We get the newspaper just once a week, on Friday. Shabbat is the only time we have to read actual books and newspapers as opposed to reading the news on our computer screens. On the other hand, reading the news isn’t really in the spirit of Shabbos, and I often feel protective over my Sabbath peace. I don’t want to sully that lovely timeless feeling of peace by reading about terror and corruption, crime and politics.
Much nicer to be in my Shabbos bubble.
But since my husband shells out the shekels for the paper, I figure I should read it. So there I was on Shabbos, relaxing in bed with the paper, when I see something that makes my blood boil. It’s an op-ed by Daniel K. Eisenbud about the Temple Mount.
Eisenbud explains that the Arabs are using the Temple Mount to incite violence against the Jews. The Arabs, he says, are whipping themselves up into a fury over the “Judaization” of Al Aqsa while Netanyahu is bending over backward to disavow any such attempt to take over the Mount.
Nothing wrong with any of that. All true.
What made my blood boil is Eisenbud stating, as if it were fact, that Israel had no choice but to cede the Temple Mount to the Jordanian Muslim Waqf Authority at the end of the Six Day War, or, he says, the war would never have ended. Furthermore, he says, Netanyahu knows he has to keep the status quo, in other words, keep Jews from praying on the Temple Mount, in order to preserve the peace.
NO, NO, NO.
His entire premise is incorrect. This is not what happened in 1967, nor do we get peace by maintaining the status quo. I mean, DUH. They’re stabbing us and running us over with cars. That’s not peace.
As for what happened in 1967, I mean, don’t be ridiculous. We’d whupped Arab butt. We were the solid victors. The war was truly over and we’d won the prize! The Temple Mount was in our hands. Until Dayan (as in Moshe) decided to get magnanimous.
He gave the holiest site of the Jews to the Waqf! No one gave him the right to do that. And when he did that, he made us look like a bunch of pansies. Pansies with no respect for their God or their religion. It made them DISDAIN us. And it made them think they had the upper hand and that if they continued to use violence against us, they’d get more land, more things, more holy Jewish sites for the Khilafa, the Muslim Caliphate.
This was annoying to read about on Shabbos, not only because it was incorrect and I didn’t have the guy next to me so I could yell at him, but because I knew a whole bunch of people were going to read that article and worse yet, believe it to be true.
Right then and there I knew I had to write a letter to the editor. Which I did as soon as Shabbos was over. Even though it was a crazy time with switching the house over after Pesach.
Today, my letter was printed. Which is a bummer. It’s the Friday paper that gets the most views, and I wanted what I wrote to get maximum exposure. I wanted the same people who read that Friday paper and Eisenbud’s op-ed, to read my response. I had wanted my letter in the Friday paper.
Since that’s not what happened, I decided I’d blog my letter here. I think people need to know the facts about what really happened in 1967 and what a mistake we’re making TODAY, vis-à-vis the Temple Mount.
So, with no further ado, here’s the text of my letter:
Peace in our time
Daniel K. Eisenbud (“The Temple Mount: Radical Islam’s twisted trump card in their holy war against Israel,” April 28) posits a false premise: that if Israel had not given Judaism’s holiest site back to the Jordanian Wakf, “the war would have never ended, and countless more Muslim soldiers would have attempted to annihilate the people of Israel.” Furthermore, says Eisenbud, this logic “still holds true.”
Actually, we trounced Jordan soundly and there was no reason to give it anything at all.
We mortified them with that win, and they were thoroughly cowed. This “gesture of peace” was Moshe Dayan showing what a generous fellow he was.
Dayan’s gesture betrayed ignorance of what the Temple Mount means to the Jewish people. He wasn’t knowledgeable about Judaism. He wrongly interpreted the prohibition by many rabbis to ascend to the Mount to mean it was a place of historic, rather than religious, significance. He didn’t know that a place could be so holy that some people would not dare tread there.
It is also widely thought that Dayan felt he could be magnanimous, especially since the Muslims had an actual mosque on the site. It was a huge mistake, a catastrophe, then and now.
What Dayan did was empower the Arabs and make them see us as weak and unworthy of respect. They see themselves as the winners and keepers of the spoils. They see Islam as reigning supreme over Jerusalem.
They respect only a show of strength. In ceding the Mount, Dayan – and by extension, all of Israel – appeared weak, a laughingstock.
The way to show who’s boss is to say loudly and clearly: This is ours and we will pray and do as we wish on the Temple Mount, our holy site, up to and including the right not to tread or pray there if we do not desire to do so. The lesson in all this is that only by asserting ourselves will there be peace in our time.
VARDA EPSTEIN Efrat
I’d really appreciate it if you’d share this one. People need to know the truth. And they may or may not get that from the mainstream media. We gotta bring it to them.
Thanks for listening and sharing, as always.