...Only if we make it clear to ourselves and the rest of the world that this is the holiest place to the Jewish people and we will not give it up from fear of Arab terrorism do we have a chance to win. You don't contain terrorism -- you fight it until it is defeated. Our giving up the Temple Mount is the strongest incentive for the Islamic terrorism working against us. The Temple Mount isn't the problem. It's the solution.
02 November '14..
A day after an attempt was made on the life of activist Yehuda Glick, I was sitting in the Jerusalem District Court. A few months earlier, on a date set long ahead of time, I had submitted a petition under the Freedom of Information Law in the name of Professors for a Strong Israel.
Jerusalem, as we know, has multiple authorities, not only judges. A number of them are responsible for issues related to the Temple Mount. The municipality must concern itself with building permits and ensuring that the planning and construction laws are enforced; the Israel Antiquities Authority is supposed to oversee what many, including the High Court of Justice, have defined as "the most important antiquities site in Israel"; and the police are supposed to enforced public order and public security.
Between 1995 and 2001, the Temple Mount -- under the tightly closed eyes of the authorities -- was the site of one of the worst instances of antiquities vandalism in the country. The Muslim Wakf took over the huge underground spaces (4 dunams, or 43,000 square feet) known as King Solomon's Stables, and turned them into the biggest mosque in Israel. They employed enormous bulldozers to dig on the Temple Mount, and were careful to eradicate any trace of Jewish history. They cleared out hundreds of trucks' worth of debris from the holiest place to the Jewish people, including many archaeological finds that were thrown on the trash heap.
When the extent of the destruction was discovered by citizens whose eyes -- unlike those of the authorities -- were open, the State Comptroller's Committee charged the comptroller with investigating and reporting on the matter. When the report was submitted, government representatives sought to have it classified because its publication could damage foreign relations (U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry could discover that Israel had given up sovereignty over the Temple Mount) and expose the police's approach of sitting with their hands folded or running away when a police station on the mount was set on fire.
The full report is being kept secret from the people, or at least from those who are too lazy to Google "State Comptroller's Secret Report on the Temple Mount" and read it all. At any rate, the various authorities swore that they learned lessons from it, and are now supervising, monitoring and enforcing. There is no more damage, no more destruction, no more illegal building taking place.
Since I, and many like me, visit the Temple Mount from time to time, I've seen that the situation is just getting worse. The destruction continues. The Arabs have dubbed the entire mount "Al-Aqsa mosque" and do whatever they like there. They build, wreck and riot, and the government in effect is giving up all its sovereignty on the mount and not enforcing the law. I know that the Arabs see the Jewish forgoing of sovereignty over the holiest place to the Jewish people as a sign that we are not truly bound to the land of Israel, and can be ousted like the Crusaders.
A few months ago, I approached those same authorities and asked them: How many investigative visits have you held? How many construction applications have you received? And how many of those have you approved? What have you done with the criminals? The authorities replied quickly that they did not want to answer because everything was extremely sensitive and a matter of "national security." I hope that the court will limit the cynical use of this expression. Parroting the "sensitivity" of the Temple Mount gives coverage to every despicable act that dismantles our sovereignty and attacks the Jews' right to pray on the Temple Mount, giving a prize to the rioters.
Senior police officials have already determined that Yehuda Glick is "the most dangerous person on the Temple Mount," and the police have ignored the Arab rioters, agitators, and rabble-rousers. The latest Arab terrorist just pulled the trigger. The police are trying to "contain" the Arab violence, a policy that more than anything shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the forces at work in the Jewish-Arab conflict.
Only if we make it clear to ourselves and the rest of the world that this is the holiest place to the Jewish people and we will not give it up from fear of Arab terrorism do we have a chance to win. You don't contain terrorism -- you fight it until it is defeated. Our giving up the Temple Mount is the strongest incentive for the Islamic terrorism working against us. The Temple Mount isn't the problem. It's the solution.