Defending the Status Quo

There is no reason whatsoever why new Israeli police minister Itamar Ben-Gvir should not visit the Temple Mount. Will such a visit cause bloodshed? Palestinian terrorists do not need an excuse to cause bloodshed and so no peaceful act of visiting the most sacred site in Judaism can be the cause of bloodshed. It is true that the Second Intifada followed upon then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount, yet it is also true that the Second Intifada had been planned in advance by Palestinian leaders and so Sharon’s visit merely served as a convenient excuse for unleashing the Second Intifada. Peaceful visits by non-Muslims (including Jews) have been part of the status quo on the Temple Mount for centuries. However, no Israeli cabinet minister has ascended to the mount since Sharon’s visit in 2000 in effectively appeasing the terrorists. There is simply no reason whatsoever why Israeli cabinet ministers should not be able to visit the most sacred place in Judaism. Yes, it is true that Itamar Ben-Gvir is an extremist but that should certainly not be construed as infringing on his religious right as a Jew to visit the most sacred site in Judaism. Or will we start blacklisting Jews on the basis of political opinions and who are therefore not allowed to visit the Temple Mount? Will Hamas start a war over a visit? The general assessment is that Hamas is not interested in war now and so war is extremely unlikely at his point. We witnessed the same story with the Jerusalem flag march which supposedly would “lead to violence” if it was not canceled or rerouted. Interestingly, the only year the planned flag march led to war was when the Flag march was rerouted and ultimately canceled. Now we hear the same eerily similar horror stories all over again with the implicit message “don’t anger the terrorists, appease them”. There won’t be a Third Intifada for the simple reason that Mahmoud Abbas does not want one, the Second Intifada not coincidentally dissipated when Abu Mazen became president of the Palestinian Authority. It is generally important not to act out of fear. The truth is the opposite, when you appease terrorists you embolden them to commit more terror and engage in more violence when rather the goal should be to make them despair of their terrorist tactics. When you exhibit weakness in Middle Eastern political culture you certainly invite armed attacks from your foes.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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