UPDATE: More terrorist Hamas missiles fired at southern Israel overnight. Israeli bus near Hevron stoned by Palestinians in the late afternoon.
Throughout Judea, Samaria, Gaza (and indeed much of the world), hardly a Muslim religious service goes by without Muslim imams regularly exhorting and inciting their worshipers to ‘liberate’ the Al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem–both of which were deliberately built by Muslims on the ruins of the First and Second Jewish Temples, the holiest place in Judaism.
The frenzied crescendo of ‘liberate Al-Aksa’ is now no longer heard only in the mosques. Hardly a speech is ever made by Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh or the PLO’s Mahmoud Abbas that doesn’t conclude with an exhortation to march to Al-Aksa and liberate the ‘holy mosques’. The irony, of course, is that the Islamic Wakf, based in Jordan, exercises all religious control over the Temple Mount except for security.
It is not surprising that many Jews (and Christians) feel that this control is absurd. How is it possible that the Islamic Wakf can control every aspect of life on the Temple Mount: who can come and when (Jews and Christians can only come on certain days at certain extremely restricted hours), what they can carry with them (Jews and Christians cannot carry Torahs or Bibles), and what they can do when they are on the Mount (no Jewish or Christian prayer is allowed)?
How is it possible that Muslims can control Jewish access to Judaism’s holiest place?
All of which brings us to yesterday, when a number of ‘left-wing’ organizations, including Keshev and Ir Amin, delivered a letter to PM Netanyahu urging him to bar Likud party member Moshe Feiglin from going up to the Temple Mount with members of the Likud Central Committee–as he does every year on the 19th of Shevat (today).
This urging was based on the following flyer which the leftists claim was produced by Feiglin and his followers–a claim that Feiglin stridently denies:
This is a translation of the flyer:
“Member of the Likud Caucus, along with its thousands of members, headed by Moshe Feiglin are hereby invited to arrive at the Temple Mount and praise God, and declare that healthy leadership begins with total control over Temple Mount. “(Let us) purify this place from the enemies of Israel, who rob lands, and build the Temple on the ruins of mosques. We need not be afraid!”
Specifically, the leftists outrageously warned that Feiglin’s visit could initiate a third Palestinian intifada–in much the same way that the leftists have always bogusly claimed that Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount on September 28, 2000 sparked the second intifada.
But remarkably, this theme was echoed by Jerusalem District Police commander Niso Shaham this morning who expressed police fear of how Hamas might use the flyers to incite Palestinians to riot if Feiglin ascended the Temple Mount.
So, we have arrived at the surreal situation in Israel in which the Israeli police, citing security reasons, have temporarily closed the Temple Mount to Jews.
In making the announcement, the police spokesman made this remarkable statement: “A security assessment determined that the compound should be closed for visitors.”
Now Jews are “visitors” in Israel, at Judaism’s holiest place.
But not to worry! The police spokesman was careful to point out that the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, is “open to all Muslims worshipers [who] can pray as usual.”
THIS DATE IN ISRAELI HISTORY
On February 12, 2001, six days after the election of Ariel Sharon, Israeli soldiers responded to a Palestinian rifle attack on Israeli civilians by shelling terrorist positions in Gaza.