Latest posts by Varda Epstein (see all)
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We have a local email list in my town of Efrat, in Judea. People may post about needing a ride into Jerusalem or about an upcoming rally or about dogs that won’t stop barking. Sometimes we even get a local weather report, from our local meteorologist, Dr. Barry Lynn, who set up a weather station not far from my home.
I get the efrat-chat as a digest, because otherwise, it would just be too much mail. I scan the titles and read whatever looks interesting. On Thursday, I read this post by Izzy of Alon Shvut:
When I was at the Kotel yesterday I saw that construction was being done to the ramp leading onto to Har HaBayit. When I asked the security guard what was being done and commented to him that Jews are not permitted to go and pray there, he answered me that,
‘This is the way it should be—it’s a Muslim Holy site.’
When I told him that it was the Holiest spot for Jews and that the Jewish Temples once stood there, he answered that although that may have been true in the past, today it is only for Muslims while the Kotel is for Jews. I asked him if he was a Muslim, to which he responded that he was.
Reading that post I felt something like an electric shock course through my veins. I shivered. This is the direct result of our own actions, I thought. We recaptured the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit) in 1967. Motta Gur, then commander of the Paratroopers’ Brigade announced, “Har HaBayit b’yadeinu!!”
The Temple Mount is in our hands.
And then Moshe Dayan, the IDF Chief of Staff at that time, handed it back to the just-vanquished enemy. He gave the Temple Mount, the holiest spot of the Jewish people, to the Muslim religious authority, the Wakf, to administer.
To my mind, this is the gravest sin of my people in modern history. This grievous act allowed a false narrative to spread and take hold, that the Western Wall, the remains of a retaining wall that once surrounded the Temple, is the holiest religious site for the Jews.
It is not.
The holy spot, the quintessential holy spot of the Jewish people is the Temple Mount. Har HaBayit. Here, on this spot, the Muslims built a giant mosque, to cement the erroneous idea that the area is historically their own: that it is holy to them.
It is not.
The Arabs work feverishly to remove all archaeological evidence of a Jewish presence at this site. They are destroying precious Temple artifacts with bulldozers, and dumping loads of priceless dirt into nearby valleys.
Today, it is forbidden for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount. If Prime Minister Netanyahu accedes to John Kerry’s demands, will East Jerusalem become the capitol of the Palestinian State? Will we lose the Temple Mount altogether?
How many people know that Jerusalem is not once mentioned in the Koran?