Honor is About Self-Respect

Honor is extremely important in the cultures of the broader Middle East. What is honor? It is about self-respect and so genuine peacemaking in the region therefore takes place between mutually honorable parties. The honorable is strong and self-respecting. This is the basis of the Abraham Accords. This was never the case with the cold peace with Egypt and Jordan which was convenient yet deemed “dishonorable”.

It is vitally important for peacemaking and Israel’s standing and integration in the region that Israel insists on the Jews’ honor. This is nowhere more true than on the Temple Mount. The international rhetoric about “maintaining the historical status quo” is mere hypocrisy since the international community generally is not supportive of Jewish visits to the Temple Mount which has been part of the status quo since time immemorial. 

Since Arab nations (or for that matter the rest of the international community) are not committed to the historical status quo, this surely begs the question why Israel should? What would happen if Israel built a synagogue on the Temple Mount? Absolutely nothing. There would be the usual condemnations. Arab countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Israel do so because it is in their interest and for no other reason. No synagogue on the Temple Mount will change that. Besides, the Jordanian Waqf has illegally built additional mosques on the mount without permission, something which completely violated the status quo, so why not build a synagogue? Will there be a war with Hamas? Only if Hamas deems it to be in their strategic interest and they most certainly currently do not believe so. Would archaeological excavations cause a disaster of some kind? No, they would not because the PA does not want a Third Intifada and therefore will not instigate one.

The Arabs are bewildered why the Jews act completely without self-respect concerning our own heritage and therefore they do not respect us on the Temple Mount. The truth about the status quo is that it has been fluid and ever-changing since 1967 with the Muslims grabbing more and more rights at the Jews expense. If we want real peace at Mount Moriah then we as Jews need to start acting with self-respect and yes honor. Of course, no Third Temple can be built since the Dome of the Rock stands in its place. However, a Third Temple replica could be built elsewhere in Jerusalem as a museum of animal abuse. However, there is much open space on the Temple Mount plaza and so extensive archaeological excavations should be carried out and a master plan should be devised for building multiple synagogues on the mount for all denominations of Judaism.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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