temple mount » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘temple mount’
April 20, 2016 0

As Passover Approaches Temple Mount Tensions Remain

With Passover approach­ing, Israeli author­i­ties are gear­ing up for poten­tial ten­sions over the Tem­ple Mount/Noble Sanctuary.

The sacred space has long been the focal point of reli­gious and polit­i­cal ten­sions and con­flicts. The respon­si­bil­ity for the site is shared by Israel, which has sov­er­eignty over the site, and Jor­dan, whose Cus­to­dian Min­istry has man­aged the site since the 1994 peace treaty between Jor­dan and Israel. The agree­ment includes a clause restrict­ing Jews from pray­ing on the Mount, known infor­mally as the “status-quo.” The Waqf, an Islamic reli­gious trust, over­seas the day-to-day oper­a­tions at the site.

Credit: Andrew Shiva

Credit: Andrew Shiva

There have been many flash­points.  For years, there have been accu­sa­tions among Pales­tini­ans and across the region of a con­spir­acy by Israel to “Judaize” Jerusalem, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to this shared holy site. In 2000, then-Israeli oppo­si­tion leader Ariel Sharon vis­ited the site, which the Pales­tini­ans used as an excuse to launch the Sec­ond Intifada. Hamas, the Gaza-based ter­ror group, even praised the recent bus bomb­ing in Jerusalem as a “nat­ural reac­tion” to Israel’s “des­e­cra­tion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” located on the site.

In recent years ten­sions relat­ing to the site have inten­si­fied, with a notice­able increase in the num­ber of Jews vis­it­ing and secretly pray­ing on the Mount, a vio­la­tion of the status-quo. Among them, Israeli gov­ern­ment min­is­ters and politi­cians, some of whom have called for Jews to be allowed to pray on the Mount.

And over the past week, other inci­dents have focused atten­tion on the sacred space.  Last week, the Tem­ple Mount Insti­tute, a Jew­ish mes­sianic orga­ni­za­tion, con­ducted a secret Jew­ish wed­ding on the Mount, which was filmed and posted on social media. While it may sound strange to con­demn a Jew­ish wed­ding at a holy Jew­ish site, the inci­dent was part of the larger, poten­tially explo­sive effort by some on the reli­gious right, to change the sta­tus quo on the Tem­ple Mount.

And from the Pales­tin­ian side, there was the adop­tion by the UNESCO exec­u­tive board of a highly-biased, one-sided res­o­lu­tion on Jerusalem which ignored the Jew­ish con­nec­tion to holy sites like the Tem­ple Mount and West­ern Wall. The res­o­lu­tion described both sites only in their Muslim/Arabic names, alleged Israel was plant­ing fake Jew­ish graves, and crit­i­cized, on polit­i­cal grounds, a recent Israeli deci­sion to build an egal­i­tar­ian prayer area in the West­ern Wall Plaza. Shock­ingly, a num­ber of West­ern coun­tries voted to sup­port the res­o­lu­tion, includ­ing France, Spain and Sweden.

The Israeli gov­ern­ment, much to its credit, has taken steps to reduce ten­sions, includ­ing ban­ning all gov­ern­ment min­is­ters and Knes­set mem­bers from vis­it­ing the Mount. They have also worked closely with US and Jor­dan­ian gov­ern­ments on a plan to install sur­veil­lance cam­eras on the Tem­ple Mount, which would help refute claims that Israel is vio­lat­ing the sta­tus quo. In an unfor­tu­nate devel­op­ment how­ever, Jor­dan announced this week that it was drop­ping this plan due to objec­tions from the Pales­tini­ans who were “skep­ti­cal” about the ini­tia­tive. Pales­tini­ans had also placed notices on the Mount threat­en­ing to smash any secu­rity cam­eras which were installed. This is not an encour­ag­ing development.

In the ancient tra­di­tion of Passover, Jews were required to make a pil­grim­age to Jerusalem and bring a spe­cial Passover sac­ri­fice to the Jew­ish Tem­ple. While the sac­ri­fice is no longer prac­ticed, the next week will bring many tens of thou­sands of Jews to the Old City of Jerusalem and West­ern Wall area adja­cent to the Tem­ple Mount for prayers, bless­ings and celebrations.

While Israel must con­tinue efforts to ensure the status-quo remain unchanged, the Pales­tini­ans must refrain from fur­ther esca­lat­ing the ten­sions by using the Mount as a polit­i­cal issue to attack Israel. Any seri­ous esca­la­tion of ten­sions over the Tem­ple Mount/Noble Sanc­tu­ary — over Passover and beyond — could turn into a poten­tially explo­sive and vio­lent situation.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

November 5, 2015 0

Continued Publication of Anti-Semitic Themed Cartoons in the Arab and Muslim World

As Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ism across Israel per­sists, Arab and Mus­lim news­pa­pers and social media accounts con­tinue to pro­mote themes in sup­port of the vio­lence, which is often referred to as a “mass out­burst” or the “Knives Intifada.”

In addi­tion to the image of the knives, other themes are also being fea­tured. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry’s recent efforts to end the vio­lence are depicted as Israel and Jews con­trol­ling the US and its lead­er­ship.  Exam­ples of car­toons pub­lished include a fig­ure rep­re­sent­ing the US trapped inside the Star of David, Uncle Sam being in the pocket of Israel and Sec­re­tary Kerry wip­ing the blood from the teeth of a wolf – which rep­re­sents Israel.

Another ever-present alle­ga­tion is the charge that Israel is attempt­ing to alter the status-quo on the Tem­ple Mount/Noble Sanc­tu­ary in Jerusalem.  These images show Israel as a sin­is­ter snake attack­ing the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Below are exam­ples of the car­toons published:

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

October 9, 2015 5

Terror in Israel, A Reality We Know Too Well

By: Car­ole Nuriel, ADL’s Jerusalem Office

Over the past two weeks, a wave of ter­ror has once again hit Israel. For those of us who grew up in Israel dur­ing the 1980s, this is an unfor­tu­nate real­ity we know all too well. Israelis suf­fered through two intifadas, waves of ter­ror attacks includ­ing sui­cide bombs, shoot­ings, run-over attacks, stone throw­ing and Molo­tov cock­tails. Yet there is a feel­ing now that this par­tic­u­lar wave of ter­ror is dif­fer­ent. There are a few rea­sons for this:

•       The ter­ror­ists’ pro­file: They come both from Pales­tin­ian areas in the West Bank and from Israeli Arab communities

•       Most of them are rel­a­tively young, some even teenagers

Obvi­ously, another change is the use of social media:  some of the ter­ror­ists have declared their inten­tion to carry out attacks on social media. This tool, which has become the new “city square”, pro­vides a plat­form for recruit­ment, incite­ment, how-tos, as well as for orga­niz­ing crowds to demon­strate and riot against Israeli secu­rity forces.

Israel violence

In many ways, this wave of vio­lence rep­re­sents an on-the-ground ver­sion of the recent Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza, which indis­crim­i­nately tar­geted Israeli civil­ians through­out the coun­try. This wave may have started in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, but quickly caught fire to the rest of the coun­try, and is now tar­get­ing cities like Kiryat Gat, Petach Tikva, Tel Aviv and Afula. Much like Hamas’ rock­ets, much of the fear Israelis are now feel­ing is because of the sense that no place in the coun­try is immune from ter­ror attacks.

Anx­i­ety is felt every­where, as is the nature of ter­ror­ism. I live in Modi’in and have taken Road 443 to Jerusalem daily for the past eight years. How­ever, dur­ing the last few months I haven’t felt safe dri­ving on 443, espe­cially with my kids, as there have been numer­ous stone and Molo­tov cock­tail throw­ing inci­dents on this road. I now feel safer tak­ing High­way 1, even though it means a longer drive to Jerusalem. Indeed, many Modi’in res­i­dents don’t drive on 443 any­more. Some­thing has def­i­nitely changed. Just today, I received a notice that secu­rity check­points will be erected at all entrances to the city, and secu­rity in all edu­ca­tional insti­tu­tions will be increased.

Polls have shown that there is a gen­eral pub­lic con­sen­sus among Pales­tini­ans against ter­ror­ism. But last week we wit­nessed another kind of evil, one which greatly wor­ries me. Dur­ing Sat­ur­day night’s ter­ri­ble stab­bing in the Old City of Jerusalem, Adele Ben­nett, whose hus­band was killed and she her­self stabbed, was report­edly spat on and laughed at by Arab bystanders as she ran to get help with a knife still in her back. What can be more insult­ing, upset­ting and inhu­mane than this inde­cent act?

But this is not only about ter­ror, it’s also about incite­ment to vio­lence. Many of those riot­ing claim Israel is attempt­ing to change the sta­tus quo on Tem­ple Mount. This holy place to both Judaism and Islam has been the focus of clashes and provo­ca­tions for years. It is hard to ignore the dan­ger­ous actions and dis­course of the Islamic Move­ment in Israel, who have sup­ported the Murabitun/Murabitat group, whose sole pur­pose is to pro­voke and insult Jews vis­it­ing the Tem­ple Mount. Incite­ment has also come from senior Pales­tin­ian Author­ity offi­cials, includ­ing Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Abbas who infa­mously declared in a tele­vi­sion inter­view a few weeks ago that Jews are defil­ing the Tem­ple Mount with their feet.

Today more than ever, reli­gious and polit­i­cal lead­ers must under­stand how eas­ily their incit­ing words can lead to vio­lence and terrorism.

There are ongo­ing efforts among Israeli and Pales­tin­ian lead­ers to deesca­late ten­sions. Israelis hope and pray that this will be suc­cess­ful, and that the per­sonal secu­rity will be restored.

Tags: , , , , , , ,