Temple Mount reopens in a country in turmoil
The news cycle just keeps spinning in Israel, one hit after another. On Israel Independence Day, the Mount reopened for non-Muslims after a 14-day closure. Hundreds of Jews and Christians queued from early morning, but police only permitted small groups to enter.
Despite the draconian limitations, a record number of nearly 1,000 Jews ascended on Independence Day, joyfully singing praises to God as they waited on the packed ramp to the only one of ten gates “infidels” are allowed to use. No doubt also muttering petitions under their breath that the old wooden ramp going up would not collapse beneath the weight of pilgrims. Many have warned the Israeli government that the ramp is dangerous. But with the current policy of appeasement, Israeli authorities do not even dare to reenforce the ramp lest they could be seen to be changing the “status quo.”
Biden: No Freedom of Worship
Behind the scenes, the Biden administration is telling the Israeli government to stop talking about “freedom of worship” on the Temple Mount. Journalist Jacob Magid reports:
“Cognizant of how talk of ‘freedom of worship’ can be interpreted, US officials have sought to push Israel to avoid using the phrase and instead focus solely on affirming their commitment to the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites, a diplomat familiar told Times of Israel. The effort appeared to have made headway as Lapid held another briefing on Sunday, using the opportunity to stress Israel's commitment to the status quo and this time, without adding a line about protecting freedom of worship for all religions in Jerusalem.”
The Infidel Ban
Bennet banned Jews and Christians from the Temple Mount during Passover and Ramadan to appease Islamist rioters. Before the ban, the Israeli police had been in fairly good control of the situation. As they escorted peaceful visitors, they embarrassed the rioters by shutting them into the Al Aqsa Mosque itself. Visitors on the Mount could hear the trouble makers throwing stones at their own doors and windows, wrecking their own building. It had all the appearance of an adolescent temper tantrum.
But after the Israeli closure for all “infidels,” Islamists ran amok on the Mount. The PLO flag was illegally flown from the Dome of the Rock for days. Rocks for attacking people were piled all over the Mount and in the Mosque. Some took to training mixed martial arts in the holy courts. While other pilgrims are banned from wearing even a pin with the Israeli flag on the Mount, Muslims unfurled a massive Hamas terrorist banner. While Jews are curtailed to tiny groups for short visits, Muslims came freely during Ramadan in the hundreds of thousands.
Building Prep for the Third House of God
Meanwhile, “most Israelis were celebrating Independence Day by having family barbecues, a small group gathered in the Old City of Jerusalem and began chipping away at stones, preparing them to be used to build the prophesied Third Temple” (Israel365 News).
Rabbi Aryeh Lipo organised the event and stated, “We have a [biblical commandment] to build the Temple. This [command] is not conditional or time-bound. We have this requirement at all times. So it is a pity that we are not actively engaged in it. Right now, it is politically complicated for us to begin building on the Temple Mount but that does not exempt us from this [commandment].” While the Bible states that stones for the God’s altar may not be cut with iron tools, it is permitted for stones for other Temple purposes to be cut until they arrive at the Mount itself.
In another tragic headline last night which stunned the country, Palestinians literally ax-murdered three Jewish fathers on the streets of Elad, orphaning 16 children in the process. A manhunt is ongoing for the murderers As’ad Yousef As’ad al-Rifa’i, age 19, and Subhi Emad Subhi Abu Shqeir, age 20. The cold-blooded murders bring the death toll to 19 dead in terror attacks against Jewish targets since March—the worst spate of terrorism in years.