Israel Responds to Palestinian Explosive Threat on Temple Mount

It's the Palestinians that are linking violence and religion atop the Temple Mount. Illustrative banner of terrorists and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

It’s the Palestinians that are linking violence and religion atop the Temple Mount. Illustrative banner of terrorists and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

Palestinian incitement against Israel is lighting flames figuratively atop the Temple Mount, but those flames could set off literal explosions—a risk Israel is seeking to prevent. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments on Sunday released by his office, again emphasized they do not seek to change the religious status quo of the Temple Mount, which is also home to Muslim mosques.

However, he won’t let terrorists change things either with explosives such as pipe bombs. “Explosives in Al-Aqsa Mosque—that is changing the status quo. Israel will maintain the status quo. It will act responsibly, but with determination, to ensure that the existing arrangements are maintained,” said the Israeli leader. “We have no plans to change them, but we also have no intention of allowing anyone to cause the deterioration of the arrangements on the Temple Mount by resorting to explosive and widespread violence.”

Netanyahu slammed the anti-Israel incitement flowing from Palestinians and even from Turkey. “Elements that incite with baseless, wild provocations—to the effect that Israel is trying to prevent Muslim prayer on the Temple Mount or wants to destroy the mosques, or other wild things that are being said—it is they who are inciting.”

Netanyahu said the incitement is coming from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Movement in Israel, Hamas, “and—to our chagrin—with the active participation of the Palestinian Authority.”

As though right on cue, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that best online pharmacy buy phentermine Saeb Erekat, the Secretary-General of the PLO—the international relations body of the Palestinian leadership—accused Israel on Sunday of attempting to turn the conflict with the Palestinians “into a religious war.”

An apparent complaint from the Palestinian government cited by Ma’an is that religious Jews have been granted access to the Temple Mount, as though Jews walking around Judaism’s holiest site is somehow a problem.

So while the Palestinians are stoking the flames of religious conflict, on the Israeli side the two most prominent Jewish religious leaders urged for exactly the opposite. In comments posted to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israeli Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef were quoted as requesting for the Islamic leaders to cooperate to end the violence.

“We expect our friends, our partners in the council of religious leaders in Israel, to condemn all those who desecrate the holy places and bring into them weapons of various kinds, and to prevent such phenomena,” said the Chief Rabbis last week.

Noting that “Israel allows freedom of worship for all faiths and respects their leaders,” the Rabbis underscored that the “holy places are for prayer alone.”

With the Jewish new year just starting as part of the High Holy Day season, the Rabbis said that they pray “for a year of peace and coexistence for everyone in the world. May it be a year of tolerance and moderation and may the words of the prophet Isaiah, ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war anymore’ be realized.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, September 20, 2015)


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