Sir, – Everyone is talking about the status quo on the Temple Mount (“Rioting continues in capital after Temple Mount reopens,” November 2), but no one really knows which status quo.
Logically, the status quo to which we should be referring is the one that existed between 1967 and 2000. During those 33 years, apart from modest clothing, not only were there no limits as to who could visit the Temple Mount, everyone who did visit was able, after paying an entrance fee to the Wakf Islamic religious trust and removing shoes, to visit the interior of the Dome of the Rock and the Aksa Mosque, excluding during prayer time.
The Wakf changed the status to what it is today – limited visiting hours; no entry to the Dome of the Rock or al-Aksa; a ban, enforced by the Israel Police, on bringing a bible; absolutely no prayers (which includes moving one’s lips); and, in some instances, insisting that the women in the group cover their heads.
Any Israeli tour guide who worked during the aforementioned period and is still working can confirm this.
We should all be aspiring, nay demanding, a return to those halcyon days.BERYL RATZER
Netanya The writer is a registered tour guide and author of
A Historical Tour of the Holy Land
Sir, – Blame for the continuing violence on the Temple Mount rests solely on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the current government.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claimed that closing the area was tantamount to a declaration of war.
But make no mistake – the Arabs are waging the war. The war is to take the Temple Mount, Jerusalem and eventually our rights to this land.
How long is the government going to discriminate against its own citizens by denying their right to ascend to and pray on the Temple Mount? Why do we continue to allow Jordan to claim ownership? It’s time to bring the Temple Mount and all of Jerusalem under full Israeli control and restore the rule of law in our capital.
When Netanyahu demands restraint from his ministers and announces to the world there will be no change in the status quo, it is total capitulation to Arab violence and world pressure.
Washington continues to help with this process (“US administration to unveil peace talks proposal,” November 2).
Secretary of State John Kerry is coming back to threaten and insult us, and the Arabs are invited to the White House to help plan the strategy. The US and EU are determined to steal our land to appease the Arab masses simply because they are afraid of them. They hate us because of our tremendous successes.
The world is in a sad state and we are again the scapegoat.
The pressure on us to destroy ourselves will not diminish unless we stop it. If we don’t stand up for ourselves, it is clear that no one will stand up for us. If Netanyahu won’t do it, we need a leader who will.GLADYS KARLIN
Sir, – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu represents me, my family, my friends and my people. He may not always do exactly what I want; in fact I might not always vote for him.
But when the chips are down he steadies the country, stands up to the evil monsters that have grown up beside us and refuses to be cowed by the Israel-hating media.
Members of the Oslo-obsessed Left can go on mouthing the same lame litany as the rest of the loony liberals, hallucinating that it is all the fault of the religious Right, the settlers and the Zionists, and claiming that they have all the answers, endlessly repeating that it is simply a matter of giving the Palestinians another present or two and suddenly we will all sit down together and enjoy a pot-laced nargileh.
But this is our home and the neighborhood is going to hell in a hand basket. We are expected to make peace with those who wish our extinction, to show tolerance to those who say they will use all means possible to prevent us from praying in our holy places and to give up parts of Israel to those who say that not a single Jew may live there.
I pray to God for more leadership like Bibi’s. Yes, I’d like someone more religious, someone who fights the delegitimization of Jews in Judea and Samaria as hard as he fights the delegitimization of Israel, and someone who supports our rights to the Temple Mount. But from where I stand, he’s the best we’ve got and he’s got my support.ROB DAVIS
Beit Shemesh All in the numbers
Sir, – Regarding “Jewish actress Maureen Lipman scorns Miliband over Palestinian vote” (November 2), British Labor Party leader Ed Miliband cares nothing about Jews, Arabs or Palestinians. Ed Miliband cares about votes.
Figures from the 2011 census show that Britain chooses to ignore the prospect of being subsumed into the coming caliphate and has allowed the Muslim population there to rise from 1.5 million in 2001 to three million in 2011. There are estimates that by 2050 it will exceed 50 percent of the total population. In contrast, according to the 2011 census Britain’s Jews number 263,346.
Miliband’s thinking is clear: Knock Israel and lose the Jewish vote but gain the much larger Arab vote – eat a bacon sandwich in public and gain the votes of non-Jews by showing himself to be one of them.GERRY MYERS
Beit Zayit Solve the impasse
Sir, – With regard to “Washington distances itself from comments insulting Netanyahu’s character,” October 30), under what diplomatic umbrella is it permissible for one in an official position in government to call a head of government “chickenshit”? I am appalled and saddened that grown men can’t find common ground in such a dangerous world where there are forces afoot waiting to fall on us like craven vultures! We must return to civil discourse and find a solution to the impasse apparent between the US and Israel.ALIZA WEINBERG
Rehovot Own goal
Sir, – “It is not only a peace treaty between two states, but between two peoples,” President Reuven Rivlin says about our accord with Jordan, adding: “We don’t have a war with Islam, but with fundamentalism....” (“Rivlin: Two decades after historic accord, Jordan’s Abdullah II is a ‘brave’ leader who wants peace,” October 28).
Shimon Peres could have been making this speech instead of one who purports to be a member of Likud, the ideology of which is now almost unrecognizable.
Rivlin is wrong on both counts. Abdullah constantly condemns us for even talking about building Jewish homes – most of which don’t materialize due to our appeasement policy – and puts the blame for lack of peace with the so-called Palestinians at our door. The peace treaty with Jordan, just like the one with Egypt, was signed only after we agreed to surrender our holiest site, the Temple Mount, to the Muslim Wakf.
He who controls the Temple Mount controls the land. We are condemned as occupiers of Arab land, and our lack of courage and faith stops us from reasserting our rights.
The Arabs, even in defeat, set the conditions while the Jews agree to surrender.
The last thing Israel needs is another Peres. Again, we have scored an own goal.YENTEL JACOBS