What is the Most Shocking?

Israeli state strategists are no doubt mostly male, Ashkenazi and secular. For them the Temple Mount is mere real estate like any other real estate in Jerusalem. They have overlooked the strategic-symbolic value of a permanent Jewish presence on the Temple Mount in terms of persuading the Islamic world that Israel is here to stay.

The question must really be asked, what is the most outrageous from the perspective of the international community, building indigenous Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria or excavating the ground and building synagogues on the Temple Mount? Of course it is the former. The latter would certainly in no way harm al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Would archaeological digs on the Temple Mount and the construction of synagogues on parts of the Temple Mount plaza harm normalization with Muslim nations? No, because genuine normalization is based on mutual respect, including recognizing Jewish history and Jewish heritage on the mount. Muslim nations establish official relations with Israel not because they have suddenly become Zionists but to promote their own interests and this will not stop.

Israel maintains the status quo simply because Israeli strategists mistakenly believe that this best serves Israel’s interests. If Israeli strategists recognized the value in establishing a permanent Jewish presence on the mount, then one would surely be established without any undue delay.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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