merely made ever-escalating concessions that at the start of the process would have been inconceivable.

Anyone doubting this should examine the startling erosion in Israeli positions today, under an allegedly right-leaning coalition, by comparing them with those expressed by Nobel Peace laureate Yitzhak Rabin in his last address to the Knesset seeking ratification of the Oslo II Accords in 1995.

What were considered by many as excessively concessionary dovish policies then, would be dismissed as unrealistic right-wing rejectionism today.

This procession of unrequited retreat has conveyed the impression of collapsing resolve on the part of the Jews to stand firm on any matter of principle – no matter how inviolable it is initially declared – not only to Arab adversaries beyond Israel’s borders, but to Arab communities within them.

Vacillation begets violence

In societies where protection of the weak is not exactly the defining hallmark, this perception of weakness cannot but fail to translate into increasing disdain, leading to growing disobedience and finally to bellicose defiance.

We are at a critical crossroads in the history of the Jewish people. Misreading the situation, and the response it calls for, will be disastrous – perhaps beyond what many imagine. That is why it is essential to grasp that at this stage restraint will be ruinous, and vacillation will beget violence.

There have been previous acts of terror that have inflicted greater loss of life and limb than Tuesday’s attack, but few have had such a profound public impact. There is a growing sense that we are on the brink of a qualitative – and insidious – change in the way the Arabs wage their century-long war against the Jews.

The indecisiveness in responding to external challenges has bred a perception that similar responses can be elicited to internal ones. That is why domestic Arab insurrection is an increasingly tangible prospect.

This must be nipped in the bud, a threat snuffed out before it can materialize, for if it begins to gather momentum it will be virtually impossible to contain.

Tactics meaningless without strategy

Contending with this danger will call for firm operational measures. But such measures, however harsh, will not be effective unless conducted within an appropriate ideological envelope and a suitable intellectual context.

For if operational measures are designed only to quell immediate manifestations of insurrection or revolt, and not directed to serve the attainment of some coherent and long-term strategic objective, they will at best be short-term tactical stop-gaps, with limited lasting effect, before they are rescinded under pressure from the international community.

In the wake of Tuesday’s massacre, there have been talk shows galore with endless successions of security experts giving their opinions on what practical steps should be taken to address the situation. Setting aside the mindless mantra that we must resume talking to Mahmoud Abbas, nearly all the focus was on the practical measures Expert X or ex-Expert Y recommended.

Few if any dealt with the shift in mindset that is necessary before the emerging danger can be dealt with. To salvage the viability of Jewish national sovereignty from the combined assault from domestic and foreign sources, it is imperative to abandon the Oslo-compliant mindset, and its corollary land-for-peace doctrine, that has been imposed on the political discourse over the last two decades.

Unless an alternative rationale is articulated, the measures suggested to deal with the current violence will appear nothing more than unjustified brutality and gross violations of human rights.

Democratic governance not a suicide pact

The first step that needs to be taken along this path is to reject the mindless drivel that effective steps needed to curtail Arab violence, on both sides of the Green Line, necessarily violate the principles of democratic governance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, if the gory record of the “Arab Spring” has taught us anything, it is that if Israel is to remain democratic it must remain Jewish – and any challenge to its Jewishness is a challenge to its democratic nature.

It should be clear that the only way that liberal-democratic values such as gender equality, religious tolerance, social diversity (including gay rights) can be preserved in this neck of the woods is by preserving Jewish sovereignty over the land.

However, commitment to the principles of democratic governance is not a suicide pact – and coercive measures required to sustain it are at times essential, even if it involves temporarily curtailing certain individual liberties in order.

Only if this mindset is firmly internalized in formulating policy to deal with potential domestic insurrection – and assertively and unapologetically conveyed to the international community – can any lasting efficacy be hoped for.

Symbiosis across the Green Line 

The second step required for the formulation of the required alternative policy rationale is to realize that there exists a symbiotic relationship between Israel’s attitude toward the Palestinian Arabs on either side of the Green Line.

As long as Israel acknowledges that the Palestinian Arabs’ national claims to statehood in Judea-Samaria are authentic and legitimate, Israel can never be secure externally, or internally.

For complying with those claims will make the country indefensible over time against threats that emanate beyond the Green Line, and ensure that the embers of incipient domestic revolt within it will continue to glow menacingly, capable of bursting into flames at any moment in response to legitimate actions taken to deal with those threats.

For the Jews to prevail in the war the Arabs have launched against them, it is essential that they rebuff the claims of the Palestinian Arabs to statehood and reject all challenges to Jewish sovereignty in the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

Next week…

I have of course left several important questions glaringly open. I hope – subject to breaking news – that I will be able to elaborate on these in next week’s column. I hope to include a more detailed to-do list; reject the threat of a religious war; and explain why “international pressure” is more of an excuse, than a reason for the government to avoid what is required of it.

Until then – be safe

Martin Sherman ( is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Netanyahu and the Temple Mount Status Quo

Netanyahu and the Temple Mount Status Quo

- Rabbi Chaim Richman

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has consistently based his Temple Mount policy on maintaining the pre-existing "status quo" that his government inherited concerning Jewish presence and prayer on the Temple Mount. He has stated repeatedly and forcefully to foreign leaders and representatives, and to local and international media alike that his policy is "No Change in the Status Quo," meaning Jews (and other non-Muslims) can freely enter the Temple Mount (during the limited hours that the Mount is open to non-Muslims), but Jews under no circumstances can pray on the Temple Mount.

It is important to mention that that status quo does not only refer to the non-allowance of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, but also to the general agreement that no changes of any sort should be implemented at the holy site. For example, the archaeological integrity of the Mount and the physical structures on the Mount should be preserved as is, and no changes should be made regarding any of the arrangements for visiting the Mount - arrangements that have been in place for many decades. The Muslim Wakf has never respected this understanding of the status quo. Recent years have seen massive underground construction of an illegal mosque on the Mount and the accompanying deliberate and relentless destruction of precious archaeological remains from the first and second Holy Temple, all performed under the administration of the Muslim Waqf. Successive Israeli governments have refrained from preventing or even addressing these violent violations of the oft-cited status quo. 

During the recent weeks of high tension on and around the Temple Mount, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been repeating his Temple Mount policy almost like a mantra: "No Change in the Status Quo." He has pledged this repeatedly to king Abdullah of Jordan.

Yet in the past two weeks, following Netanyahu's meetings in Amman, Jordan with king Abdullah and US secretary of state John Kerry, Jews ascending the Temple Mount have been limited in number by the police to groups of no more than five Jews on the Temple Mount at any given time. This blatant discrimination is itself a violation of the status quo. 

This change in the status quo not only contradicts Netanyahu's professed policy but it puts into practice a flagrant further discrimination against Jews hoping to ascend the Temple Mount. Not only are families and synagogue groups who have arrived with the intention of ascending the Mount together being broken up into groups of five, but hundreds of worshipers, after waiting hours to enter find themselves locked out when the three hour window of visiting rights allotted Jews under the "status qou" comes to a close for the day.

More and more Jews are expressing the desire to ascend the Temple Mount. More and more prominent rabbis are supporting the call to allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. Prime Minister Netanyahu has resisted this historic sea-change and revolution in Jewish consciousness, wrapping himself in the mantle of guardian of the status quo, yet this new change in protocol betrays both his declared policy and the growing desire of the people of Israel to reconnect with the Temple Mount, the heart of Jerusalem, eternal capital of Israel.

We call upon all Jews and non-Jews who stand for freedom of worship on the Temple Mount to voice their concerns publicly. We urge members of Knesset and government ministers who have been actively promoting the rights of Jews to enter and pray freely on the Temple Mount to address this drastic infringement upon the rights of Jews on the Temple Mount and to demand that Prime Minister Netanyahu rescind this new draconian and discriminatory twist in the "status quo."

Status Quo? The Dome of the Rock was Built for Jews

Status Quo? The Dome of the Rock was Built for Jews

In final installment of 3-part series on the Temple Mount, we take a look at a lesser-known aspect of the history of the Dome of the Rock.
Hillel Fendel

Parts I and II of this series have shown that the "status quo" on the Temple Mount is not quite all it's been hyped up to be. It certainly is not an all-out ban on Jewish prayer on the holiest site to the Jewish People – because for hundreds of years, up until possibly 300 years ago, it was frequently used for just that purpose. Jews visited the Mount often and prayed there regularly.

On the other hand, if the "status quo" refers to the arrangements put in place after the Six Day War in 1967, they have long been changed – and to the detriment of Jewish rights there. It is ostensibly illogical to demand retaining the "status quo" to forbid Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, while changing the "status quo" in order to much more severely restrict Jewish visitation rights.

In any event, latest research regarding the construction of the Dome of the Rock – the magnificent structure that stands atop the site of the Holy of Holies – shows that it was originally built not for Muslims at all. Rather, it was built for the Jewish People!

We herewith present the sources for this novel concept. The late Rabbi Shlomo Goren, a Temple Mount expert and Chief Rabbi of the IDF and later of Israel, wrote in his classic work "The Temple Mount" (Ha'Idra Rabba Publications, Jerusalem, 2005, 2nd ed., p. 327) as follows:
"The Al-Aksa Mosque [at the southern end of the Mount, opposite the Dome of the Rock – HF] was built as a Muslim house of prayer outside the boundaries of the original Temple Mount, and therefore it points southward towards Mecca. And at the request of the Jews, Omar built the Dome of the Rock sanctuary to serve as a house of prayer for the Jews. This was after the Jews showed him the site where the Holy Temple had stood – and it does not point to Mecca."

Rabbi Goren clearly delineates between the two buildings: One is in the direction of the holy Muslim city of Mecca, and is to serve as a mosque – while the other was built without regard to Mecca, and only at the guidance and request of the Jews.

Rabbi Goren did not list all of his sources, but most certainly one of them was the Byzantine historian Theophanes. In the year 635, he wrote a Greek work entitled Chronographia, an English translation of which was published in Bonn in 1839. The famed English historian Guy Le Strange cited the following relevant passage from the translation in his 1890 work History of Jerusalem Under the Moslems, p.11:
"In this year [635 C.E.], Omar began to restore the Temple at Jerusalem, for the building, in truth, no longer then stood firmly founded, but had fallen to ruin. Now when Omar inquired the cause, the Jews answered saying, 'Unless thou throw down the Cross, which stands on the Mt. of Olives, the building of the Temple will never be firmly founded.' Thereupon Omar threw down the Cross at that place, in order that the building (of the Temple) might be made firm…"

Le Strange underlines the trustworthiness of this amazing report by emphasizing that the author, Theophanes, preceded the earliest Arab authorities on this topic by more than 50 years. He further highlights that Theophanes lived "considerably under a century and a half [after] the date of Omar's conquest of Jerusalem."
It is thus to be seen, based on apparently the earliest account of the building of the Dome of the Rock, that it was built not for Moslems, but for Jews, and was even supposed to be a "more firmly founded" version of the Holy Temple.

How ironic it is that this is the true background of the building that now symbolizes, throughout the world, Moslem control of Judaism's holiest site – and the ban on Jewish prayer there.

When next is heard a call to return to the "status quo" on the Temple Mount, let it be clear that this means nothing less than full Jewish prayer rights at the holy site – and possibly even much more.

There is No 'Status Quo' on the Temple Mount

There is No 'Status Quo' on the Temple Mount

Everyone's talking about the 'status quo' on Judaism's holiest site. There's just one problem - if it ever existed, it doesn't now.
Hillel Fendel
It is very popular to demand nowadays that Israel "maintain the status quo" on the Temple Mount – but barely anyone can say exactly what that "status quo" is. In fact, the rules instituted for prayer rights on the Mount immediately after the Six Day War barely resemble those in place today.

It must be stated at the outset that after the Six Day War, control of the Temple Mount was granted to the Muslim Waqf by none other than then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. A very controversial personality in modern Israeli history, Dayan was credited with much of the responsibility for Israel's miraculous victory at the time – and was blamed for much of what happened during the Yom Kippur War six years later.

Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, Rabbi of the town of Har Brachah and Dean of its Yeshiva, wrote this week in B'Sheva, "For years, it has been known that there were two sides to Moshe Dayan; darkness and light served together. On the one hand, he was a true Israeli war hero, and on the other hand, he was an adulterer and a thief [of archaeological artifacts – HF]. Apparently, the latter traits tipped the scales against him. [After 1967] he began to lose his public stature; his name will be remembered in infamy."

After Dayan had the Israeli flag removed from the Temple Mount after the Six Day War, he put in place the following arrangements (based on a list compiled by Jerusalem expert and historian Nadav Shragai):

1. The Waqf, a Jordanian-Muslim religious body, would continue to manage the site.

2. Jews would be permitted to visit the Temple Mount, but forbidden to pray there.

3. Israel's police would maintain law and order in the sacred compound.

4. Israeli sovereignty and law would be applied to the Temple Mount, as to the other parts of Jerusalem.
Shortly afterwards, it was also decided that Jews and other non-Muslims would enter the Mount only via the Mughrabi Gate, located at the center of the Western Wall. It also later became prohibited to unfurl any flag on the Mount.

"In retrospect," Shragai sums up, echoing the sentiments of many Jews around the country and the world, "the concession Dayan made in the name of the Jewish People was indeed immense, colossal, almost inconceivable. The Jewish State entrusted its holiest place to a competing religion – the Muslim religion, for which the place is only the third in holiness, and gave up the right to pray there."

At that time, Jewish protest against the regulations was minimal, for the Jewish public was excited at the prospect of being able to pray at the Western Wall – a supporting wall of the Temple Mount. In addition, virtually all rabbis ruled in accordance with long-standing tradition - and long-standing ignorance of the exact locations of the Halakhically-forbidden areas on the Mount - that entry to the Temple Mount was forbidden.
Today, over 40 years later, the above "status quo" is no longer in effect. For one thing, religious Jews now clamor to be allowed in – as the boundaries of the permitted locations have become well-known. In addition, they fear the loss of Israeli sovereignty there, and are convinced that their frequent visits to the site will prevent this.

Under the original arrangements, Jews were freely allowed to visit the Mount – but today, such visits are often restricted. They may ascend to the holy site only five days a week, for three hours in the morning and one in the afternoon. Even these few hours are often removed from the Jewish itinerary when Arab incitement and unrest portends violence in the area.

Religious Jews may visit only in small groups; visitors are often forced to wait for hours until those in front of them in line have completed their visits. Even then, they frequently are not allowed in.
In addition, the prohibition on raising flags on the Temple Mount is enforced only in the case of Israeli flags, but not when Hamas or Palestinian Authority flags are unfurled.

When Knesset Members and other public figures such as Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick (still recovering from the critical wounds he suffered in a near-fatal Palestinian assassination attempt) call for Jewish prayer rights at Judaism's holiest site, they are often accused of trying to change the "status quo." Their critics should be reminded that the "status quo" has already been changed very heavily – to the exclusive detriment of Jewish would-be worshipers.

In Part III of this series, read of startling evidence showing that the Dome of the Rock was originally built for – Jews!

Status Quo? 'Jews Prayed on the Temple Mount for Centuries'

Status Quo? 'Jews Prayed on the Temple Mount for Centuries'

In first of a series on the Temple Mount, Arutz Sheva explores the origins of the hotly-contested 'status quo' at Judaism's holiest site.
Hillel Fendel
Though "maintaining the status quo" on the Temple Mount seems to be a universal goal, no one is quite sure what it is. Those who believe it means that Jews must not pray there should take note that the late Rabbi Shlomo Goren, Chief Rabbi of the IDF and later of Israel, wrote that Jews prayed there for "hundreds of years" up until three centuries ago.

When Israeli, American and other diplomats and statesmen speak of maintaining the status quo, they generally mean that Muslims must be allowed free entry for worship or leisure, while Jews must continue to be restricted in their access. Jews, according to this definition of the "status quo," must be prevented from entering in large groups, or at other than several specified daily hours – and from praying at the site altogether.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other Cabinet ministers have repeatedly stated of late that there will be no change in the status quo. They have made this clear to Jordan’s King Abdullah, the European Union's new foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, and others.

However, this "status quo" under which Jews do not pray on the Temple Mount actually came into effect only relatively recently. As recently noted by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed in BeSheva, Rabbi Goren, who blew a shofar at the site upon its liberation during the Six Day War in 1967, wrote in his work "The Temple Mount" that "Jewish prayer at the Western Wall began only in the 16th century; prior to that, Jews prayed for centuries on the Temple Mount."

Rabbi Goren, a Temple Mount expert, notes that, based on the renowned Radbaz – the 16th century Rabbi David Ben Shlomo Ibn Zimra, whose rulings form the basis of much of accepted Halakhah – and others, "it is clear that after the Amoraim and Geonim [i.e., after the year 1038], the general custom followed the opinion that there was no reason to forbid entry to the Holy Site in its destruction, as the Meiri writes… This is true even when there was no Red Heifer for purification… This practice cannot be attributed to lack of knowledge; it is not reasonable to assume that Jews prayed for centuries at the site of the Holy Temple without anyone mentioning that this involves a grave prohibition, punishable by karet."

Of course, the custom gradually changed. The Muslims banned the Jews from entering the holy site, and their "holiest site" gradually came to be the Western Wall – which was actually just a supporting wall of the Temple Mount. "When the Medrash states that the Divine Presence never left the Western Wall," Rabbi Goren writes, "it does not refer to this wall, but rather to the western wall of the Temple courtyard or of the sanctuary."

Rabbi Goren writes that he himself was "bound up in chords of love for the [present-day] Western Wall, where I used to pray every Sabbath and holiday," and that this prevented him from acting immediately after the Six Day War to institute Jewish entry to the Temple Mount. However, "the voice of our cry [in Psalms], 'Who will ascend to the mountain of G-d?', aroused me to take strength and clarify the matter of visiting the Temple Mount." This he did by assigning the IDF's Engineering Corps to map out the exact measurements of the Mount, and consulting Rabbinic and other texts to clarify the precise location of the Holy of Holies and other forbidden areas.

Rabbi Goren attempted to arrange prayer services on the Temple Mount, but was stopped from doing so by then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan.

In any event, the "status quo" in previous centuries included Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. After 1967, a new "status quo" was instituted – one that barely resembles the situation of today. More on this in Part II of this series.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Flag of Palestine Before 1948

The Flag of Palestine Before 1948

Above photo: The actual flag of Palestine — 1939. Further proof of the lie (as if we needed any more) of the vicious historical revisionism by the Muslim world to erase the Jewish State and create a mythical Islamic narrative surrounding five thousand years of Jewish history.
The fact is that Palestine is Israel – the Jewish homeland.

After the Romans conquered the Jews in the Jewish-Roman wars, the Romans renamed Israel after the Jews’ worst enemies — the Philistines — in order to further humiliate them.
The term was first used to denote an official province in c.135 CE, when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the [Jewish] Bar Kokhba Revolt, combined Iudaea Province with Galilee and the Paralia to form “Syria Palaestina”. (source)
It was a Roman Emperor who first coined the name.
In AD 135, the Emperor Hadrian blotted out the name “Provincia Judea” and renamed it “Provincia Syria Palaestina”. This was the Latin version of the Greek name and soon became a name to be used as an administrative unit. This name was shortened to Palaestina and the name “Palestine” was derived from it as a modern and anglicized version. (more here)
In other words, it was always Jewish.
Leading up to Israel’s independence in 1948, it was common for the international press to label Jews, not Arabs, living in the mandate as Palestinians. It was not until years after Israeli independence that the Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were called Palestinians. In fact, Arabs cannot even correctly pronounce the word Palestine in their native tongue, referring to area rather as“Filastin.”
The word Palestine or Filastin does not appear in the Koran. The term peleshet appears in the Jewish Tanakh no fewer than 250 times. (Jewish Virtual Library)
1939 Palestinian Flag. What does it look like? Surprised? From Factual Israel:  (thanks to Christian)
This a Larousse French dictionary from 1939. In the appendix it lists all the then current flags of the world in alphabetical order. You’ll notice that for Germany at that time the flag was the Nazi one replete with Zwastika which proves that this was pre-1945 ( before 1945).
Now, alphabetically, look for the Palestinian Flag. YES , there is one. What does it look like? Surprised? Oh, but you thought (Mandate Jewish) Palestine was an Islamic Arab-,Turkish-, Circassian Sovereign State that the bad Jews took over , right?
From 1920-1948 a ( class ‘A’ Mandate) State of Palestine existed as per international law but it was, as all of its major institutions, Jewish. Until the 1960s, name “Palestine” resonated as something Jewish to European ears; the Muslims rejecting the name saying it didn’t belong. The 4,000 year old Jewish homeland or “Land of Israel” or the “Holy Land” were all synonymous!!
The British as legal Mandatory over the Mandate managed or mismanaged the state partially with Jewish Auxilary until Jews regained official sovereignty in 1948, by declaring independence.
The U.N. did not recreate Israel as some people claim.
There are a lot of cultural and historic relics, artifacts and icons that validate the Jewish identity of Palestine.
Take, for example, the leading newspaper of “Palestine,” the Palestine Post (or as it is now known, the Jerusalem Post).
palestine post16 May 1948 edition of The Palestine Post
The Jerusalem Post is a broadsheet newspaper based in Israel, publishing only English and French editions. Its predecessor the Palestine Post was founded in 1932 by Gershon Agron. The name change occurred in 1950.
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An antecedent paper,The Palestine Bulletin was founded in January 1925 by Jacob Landau of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.[6] It was owned by the Palestine Telegraphic Agency, which was in practice part of the JTA even though it was legally separate.[6] On 1 November 1931, editorship of the Bulletin was taken over by American journalist Gershon Agronsky (later Agron).[7] In March 1932, a dispute arose between Landau and Agronsky, which Agronsky resolved to settle by establishing an independent newspaper.[6]However, Landau and Agronsky instead came to an agreement to transform the Bulletin into a new jointly owned newspaper.[6] Accordingly, the Palestine Bulletin published its last issue on 30 November 1932 and the The Palestine Post Incorporating The Palestine Bulletin appeared the following day, 1 December 1932. On 25 April 1933, the masthead was reduced to just The Palestine Post, though the newspaper continued to state its founding year as 1925 for at least a year afterwards.
The Origins of the term “Palestinian Arabs”:
No “Palestinian Arab people” existed at the start of 1920, but, by December, it took shape in a form recognizably similar to today’s.
Until the late nineteenth century, residents living in the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean identified themselves primarily in terms of religion: Moslems felt far stronger bonds with remote co-religionists than with nearby Christians and Jews. Living in that area did not imply any sense of common political purpose.
Then came the ideology of nationalism from Europe; its ideal of a government that embodies the spirit of its people was alien but appealing to Middle Easterners. How to apply this ideal, though? Who constitutes a nation and where must the boundaries be? These questions stimulated huge debates.
Some said the residents of the Levant are a nation; others said Eastern Arabic speakers; or all Arabic speakers; or all Moslems.
But no one suggested “Palestinians,” and for good reason. Palestine, then a secular way of saying Eretz Yisra’el or Terra Sancta, embodied a purely Jewish and Christian concept, one utterly foreign to Moslems, even repugnant to them.
This distaste was confirmed in April 1920, when the British occupying force carved out a “Palestine.” Moslems reacted very suspiciously, rightly seeing this designation as a victory for Zionism. Less accurately, they worried about it signaling a revival in the Crusader impulse. No prominent Moslem voices endorsed the delineation of Palestine in 1920; all protested it.
Instead, Moslems west of the Jordan directed their allegiance to Damascus, where the great-great-uncle of Jordan’s King Abdullah II was then ruling; they identified themselves as Southern Syrians.
Interestingly, no one advocated this affiliation more emphatically than a young man named Amin Husseini. In July 1920, however, the French overthrew this Hashemite king, in the process killing the notion of a Southern Syria.
Isolated by the events of April and July, the Moslems of Palestine made the best of a bad situation. One prominent Jerusalemite commented, just days following the fall of the Hashemite kingdom: “after the recent events in Damascus, we have to effect a complete change in our plans here. Southern Syria no longer exists. We must defend Palestine.”
Following this advice, the leadership in December 1920 adopted the goal of establishing an independent Palestinian state. Within a few years, this effort was led by Husseini.
Other identities – Syrian, Arab, and Moslem – continued to compete for decades afterward with the Palestinian one, but the latter has by now mostly swept the others aside and reigns nearly supreme.