As we learn from an official Iranian new web site, President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday 

the Islamic Republic will use all of its capacities to liberate Al-Aqsa Mosque...and "to liberate Muslims’ first qibla (the direction towards which Muslims pray)"...the Islamic world, the Muslims and the clerical figures will not let the al-Aqsa mosque remain “under occupation of usurpers and aggressors”, a metaphor for Israel.

One could look on the positive side of that statement, that if it was the first direction, that there is now a later, substituted second direction. Logical and reasonable people could suggest that if Islam replaced the primary status of Jerusalem, perhaps permitting Jews to exercise their rights and obligations at what is undeniably Judaism's most sacred location is not outlandish.

Alright, that may be an expectation too great for an Iranian cleric and politician but it should serve us well in discussions with those who are educated in Western liberalism with democratic values and a tradition of democracy and human rights commitment.

Or am I just being silly and facetious?

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

In any case, congratulations to my wife who, if talking about "firsts", ascended Mount Moriah to enter the Temple Mount precincts for the first time yesterday, the first time ever since our Aliyah 44 years ago.

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