We are in the "Three Weeks" period that will heighten in two days time when the month of Av begins and we start the "Nine Days" period, all marking a most unique mourning memory framework of the Jewish People leading up to the Tisha B'Av fast.
As the Baal Shem Tov noted, "in memory is found redemption". Two of our Temples were destroyed, and we remember. The fortress of Betar fell, and we remember. Jerusalem was plough over, and we remember (and dig it up along with the rest of the Land to find remains and artifacts of our history here). Our leaders were weak and we ended up on an extra 40-year march.
But we are now in the renewed and reconstituted Jewish state and Jerusalem is united and our laws assure religious freedom.
So, what do we do?
At the same time we deny Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount, in any congregational form, we do this:
The Israeli authorities permitted 800 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to visit occupied East Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr in the al-Aqsa mosque compound…An official at the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Hussam Abu al-Nasr, claimed the permission was the result of political efforts made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.The Israeli authorities began allowing Gazans to visit the al-Aqsa mosque compound again last October following a brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip last summer that left 2,200 Palestinians dead, most of them civilians. Several hundred Gazans have been allowed to visit the holy site on Fridays through the holy month of Ramadan, except for one week when Israel stopped issuing in permits in punishment for rocket fire into southern Israel.
Gaza? Do we negotiate with Hamas? Do not we have kidnapped hostages there?As this recent report makes clear, Israel has been pressured:
U.S. intervention contained the crisis in November, when Secretary of State John Kerry convened a meeting between the Jordanian king and the Israeli prime minister, in which Benjamin Netanyahu promised to lower tensions. Since then, Israel has allowed Muslim access from Israel and Jerusalem for all ages, limited religious Jews (as indicated by external appearance and clothing) to small groups, and kept out virtually all ministers and Knesset members. Moreover, legislative efforts to change the Esplanade’s status and activities permitted there have halted (though Israeli elections probably contributed to the parliamentary slowdown).
We were pressured in this instance, and yielded. Obviously, diplomats and NGOs presume we can be pressured in other instances and also yield.
Rabbi Elazar said in the Midrash Tanhuma, Parshat Metzora:
He who merciful towards the cruel, in the end becomes cruel to those who should be shown mercy.
There is a lesson in there.^