It’s Deterrence Stupid!

No Israeli government ever had any intention to change the status quo on the Temple Mount. But since no one but Israel cares about the status quo and everyone else is promoting exclusivist Muslim rights is there no reason why Israel should care about the status quo either.

What is the incitement about “al-Aqsa is in danger” about? It is simply about deterrence. Arab governments sincerely believe that the Israeli state plans to realize Jewish rights on the Temple Mount plaza because they would if they were in the Jews’ place and they do believe that the only way to prevent that is to continue to frighten the Jews. The Arab theory is thus that the Jews refrain from realizing Jewish rights on the Mount out of fear of massive Arab violence. The Arabs are of course bluffing since resorting to massive violence would undermine their own regimes.

The Arabs cannot fathom that Jews respect Muslim rights more than Jewish rights on the Mount. Furthermore, it was traditionally the dominant halakhic position even among Modern Orthodox Jews that it is religiously forbidden for Jews to ascend to the Mount. Only in recent decades has this position shifted among Modern Orthodox Jews and Religious Zionists to allowing Jews to visit the Temple Mount under certain precautions.

However, in order to gain peace with the Arab world it is essential to show that Israel respects Jewish honor, particularly on the Temple Mount. The reason the Arabs don’t respect the Jews on the Mount is that the Jews don’t show self-respect with regard to Israel’s policies on the Mount in what to Arabs appear to be Jews acting out of fear in bowing to Arab deterrence of incitement and occasional minor violence on the mount. Therefore realizing Jewish rights on the mount, including excavating the area and building synagogues on the mount while respecting Muslim rights which means respecting the Dome of the Rock and not building a temple in its place. Doing so will not lead to violence but ultimately to respect for the Jews as the past is unearthed and Jews start acting with self-respect and honor in their holiest place.

All Israeli governments so far did not understand this and made the mistake of not realizing Jewish rights on the Mount. The good news is that the fearmongering is unfounded and no Arab regime will self-destabilize or cut ties with Israel (which they maintain solely in their own interest) in response to archaeological excavations and construction of synagogues on the Temple Mount. It’s not mere incitement, it’s a bluff stupid!

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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