September 17: Temple Mount wars

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Temple Mount wars
The lead article on the front page of your September 16 issue (“Young Palestinians riot on Temple Mount for third day”), co-written by no fewer than four of your reporters, has a serious omission that illustrates why Israel is losing the hasbara (public diplomacy) war.
Numerous sources from the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Jordan are cited. They falsely claim that Israel is responsible for the current turmoil. Unfortunately, there is no mention of allegations from other sources that activist groups gathering on the Temple Mount to intimidate Jewish visitors are organized and funded by militant Muslim organizations.
Even if these allegations cannot be confirmed, I’m sure your readers would agree that they are as deserving of coverage as are the malicious falsehoods currently being circulated by Islamic extremists.
Instead of the government deliberating on how to handle the situation, it is time for action, for it appears that there is a total lack of strategic planning and, once again, our crisis-management policy will end up being nothing more than a sound bite.
Like it or not, our judiciary has failed us by taking liberal measures that fail to act as a proper deterrent against those responsible for throwing rocks. Gilad Erdan (“Supreme Court president slams Likud minister’s proposal to deny promotion to lenient judges,” September 13) is right, despite protestation from the head of the Supreme Court, in that we cannot promote judges who fail to acknowledge that their verdicts are unacceptable and unpalatable.
Anywhere else in the world, a government would enforce a curfew and subject the inhabitants of areas where the perpetrators emanate from to collective punishment.
Far too often, and to our own detriment, our elected leaders, their bureaucracy and security advisers turn a blind eye in the hope that the situation will stabilize. It never does!
King Abdullah II’s statements are responsible for exacerbating the current situation, encouraging deliberate attacks against Jews in Jerusalem. As such, they should be rebutted by our government and all responsible international powers. The Jordanian monarch, before issuing threats regarding the Temple Mount situation, should well consider exactly how his country acted in the period between 1949 and 1967, when it ignored the provisions of the Armistice Agreement of 1949 regarding free access to holy sites and cultural institutions, denying this in the breach to all Jewry.
Whatever his motives, then-defense minister Moshe Dayan surrendered Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount to the Wakf (Muslim religious trust), thus barring Jews from exercising their prayer rights on this sanctified area. The results are self-evident – discrimination against the Jews and the unremitting hostility of the Muslim world, no matter the actions of Israel.
It is time to set this right. The proper move would be to bar everyone – Jews, Muslims, Christians and even tourists – from the area, and then renegotiate a new status for all.
It is time to assert that all can pray there, or none can. Certainly, this would enrage the Muslim world (could its hostility to Israel really be any greater than it already is?), although our shame could and would be less than it is.
Tel Aviv
Usually, one sees Arab youths playing soccer outside the Aksa Mosque. If that’s fine by the Wakf, it’s fine by me. So what suddenly turned these young men into stone-throwing, fire-bombing hooligans? Obviously, it was orchestrated by a mastermind in the background, with inducements to make trouble.
Arresting the perpetrators only adds fuel to the fire. Find those behind the violence, and quiet will be restored.
I usually admire your articles and editorials very much. However, your front-page headline “Police investigating if Jerusalem crash death caused by rock attack” (September 16) is an insult to your readers’ intelligence and common sense.
In the body of the article, you report that Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that rocks had been thrown at the vehicle. “As a result, the man lost control of the car and was critically injured when it struck a tree,” Rosenfield is quoted as saying.
The truth is that the police investigation is focused on the search for suspects, not on whether the crash was caused by a rock-throwing attack, as simple common sense dictates that the driver lost control as a result of being targeted by rocks.
The victim, Alexander Levlovitz, deserves more respect.
Jerusalem Tug of war
Rabbi Michael Melchior’s New Year message (“Melchior: Shift debate from nationalism to values,” September 13) is reminiscent of the late Dr. Felix Adler and his Ethical Culture Movement, which taught that the human being is the central force of religion.
Melchior finds his panacea by preaching that we think outside the box. If he were not a rabbi, I would advise him to preach to a branch of the Ethical Culture Movement, because whether he likes it or not, nationalism is at the heart of Jewish teaching.
Not news
I was surprised to see your news article “22 judges appointed to rabbinical courts” (September 13). It did not tell me the names and backgrounds of the new judges and which were nominated by each of the three sectors; the names of nominees who were rejected because of a progressive background; and whether a candidate’s position on agunot (women whose husbands refuse to agree to a religious divorce) was the only criterion.
What it did relate was the very subjective opinions of a couple of the members of the selection committee. That was not news.
Petah Tikva
Blood pressure meds
I am a pretty tolerant guy, and I recognize that the readership of The Jerusalem Post is largely anti- Obama and against the agreement with Iran. But I think that Michael Freund (“A reckoning for Congress over the Iran deal,” Fundamentally Freund, September 10) goes too far.
His third paragraph sets the tone. He says it loud and clear: Backers of the deal are endangering the Jewish State. He then speaks of “cowardice of various senators and congressmen.” This is abusive! It is scurrilous! Freund might not believe it, but there are people, Jews and non- Jews, in Israel and in the US (not to speak of Europe), who favor the deal. This is not because it is perfect, but because it is almost certainly better than no deal at all. Some distinguished commentators even say that it is pretty good (although that, too, might be excessive).
I doubt that Freund has the ear of the Israeli military, but to suggest that Israel can tackle Iran alone is just plain stupid! I read the Post largely to raise my blood pressure. However, I would prefer it if you were to lower the vitriol and increase the thoughtful analyses.
Brussels, Belgium
Tunnel solution
I think Israel needs to dump its sewerage, and possibly food wastes, in any tunnel it finds on either the Gaza or Lebanese border.
It would be a fantastic opportunity to rid itself of its waste while making terrorists wade through Jewish excrement. When the tunnels are filled in, the waste would act as organic fertilizer.
Every time you find a tunnel, hook up the sewage pipes of the nearest community.
Palm Desert, California