Lou Sandler

Shortsighted 1967 ‘Status Quo Agreement’ on Temple Mount Needs Change

The specifics of the ‘status quo agreement’ agreement with Jordan following the 1967 war on the Temple Mount site was remarkably short sighted. While able to avert further immediate crisis following the remarkable victory by Israel, it has since degenerated into an even more caustic, comprehensive trigger and flash point for opportunistic fundamentalist faux religious and political leaders on both sides of the debate.

Understand that I do not at all support Israel’s ‘evangelical’ Jewish Right’s deliberate and poorly considered provocations or demands to unilaterally take over the site. And I support far less Christian Zionist and Messianic involvement. But the 1967 ‘status quo agreement’ and arrangement also becomes less workable almost by the day. As it stands, it allows for and creates the closely connected ability of Abdullah II of Jordan (among others) to play off all sides. And this as of now unstoppable behavior is simultaneously unfortunate, short term opportunistic and very deeply dangerous.

Netanyahu and his coterie have largely ignored the issue of the Temple Mount for a long time opting for what has been a deadly benign neglect.

While Netanyahu and his unstable coalition are certainly not responsible for the most recent crisis triggered by a reprehensible terrorist assault from inside the Temple Mount which included the murder of two Israeli police officers, his government’s unfocused response failed the needs of both Israel and the region. As a result, the Temple Mount sits directly in Netanyahu’s lap and his response has been less than comforting.

Netanyahu and Israel’s government’s lack of sincere, thoughtful proactive attention to the Temple Mount – in part due to both the direct participation of and deep ongoing pander to Jewish ‘evangelical’ leaders – now makes the dynamic even more of a flashpoint for fundamentalist politicians and faux religious leaders on both sides.

The WAQF has repeatedly and increasingly abused the authority it was given in 1967 on about every opportunity. That guns were smuggled into the Temple Mount; guns used to engage in cold blooded murder of Israeli police officers from terrorists INSIDE the Temple Mount is – should be – an abomination to both Judaism and Islam. Until that is unconditionally condemned by Abdullah and other so aligned regional apologists, their moral and strategic authority on the future of the Temple Mount is hugely minimized.

Israel’s record on the Temple Mount is hardly perfect. But since 1967 Israel has also made multiple and numerous efforts to maintain the ‘status quo’ even when that has been thrown back in the nation’s face by regional and global apologists. It is clear the status quo has failed and while honest collaboration remains preferred, it is also clear that the status quo may need to be changed unilaterally.

A problem, of course, is that the provocation and deep intransigence embedded in Muslim and Jewish fundamentalists alike makes honest and shared thought that much more difficult. That Netanyahu has never met a pander he didn’t like; has no vision beyond his own survival is more complicating still. Even while Muslims must hold the right to worship on the Temple Mount, these rights can no longer been taken as unconditional.

That Jews still cannot worship on the Temple Mount, however, must be changed towards an enforced shared contact agreement and schedule. While coherence will be mutually; violently resisted at first, someone must step into this breach to create a plan with a ‘timer’ for all to agree/talk within that time frame at the end of which the original plan will be implemented.

Functional change to the ‘status quo agreement’ is needed more than ever even as it would more than likely need to be directly imposed on Arab and Jewish provocateurs alike. But the longer Netanyahu; the longer more responsible Arab and West leaders hold onto their respective blinders by sacrificing true, honest leadership of their respective citizens to personal and material power, the more violent this tide will be when it fully hits the shore.

About the Author
I was born in Baltimore, MD and have since had a wide range of experiences including a year plus in Israel. I've been a progressive organizer, writer/media spokesperson, coordinator and freelance. I am a PhD level Clinical Behavioral Analyst specializing in severe behavioral need in children (and adults) and their families. I write through no ‘agenda or special interest’ other than being a passionate supporter of Israel and Israel's future.
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