Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."



by Boris Shusteff


            On March 22 the Israeli police decided to prohibit the grassroots Jewish organization Revava from acting on its intention of bringing 10,000 Jews to the Temple Mount. Jerusalem police spokesman Shmulik Ben Rubi said, .We will not let so many Jews up at once. This is not the usual habit on the Temple Mount.. 

True, this is not the usual habit. The usual habit, since the Temple Mount was reopened to non-Muslims in August 2003, is to bring small groups of 30 to 50 people under heavy guard on Sundays through Thursdays, from 7:30 AM to 10 AM, and from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM, and not on any Christian, Jewish or Muslim holidays or other days considered .sensitive. by the Waqf, the supreme Moslem Council (1). In addition, to be allowed to ascend to the Mount, Jews must agree to a strict set of guidelines that begins with the prohibition .not to pray or bring any .holy objects. to the site..

            Speaking on April 7 on Israeli Army Radio former Jerusalem Police Chief Aryeh Amit said that while he supports the rights of Jews to visit the Temple Mount, he does not feel they should be permitted to pray there, .since the Islamic community deems it to be a provocation and it would undoubtedly lead to violence and clashes..

            Amit.s words give a clear answer to the question of what is wrong with the Jews and Israel.  Just think for a moment about the meaning of his words.  He is saying that in a sovereign Jewish state, Jews are not allowed to do something that they have every right to do, only because others could deem it a provocation (!). To put it plainly, in an age of political correctness, freedom of religion, and all sorts of rights, Jews in the Jewish state are forbidden to pray at the holiest Jewish site!

No, dear reader, you are not dreaming. The events we are describing are not happening in a European ghetto a few hundred years ago, when the Jews were a downtrodden minority scared of everything, and were completely at the mercy of the rulers of whatever country provided them refuge at that moment.  These slavish pronouncements are declared today in Israel - the super-power of the Middle East.  In a country that .in an all-out war where civilian casualties were not a concern, could roll up the West Bank in 36 hours. according to Shoshana Bryen, an analyst for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a think tank in Washington. In the country whose air force, equipped with American F-15 and F-16 fighters, can carry out nearly 3,000 sorties, or combat missions, per day while the wor! ld.s only super power United States can only sustain about 1,600 sorties per day.

It is Israel slavishness and self-degradation that prevents peace from descending on the Middle East. It is Israel suicidal readiness to sacrifice her rights for the sake of temporarily appeasing others that is imbedded at the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

If one thinks that Amit.s words are an aberration, one should think twice, because Sharon.s preparations to expel the Jews from Gaza and Samaria is based exactly on the same formula: Sharon supports the rights of Jews to live in Gaza, but he does not feel they should be permitted to live there, since the Arab community deems it to be a provocation and it would undoubtedly lead to violence and clashes.

Tragically for the Jews this appeasement of the enemy did not even begin with Gaza. Its seeds were planted immediately after Israel.s miraculous victory in the Six Day War, when Moshe Dayan ceremonially handed over the keys of the Temple Mount to the Waqf.

 Dayan, who was extremely remote from Judaism, perhaps did not think it important that the Temple Mount for the Jews is not just another piece of real estate that can be easily traded for something. Dr. Israel Eldad brilliantly explained in 1951 what the Temple Mount means to the Jewish people. He wrote,


.We are not like the nations of the world, they belong to a land; transfer them to another land and they will belong to it. Nor is this land like the lands of other nations, take away one nation, they will belong to another. Here a third factor comes into play, supreme and decisive, which does not permit the above occurrences. Jerusalem and the Temple Mount transform our tie to the land into a weltanschauung. This weltanschauung is symbolized by the Temple. This centralization, this facing toward one spot wherever our people have been, is what has kept us together for thousands of years. (2).


            The word .weltanschauung. translates as .ideology.. But its real meaning is much deeper. It encompasses the soul of the Jewish people, the ultimate Hebrew belief, and our heritage. As Eldad explains, the Temple Mount is unique. .No other Temple is acceptable no matter how beautiful, if it is not on this Mount. Nor is this Mount acceptable without the Great and Holy Temple standing on it..

            The Arabs understand much better than the Jews that, whoever controls the Temple Mount controls Jerusalem and the whole of Palestine. It is not by chance that they so adamantly try to wrest the Temple Mount from the Jews and continue their non-stop campaign of propaganda to paint the Jews as foreigners in their own land.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) wrote in a special report on August 28, 2000 that the Palestinian Arab rejection of Israel\'s demands to sovereignty and prayer sites on Temple Mount is based on a complete denial of any Jewish affiliation with the Temple Mount.


.According to the Palestinians, the .so-called temple. that Israel recalls, has never been there, and there is no evidence to suggest its existence. This position was voiced by Arafat as well as many high-ranking Palestinians, such as PA Minister of International Planning and Cooperation Nabil Sha\'ath [currently the PA Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information], Saeb Erekat [currently chief PA negotiator with Israel], and PA Legislative Council Chairman Abu \'Alaa [currently the PA Prime Minister]..


            It is one thing when the Arabs deny the truth, negating the importance of the connection between the Jews and the Temple Mount.  However, it is thousands of times worse when a similar policy is advanced by the Jewish state itself.  On October 4, 1998, Jerusalem attorney Laurence Becker wrote in The Jerusalem Post,


.The IDF, within the framework of its educational program, organizes guided tours for soldiers on the Mount. There is a total prohibition, enforced rigidly by our Jewish police, of any reference by the guide to Jewish history, or indeed to any connection whatsoever with anything Jewish. The soldiers are fed with stories of Mohammed and Islam, and receive no information whatsoever of its rich Jewish history. It is as if the Temple had never existed..


            Never existed? A mere hundred years ago nobody would dare to utter such words. People at that time knew the historical truth much better than today. It will not hurt to listen to a man who can refute the contemporary lies disseminated by the Arabs.

Almost everybody knows Mark Twain.s famous description of the desolation in Palestine during his journey to the Holy Land: .There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent . not for thirty miles in either direction.. However, his book .The Innocents Abroad,. (written in 1869, when nobody could have accused him of Zionist propaganda, since modern Zionism was not even a concept yet), contains a much more interesting fact that is intimately connected to the subject of our discussion.

This is what Mark Twain wrote after visiting the mosques built on top of Jerusalem.s Temple Mount,


 .The mighty Mosque of Omar and the paved court around it occupy a fourth part of Jerusalem. They are upon Mount Moriah, where King Solomon.s Temple stood. Everywhere about the Mosque of Omar are portions of pillars, curiously wrought altars, and fragments of elegantly carved marble . precious remains of Solomon.s Temple. These have been dug from all depth in the soil and rubbish of Mount Moriah, and the Muslims have always shown a disposition to preserve them with the utmost care. .One meets with these venerable scraps at every turn, especially in the neighboring Mosque el Aksa, into whose inner walls a very large number of them are carefully built for preservation. (3).


            After reading Mark Twain.s words, the reader will know how to react to statements like the one made by Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, PA-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem on January 17, 2001, when he said in an interview with the German magazine Die Welt, .There is not . the smallest indication of the existence of a Jewish Temple on this place in the past. On the whole city, there is not even a single stone indicating Jewish history..  Of course there are no stones remaining in the city . the Arabs have implanted them into the walls of their mosques!

Perhaps this is the reason why the Arabs are so afraid of Jews ascending to the Temple Mount. They don.t want the world to learn the .secret. that has been hidden for so many years inside the Arab mosques. They are afraid that the Jews will finally understand why Dr. Israel Eldad wrote more than 60 years ago, .The Temple Mount is not one of many places in the Land of Israel we have yet to conquer; not just a link, but rather it is the basis, the foundation, in fact the foundation-stone..



  1. World Net Daily. 
  2. Temple Mount in Ruins by Dr. Israel Eldad. 
  3. Mark Twain. The Innocents Abroad or the New Pilgrims Progress. Signet Classic. Penguin Books USA. 1966, pages 433-434.


Boris Shusteff is an engineer.  He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.