No Dogs or Jews
Posted on October 13th, 2009
My mother used to tell me of a country club in Cardiff, Wales where she grew up that had a sign at the entrance “No Dogs or Jews.”
Sounds shocking when you think that: 1) As part of the UK, Wales was on our side in the war, and 2) How can people feel so free to express such racist beliefs in public. I’m sure glad that was so many years ago. No civilized people would dare express such notions in today’s enlightened world, right?
Wrong. While we have all been fixated on the bizarre news story of President Obama being named Nobel Peace Prize winner, the Pope, and Time Magazine’s “Man of the Universe,” another incredible news story has been happening, not nearly as amusing.
Over the last two weeks, the Palestinians have thrown stones and pleaded with the International Community to stop the Jews on the Temple Mount.
What exactly are they terrified that the Jews will do on the Mount? Are they worried that the Jews will attack the Muslim worshipers there? Did the Jews bring bulldozers with them to demolish the places the Muslims claim as sacred on the Mount?
No, the Jews have done none of those things. The crimes of the Jews are astonishing. First, Jews want to visit their holiest site and this by itself is an outrage. Even worse, Palestinians claimed that some Jews were planning to… get this… PRAY… on the sacred spot.
Yes, there was great fear that devout Jews might actually look to heaven and silently move their lips while standing by Judaism’s holiest spot. Could you imagine such a provocation? It’s no wonder that all sorts of world leaders urgently requested that Israel calm the situation down. Please Israel — stop those Jews from praying already. Jews praying? What could that lead to?
For those who are a bit confused, let me give a brief explanation. The Temple Mount is the location where the ancient Jewish temples once stood. For 2,000 years, Jews are supposed to face this area when they pray — wherever in the world they may be at the time. It is the spot where the ancient teachings of Judaism say that Abraham was to sacrifice his son Yitzhak only to be stopped by the hand of G-d.
The Muslims also revere the site and it is considered the most holy, second most holy, third holiest place in Islam. Thousands of Muslims go up to the Temple Mount and pray five times a day. They reverently turn their backs on their sacred “Dome of the Rock” so that they will be able to face Mecca in Saudi Arabia as they offer modest prayers for Islamic rule over the entire world peace.
For much of history, Jews were barred from going to the site. Then, in 1967, the Mount was liberated by the Israeli Defense Forces. Despite having military control, it was decided that the Islamic authorities should administer the spot. At different times Jews have either been prohibited or severely limited from visiting the Mount. Israeli law now backs the prohibitions of Jewish prayer or the carrying of any Jewish religious items like tefillin. All done in the name of not upsetting the Muslims.
So today, we have the bizarre situation in which tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers can scream their prayers out loud and knock their heads against the ground five times a day, but a single Jew moving his lips will be promptly escorted out of the area.
The Palestinians claim that the mere presence of religious Jews on the Mount is a provocation. Seems to me it as much of a provocation as when a woman named Rosa Parks sat in a “whites only” seat on the bus in Alabama a few decades ago. (Yes BA, if you are reading that was for you.)
In their own words:
“No one has rights to the Al-Aqsa Mosque other than the Muslims. The mosque compound is Muslim, Palestinian and Arab, and Israel has no rights to the mosque or East Jerusalem.” – Islamic Movement Head Sheikh Ra’ad Salah.
Meanwhile the ultra-right wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is doing whatever it can to allow the Muslim racists worshipers to continue to throw stones at Jews pray on the Mount while trying to keep the situation Jew free calm.
All those who believe in justice, equality, and religious freedom must speak up against the restrictions on Jews and Jewish prayer in the heart of Jerusalem. It would only be fitting if the first leader to raise his voice would be the recently honored Nobel Peace Prize winner.
If you don’t speak up against racism, you are as guilty as the racists.
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