Arnold Flick

Temple Mount time-out

Time for a Temple Mount time-out.

In the aftermath of the 1967 War, the status of the Mount was left to the good-will of the Wakf. Israel’s hope that common sense with a sharing of tradition would bring the communities together has proven a terrible mistake. The Government’s current conciliatory approach to the anti-Israeli violence is not working. Stepping up the force as a response is likely to make things worse. The Mount needs a rest.

I suggest that the Temple Mount should be closed to all except for maintenance and security personnel. All visitors will be stopped. Prayers at Al Aksa will be stopped. The closure will last for a long time, minimum a year or more, enough for passions to subside from their current fever. Such an act will be followed by screams and acts of rage, but this is no different from what is happening anyhow. Once closed, there should be no hurry to reopen.

Israel should take advantage of the closure to develop a policy going forward. If it wants input from Jordan, the PA, or the Christian community well and good, but it should make clear to all that Israel is the Sovereign on the Mount and consultations are for non-binding advice. To avoid this catastrophe from restarting, there are other issues in the foreground that should be settled before the Mount is reopened.

Arnold Flick, San Diego, CA, USA 9/17/15

About the Author
Arnold L. Flick was born 1930 of secular, Zionist, Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. He has followed events in Israel since age seven when he first solicited for the “Jews of Palestine” on the streets of Los Angeles as a young member of Habonim. He was in Israel for four months 1990-91 and for two months 2002. He is active in the House of Israel Balboa park, a non-profit museum in Balboa Park, San Diego, that provides information about Israel to its 15,000 annual visitors.