Sivan 11, 5777
June 5, 2017
The Enduring and Horrible Legacy of Moshe Dayan
This weekend, your humble servant watched the excellent movie “In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem.” The movie, produced by the Christian Broadcast Network, describes in documentary fashion the fascinating events that led to the miracle of Israel’s unifying our eternal capital back in 1967.
The horrific battles (especially the one on Ammunition Hill) are described in graphically as is the final taking of the Temple Mount by the paratroopers of Motti Gur. The joy that all of Israel–and indeed Jews around the world–felt at finally regaining control of our holiest places was portrayed with attention to detail.
One other aspect of the war and battle that was fully discussed was the role that Moshe Dayan played. On the one hand, he was a charismatic leader who pulled Israel together in advance of the war in the face of lethargic Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.
However, on the other hand, Dayan was a secular Jew who was obsessed with political correctness. He was particularly obsessed with how the world would perceive Israel’s capture of the Old City–and more specifically the Kotel (Western Wall) and the Temple Mount. The movie accurately presents the point that it is the Foundation Stone on the Temple Mount that is Judaism’s holiest place.
In this context, it was Dayan who held up the troops’ initial entrance into the Old City, and it was Dayan who immediately ordered the Israeli flag taken down from the Kepat HaSela (Dome of the Rock) when Israeli paratroopers raised it there.
What the movie omitted was the fact that it was Dayan who convened the Jordanian Islamic Wakf on the Temple Mount days after the Israeli conquest and inexplicably turned over administrative control of the Mount to them. He specifically forbade Jewish prayer on the Mount.
Inexplicably, because what in the world was Dayan thinking about? How could he turn control of the Mount over to the very Jordanians who had ethnically cleansed the Old City of all Jews from 1948 to 1967 destroying all of the synagogues in the Jewish Quarter in the process? It was simply astonishing.
Tragic, because of the consequences that stemmed from that decision. Not only did the decision create the obscene situation in which the Jordanians can control how many Jews can come to the Mount and when, it also created the Palestinian delusion that the Temple Mount is theirs.
This horrific conception was emphasized this weekend.
In an interview on Israel’s Channel 2, PLO senior official Jibril Rajoub said this:
“The Palestinians understand that the Western Wall is a holy place for Jews and that in the end it must be under Jewish sovereignty, we have no argument about it. However, the Temple Mount is ours, it is not yours . . . This is the status quo since 1967, which Moshe Dayan determined . . . It’s ours, it’s ours.”
It is long past time to uproot the Dayan status quo and to repeat clearly and definitively what Motti Gur declared to all of Israel back in 1967: “The Temple Mount is in our hands! . . . The Temple Mount is ours!”