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Settler Extremists Provoke Violence, Threaten Muslim Sovereignty Over Temple Mount, Seeking Final Day of Reckoning

Over the past week or so there have been some strange doings on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.  As the lyrics of the old song go:

There’s something happnin’ here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I’ve go to beware

It appears that a growing band of Israeli messianic settlers have banded together to orchestrate a crisis on the Temple Mount.  Their ultimate goal seems to be taking Jewish control over the sacred ground, including two of the holiest sites in Islam, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

For many years, there have been radical settler groups preparing for such a day.  Ateret Cohanim maintains a yeshiva which is training priests to resume the Temple rituals including animal sacrifice.  Dov Hikind’s wife earns $150,000 a year as its U.S. fundraiser.  They’re also breeding cattle in the hopes of find that miraculous red heifer which would serve as a sign that God is ready to resume Jewish rites on this sacred ground.

The settlers know that for Jews to rebuild the Temple would mean a holy war in the Holy Land that would likely dwarf the Crusades for passion and bloodletting.  For these Jews, such an eventuality would bring the days of the coming of the Messiah closer, thus making the human suffering not just acceptable, but even desirable.

These Temple activists are also fundraising on behalf of their messianic Armageddon.  Here, they’re raising $10,000 to preserve “Jewish rights” on the Temple Mount.  The website says there is no written budget because the uses to which the funding would be put would be “sensitive.”  Therefore such documentation is for “internal” purposes only.  You can imagine what this means.  They’re likely raising a lot of their funding from the types of American Jews giving to the Hebron Fund and Central Fund of Israel.

There is a political echelon in the radical settler movement which is preparing the ground for such a Jewish takeover.  It’s led by Moshe Feiglin, who recently took nearly a quarter of the vote in the Likud leadership primary by running to the right of (!) Bibi Netanyahu.  Flyers were publicly posted throughout Jerusalem two weeks ago calling for Jews to make aliyah en masse to the Temple Mount.  The term aliyah in the  Temple context is a historic term used to denote Jewish pilgrims who went to the sacred spot for worship on Jewish festivals.  In other words, it would only be used today by someone who saw himself as commanded to rebuild and renew Jewish worship there.  To do this, one must first evict or destroy the Muslim holy sites there as was done by Hindu nationalists to a mosque in Ayodiyah, India.

The extremist site, The Temple Mount is Ours, calls for a mass pilgrimage “in order to strengthen claim of Jewish sovereignty” to the site.  You can see in the video above from February 19th and this one what is the result of such settler provocation. The last time such a thing was attempted, Ariel Sharon instigated the Second Intifada and propelled himself into the prime minister’s chair.  Feiglin is smart enough to understand that such political grandstanding can be the making of an Israeli prime minister.

But he’s also smart enough to understand that by identifying himself too explicitly with this movement he could get himself investigated by the police and possibly jailed.  So he deftly denied credit for the flyer and made his own visit to the Temple Mount earlier than the time specified in the flyer.

A Feiglin associate in this interview posted by IMRA denies that the founder of the Manhigut Yehudit [“Jewish Leadership”] movement wants to rebuild the Temple.  Instead, he claims Feiglin only wants to prepare the Jews for the moment when the Messiah will come and accomplish this task.  I’m afraid this sort of nuance is justifiably lost of Muslims who mistake a Jew who wants to lay the groundwork for stealing their holy site from them, with a Jewish Messiah who will actually do this.  Feiglin’s representative rather ominously states in the interview that it’s the founders’ dream to “make” all Jews share in his vision, and that this is what will bring the Messiah and a rebuilt Temple.

Strangely, the representative of Feiglin’s group adamantly maintained that it had no obligation to publicly renounce the flyer.  Further, he said it had no plans to file a complaint with the police about the document it claims was a fraud.  This is generally diametrically opposite from the way most political parties operate in Israel.  In similar circumstances, they would file a complaint and ask the police to investigate in order to clarify to the public their rejection of the message and the act of fraud.  The fact that Manhifut Yehudit behaved so differently in this case raises major questions about its relationship to the flyer and those who created it.

The settler agitators are camouflaging their covert campaign for Jewish sovereignty, couching it in terms of religious liberty.  No one, they seem to think, can reject a call for Jews to have the same access to the Temple Mount that Muslims enjoy.  The only problem with this notion is that Muslims for generations have controlled the area.  Until the type of agitation initiated by Sharon, access was relatively open.  In fact, I can remember visiting both holy mosques during my stays in Israel in 1972-73 and 1979-1980.  It was only after Muslims became afraid that Jews wanted to take control from them that relations went bad.

There will be some among you who will say: C’mon.  You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.  Feiglin barely has a following.  Hardly anyone takes him seriously.  He leads a bunch of radical kooks.  No Israeli in their right mind would come anywhere near these cockamamie ideas.

That’s all well and good.  But I’m not buying.  History is full of examples of kooks whose ideas began by being spurned by the mainstream, until they weren’t.  While this will agitate some of our friends, remember Hitler’s beer hall putsch in 1923?  What did they think of him then?  Crackpot, right?  Threw him in jail, where he proceeded to write Mein Kampf and plan his takeover of the German state.

OK, so you don’t like that analogy.  How about one closer to home?  In 1967, Israel conquered the West Bank and reunited Jerusalem after the War.  On Passover 1968, Rabbi Moshe Levinger held his first Passover seder in Hebron.  There were no settlements then.  The Greater Land of Israel was only a gleam in his eye.  But every great movement begins with a small spark.  And from that spark comes a terrible conflagration.

After that Seder, the messianic nationalists who founded Gush Emunim provoked a crisis.  Instead of waiting for government approval, they re-established the Gush Etzion settlement which had been destroyed by the Jordanians in 1948.  This had been one of the more traumatic incidents of the war in which a group of Jews had been slaughtered by the Arab army in the battle for Jerusalem.  While Levinger’s re-occupation of the Etzion bloc on behalf of Israel was an enormously popular nationalist statement, it also ignited the decades of hate and mistrust that have inflamed relations with the Palestinians ever since.

Later in 1975, Gush Emunim organized the aliyah to Sebastia, where they created a new settlement, Elon Moreh.  After numberous attempts were rebuffed by the IDF, the Israeli government in the form of Shimon Peres, signed an agreement legalizing the new settlement, which in turn opened the floodgates for the massive expropriations and settlement growth that followed.  This was the first example of government capitulation to the settler movement and was the model the movement used in all its subsequent confrontations.

This is the history of the settler enterprise.  They begin with an inch, and within a year or a decade they’ve taken not just a mile, but an entire city or nation.  But they recognize that in the case of the Temple Mount they are dealing with an even more sensitive subject.  One that has no national consensus as the settlement enterprise perhaps did in 1967.

National polls show that while Israeli Jews overwhelming want to rebuild the Holy Temple, only 30% are willing to see the government take active steps to do so.  In other words, while most Israelis harbor vague religious hankerings to restore the glory of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.  Most realize that to do so would start a religious war the likes of which the region hasn’t seen for centuries. In fact, in this report Jordan, which is nominally responsible for the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem warns Israel not to attempt to change the status quo or risk grave consequences.

So the settlers must mount a carefully calibrated campaign to achieve their goal.  It must start with small incremental steps that lead to larger ones.  One of these is the call for full Jewish access to the sacred confines of the Temple Mount.  To dramatize this, they’ve enlisted the willing help of their U.S. Jewish water carriers, the Zionist Organization of America. ZOA put out a bizarre press release calling for all the mainstream American Jewish groups to take up this cause of religious liberty by criticizing the Israeli government for its supposedly high-handed tactics in denying Jews access:

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) believes that unfettered access and freedom to pray at a holy site is a basic, universally recognized right, which certainly should be accorded to Jews in the Jewish State of Israel…Yet, Israeli police and security personnel, hoping to appease Muslim extremists including the Wakf authority on the Temple Mount, have been engaging in blatantly discriminatory and humiliating behavior toward Jewish visitors.

…The ZOA strongly urges the ADL, AJ Committee, the Orthodox Union, Emunah, AMIT, RZA and other groups to work to end bias and discrimination on the Temple Mount against identified Jews.

The group is playing the role of key interlocutor among American Jews on behalf of settler extremism. They published this press release in coordination with the flyer I mentioned above which called for a mass rally to the Mount:

…[To] purify this place of the enemies of Israel, thieves of [Holy] lands, in order to rebuild the Holy Temple on the ruins of [their] mosques

The flyer was so egregious, so incendiary that police immediately cancelled access to the site for Jews and blamed Moshe Feiglin for provoking the hysteria. As soon as Feiglin denied responsibility for the flyer, ZOA immediately took down its press release, only to republish it four days later, after the incident had blown over.

The press release and accompanying rhetoric pulls out all the guilt-inducing stops in the Jewish conscience.  It accuses Israeli police, responsible for determining who and how many Jews will enter the Temple confines, with organizing “selektzias,” (the Nazi term for lining up concentration camp inmates to determine who would live and who would die) in which they line up Jews before entering the Muslim sacred grounds.  Note below how the ZOA both inappropriately exploits Holocaust rhetoric and shamelessly excuses the offense at the same time:

Identified Jews are shunted to the side to wait separately in what some have come to cynically call “the selekzia,” alluding to the Nazis’ orderly process of deciding which Jews would live and which Jews would go to their demise. [While ZOA does not condone inappropriate use of Holocaust imagery, especially in matters relating to Israel, it is telling that Jews subjected to systematic abuse on the Temple Mount would even contemplate using this term.]

The ZOA claimed police were looking for “Jewish traits” in determining who could enter and who couldn’t:

Identifiably Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount are singled out for biased treatment…Remarkably, if your appearance or behavior openly shows you are a Muslim you are treated with respect [!]

All of this is meant to conjure up the Holocaust in Jewish consciousness in much the same way that settlers evacuated from Gush Katif wore orange armbands with Jewish stars that denoted they were being treated by the Israeli police and IDF the same as Jews sent to the gas chambers during World War II.

The press release also exhibits historical amnesia by erasing past incidents of Jewish and non-Jewish terror associated with the holy site contested by two major religions:

There is no security basis for targeting Jews on the Temple Mount…

Overall, this is a tremendously effective bit of political-religious theater in an Israel context.  The secular government has little response to it other than invoking its own civil authority, which isn’t a very resonant concept when compared with the Holocaust.  That is why the settlers have vanquished the secular authorities at every turn and all but dominated the political realm.

The current campaign for the right of Jews to freely access the Temple Mount is two-pronged.  There’s a grassroots cadre who agitate on the spot by lining up and demanding physical access.  Their efforts have been successful at causing serious rioting over the past few days which involved Israeli police invading the sacred confines of the mosques.  This, of course, is a severe breach of the sanctity of the place, all of which the settlers want.

temple mount knesset hearing

Israeli police official testifies before Knesset committee on Temple Mount Jewish access

The grassroots element is supported by an official political effort backed by far-right Knesset members.  Members of the Interior Committee in fact, have dragged before them the senior Israeli police officer responsible for maintaining order on the Mount.  They publicly excoriated him for the demeaning treatment he’s allegedly offered Jewish Temple visitors.  All this serves as a pincers movement against the civil authorities.  They’re beset on the one side by the activists in the street and on the other by the political leaders demanding the government take their hands off these poor Jews doing nothing worse than demanding their God-given right to visit the Holy Temple.

But given the history since 1967, we know where this will lead.  The police will eventually back off.  The settlers will become more provocative and brazen.  Confrontations will become more violent and more frequent.  Till there is some sort of defining catastrophic moment.

In 1984, the Jewish Underground attempted to foment such a crisis by bombing the Mount and destroying the mosques.  Fortunately, the conspiracy was exposed and the members arrested before they could carry out their plans.  Of those arrested, most were eventually pardoned, which again shows the impotence of civil authority in the face of the religious zeal of the settler movement.

We don’t know what the settlers have in mind to provoke such a crisis this time around.  But the angrier they can make the Muslims in Jerusalem, the more violence they can provoke, the closer will come the Final Day of Reckoning.

Let any who dismiss this as a far-fetched fantasy beware.  Such fantasies have a way of becoming not just reality, but nightmare reality in the pathological hot-house environment of the Middle East.

{ 44 comments… add one }
  • Beth Frank-Backman February 23, 2012, 12:16 AM

    In my opinion what is really going on here is a territory claim wrapped up in religious language, claims of heroism and democratic rhetoric. (more here: http://jacobsbones.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/holy-sites-and-violence-a-war-of-symbols/ )

    That’s true for BOTH the Arab and Israeli side. The music on the video definitely makes it sound like a heroic battle, but you did notice the man walking calmly going about his business around 0:30?

    You don’t have very much faith in Israelis. We’re not dumb you know. Just because Arutz Sheva (which is pretty much in bed with the extremist settlers) posts articles claiming all of Israel except for a few out of touch liberals in the Knesset agrees with the land at all costs , doesn’t make it so.

    Building your case on Arutz Sheva reports is like listening to Fox News and concluding that the Republican candidates are smart on-the-ball people that understand exactly what America needs and wants.

    Feiglin having a third of Likud doesn’t mean much – Likud itself is a remnant of what it was years ago. Most of the center skipped out to Kadima. It doesn’t mean the center has turned into extremists.

    Israel has a far right. No surprise there. At the same time tolerance for religous extremism on the street is also pretty low. There are limits to the take a little at a time game. The anger at Haredi attempts to push their notions of modesty and gender segration into the public sphere is a good example of that.

    Bottom line. There are tea-party nuts in the states and settlers who place the land of Israel about the people of Israel in Israel. And thankfully there are people with some common sense who say no to both.


    • Richard Silverstein February 23, 2012, 1:26 AM

      I’m afraid I don’t have faith in Israelis who refuse to recognize the dire straits they and their nation are in. Regarding Arutz Sheva, there is a single link in this article to Arutz Sheva and if you don’t like that link you can Google the 5 or 6 other news sites which covered the Temple Mount poll of Israeli views including JTA and Haaretz. The poll was done by the Knesset educational TV channel, not by Arutz Sheva. So my report isn’t built on this website as you claim.

      Likud isn’t a “remnant of what it once was.” It actually rules Israel. Kadima, Meretz and Labor are remnants of what they once were. The center has not held. The right, in the form of Likud & their allies are in the ascendancy. It’s blindness like yrs to the predicament of yr country which will end up destroying it.

      Tolerance of religious extremism inside Israel is very high. That’s why hardly any price taggers are arrested & none have been charged, prosecuted or imprisoned.

      The diff. bet. Israel & the U.S. is that the Tea Party will not destroy this country, but the settlers & their far right allies may destroy Israel, with a little help from the blind & oblivious like you.

  • HangSilvi February 23, 2012, 12:51 AM

    There is not even a single sentence in this posting that is true.

    Silverstein will tell any lie if it helps get Jews killed.

    • Richard Silverstein February 23, 2012, 1:27 AM

      What happened? Did I gore your ox? Or should I say, your red heifer?

      • Elisabeth February 23, 2012, 12:04 PM

        Just now I imagined reading a message by someone who called himself “Hang Elisabeth”.

        It is good that you let some of this filth through once in a while. It reminds us of what you have to wade through every day. It makes me (at least) reflect on what it would do to me if I had this kind of hatred thrown at me while doing something good and worthwhile.

        • Praxeologist February 23, 2012, 9:24 PM

          Touche’ what a bunch of freakin religious fanatics you have to deal with. Fortunately you also have some wise humanistic anti-zealots
          OK, dumb ? From me. Jerusalem is, am i not correct, technically NOT part of the Jewish state, right?

          • Irena February 24, 2012, 11:21 PM

            No, East Jerusalem is occupied territory under international law

    • David February 24, 2012, 9:27 PM

      Actually there is not a single sentence in your comments that is true. Not one.

    • Irena February 24, 2012, 11:27 PM

      Want to end bloodshed? End the occupation

  • sass February 23, 2012, 7:42 AM

    The Jewish Taliban strike again

  • Itamar The Kacker February 23, 2012, 8:03 AM

    Richard, i looked at the video you published.
    These are Arab youth barricading inside the mosque, after throwing stones on tourists few days ago. (Feb 19)
    at the end of the video you can see the police braking into the mosque, eventually they arrested the stone throwers.

    • Richard Silverstein February 23, 2012, 12:14 PM

      I see police breaking into the mosque. I have no idea what preceded this. I don’t care the reason for police violating the sanctity of the mosque, it’s an egregious breach of its sacred status.

      • Aonee February 23, 2012, 11:50 PM

        So do you care about the guy who hurled stones and escaped into the mosque?

        • Richard Silverstein February 24, 2012, 1:52 AM

          I’ll care when you tell me you care about the anti-Muslim hate and violence emanating from Jewish yeshivot & synaoguges in Israel. How about the bocher who fired his own homemade Qassam from his Yitzhar yeshiva residence at the neighboring Palestinian village. BTW, was he ever arrested, let alone prosecuted or convicted of a crime? I don’t really need an answer, we already know it.

          • Benjamin H. February 24, 2012, 7:39 AM

            Not to be disingenuous, but why would he tell you that he’s against the anti-Muslim violence/hate in the Jewish community when he’s only commenting on a section near the end of the video? From my reading of his comment, he didn’t even speak about anti-Jewish/Israel/Zionist sentiment among the youths, just their stone-throwing. The hatred coming from both communities is wrong, but just because Aonee doesn’t mention it when he commented on video doesn’t make his/her remarks invalid.

            (And yes, I am against whatever filth/racism that tends to brew in insular, radical populations like the ones mentioned above.)

          • overlook February 24, 2012, 9:14 AM

            Interesting cause-and-effect analysis.
            Arabs begin rioting violently over the prospect of Jews coming to the temple mount, throw stones at police and bystanders, barricade in a mosque – and you place the blame on the Israelis? That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

          • Richard Silverstein February 24, 2012, 4:53 PM

            You’ve got cause & effect mixed up as usual. Jewish extremists announce their intent to cleanse Temple Mount of infidel Muslim dogs. Muslims become angry at explicit declaration of intent to destroy Temple Mount mosques & riot IN RESPONSE. I guess you never took high school science where they taught cause & effect.

            As you say, doesn’t make a lot of sense.

          • Benjamin H. February 24, 2012, 6:02 PM

            I’m afraid I’m not a fan of cause and effect when it comes to reacting to public events. It wouldn’t be right for a Jewish group to throw stones at members of a mosque that voiced anti-Jewish sentiments, and I’m not sure anyone would explain/justify their actions ’cause and effect’. (I’m not accusing you of justifying them, but from your comment it seemed like it could be seen that way.)

            As a side note, why did you use a Nazi-analogy to demonstrate your point? Surely there are other coups/anti-democratic movements you could have mentioned instead? I thought that you had a policy against those kinds of comparisons .

          • overlook February 25, 2012, 6:17 AM

            Putting aside the personal attacks (again! When will you be able to control your temper and behave like a grown up?), I’d say this is a unique analysis.

            Some idiots write something on a website, the Arabs stone police officers in response, and you support them. This is tantamount to accusing the Danish cartoonists who drew the Muhammed cartoons of the terror wave that ensued after its publication.

          • Richard Silverstein February 26, 2012, 1:26 AM

            The Danish cartoonists are certainly culpable for the anger they brewed around the world. They aren’t directly responsible, but they bear some measure of responsibility. They shouted fire in a crowded theater & bear some responsibility for the deadly stampede that ensued.

          • Benjamin H. February 26, 2012, 2:15 AM

            That’s… not a good analogy. Shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater when there isn’t one is a lie, and made with malicious intent to cause mischief/harm. Drawing cartoons is considered free expression (although I’m not sure what the free speech laws are like in all the EU countries). Assuming that they didn’t violate free speech laws, they’re only guilty of making rather crass cartons. If someone commits violence due to someone expressing their right to free speech, they’re little more then terrorists. And the fact that people are willing to kill the cartoonists over a stupid cartoon makes ones faith in humanity drastically lower.

  • sh February 23, 2012, 10:44 AM

    “They’re likely raising a lot of their funding from the types of American Jews giving to the Hebron Fund and Central Fund of Israel.”
    Most of it is probably coming from the Christian Zionists. Lots of motivation there.

  • Fred Plester February 23, 2012, 11:52 AM

    Why do I get the impression that a red heifer is an opposite omen to a white buffalo calf?

  • PersianAdvocate February 23, 2012, 9:12 PM

    Following the money here from non-Jews for a change, Christian Zionists are really more like Freemasons than Christians in terms of behavior. They want to re-establish the Temple. Well, then they want apocalypse to come in thereafter. Jews that don’t accept: buh-bye. They’re like the “12th Imamist” caricature right-wing Israelis have created for Iran’s “irrational and Armageddon seeking, religious fanatic, moon worshiping, suicidal regime”.

    • PersianAdvocate February 23, 2012, 9:12 PM

      re: settlers – aren’t they all extremists really?

      • Richard Silverstein February 23, 2012, 11:24 PM

        No, not really. Not from my perspective, though others feel differently about that I understand.

    • Fred Plester February 24, 2012, 12:14 AM

      If they were really Freemasons, they ought, taking Masonic ideology at face value, be interested in rebuilding Solomon’s Temple.

      The temple that this lot wish to recreate, is Herod’s (big enough to impress the Romans.) Support from America’s evangelical Christians would be markedly less if this were more widely realized -and they thought it through.

    • Fred Plester February 24, 2012, 12:26 AM

      Though, unless they have access to truly remarkable amounts of money, they would only succeed in replicating the inner courts of Herod’s temple.

      Solomon’s temple really wasn’t all that big, but very rich in detail. It might even fit on part of the site without destroying what else is there: which isn’t what the activists want, of course.

      The temple in Ezekiel’s vision is very big, at least around the precincts, but there’s an interesting emphasis on limiting the presence of Jewish “kings” (especially dead ones) which makes one doubt that it’s really a vision of what Herod built.

      Christians not getting involved in this fight is a good idea and one of the reasons why St Hugh rebuilt Lincoln Cathedral as a centre of pilgrimage and told successive Plantagenet kings that they had no power to tax their people for the Pope’s wars. King John allowed himself to be forced to stop funding the crusades, which may be why Hollywood always portrays him as the bad guy.

  • Eric Fowler February 24, 2012, 12:51 AM

    This is an important development, and is the kind of thing the American press delicately overlooks.

    Thank you for bringing it to our attention.


  • Yisrael Medad February 24, 2012, 5:46 AM

    Well, now things have moved over to another location:

    2 US Congressmen Elliot Engel and Jerald Nadler, along with Malcolm Hoenlein and other VIPs were touring the Mount of Olives with the JewishPress.com this morning when they came under a barrage of stones from Arabs exiting a nearby mosque.


    • Richard Silverstein February 24, 2012, 5:11 PM

      Ah, if it isn’t the scumbag who wished joyfully in his blog for me to be accused of pedophilia. You have a lot of friggin’ nerve coming here you slimy dog (I should really call you a pig to invoke grave violation of Jewish law).

      You wonder why, when right-wing pro-Israel water carriers for settlers tour disputed territory, Muslims would be angry?

      And you have the unmitigated chutzpah to accuse ME in your blog of inciting Muslims to violence by supposedly not sufficiently denouncing their violence. Whose violence is greater? Feiglin’s in calling for destruction of the Temple Mount mosques & their replacement by a Jewish Temple? Or the Muslims who threw stones in protest?

      I banned you here a long time ago & you whined about it. I’m only publishing this typically scummy comment to be able to rub your face in yr love of scum & slime.

    • David February 24, 2012, 9:33 PM

      Maybe it knocked some sense into them.

  • Yisrael Medad February 24, 2012, 5:47 AM

    and this is odd since Jews do not ascend to the Temple Mount on Firdays:

    Dozens of riot police were deployed to quell a Muslim riot on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday.

    Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said more than 100 Muslims began throwing rocks at a police location following Friday prayers, prompting the police to enter the compound.


    What is going on?

    • Richard Silverstein February 24, 2012, 5:17 PM

      Methinks you do protest too much bud. Your buddy Feiglin committed his provocation on Sunday, Feb. 19th. The next Friday, on the Muslim holy day when they pray on the Temple Mount, was the day of the riot. Religious & political protests are common on Fridays in case you didn’t read any papers during the Arab Spring. These protests were a direct response to your & Feiglin’s provocation.

      The Israeli police are direct representatives of the State which would tear down those mosques & rebuilt the Temple in a heartbeat if it could get away with it. And you wonder why young Muslims would throw rocks at people like you? Ehud Barak said he’d be a rock thrower too if he were Palestinian. Or did you forget that?

      You’re on the shortest of short leashes here buddy. One false step & you’re toast. I banned you once & will happily do so again.

      • David February 24, 2012, 9:41 PM

        What’s going on?

        The Israeli press and much of the Israeli government doesn’t care about the apprehensions of Muslims. Given the steady dispossession of their land and property over 60 years, I wouldn’t blame Palestinians for being, well, a little jumpy.

        • Irena February 24, 2012, 11:25 PM

          Nobody gets that, David. Nobody understand cause and effect either; that rock-hurling by Palestinians is because of their oppression and what can stones really do to the IDF (arguably, the most sophiticated army in the region thanks to US dollars)?

      • Yosef February 25, 2012, 3:43 PM

        Several things you should I know.

        1. Moshe Feiglin has nothing to do with the provocative flyer, he has been taking up groups to the Temple every month for many years. Second the police just arrested the trouble maker who did create the flyer. You owe Feiglin an apology, you may not agree with his politics, but you should blame him for something he has not done.

        2. Second it is amazing that you would condemn Jews for wanting to pray at ther holiest site and not condemn the Muslims who violently oppose any Jewish presence what so every. Do not Jews have any rights? Dozens of Jews have been arrested for the crime of praying over the last half year. One was a old man who made a blessing over water before drinking as is required by Jewish law. They arrested a n old man for drinking water, that does not bother you???

        3. Even the Muslims themselves used to fully admit that the the Temple Mount was sacred to Jews. You should read the following pamphlet from the Muslim authorities in 1925 that admitted this. Furthermore it is amazing that Jews are more restricted on the Temple Mount under Jewish rule than they were under Muslim rule, The only rules for visitors to the Temple Mount under Muslim rule was that they could not bring dogs, smoke and they had to be out by 11:00am

        4. In regard to the website tmount.org did you even bother to read what they wrote?

        “Temple Mount activists only seek equality for Jews on the Mount and hope that we will be soon able to pray on the Mount in harmony alongside our Arab cousins who descend from Abraham’s second son Ishmael. The sacred Temple Mount is the place of peace, and we come in peace and wish no harm for our cousins. The Mount is over 36 acres large and there is more than enough room for everyone to bow before the Almighty.” That does not sound extremist to me!

        In regard to their planning and not revealing their plans, did you know that Israeli police persecute Jews for even legal-democratic pro Temple Mount activities?

        Richard it seem you have a tremendous amount to learn about this issue, you are jumping to conclusions without looking at the other side of the coin. I must say this is very liberal of you.

        • Richard Silverstein February 26, 2012, 1:14 AM

          You CLAIM Feiglin had nothing to do with it. Further, the JPost article to which you link does not say what you claim it says. It only says that radical right wing materials were found in the suspect’s apartment and that he is affiliated with a website that promoted the Feiglin Temple pilgrimage. It said nothing about whether he was the author of the flyer.

          I would feel much easier about Jews praying on a piece of land that has been in Muslim control for generations if Muslims were welcome to pray at the Kotel. If a group of Muslims tried to pray there would they be welcomed? Or stoned?

          The very notion that land is sacred is not halachically valid. Jews for centuries ascribed no special value to territory as being innately Jewish. This became a fetish with the rise of the radical settler movement in the period after 1967. It turned both the Kotel and the Occupied Territories into holy ground which must be protected for the sake of the entire Jewish people, a view that was never normative before then.

          No one is denying that the Temple Mount is important to Jews. But Muslims have had sovereignty there for decades even after the 1967 War. What you & Feiglin are trying to do is rid the Temple Mount of Muslims & their mosques in order to rebuild the Temple. Denying that this is true (if you do) is simply disingenuous. You may differ from the more radical by a matter of degrees, but you all want the same thing. And the thing you want will lead to Holy War.

          What you’ve written is pure settler hasbara. I’m not getting into further argument with you on this matter. You’ve had your say, I’ve had mine. If you wish to comment here again pick another thread and topic. You’re done with this one. And I’m entirely serious about this so don’t test.

          • Eliyahu February 26, 2012, 12:15 PM

            The very notion that land is sacred is not halachically valid.

            The amount of sheer ignorance contained in this statement is simply astonishing. As the previous poster, I would suggest starting with the Mishna in the beginning of Kelim, starting with the phrase “Eretz Israel is more sacred than all other lands…”, building up to the sanctity of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, and finally the place of the Holy Temple.

            The fact that the temple was destroyed does not in any way detract from those various grades of halachic sanctity.

          • Richard Silverstein February 26, 2012, 5:52 PM

            Eretz Israel is a spiritual concept. It does not translate into approval of spilling Jewish & Palestinian blood in order to maintain control of specific settlements or plots of ground.

  • Rehmat February 25, 2012, 4:55 AM

    American archaeologist and author, Professor Dr. Ernest L. Martin (1932-2002) had conducted archaeology work in East jerusalem. In his controversial book ‘The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot’, published in 1999 – Dr. Martin claimed that Muslim sacred places, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of Rock are not built on top of the Temple Mount ruins.


  • frank March 14, 2012, 1:17 PM

    “Dov Hikind’s wife earns $150,000 a year as its U.S. fundraiser”.

    You linked to another article supposedly showing/proving that Dov Hikind’s wife earns $150,000 a year. I saw absolutely no reference to this anywhere in the article.

    I wonder if the rest of your article is as factual as you purport it to be.

    • Richard Silverstein March 14, 2012, 2:44 PM

      This 990 form shows her salary at $80,000 in 2010. I will do some further research to find out how I heard of the $150,000 figure, which I’m sure is accurate. Likely her salary increased since then.

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