8 Tammuz 5776
Thursday, July 14 2016
UPDATES 9 am Israel time
…Palestinian terror unreported by the mainstream media yesterday…
Were any of these instances of Palestinian terror in your newspaper or on your radio or television news yesterday?
*An attempted bulldozer attack at the A-Ram checkpoint. Three terrorists in a car tried to run over a contingent of Border Guards. No Israelis were wounded. One terrorist was killed, one seriously wounded, and one taken in to custody.
*A grenade attack at Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem. Some time afterwards, the IDF announced that it had captured the terror cell behind all of the recent grenades, IEDs, and Molotov firebombs at the Tomb.
*”Rock” attacks throughout Judea and Samaria: IDF forces were assaulted in Al-Aram, Israeli motorists were attacked in Beit Ummar, on Highway 6, and elsewhere.
…Tunnel demolitions surrounding Gaza…
The IDF destroyed at least one tunnel leading out of Gaza into Israel overnight. Other explosions were heard by residents of southern Israel as other demolitions took place.
On Tuesday morning, your humble servant and his wife met with a cohort of more than 200 people to participate in the commemoration of the life of Hallal Yaffa Ariel, the 13-year-old who was savagely stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist on June 30th as she slept in her bed in Kiryat Arba.
The goal of the event was to express solidarity with the Ariel family by ascending the Temple Mount. In yesterday’s blog, I described how all Jews were forced to turn in IDs, and to wait in a non-moving line at the entrance to the Mughrabi ramp from 7:30 am until about 10:00 am. Just when it seemed that we would not get up to the Mount (the Muslims do not permit any Jews on the Mount after 11:00 am on Tuesday morning), my wife’s name and mine were called at 10:30 am.
And that is where I left you yesterday.
After our names were called, we walked up to the first checkpoint on the ramp. To pass this checkpoint, we had to pass through a metal detector and then pass the scrutiny of a policeman who evaluated each person’s clothing to determine if it was modest enough.
This latter step may seem like a small one, but several people ahead of us were turned back because one man had on short pants and one woman was wearing capri-style jeans that revealed the lower part of her legs. Unfortunately, your humble servant was also wearing short pants, but fortunately they were long enough that when pulled down somewhat (in combination to my socks being pulled up as far as they would go), no part of my legs were showing.
Passing inspection (barely), we moved on to a small waiting area on the ramp and sat down on a bench until our small contingent of about 20 people was given permission to continue up the ramp. At all times, we were surrounded by Border Guards–who were uniformly nice: one of them even secreted a bottle of water to us (we were totally dehydrated after the 3+ hour wait), and another took our picture.
The wonderful Border Guard who gave us water:
My wife and I waiting to go up:
The Policeman blocking the way up:
And we waited.
Then suddenly, we were given our marching orders and up we went–the Kotel (Western Wall was to our left) until we were stopped just outside the Mughrabi Gate and given a short lecture by one of the security personnel.
And that is the point at which the following video begins. As you watch the video (shot on my phone), note:
- the security guard giving us the lecture
2. our group walking up to and through the Mughrabi Gate (you will hear a woman in our group who is a Temple Mount tour guide speaking in Hebrew as we walked on the Mount).
3. our arrival on the Temple Mount (listen–at about 1 minute into the video–off in the direction of the Al-Aksa Mosque for the screaming Marabitat–women who are paid to verbally and even physically accost Jews on the Mount…on Tuesday morning they were screaming “Allah Akbar!” and other obscenities).
4. how we were continually ordered to “keep left” “smallah” by the Israeli-Arab policeman (you might notice that all of policemen surrounding us were Israeli-Arabs). In short, we were not permitted to even take one step toward Al-Aksa, the Kipat HaSela (Dome of the Rock) under which is the Jewish Foundation Stone, or any part of the Temple Mount compound. Note the Arab women and men taking photographs and videos of us as we passed (we of course returned the favor).
5. after a short walk of a couple of minutes (for which we had waited 3.5 hours) we were brought to a stop at the steps that lead up to the Kipat HaSela (Dome of the Rock).
6. we were sent out through the Chain Gate into the Muslim Quarter
Before we proceed to what happened once we were off the Mount, allow me to tell you just how heart-breaking this entire episode on the Mount was.
Your humble servant and his wife have actually been to the Mount on numerous occasions. The first time we were there together was back in 1983 at which time Israelis (read “Jews”) were free to walk around anywhere we wanted; on that first visit, not only did we go into the Al-Aksa Mosque, but also we entered the Kipat HaSela and saw the Foundation Stone.
On each subsequent visit, we were ever-more restricted. Not only did Al-Aksa and the Kipat HaSela become off limits, but also the Wakf “police” became more aggressively assertive in telling us what we could not do.
Note that I didn’t say the Jerusalem Police, but the Wakf “police.”
All of which leads to Tuesday. It was the most restricted we have ever been–and the restrictions were all imposed by the Jerusalem Police in collusion with the Wakf “police”.
It is simply heart-breaking to see how Jewish religious freedom on the Mount has deteriorated. But, to borrow the words of Rina Ariel, this is not the time to “cry and sit flat on the floor”, this is the time to act.
And what was not heart-breaking was how the Ariels did act. Because of their petition, they were permitted on the Mount (before we arrived up there) and were permitted to say prayers for their murdered daughter, and were even permitted to utter the word “Amen” during those prayers.
And also not heart-breaking was the action taken by a few of us as we exited through the Chain Gate into the Muslim Quarter. As your humble servant filmed, some of our friends in the group erupted in song and dance–within earshot of the Kipat HaSela where the Holy of Holies stood. And it is with that singing and dancing that I leave you today–with the sincere hope that one day soon, Jewish singing and dancing will return to the Mount itself:
And once again may we say:
Blessed be the memory of Hallal Yaffa Ariel. May she forever rest in peace.