"Say, are you crazy?!" a relative from London told me over the phone.
"I listen to the Israeli media and get angry as if it's an anti-Israel BBC article. Why are you shooting yourself in the foot?!"
Shavuot ended and ended the three legs - the pilgrimage dates to the Temple Mount. This is a good opportunity to put in order the seasonal storm over the ascent to the Temple Mount, or as Jordan likes to call it, "a serious violation of the status quo and damage to the Al-Aqsa compound."
It all began, this time, when Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir ascended the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day.
Wait, sorry. He did not go up on Jerusalem Day, because Jerusalem Day falls on Friday, and Jews are forbidden to go up to the Mount on Friday. So why didn't it come up on Thursday night, the eve of Jerusalem Day? Because even in the evening, Jews are forbidden to immigrate. So basically Ben-Gvir did not go up to the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day - in fact, no one went up to the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day, out of obedience to Muslim laws.
But okay, let's not be petty. The Jordanians may not be focused on the Jewish calendar, but what about the severe damage to the Al-Aqsa compound? Well, there is no dispute that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is indeed located on the Temple Mount, but no one can even approach the compound – let alone harm it – because the Jordanian Waqf does not allow any non-Muslim to approach. Besides, Ben-Gvir, as a religious Jew, follows a very defined path in order to avoid an area of the mountain that Jewish law forbids to walk. Also, and without insulting, he probably isn't really interested in going to the holiest place for the Jewish people anyway to visit the mosque.
So he didn't go up on Jerusalem Day or approach the Al Aqsa compound. What about the status quo? The Israeli media echoed Jordanian "rage," warning that the impending explosion in the Middle East would be the fault of the minister of national security. But if you go to the Gate of Mercy, located in one of the walls of the Temple Mount, you will discover that a new mosque has been built nearby. Yes, yes. A new mosque on the Temple Mount – under the watchful eye of the Jordanian Waqf, and in grave violation of the status quo.
Ben-Gvir, on the other hand, and say what you will about him, has been going up to the Temple Mount for years. When it rises - it rises at fixed times, always follows a predetermined route and is accompanied by heavy security. Apropos of security, you remember that only non-Muslims go through security checks at the entrance to the Mount, right? Remember the storm of metal detectors? The Waqf will treat Jews and tourists with hostility and claim that they "don't respect the place," while Arab families picnic on the Temple Mount and children play soccer. Jews who ascend to the Temple Mount are forbidden to take religious objects, forbidden to pray, and of course forbidden to approach the mosque compound. For the avoidance of doubt, Muslims enter the Western Wall plaza and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre like any other person, and other mosques in the country do not prevent non-Muslims from entering; In other words, this is not about halakha, but about politics.
Still, every time any Knesset member ascends to the Temple Mount, our media begins to talk about Jordanian propaganda. Somehow we have become convinced that where the religious rights of Jews are most limited in the country, those who nevertheless exercise their miserable right are "provocateurs." Instead of treating the ascent to the Temple Mount as the most basic exercise of freedom of movement and worship, and instead of putting Jordan on the spot for the serious violations of the status quo that are committed under its responsibility (not to mention for its other actions against Israel), we swallow without a drop of criticism the outrage of the Arab states, echoing it as if it were a Torah from Sinai.
You don't have to join the Temple Mount Faithful movement in order to act with integrity, and not to prostrate yourself in the face of the cries of devastation of Jordan and its friends. In any case, Jews are forbidden to prostrate themselves on the Temple Mount.
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