A Tale of Two Heroes

Here’s a tale of two heroes that’s a study in the irony of the State of Israel’s bizarre relationship with the Temple Mount.

Left: Rabbi Yisrael Ariel has been banned by the Israel Police indefinetly from visiting the Temple Mount for the crime of uttering a prayer (photo courtesy the Temple Institute). Right: Freed Hamas terrorist Makdisi Hamadah receives a hero’s welcome on the Temple Mount, Tues. Aug. 14th 2012  (photo courtesy temple.blogspot.co.il)

Temple Institute founder Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who served in the 1967 Six Day War as a paratrooper under the command of Lt. Gen. Motta Gur and participated in the battle for Jerusalem, has been banned by the Israel Police from visiting the Temple Mount. His crime: uttering the Yizkor memorial prayer for his fallen comrades — the 180 paratroopers who were killed fighting for Jerusalem — while visiting the Temple Mount on the 45th anniversary of their death, Jerusalem Day (June 18th) 2012. A video of that visit including the crime of prayer can be seen here:

On the other hand, convicted Hamas terrorist Makdisi Hamadah, freed from his ten year sentence in Israeli prison, received a hero’s welcome on Tuesday Aug. 14th, before returning to his village of Zur Bahar. Officials of the Muslim Wakf greeted him with tumultuous fanfare. The event was widely and enthusiastically reported in the Arabic internet media. According to the Palestinian News Agency, the terrorist’s father Sheikh Ibrahim Hamadah, a Wakf employee, chose to be reunited with his son on the Temple Mount. Makdisi Hamadah was also reunited with his brother, a Hamas terrorist convicted of participating in a plot to launch a missile attack against Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium. Makdisi’s brother had been released as part of the exchange for Israeli solider Gilad Shalit.

A video of the fete for freed terrorist Makdisi Hamadah on the Temple Mount can be found here:

Can you tell me how to make sense out of any of this?





About the Author
Rabbi Chaim Richman is the director of the international department of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem. For over three decades the Temple Institute has been dedicated to every aspect of the Biblical commandment to build the Holy Temple. Through its research and educational programming, the Institute seeks to highlight the universal significance of the Holy Temple as a house of peace and prayer for all nations.