A Holy War – Part I
A Wall, that is all that separates two titans from a clash of civilizations, a 7th Century Islam against a 21st Century Judaism. Two monotheistic religions, both claiming to be derived from the same Patriarch Abraham and to be able to co-exist, find themselves in modern times on a deadly collision course.
All that contains the conflict is a wall, the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Many significant events took place at the top of this mountain: Tradition says that the world was created here. Later, Abraham brought his son and was willing to sacrifice him as an offering to the God of the Hebrews. The Holy of Holies, the center of the First and Second Temples, stood here.
Today, Muslims control access to the area, Jews are forbidden to pray-even silently-and a person whose lips move in silent prayer will be arrested. This said, most Jewish people refrain from ascending to the area to avoid possible sacrilegious contamination because of a lack of absolute certainty over the location of the Holy of Holies.
Millions of Jews and members of other religions visit the Western Wall every year. As it ascends 19 meters (62′) into the air, it showcases 28 stones, starting with larger stones and ending with smaller ones. The different sizes are indicative of the eras when they were placed. It is customary to write a wish on a piece of paper and place it within the stones, and people of all religions do so.
There is another wish others attempt to deposit in this holy place. They are not as careful to place their “note” in between the stones. On the contrary, they amass a large quantity of stones of various sizes and throw them over the top of the Western Wall onto the many people praying in the plaza below. Their intent is to maim and kill, cause a provocation, do evil.
They are often instigated by the religious elders to incite hatred of the Jews and Israel. Their wish is singular: to see the destruction of the Jewish State and the completion of the Final Solution, the extermination of the Jewish People from earth. They are unabashed in words and actions, yet they enjoy full autonomy from the Israeli authorities.
Thus, several years ago, they excavated 300-400 truckloads of archeological artifacts from beneath the Temple Mount and dumped it unceremoniously in a ravine, like garbage. Why would anyone do that?
This destruction is designed to remove any connection between the Jews and their holy place, between the Jews and their history, and between the Jews and their capital. This is just another step in the delegitimization of the Jewish state. History erased, evidence removed, as they intend to do with Israel and wipe her off the map of the nations.
Imagine if anyone were to do such damage in Mecca or Medina. Actually, there is no need to imagine, as no one would remain alive. In Israel, it seems, everything is permitted.
Today, one must think very carefully before drawing a caricature of the Muslim prophet or satirizing him on television. It was less than five years ago Danish cartoons caused a worldwide upheaval, well planned and even better executed, and early this year the South Park creators had to fear for their lives.
The Muslims have zero tolerance for other religions, and extend zero courtesy to anyone having expectations similar to their own. It is their “right” and “duty,” and if you disagree, a Fatwa religious edict will be pronounced on your life to teach you and others a lesson.
By extension, Israel’s mere existence, not to mention her enemies’ accusations of colonialist ambitions, occupation zeal and atrocities and lack of respect to other religions necessitate action. The Muslim Hadif, teaches the Muslims the very method:
“Muslim, here is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.”
“Muslim! There is a Jew behind me; kill him!”
On the Temple Mount today, there are two identifiable structures- the Dome of the Rock, a golden dome recognizable around the world, built in 691AD. To the south a smaller, much less impressive and definitely less recognizable dome, the Al Aqsa (the “end” or “edge”) Mosque, considered the third holiest place for Islam. Muhammad is said to have arrived on a horse to this very “end” or “edge,” prayed and ascended to heaven.
So holy is the Al Aqsa Mosque that the keepers of the Holy Sites have not visited it even once, definitely not for lack of permission Israel would have been only too glad to extend. Jordan and Saudi Arabia did contribute some fifteen million dollars back in 1994 to redo the outer gold covering.
Calls to protect the Al Aqsa Mosque are a wonderful catalyst. Rumors and innuendoes spread like fire in the Muslim world, and when the Zionist Jews are blamed for threatening the Al Aqsa Mosque, nothing else is necessary. Riots are orchestrated and people willingly give their lives for the dream of defeating the Zionist Regime-from Indonesia to Gaza, Egypt to Syria, Turkey to Iran.
Exactly ten years ago, then Israeli Opposition Leader, General Arik Sharon, went to the Temple Mount. That presented the most “opportune time” to start the Second Intifada against Israel.
In recent times, one hears more and more often that the Al Aqsa Mosque is in danger. Rather than contradicting these stories, the Muslim clergy helps spread them. Has Israel prepared for this eventuality that seems a self-fulfilling prophecy with each passing day?
The sanctity of their holy place apparently allows them to use it as a storage location for stones and other methods of upheaval. One does not know what else has been amassed at the Temple Mount or what is being contemplated and prepared. Perhaps even toppling the Dome of the Rock and blaming the Jews? What is evident, though, is that tones of earth mixed with priceless and irreplaceable archeological artifacts have been removed.
It cannot be ruled out that the Muslim clerics would bring about the collapse of part of the Dome or the Al Aqsa Mosque. Their hatred against Jews is so much greater than their love and appreciation of their religion, or is it the actual teachings of their religion that are the basis for this behavior?
The situation is so fragile that it is compared to one sitting on a barrel of explosive powder playing with matches.
A caricature in a Facebook group “We want Masjid e Aqsa (Al Aqsa Mosque got it all wrong: The sharks are contained inside, the Jewish Sovereign protecting the sanctity of all religions, pilgrims and visitors. The Israelis are the Coast Guard, there to protect and save. If it were not for Israel, the third holiest place for Islam may not be standing today. Muslims, as we see repeatedly in Iraq and elsewhere, do not care about their holy sites or the lives of other Muslims when it comes to furthering their agenda.
What a world we live in!
Photos of the Western Wall, Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque used by permission by Ron Peled, can be found at www.allaboutjerusalem.com
This point-and often-counter-point presentation is sprinkled with humor and sadness and attempts to tackle serious and relevant issues of the day. The series began in 2008, appears both in print in the USA and on numerous websites and is followed regularly by readership from around the world.