If Not the Detectors, It’ll Be the Cameras

Let’s be straight upfront:

There really was no “status quo”, ever, at the Temple Mount. And it surely wasn’t “historic”. It was all one-sided.

No matter what Minister of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs, Ayman Safadi said Wednesday, that Jordan will continue work to achieve that through re-opening of Al Aqsa mosque and

“ensuring Israel’s commitment not to change its historical and legal status…[and] Israel’s respect for the historic and legal status in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the end of all attempts to create new facts on the ground is the key to restoring calm in the Holy shrines.”

there’s always the Palestinian Authority, whose UN representative informed the institution that

Israel has once again reneged on the assurances given to maintain and uphold the historic status quo at Al-Haram Al-Sharif.

Back in October 2015, when the idea of surveillance cameras was proposed by Jordan’s King Abdallah and US Secretary of State John Kerry, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson had spoken of

Extremists on all sides [who] had sought to disturb the historic status quo.

The “history” of that status quo had really nothing to do with the Temple Mount prior to 1967. It was all about the prohibition of Jews’ rights at the Western Wall.

Here is from Hansard, the record of English Parliament debates as a reminder:

WAILING WALL, JERUSALEM.HC Deb 26 November 1928 vol 223 cc10-1 10

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware of further infringements of the status quo at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem by the Moslem authorities, including the establishment of a hospice at a house adjacent to the Wall, besides other building activities and alterations; that a muezzin now appears on a roof adjacent to the corner where the Aron Kodesh, or Ark of the Holy Scrolls, stands on Saturdays and calls to prayer five times during that day according to the Islamic rite; that this was not permitted under the Ottoman regime; that the Jewish religious authorities have protested to the District Commissioner; and whether he will take steps to prevent such action in the future by the Moslems and further infringements of the status quo?

A new status quo was created by Israel’s Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan in June 1967 as he saw the Jewish element of the walled compound as no more than

“a historical site of commemoration of the past…one should not hinder the Arabs from behaving there as they now do and one should recognize their right as Muslims to control the site.”

But even if the Security Cabinet decides to remove the metal detectors, there is still the matter of the new surveillance cameras. The detectors removed are being replaced by the cameras and that will be the new excuse to demonstrate to undermine Israel’s sovereignty. This will be the new campaign issue; the new “cause” of terror. The Likud-led government will find itself unable to flee from the situation.

With the Three Weeks period upon us and Tisha B’Av 10 days away, we are reminded of the description of a land pursued by its enemies. Little can assuage the Arabs who call themselves “Palestinians”. A disengagement from Gaza brought us three military rounds of hostilities just as the withdrawal from Lebanon brought us the Hezbollah.

Our government rightly bemoaned and denounced the UNESCO decisions that ignored the Temple Mount’s Jewish status.

A firm stand will eventually need to be made.



About the Author
Yisrael Medad, currently is a Research Fellow at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem and Deputy Editor of the English Language Anthology of Jabotinsky's Writings. American-born, he and his wife made Aliyah in 1970. He resides in Shiloh since 1981. He was a member of the Betar Youth Movement World Executive and is a volunteer spokesperson for the Yesha Council. He holds a MA in Political Science from the Hebrew University and is active is many Zionist and Jewish projects and initiatives.
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