Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cinder Blocks Thrown at Jewish Worshippers in Jerusalem

This is very hard for me to understand. Friday afternoon, Jews were at the Western Wall, the outer part of the holiest site in Judaism. While they were praying there, Arabs at the Dome of the Rock were throwing cinder blocks in an attempt to crush the heads of those praying below. Understandably, Israeli troops were called to prevent a loss of life. Guess who is branded with the label of "aggressor". Israel National News reports as follows.

"The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Saturday charged Israeli police with sacrilege for surrounding the Temple Mount’s Al-Aqsa mosque on Friday to stop Arab stoning attacks on Jews trying to pray at Western Wall (Kotel). It called for international intervention to "end Israeli aggression."

The Arab attacks on Jews followed a sermon that area residents said encouraged Muslim violence.

Nearly three dozen policemen and Arabs were injured in the clash, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said the Israeli defense of Jews could spark a “religious war.” The OIC accused Israel of an "a sacrilegious act of profanation of the holy Islamic site [that was] "a violation of international law and a flagrant attack on the freedom of religion of the nature that could take the region into a war between religions.”

For centuries the Muslims did not dispute that sites in the Holy Land such as the Temple remain sacred to Jews. The Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron has long had alternating prayer times for Muslims and Jews. The Tomb of Rachel was likewise acknowledged to have been sacred to Jews. In recent times, this has changed. Revisionist histories are being written, in which there never was a Temple, and in which Jews never had any of the patriarchs and matriarchs of their faith buried in Hebron. This revisionist history is a blatant attempt to push Jews out of the Holy Land.

Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a logical declaration that the Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Tomb of Rachel would be among a number of historically Jewish sites that will be maintained and financed by the Israeli government. This is a logical step that is about as controversial as saying that St. Peter's Square in Vatican City is historically Catholic. Predictably, the Obama administration has weighed in against Israel as noted on and other news outlets. State Department spokesman Mark Toner declared the Israeli move to be " provocative and unhelpful.”

Prior to 1967, the Western Wall was maintained in a state of squalor, with urinals built in front of the Wall and access denied to those who would pray there. The position of the Palestine Authority that there is no historic Jewish right to pray there is an assurance that there is no intent to recognise the rights of Jews in the Holy Land.

Amazingly enough, when Jerusalem was reunited under Israeli rule in 1967, the Temple Mount, also known as the Dome of the Rock was handed over to the Wakf (The Muslim Religious Authority) This was probably seen as a display of weakness and led to stoning incidents over the years as well as "renovations" in which ancient relics were pulverised with earth moving machinery.

What is also misunderstood is the orthodox Jews who do not go up the Temple Mount past a line that is determined by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and other religious authorities. The reason for this is that certain portions of the Temple Mount can only be entered by the high priest when he is in a state of ritual purity that is not possible when the Temple is not standing in its proper place. The prayers recited three times daily by observant Jews call for a restoration to its place of the Temple and its order of daily services in the place from which stones are now thrown upon Jewish worshippers. Until then it is fitting and logical for Jews in the Holy Land to defend their physical well being as well as the intactness and safety of Jewish Holy sites and people in the Holy Land. Whether governments recognise this right is irrelevant. It is a set of G-d given rights that are common sense as well. In our troubled times, however, it seems that common sense is not common at all. Sphere: Related Content

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