It was the unforgettable, majestic, glorious day in June, 1967, as Jewish soldiers crashed through the walls of Jerusalem’s old city. Redeeming, reclaiming, liberating the ancient streets and alleyways; racing towards the Wall, scaling it and then – the electrifying words of the Commander, Motta Gur: “The Temple is in our hands! The Temple Mount is in our hands!”
Jerusalem of Gold, of holiness, of David ; Zion, out of which the L-rd roared and uttered His voice. The Temple Mount, from which the trumpet of the Holy One, Blessed Be He, blasted. “When our feet stood within thy gates, O Jerusalem” – we wept with tears of disbelief. For the Temple Mount was in our hands… “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the L-rd is round about His people” – and we knew it to be true. For the Temple Mount was in our hands! “Ye that stand in the courts of the House of our G-d, praise the L-rd!” And we believed. For the Temple was in our hands.
The very moment of glorious Jewish victory in 1967 was the beginning of a flight to shame. Not enough that the Israeli government of 1967 committed the worst of mistakes by not driving out the Arabs who tried to wipe her out. The fearful and timid leaders of Israel immediately approached the heads of the Moslem community to assure them that the Temple Mount – the holiest of holiest of Jewish places – would remain in their hands. Jews were forbidden to enter there to pray, on their holiest site, a site stolen from them by invading Moslems who desecrated Judaism by building two mosques there. (And can one imagine the reaction of Moslems if Jews, conquering Mecca, built, on the holiest site of Islam – a synogogue?)
From that day, the government of Israel, in a remarkable display of masochism, has paved the way for a total change of Moslem attitude. From a frightened, cowering population, they turned into a confident, arrogant, dangerous one. From a people who feared the Jewish conqueror, they became throwers of stones. knife stabbers, and grenade and bomb throwers. Most of all, the Temple Mount became once again theirs, this time returned to them by two-legged lemmings of the Mosaic persuasion – and they grow ever more passionately convinced that time is on their side.
The government, police, courts have all had a hand in the shameful, tragic Jewish descent into humiliation. The years that followed saw police again and again forceably remove Jews attempting to pray on their holy site. Moslems watched in growing amazement, and growing arrogance and boldness, as the Jew who wished to enter as a tourist with camera and jeans was freely allowed access but the same son of Abraham entering with prayer shawl and prayer book was banned. The product of thinking most Jews assumed had disappeared with the Warsaw ghetto revolt.
The Temple Mount served as the most glaring example of the fact that, despite Jewish protestations to the contrary, the land taken in 1967 was not liberated but “conquered.” The Jews had come not as returnees to their own borders, but as an occupation army. One who loses property and then unexpectedly finds it, does not allow it to remain in the possession of another. He leaps upon it joyfully and cries out: “It is mine!”
The Arabs correctly understood Jewish “concessions” to be the product, not of goodness and grace, but of timidity and fear. The Arabs have systematically destroyed every vestige of Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, destroying valuable archeological evidence. A memorial to the Arabs killed at Sabra and Shatila is even placed on the Jewish holy site.
The Temple Mount is in our hands? When the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel in January, 1986, called for a synogogue in the southeast part of the Temple Mount, Mufti Alamei declared: “Over the bodies of a million Moslems.” The Temple Mount is not in our hands. “On Mount Zion which is desolate, there the foxes walk …” (Lamentations 5). The Temple Mount is in their hands, the foxes, the cunning Muslim foxes. The words of Motta Gur ring hollow – and it is we who are to blame. We, who took a miracle and disdained it. We, who took holiness and profaned it. We, who were given a Zion, a Jerusalem, a Temple Mount – and gave it over to the jackal-foxes. The Arabs have smashed the dam of fear and it will spill over. If Jews are attacked on their way to the Wall, and if a Jew is seriously hurt, or, G-d forbid, murdered, and if the residents of the Jewish Quarter are in increasing danger – know that it is the Jews to blame.
He who controls the Temple Mount controls Jerusalem. And he who controls Jerusalem controls the Holy Land…