Friday, October 31, 2014

The NYTimes Does In the Temple Mount

The New York Times has reported on the events of the past day and a half here in Jerusalem.  If you compare it, for example, to its previous coverage of Women of the Wall, also a religious issue, also controversial, also pitting rights against obsurantist authorities, you will quickly realize that the [paper has taken a side in its reporting.

I am going to begin a fisking of it and my comments are in italics within brackets [].  I doubt whether I can touch on all its poor journalism content, but it's a start.

Its article is accompanied by a side bar, so i'll start off with that:

Sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims [why put Christians first? It was a Jewish site at the start and even Jesus came there as a Jew], the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City has long been a flash point in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. [how long? perhaps since 1929? earlier?]
• Jews call it the Temple Mount and Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary.• Muslims worship at the Al Aksa mosque, third-holiest site in Islam. [and the Marwani Mosque built irregularly beginning in 1996 when tons of earth, containing ancient archaeological artifacts, were dumped outside the compound]. It also includes the gold-domed shrine, the Dome of the Rock.• Jews cannot worship atop the mount [by order of Israel's governmenets in a bend-over-vackward-to-please compromise to maintain a fictitious status quo], only at the Western Wall, a remnant of the retaining wall around the ancient Second Temple.• More than 300,000 foreign tourists visit there annually. [and they cannot pray either]• Christians are drawn to the ruins of the temple Jesus attended. [whose Temple was that?]

and now to the body of the article which, remarkably, while quoting a Waqf official, the family of the terrorist, a spokesman of the Palestinian Authority and for Jordan, an anti-Jewish rights group Ir Amim, the restaurant owner, the police and Israel's government - and a hospital spokesman for a health report - not one Temple Mount advocate for Jewish rights is present in his/her own words.

Israel Blocks Access to Contested Holy Site in Jerusalem

OCT. 30, 2014

JERUSALEM — The Israeli authorities closed off all access to a contested [properly, it is not contested.  we recognize that it is also a holy site for Muslims.  Muslins do not recognize it as a holy site for Jews.  it's a one-sided contest] holy site in the Old City here on Thursday for the first time in years [the last time, the waqf closed it unilaterally after Sharon's 2000 visit], a step that a Palestinian spokesman [that was Abbas, not just a 'spokesman'] denounced as amounting to “a declaration of war.”

The action came after Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man who was suspected of involvement in an attempt on Wednesday to assassinate a leading agitator [he actually is a Rabbi, a clergyman. are all other human rights activists termed 'agitators'?  And, if any other cleric of any other faith would have been denied freedom of prayer at a site he considers holy, would that term be used?  freedom of worship, then, cannot be demanded by Jews?] for more Jewish access to the site, which Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary. The closing prevented Muslims from worshiping at Al Aksa mosque, one of the three holiest sites in Islam.

Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for the police, said that the site had been closed to prevent further unrest, and that a security assessment would be made Thursday evening to decide whether it could be reopened.

Israel has increasingly restricted access to the site on certain days, barring young Muslim men or non-Muslim visitors, citing concerns over clashes [and those concerns stem from rabid and irrational incitement, violent behavior by Muslims and attempts to alter the status quo by Muslims as well as the fundamental Temple Denial attitude]. Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, said that the action on Thursday was the first complete closing of the site since 2000 [by the Waqf as noted above], when a visit by Ariel Sharon — who was then the leader of the opposition in Parliament — helped set off the second Palestinian intifada.

Samir Abu al-Leil of the Islamic Waqf, the trust that has managed Al Aksa and other Muslim holy sites for centuries, said the area had not been fully closed since 1967.

In a statement, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, quoted Mr. Abbas as describing the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem as “a red line” [he said more: Jews attempting to enter are a 'herd of cattle' and see below] where there could be no compromise. Israel’s decision was a “grave act” that would “add to the tensions and instability and create a dangerous atmosphere,” he said.

The site has been the scene of increasingly fierce clashes between Muslim worshipers and protesters [there are no clashes as all the violence is one-sided, from and by Muslims] and the Israeli police [who simply attempt to restore calm and public order] in recent weeks. Mr. Abbas has accused Israel of trying to change the status quo at the site [but it has not and Netanyahu is on record these past two weeks in particular as saying he will maintain the status quo] to allow open Jewish prayer there, something Israeli and Palestinian analysts alike have warned could set off a major conflagration.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has insisted that he will not alter the status quo at the site [ah, one paragraph late], which Israel seized along with the rest of the Old City in 1967 but immediately handed back to the Islamic authorities. Israel maintains responsibility for security.

On Thursday, Mr. Netanyahu condemned the shooting of the Jewish activist, Yehuda Glick, as “an act of terrorism,” and accused Mr. Abbas of inciting violence. He pointed to a recent speech in which the Palestinian Authority president called on his people to defend the mosque compound from Jewish encroachment “by all means.”

“I have ordered significant reinforcements, so that we can maintain both security in Jerusalem and the status quo in the holy places,” Mr. Netanyahu said after an emergency consultation with senior security officials. “This struggle might be long, and here, like in other struggles, we must first of all lower the flames. No side should take the law into its own hands. We must be levelheaded and act with determination and responsibility, and so we shall.”

Mr. Glick is a prominent Israeli-American activist who has frequently been arrested at the Temple Mount. Israeli counterterrorism forces said they killed the Palestinian man suspected of shooting Mr. Glick while they were attempting to arrest the man on Thursday.

Mr. Rosenfeld, the Israeli police spokesman, said the forces had surrounded a house in the Abu Tor neighborhood when shots were fired at the officers, who responded immediately.

The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, identified the man who was killed as Mu’atez Hijazi, and said he was released in 2012 after spending 11 years in an Israeli prison. He was said to be in his early 30s.

Mr. Hijazi worked in the kitchen of the restaurant that operates in the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, where Mr. Glick was attending a convention on Jewish prayer rights at Temple Mount before he was shot. Staff members at the restaurant refused to comment. The owner told Israel Radio that he had followed all the required security procedures before hiring Mr. Hijazi about a year ago.

Hours after Mr. Hijazi was killed, residents and the police were clashing in Abu Tor, as the latest events brought months of tension in Jerusalem to a new peak.

Taghreed Hijazi, Mr. Hijazi’s aunt, said she heard a commotion outside her home early Thursday morning. When she looked out her kitchen window, she said, a police officer aimed a gun at her. “He ordered me to shut the window and get inside,” she said.

Ms. Hijazi said she saw a group of police officers dragging Mr. Hijazi’s brother Odai into the courtyard. Some officers went up to the rooftop, where Mr. Hijazi was later found dead, and others raided his room, she said. Solar panels on the roof were punctured with more than two dozen bullet holes.

Mr. Hijazi’s sister Shayma, 25, accused the police of killing him “in cold blood.” [and a police reaction to this claim?]

A spokeswoman for the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, the Jerusalem hospital where Mr. Glick was taken, said on Thursday that he had suffered four gunshot wounds to the chest, neck, stomach and arm and that his condition was stable but still very serious. Witnesses to the shooting said a lone assailant had fled the scene on a motorcycle.

Under an arrangement in place for decades, Jews are not allowed to worship atop the mount, only in the Western Wall plaza below [and the prohibition even to enter the Cave of the Patriarchs, a parallel status quo, was altered in 1967 and is in place until today with far less clashes]. Ultranationalist Jewish activists and groups, often led by Mr. Glick, have made a point of visiting the mount more frequently in recent years and have been campaigning for Jewish prayer rights on the mount, where ancient Jewish temples once stood.

More than 8,500 Jews visited the mount last year, compared with fewer than 6,000 in 2010, according to the Israeli police. Mr. Rosenfeld did not respond to requests for information on Jewish visits this year, but Ir Amim, a left-wing group [wow, 'left-wing] that tracks activity at the site, said the police had reported an increase of 20 percent.

At a Parliament committee meeting this week, the interior ministry reported that Israel had restricted Muslim access, usually barring men under 50, on 40 occasions this year, up from eight days in 2013, according to Aviv Tatarsky of Ir Amim, who was present at the meeting. Jews, whose access is always restricted to certain hours, have also been barred on various days, including during part of the recent holiday of Sukkot.

Mr. Abu al-Leil of the Islamic Waqf said the police stopped him on Thursday from entering the Aksa compound for the noon prayer, as he normally does, so he instead worshiped with others near an Old City gate.

“To prevent worshipers from praying is irrational policy, because it triggers violence and hatred,” he said in an interview. “It is very hard to accept this situation. The violence will erupt soon.” [why should it trigger violence? why not a non-violent campaign?  must Muslims always resort to violence?  are they use this threat and practice to gain unfairly the oppression of Jewish rights?  what about Article 9 of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty that promotes freedom of worship and coexistence?]

Beyond the fears of mounting violence between Israelis and Palestinians, the closure of Al Aqsa has regional repercussions, particularly for Israel’s relationship with Jordan, which both sides see as vital in warding off Islamic extremism. Officially, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is ultimately responsible for Jerusalem’s Islamic holy sites. Jordan’s minister of Islamic Affairs, Hayel Daoud, said on Thursday that the closure was “a serious escalation and ‘state terrorism’ by the Israeli authorities.”

The statement followed a string of unusually harsh public criticism of Israeli actions in Jerusalem by Jordan’s king and other leaders. Equating “Zionist extremism” with “Islamic extremism,” King Abdullah told members of the Jordanian government on Oct. 20 that “if Jordan and other countries are fighting extremism within Islam, and the Israelis are slaughtering our children in Gaza and Jerusalem every five minutes, then we have a problem.”

Jordan’s ambassador to Israel, Walid Obeidat, said at an event in Tel Aviv on Sunday marking the 20th anniversary of Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel that the continued expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem or changes in the status quo at the mount “will ultimately imperil the treaty.” [see above on Article 9]

Jawad Anani, a former Jordanian foreign minister and deputy prime minister, said in an interview on Thursday that “Jordanians feel the latest actions taken by Israel are directed against Jordan this time, not only against Palestinians.”

“Jordan is finding it hard to explain to its people that it is in its interest to maintain the peace treaty and defend it,” Mr. Anani said. “His Majesty is reflecting the anger domestically. If anything happens to Al Aqsa under his guardianship, there will be huge consequences inside and outside of Jordan, so there’s a lot of pressure.”

Oded Eran, a former Israeli ambassador to Jordan, said the king was worried that the eruption of a third Palestinian intifada would send a new wave of Palestinians emigrating to Jordan, where millions of Palestinian refugees already live and where hundreds of thousands of people have fled from conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

“The Jerusalem issue is a big issue from the Jordanian point of view, but it’s not going to threaten” the peace treaty, Mr. Eran said. Noting that Israel and Jordan cooperate on security, share intelligence, and are negotiating important deals on water and gas, he said of the Jordanian side: “They will lose a lot if something happens to the agreement. There are real daily existential needs, and Jordan cannot turn a blind eye to those.”

As darkness fell in the Old City, about 50 Muslims spread small carpets near the Lion’s Gate to say the evening prayer, surrounded by about two dozen Israeli police officers in helmets. A young imam with a long black beard read two verses from the Quran — one that called for fighting [oh, really?], and one about the acceptance of other religions [and what is that verse?].

“God protect our Aqsa,” the imam said. “Amen,” the worshipers responded.

Other issues appearing in other media outlets are covered by Ari Soffer.

UPDATE:  This Jordanian angle, I see, is now covered here.  While it is noted that the Hashemites are foreign to Jordan, again, no Jewish Temple Mount advocate is quoted on the mater.  And it includes this graphic:

Another version of the article defined so: 'A version of this article appears in print on October 30, 2014, on page A9 of the New York edition with the headline: Activist in Israel Is Wounded in Shooting', is now up and you can see some 'on second thought' evidence:

JERUSALEM — An Israeli-American agitator who has pushed for more Jewish access and rights at a hotly contested religious site in Jerusalem was shot and seriously wounded Wednesday night by an unidentified assailant in an apparent assassination attempt.

The shooting of the activist, Yehuda Glick, compounded fears of further violence in the increasingly polarized holy city, where tensions are already high over fears of a new Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.

Reports that Mr. Glick had been shot came as the United Nations Security Council convened in an emergency session, at the request of Palestinian and Jordanian diplomats, to address the religious strife and growing anger over Israeli housing expansions in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians regard as the capital of a future state.

Israel, which regards all of Jerusalem as its capital, has faced intense criticism over the housing expansions, including from its most important ally, the United States, which has described them as illegitimate obstructions to an any hope for a peaceful solution to the longstanding Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for the police, said Mr. Glick had been wounded by an assailant who escaped on a motorcycle. He said the police were examining the possibility that the assailant was a Palestinian assassin.

Mr. Glick, widely viewed as a provocative figure who has exacerbated tensions between Muslims and Jews, is an American-born leader of groups pushing for more Jewish access to the Temple Mount, the sacred plateau revered by Jews as the site of ancient Jewish temples and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, the location of Al Aksa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

The compound is in the Old City of Jerusalem in territory that Israel seized from Jordan in the 1967 war and then annexed in a move that was never internationally recognized.

Tensions over the site, which is administered by the Muslim authorities, have sharply risen in recent months, with Muslim worshipers and protesters clashing with the police and accusing them of restricting access. On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel ordered an increase in the Jerusalem police force to quell the violence.

Palestinian leaders have decried the increasing Jewish presence on the mount, as Jewish activists have made a point of visiting more frequently.

Under the status quo, Jews are allowed to visit the compound but not to pray there. President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has called on Palestinians to defend Jerusalem and the Muslim holy sites there “by all means.” Mr. Netanyahu, who has vowed to maintain the status quo, has accused Mr. Abbas of escalating tensions with such statements, an assertion Mr. Abbas has called “baseless.”

“The solution is to remove the causes for this tension, primarily the presence of the settlements in Jerusalem which serve as provocation to the local residents, and second, to stop the prevention of prayers,” Mr. Abbas said Wednesday in an interview broadcast on Israel’s Channel 10.

The shooting of Mr. Glick took place outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in a predominantly Jewish area of central Jerusalem. Mr. Glick and his supporters had been attending a Temple Mount convention there.

Tall, redheaded and bearded, Mr. Glick is an easily recognizable figure. Footage from Wednesday night’s convention broadcast on Israeli television showed Mr. Glick addressing the audience and warning that those who “stand up” for more Jewish rights on Temple Mount are likely to be denounced by opponents as “right-wing extremists,” “dangerous” and “delusional.”

Peeking at his cellphone while on the podium Mr. Glick joked that he kept it on just in case permission came through to rebuild the Jewish temple at the ancient site, in which case, he said, he would have to leave. Mr. Glick has described himself in interviews as a licensed tour guide who makes a living by taking groups on tours of Temple Mount. The police have banned him several times from the site, a measure that Mr. Glick has challenged in the Israeli courts.

At the Jerusalem hospital where Mr. Glick underwent surgery, his father, Shimon Glick, told reporters his son had received numerous death threats but that the police had given him no protection.

At the Security Council, Jeffrey Feltman, the under secretary-general for political affairs, said rising Israeli-Palestinian tensions, coming even as the recovery effort from the 50-day Gaza war this summer had barely started, were ominous. Instead of moving toward the goal of a two-state solution to the conflict, he said, Israelis and Palestinians were “moving the situation ever closer to a one-state reality.”

There was no hint of conciliatory talk by either the Palestinian or Israeli speakers, however, with both appearing to harden their long-held differences.

The Palestinian ambassador, Riyad Mansour, said Israel, as the occupying power, was “further inflaming this volatile situation, and threatening to ignite yet another cycle of violence.”

The Israeli ambassador, Ron Prosor, asserting what he called Israel’s unassailable claim to all of Jerusalem dating to biblical times, accused the Palestinians of incitement, “outright lies and half-truths about Israel.”


Thursday, October 30, 2014

America Violates Its Own Religious Freedom Goals


Remarks by Ambassador David Pressman, U. S . Alternate Representative to the United Nations for Special Political Affairs, at a Security Council Open Debate on the Middle East, October 29, 2014

The deterioration of the situation in Jerusalem, at a time when so many are eager for signs of progress towards peace, is deeply troubling.
It’s hard to imagine sites more sensitive than those in Jerusalem and, today, we are very concerned by recent tensions surrounding the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif. It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the historical status quo on the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif – in word and in practice.
That’s why Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent statements expressing his commitment to maintain the status quo there and not to make any changes at the site are so important. We welcome the Prime Minister’s comments.
The continued commitment by Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians to preserve the historic status quo at the holy site is critical. Any decisions or actions to change it would be both provocative and dangerous. We urge the leaders of all three parties to exercise decisive leadership and work cooperatively together to lower tensions and discourage violence, alleviate restrictions on Muslim worshipers, and reinvigorate long-standing coordination mechanisms and relationships that have served over the decades to preserve the historic status quo as it pertains to religious observance and access to the site. These arrangements are essential for maintaining calm at this important and holy site.

What I placed in bold is pure unadulterated undemocratic, anti-human rights and a perversion of the freedoms of religion that America criticizes in other countries around the world. 

The status quo is not "historic" and in practice denies Jews our historic rights.

And then this followed, 
The United States urged that the compound be reopened to Muslim worshippers, and called on all sides to exercise restraint amid spiralling tensions in Jerusalem.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also condemned the shooting of hardline rabbi Yehuda Glick, an Israeli-US dual national.



Was just sent this:

October 30, 2014
Situation in Jerusalem

I strongly condemn yesterday’s shooting of a U.S. citizen outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.  My thoughts and prayers are with the family.  The State Department is in touch with authorities as we seek more information.

I am extremely concerned by escalating tensions across Jerusalem and particularly surrounding the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.  It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount – in word and in practice.  The continued commitment by Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians to preserve the historic status quo at this holy site is critical; any decisions or actions to change it would be both provocative and dangerous.  The Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount must be re-opened to Muslim worshipers and I support the long-standing practices regarding non-Muslim visitors to the site, consistent with respect for the status quo arrangements governing religious observance there.

I am in close touch with senior Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian leaders to try to deescalate the situation.  I urge the leaders of all three parties to exercise decisive leadership and work cooperatively together to lower tensions and discourage violence, alleviate restrictions on Muslim worshipers, and reinvigorate long-standing coordination mechanisms and relationships that have served over the decades to preserve the historic status quo as it pertains to religious observance and access to the site.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Struggle for the Temple Mount with Me in German

In a German-language report - -  Der Kampf um den Tempelberg or, 

The struggle for the Temple Mount

Sie sind nicht nur religiös, sondern auch nationalistisch. „Der Tempel ist Teil des Judentums. Deshalb zerbrechen wir bei Hochzeiten Glas. Wir erinnern damit an die Zerstörung des Tempels. Es ist also ein legitimes Ziel, dass der Tempelberg wieder jüdisch wird“, erklärt Yisrael Medad von der Organisation El Har HaShem, die sich seit den 70er Jahren genau dafür einsetzt.

And in translation:

They are not only religious, but also nationalistic. "The temple is part of Judaism. Therefore, we break a glass at weddings and thereby we so remember the destruction of the Temple. So it is a legitimate aim, that the Temple Mount is to be Jewish again," says Yisrael Medad of the El Har HaShem organization that works for that exact aim since the 1970s.

The full article published on October 23 by Lissy Kaufmann

In Jerusalem stehen einige der größten Heiligtümer der Juden und Muslime. Derzeit entzündet sich dort wieder der alte Streit, wem das Areal des Tempelbergs in der Altstadt gehört. Vor 14 Jahren hat der Besuch Ariel Scharons die zweite Intifada ausgelöst.

Als hätten sie nur auf einen wie ihn gewartet, beginnen die Frauen zu rufen. „Allahu akbar“, hallt es über den Platz direkt vor dem Felsendom mit seiner goldenen Kuppel, als Akiva an diesem sonnigen Herbstnachmittag Haram al Scharif, den Tempelberg in Jerusalem, betritt. Die Rufe unterbrechen die idyllische Ruhe, übertönen das Vogelgezwitscher. Mit jedem Schritt, den Akiva in Begleitung von zwei Polizisten geht, stimmen mehr und mehr Muslime auf dem Tempelberg mit ein. „Allahu akbar“ – Gott ist größer. Ein Moslem schimpft auf Hebräisch: „Nur ein Dieb muss sich hier beschützen lassen.“

In den Augen der Muslime ist der Jude Akiva, ein 25 Jahre alter Mann mit Kippa, ein Dieb, der ihnen den Tempelberg wegnehmen möchte. Sie sehen seinen Besuch als Provokation. Die Polizei begleitet ihn zur Sicherheit. Denn mit den zunehmenden Besuchen von Juden auf dem Tempelberg in den vergangenen Monaten steigt auch die Zahl der Krawalle.

Für beide Seiten ein Heiligtum
Der Nahostkonflikt tritt hier inmitten der Altstadt Jerusalems in seiner reinsten Form zutage: Muslime und Juden streiten sich darüber, wer das Recht auf das Stückchen Land hat, das für beide ein heiliger Ort ist. Hier steht der Felsendom und die Al-Aqsa-Moschee, der drittheiligste Ort für Muslime. Hier soll Prophet Mohammed seine Himmelsreise angetreten haben. Für religiöse Juden ist es der Ort, an dem der erste und der zweite jüdische Tempel standen, letzterer wurde im Jahr 70 nach Christus von den Römern zerstört.

Einige religiöse Juden wollen deshalb auch an bestimmten Orten auf dem Tempelberg beten – was Nicht-Muslimen generell verboten ist. „An jedem anderen Ort könnte man fragen: Warum sollen nicht auch Nicht-Muslime dort beten dürfen? Aber man muss es im Kontext des gesamten Konfliktes sehen. Es geht hier um Politik, nicht um das Recht auf Gebet“, erklärt Aviv Tatarsky von Ir Amim, einer Nichtregierungsorganisation, die sich für die Koexistenz in Jerusalem einsetzt.

Abbas will den Siedlern den Zutritt verwehren
Der Status quo lautet: Die jordanische Waqf, eine Art muslimische Stiftung, verwaltet den Tempelberg, die israelische Polizei kümmert sich um die Sicherheit. Anfang des Jahres wurde in der Knesset über den Status quo auf dem Tempelberg diskutiert. Muslime werten es als Zeichen dafür, dass ihnen der Tempelberg weggenommen werden könnte. Nicht umsonst sprach Palästinenserpräsident Mahmud Abbas deshalb vergangene Woche davon, dass den „Siedlern“ der Zutritt verweigert werden sollte und dass diese kein Recht hätten zu kommen und den Ort zu entweihen. Abbas meinte nicht die Ultraorthodoxen mit ihren langen, schwarzen Mänteln und den großen Hüten, sondern die Nationalreligiösen mit gehäkelten Kippot und T-Shirts. Sie sind nicht nur religiös, sondern auch nationalistisch. „Der Tempel ist Teil des Judentums. Deshalb zerbrechen wir bei Hochzeiten Glas. Wir erinnern damit an die Zerstörung des Tempels. Es ist also ein legitimes Ziel, dass der Tempelberg wieder jüdisch wird“, erklärt Yisrael Medad von der Organisation El Har HaShem, die sich seit den 70er Jahren genau dafür einsetzt.

Die Nationalreligiösen provozieren
Die Nationalreligiösen wollen Präsenz zeigen, fast täglich kommen sie mittlerweile auf den Tempelberg. Sie sind in Israel längst keine Randgruppe mehr, sondern gewinnen auch in der Knesset immer mehr Unterstützung. So sorgen Politiker aus dem rechten Lager für mediale Aufmerksamkeit, wenn sie über den Tempelberg spazieren. Doch Aktionen wie diese sind äußerst heikel: Ariel Scharons Besuch auf dem Tempelberg im Jahr 2000 war ein Funke, der die zweite Intifada mitentfachte. Aus Sicherheitsgründen ist es jungen Muslimen deshalb an bestimmten Tagen untersagt, den Tempelberg zu besuchen.

Vor allem an hohen Feiertagen müssen muslimische Männer unter 50 Jahren draußen bleiben. Der 25-jährige Jamal ist davon betroffen. „Letzte Woche haben sie da vorne Barrieren aufgebaut“, sagt er. Es war das jüdische Fest Sukkoth, an dem viele jüdische Gläubige den Tempelberg besuchen. „Sie haben uns nicht reingelassen. Aber wir lassen uns nicht davon abhalten, es trotzdem zu versuchen. Wir haben dann vor den Barrieren gebetet.“ Nicht selten fliegen auch Steine. Die Polizisten, die die Eingänge zum Tempelberg bewachen, sind für Krawalle gerüstet. Sie tragen Schlagstöcke bei sich, Schutzschilder stehen bereit. Die jungen Muslime sind frustriert: „Es wird immer schlimmer. Sie provozieren uns und wollen uns den Tempelberg wegnehmen. Aber das ist unser Heiligtum.“

Und so ist der Besuch von Akiva auch ein nationalistischer Akt, der die Muslime verärgert. „Raus hier“, ruft ihm ein älterer Mann beim Vorbeigehen entgegen. „Ruhe“, kontert einer der Polizisten, der Akiva begleitet. Akiva aus der Siedlung Kiryat Arba im Westjordanland besucht den heiligen Ort zum ersten Mal. In einer Reihe mit Touristen hat er vor der Mughrabi Brücke neben der Klagemauer gewartet – dem einzigen Zugang für Nicht-Muslime, der nur zu bestimmten Zeiten geöffnet ist. „Es ist mein Geburtstag nach jüdischem Kalender, deshalb wollte ich endlich herkommen“, sagt er.

and in Google Translate's version:

In Jerusalem, some of the largest sanctuaries of Jews and Muslims. Currently there again ignited the old debate of who owns the site of the Temple Mount in the Old City. 14 years before the visit of Ariel Sharon triggered the second intifada.

As if they had only waited one like him, the women begin to call. "Allahu akbar", it resonates across the square in front of the Dome of the Rock, with its golden dome, as Akiva on this sunny autumn afternoon Haram al-Sharif, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, enters. The calls interrupt the idyllic tranquility, drown out the birdsong. With each step, the Akiva is accompanied by two police officers, vote more and more Muslims on the Temple Mount with a. "Allahu akbar" - God is greater. A Muslim curses in Hebrew: "Only a thief has to be here to protect her."

In the eyes of the Muslims is the Jew Akiva, a 25 year old man wearing a kippah, a thief who wants to take away the Temple Mount. You see his visit as a provocation. The police accompanied him to safety. Because of the increasing visits by Jews on the Temple Mount in recent months also increases the number of riots.

For both sides, a sanctuary
The Middle East conflict occurs here in the old city of Jerusalem in its purest form revealed: Muslims and Jews are arguing over who has the right to a piece of land, which is both a sacred place. Here stands the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place for the Muslims. Here Prophet Mohammed is said to have begun his journey to heaven. For religious Jews, it is the place where the first and second Jewish Temple stood, the latter was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans.

Some religious Jews therefore want to pray at certain locations on the Temple Mount - what non-Muslims is prohibited. "On any other place you might ask: Why are not supposed to pray non-Muslims there? But you have to see in the context of the entire conflict. This is about politics, not about the right to prayer, "says Aviv Tatarsky Ir Amim of, a non-governmental organization that works for the coexistence in Jerusalem.

Abbas wants the settlers refuse entry
The status quo is: The Jordanian Waqf, a kind of Muslim Foundation, administers the Temple Mount, the Israeli police take care of security. Beginning of the year was discussed in the Knesset on the status quo on the Temple Mount. Muslims consider it a sign that they might be taken away from the Temple Mount. Not for nothing said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last week therefore assume that the "settlers" of the access should be denied and that they had no right to come and the profane place. Abbas did not mean the ultra-Orthodox, with their long black coats and big hats, but the National Religious with crocheted kippot and T-shirts. They are not only religious, but also nationalistic. "The temple is part of Judaism. Therefore, we break the glass at weddings. We remember so that the destruction of the Temple. So it is a legitimate aim, that the Temple Mount is Jewish "again, Yisrael Medad says of the Har HaShem El organization that works to accurately since the 70s for it.

Provoke the National Religious
The National Religious want to show presence, almost every day they come now to the Temple Mount. You are in Israel no longer a fringe group, but also win in the Knesset more support. To ensure politicians from the right wing for media attention when they walk on the Temple Mount. But actions like these are extremely delicate: Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount in 2000 was a spark that ignited the second Intifada. For security reasons it is young Muslims therefore prohibited on certain days, to visit the Temple Mount.

Especially on high holidays Muslim men must remain under 50 years outdoors. The 25-year-old Jamal is affected. "Last week, they have over there barriers built up," he says. It was the Jewish festival of Succoth, where many Jewish believers visit the Temple Mount. "You have not let in us. But we can not prevent us to try anyway. We then prayed before the barriers. "Not infrequently stones fly. The policemen who guard the entrances to the Temple Mount are prepared for riots. They carry batons with them, shields are available. Young Muslims are frustrated: "It's getting worse. They provoke us and want us to take away the Temple Mount. But this is our sanctuary. "

And so the visit of Akiva is also a nationalist act that angered the Muslims. "Get out of here," calls him against an elderly man in passing. "Silence," counters one of the policemen, who accompanied Akiva. Akiva from the Kiryat Arba settlement in the West Bank visited the holy place for the first time. In a number of tourists he has been waiting in front of the Mughrabi Bridge next to the Wailing Wall - the only access for non-Muslims, which is only open at certain times. "It's my birthday according to the Jewish calendar, so I finally wanted to come," he says.

Less than 30 words out of an hour's interview but I trust much of what I said assisted the background understanding.


Arabs Also Were Settlers and They Conquered

To the Editors:

In response to my article on the Sultanate of Oman [NYR, August 14], several scholars have pointed out that the descendants of slaves in Omani society have a distinct history that should be carefully distinguished from Omanis who have returned to the Arabian Peninsula from East Africa in recent decades.

Oman is believed to have ties to Africa going back to the early years of the Islamic era, and following the conquest of Portuguese trading posts in the late seventeenth century, large numbers of Omanis settled on the East African coast—especially after 1832, when the Omani sultan moved his court to Zanzibar. During this era, African slaves were dispersed among tribes across Oman, and their descendants constituted a separate social class. However, while many slaves would have been by origin Swahili speakers, they would have assimilated into Arabic-language culture within a generation or two.

By contrast, the so-called “Zanzibari” Omanis, of which there may now be 100,000, are the descendants of Arabs who emigrated to East Africa and whose families returned beginning in the 1960s and 1970s. These Zanzibaris are Swahili-speaking and have remained a distinct group in contemporary Oman; a number of them have served in high positions of the civil service and their Zanzibari heritage is a marker of elite status. Some scholars, including Marc Valeri, have further noted linguistic and class distinctions between Swahili-speaking Omanis who had lived in Zanzibar, Kenya, and what is now Tanzania, who are also English-speaking; and those who had lived in Central Africa, who are also French-speaking.

As J.E. Peterson observes, one of the paradoxes of this history of return is that while the descendants of African slaves are considered fully a part of Omani Arab society, the Omani-Zanzibari elite, who are at least in part ethnically Arab, tend to be regarded as “foreign” to a certain extent.

For the record, the great-grandfather of the current Omani sultan, who as I mentioned in my article is reported to have spoken Gujarati and Swahili better than Arabic, was Sultan Faisal bin Turki (ruled 1888–1913), not Taimur bin Faisal.

Hugh Eakin
New York City


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Really, I Don't Care If She's A Lesbian But She's Stupid

Actor Miriam Margolyes (Margolyes also talked about her sexuality...“...People won’t judge me on being a lesbian, it’s whether I can do the work".) who appeared in Harry Potter

is also
is a Palestinian human rights activist, having been a member of the British-based ENOUGH! coalition that seeks to end the "Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank." She is also a signatory of Jews for Justice for Palestinians.
She has now taken her pro-Palestinianism to a new low, one that has been around in the background under the category "It's All Israel's Fault" a la Lord Montagu and his fear of being returned to the ghetto.
"has criticised Israel for “allowing people” to vent prejudice against Jews...She told the new issue of Radio Times: “I loathe Hamas, but they were democratically elected and Israel’s behaviour is not acceptable. There’s been a troubling backlash.”
The actress said: “I don’t think people like Jews. They never have. English literature, my great love, is full of greasy and treacherous Jews.
I’m lucky they like me, and one always needs a Jewish accountant. Antisemitism is horrible and can’t be defended, but Israel is stupid for allowing people to vent it.”

There is not enough room to counter her Israel criticism but why is she stupid?

Well, ask yourself, if she is concerned about causing anti-Semitism, why say this:-

one always needs a Jewish accountant?

The Jewish accountant image just feeds the anti-Semitic prejudice, no?  Greedy avarice, etc.?  Not to mention strenthening the assumption that Jewish accountants know how to finegle and cut corners and perhaps even steal.


Me Interviewed, not Jung and not Naive (but by them)



State's Psaki Avoids It: Terror

And over at the State Department:-

QUESTION: You called – late on Friday you issued a fairly strong statement in your name calling for a speedy and transparent investigation into the killing of a U.S. citizen apparently by – or your statement said by the Israeli Defense Forces. It’s been 48 hours since – more than that, actually – 60 hours, say, since you issued that statement. Have you yet seen a speedy and transparent or speedy or transparent investigation by the Israelis?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Arshad, I don’t have a day-to-day evaluation of the investigation. We remain closely engaged with authorities. Our consulate-general in Jerusalem is in contact with the family, but obviously, we want to see that investigation rapidly concluded.

...QUESTION: Could you take that one for us? Because you asked --
MS. PSAKI: I will let you know if there’s more that we can convey.
QUESTION: -- publicly for a speedy investigation. More than two days has gone by. A U.S. citizen is dead, and it --
MS. PSAKI: I’m well aware. That’s why we put out the statement on Friday.

...QUESTION: Is the U.S. Government involved in the investigation? Have any – is the FBI involved in any way, or if this is the Israeli Defense Force --
MS. PSAKI: Local authorities have the lead, Elise. Not that I’m aware of.
QUESTION: Well – but, I mean, usually in the killing of an American citizen – I mean, usually the FBI or some other kind of U.S. law enforcement agency would be involved in the investigation. You’re just leaving it up to the Israelis to investigate these – supposed Israeli killing of an American citizen?
MS. PSAKI: I will check to see if there are any U.S. officials involved.
QUESTION: Jen, there was another U.S. citizen who was killed in – last week as well, a child. And you put out a statement --
MS. PSAKI: We did.
QUESTION: -- about that as well, Actually, a baby, I guess, is the correct --
MS. PSAKI: Yes. A three-month-old baby.
QUESTION: Yes. How is the investigation into that going?
MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any updates on the investigations. I would encourage you all to ask the Israeli authorities that question.

...QUESTION: Hold on, Elise [Labott, CNN]. Several months ago, there was a shooting – there was an incident involving a shooting of some Palestinian youths. They weren’t Americans, but you called at that time for an – this was the video, the one that was captured on videotape. Are you aware of the results of that Israeli investigation?

...QUESTION: In the case of the Palestinian American teenager who was killed on Friday, are you – do you know the circumstances under which he was shot?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any more details.

QUESTION: There are – okay. The reason I ask is because there are reports out there that he was throwing Molotov cocktails at cars on a highway. And I’m wondering, if that is the case, would you have still been so speedy in putting out a statement and offering your condolences to the family? The argument that is being made by some in Israel is that this kid was essentially a terrorist. And you don’t agree with that, I assume, but I don’t know, so that’s why I’m asking.

MS. PSAKI: Correct, we don’t. I don’t have any more details on the circumstances now.

QUESTION: So you – does that – that would apply even if he was throwing Molotov cocktails?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to speculate. I don’t have details to share.

...QUESTION: Well, I’ve got – I’ve got to get one more on this and then I’m done. There is a photograph of this teenager’s – this teenager being buried today, and he’s wearing a Hamas headband. It was put on him, obviously. Is that of concern at all to you guys?

MS. PSAKI: I just don’t have any more on this particular case.

QUESTION: Back to the baby. Can you – I mean, supposedly it was by Palestinian militants or whomever, not by the Israelis. Could you say or check whether – that the U.S. is involved in the investigation into the killing, into that car accident?

MS. PSAKI: I will see if there is U.S. involvement in either of the cases.

QUESTION: Thank you.

(Matt Lee was in there, too)

Okay, and what do you think of Ms. Psaki?

Let me go over that:

QUESTION: To go back to Matt’s question about – were you aware when you put out the statement on Friday night that there were allegations that the Palestinian American teenager had been throwing – our story said a Molotov cocktail and it was – it had run before your statement came out. So didn’t you – did you know at the time when you put out the statement that there were allegations that he was engaged in violence?

MS. PSAKI: Well, there were media reports, Arshad.


MS. PSAKI: Beyond that, I don’t have anything to read out for you.

QUESTION: Right, no. But I just wanted to get on the record that you knew about those reports when you put out the call for the speedy investigation.

QUESTION: Matt – I mean Arshad, I’m happy to talk to our team and see if there’s more --

QUESTION: But just to clarify what Matt was saying, and you said – you kind of said something but it was just very short --

QUESTION: But just to clarify what Matt was saying, and you said – you kind of said something but it was just very short --

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: -- you do not believe that this teenager was throwing Molotov cocktails. Is that right?

MS. PSAKI: That’s – I don’t have any more to outline or confirm for you in terms of the circumstances.

QUESTION: No, he said that you don’t believe that to be the case.

MS. PSAKI: That’s not what I said.

QUESTION: Do you? And you said no, you – no.

MS. PSAKI: He asked me if we thought he was a terrorist, and I said no.

QUESTION: Oh, okay.

QUESTION: Is that no longer the case? Do you think you were too precipitous, perhaps, in issuing that statement condemning --

MS. PSAKI: I think we’re going to have to move on now.

P.S.  and the video at 31:50.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Towers in Binyamin: Shiloh and Qaryut

I just snapped this from the top hill here is Shiloh:

That's Qaryut, to our north.

And I have encircled and pointed to a tower.

A communications signal-booster tower for telephones and other wireless gadgets and systems.

But it is in the middle of the village.

Here in Shiloh, we fought against a similar tower being positioned too close to a residential area.

Just saying.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Is America Escalating Matters

Following IMRA's lead, I ask you - what's wrong here:

Death of U.S. Minor in SilwadPress StatementJen PsakiDepartment SpokespersonWashington, DCOctober 24, 2014

The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a U.S. citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24.  Officials from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem are in contact with the family and are providing all appropriate consular assistance. We call for a speedy and transparent investigation, and will remain closely engaged with the local authorities, who have the lead on this investigation.  We continue to urge all parties to help restore calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of the tragic recent incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank. 


a)  what clashes?  the IDF was not clashing.

b)  the kid 

was throwing a firebomb at civilian vehicular traffic. That's terror.

c)  how can Israel avoid escalating matters if Arabs keep terrorizing Jewish civilians?

At least this one was better

Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 22, 2014

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem. We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack, and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured. We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.

Unfortunately, that is, we cannot prevent terror without 'escalating', in American terms.

New Temple Mount Novel and a New Research Thesis

Alex Kalman has sold his Silicon Valley start-up and is sitting at home in an armchair bored and purposeless. The phone rings. A grandfather he never knew is dying. He rushes to the old man's bedside and finds himself promising to find the Ark of the Covenant, missing for over 2,500 years.  In Israel Alex picks up a partner in his quest -- archeologist Rivka Golan. Within days they are targeted by a sniper, chased through the streets of Jersualem by a bulldozer, interrogated by Israeli intelligence, and trapped in a tunnel under the world’s most sacred site – the Temple Mount.

No.  Not quite from today's news.

A new novel.  Yet another on the Temple Mount after others.  By Keith Raffel.

It is being launched:

This month, the City of Palo Alto Library launches California Reads book discussions... Palo Alto author Keith Raffel's fifth novel, "Temple Mount," tells the tale of a Silicon Valley CEO with not much to do after selling his company, who gets a call from his dying grandfather that sends him on a quest to find the Ark of the Covenant under Jerusalem's Temple Mount. The book will launch on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 5 p.m. at Kepler's when Raffel will be in conversation with Ellen Sussman.

that's not all.

A new archaeological-themed book penned by Rober Cornuke was published, "Temple -  Amazing new discoveries that change everything about the location of Solomon’s Temple", and I have leafed through it (it is over 200 pages long). 

Its remarkable claim, based on a previous work), is that that Solomon’s Temple was never built on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, but rather approximately a quarter-mile south in the City of David.  That, of course, does not at all fit with other experts.  But the author chooses to confront tradition and asserts that

what was built on the present Temple Mount was actually Fort Antonia, which housed the Roman garrison. This implies that the historic “Wailing Wall” was never part of Solomon’s Temple, but connected to the fortress.

How that fits in with the recorded topography of the site of the Temple, its gates, the surrounding hills, the found remains, the walls that survived, the cisterns, etc. is beyond me.  His claim theat the area where the Temple existed was "completely and utterly ripped from the earth" is unsustainable.  Jewish sources, like the Rambam's Beit Habechirah - Chapter 5, Halacha 1 - have it:

The entire Temple complex was not built on flat ground, but rather on the incline of Mount [Moriah.] 

and Halacha 5

Thus, the ground [on which] the Temple building [was located] was 22 cubits higher than the ground [on which] the Eastern Gate [was located].

But, opinion is free.


P.S.  Leen Ritmeyer on the book.

On Water Reaching Jerusalem 2000 Years Ago

From Liat Oz's Final Report on a salvage excavation on a section of the Lower Aqueduct from Solomon's Pools to Jerusalem at the Abu Tor neighborhood:

...From historical sources and archaeological excavations, we know that the Lower Aqueduct was constructed during the Second Temple period; changes and repairs were done to it over the centuries, having been used until the early twentieth century CE.
...Two vertical sections of the aqueduct, c. 20 m apart from south to north (L100, L101; Figs. 2–4), 

were cleaned and documented...In the earliest phase, during the Second Temple period, the aqueduct was a plastered, stone-lined, rock-hewn channel; it had a U-shaped cross-section and was situated at an elevation of c. 739 m asl. In the latest phase, during the Ottoman period, sections of terracotta pipes (diam. 0.26 m) were incorporated inside a cement casing....The property owner recalled that the pit was used as a cesspit until several years ago.

In the section of the Lower Aqueduct that was excavated, at least six phases of use—from the Second Temple period until the Late Ottoman period—were identified. The lime pit was apparently hewn in connection with the aqueduct in one of its later phases

Did someone mention the Jewish presence in Jerusalem, from time immemorial?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Haaretz Incurs An Unpleasant Experience

Please read the headline (which was different than its website):

As we all know

verb \in-ˈkər\
to cause yourself to have or experience (something unpleasant or unwanted)

and this

noun \in-ˈkər-zhən\
a sudden invasion or attack : an act of entering a place or area that is controlled by an enemy :  a hostile entrance into a territory :  raid  :  an entering in or into

[note“The buildings were legally and officially acquired from Arabs, who received full and more-than-appropriate payment by an overseas company... that was established by Jewish investors from Israel and around the world,” Luria said in a statement.]

If I wrote that Ha-Ha-Haaretz was making an incursion into the Jewish sovereign space of Jerusalem would I be incurring the wrath of Charlotte Halle, English-edition editor (with a degree in anthropology) of Haaretz?

Is Haaretz making an incursion into professional journalism?

Will Haaretz incur the wrath of those who champion ethical journalism, a fair media, an objective, unbiased press?


I Love the 'Women of the Wall'

Not the women, as in females.

The orgamization.


Well, for years i've claimed wherever they go, I follow.  They to the Wsetern Wall, I to the Temple Mount.

Whatever they gain, I want.

Whatever they gain, I deserve.

And now:

Women of the Wall sneak in Torah and read from it during bat mitzvah at Western Wall 

Quick, bring me a Sefer Torah and we'll ascend.

And all the WOW sympathizers and backers, liberal as they are, will all support my Temple Mount efforts.

Anat, where art thou?