“The Temple Mount is in our hands!”

On Jerusalem Day we celebrate the liberation of East Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation and the reunification of the holy city.

It has been 50 years since the Nation of Israel heard those most glorious words: “The Temple Mount is in our hands!”

People who had literally seen their families go up in the smoke of the Nazi ovens saw the broken heart of Zion reunited and healed. The Temple Mount, the place Jews in exile dreamed of for thousands of years, the direction in which Jews around the world pray three times a day, every day was, once again, theirs!

And then, inexplicably, Moshe Dayan decided to place the administration of the Temple Mount in the hands of the Waqf.

Today Israel is a land of freedom for all – unless you are Jewish. In the heart of the capital of our country, the holiest place in the world for the Jewish people, Jews are not allowed to pray. On the Temple Mount, there is one set of rules for Muslims and another set of rules for Jews. This is apartheid.

Today it has become legitimate to doubt and even deny the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. For the nations of the world, it has become a “magnanimous” gesture to admit the Jewish connection to the Western Wall. This is patently ridiculous but no one seems to ever ask the obvious question: “Why do the Jews care so much about a Western Wall? Western Wall of what?”

The Western Wall is not, in itself, holy at all. A retaining wall of the ancient Jewish Temple, it is not even a wall of the Temple itself but, as it has become the closest we are allowed to go, to pray in the holiest site in Judaism, it has become the center of focus. It is as if someone stole your home from you and you stood outside your garage door, waiting to be let back in.

How long would you continue standing there?

On Jerusalem Day, “The Temple Mount is in our hands!” possibly the most glorious words in the history of the Jewish people ring in my ears and a bitter taste is left in my mouth.

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