Tachles: A modern Hebrew word of Yiddish origin that means “to the point.”
For the foreign media, Israel’s new Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, is a provocateur and warmonger. Why did the new cabinet member have to enter the Temple Mount only a few days after taking office? That’s unnecessary and only provokes the Palestinians. That’s true, but Palestinians are easily provoked.
Most of the Western and Arab world sees all this as simple bad faith toward the Palestinians on Israel’s part. “Ben-Gvir’s Temple Mount Visit: An Act of Provocation,” insisted one foreign headline. “Right-Wing Extremist Ascends Temple Mount,” lamented another. “Israel’s Police Minister Provokes With Temple Mount Visit,” a third informed us.
And now the UN Security Council is set to convene to urgently discuss Ben-Gvir’s visit to Judaism’s holiest site, which has sparked a spate of international condemnation. There is seldom any understanding for the Israeli side.
Stop! Itamar Ben-Gvir’s actions is not what’s really got everyone bothered. The real problem is Israel’s presence in and sovereignty over Jerusalem. Ben-Gvir is not an anomaly among the people, but a loud voice in the Land. The political faction he helps lead is the third largest party in the Knesset. In the last election the people in Zion elected a right-wing religious government, and that bothers many people. But isn’t that the essence of a democracy? I didn’t vote for Itamar Ben-Gvir, and yet I understand why Jewish rights on the Temple Square are important.
Ultimately, it’s about the truth. Is the biblical promise right, or does the Koran rule in our generation and in Jerusalem? Israel defends the Bible, and Islam, along with the “Christian West,” take the opposing side. This was again expressed in the most recent UN resolution. In this, the UN General Assembly declared Israel’s existence in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria a war crime. This is now to be submitted to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. In this case, Itamar Ben-Gvir had provoked nothing. The UN would have made the same decision under the previous government of Yair Lapid, which was branded as a left-wing government.
In addition, the constant warnings from Palestinian terror groups produce exactly the opposite, especially with the new right-wing religious government in power. If Hamas and Islamic Jihad had not threatened war, the new government would not have come under such pressure to react. Israel cannot afford to capitulate to Palestinian threats. This signals weakness.
Not only that, in 2022, some 51,483 Jews ascended the Temple Mount, compared to 34,651 in 2021 and 20,684 in 2020. And this is what angers the Islamic religious guardians of the Waqf in Jerusalem, who count every Jew. From their point of view, the increasing number of Jews praying on the Temple Mount is damaging the status quo. Israel’s answer is that it (read: Jews) every right to pray there. In this regard the government will have have some difficult decisions in the next few weeks. Jewish movements and their representatives in the coalition insist on new rules governing religious freedoms at the Temple Mount. Jews should be allowed finally to pray there, and even don Jewish religious items like phylacteries and prayer shawls. Temple implements are also to be approved that Jews may take with them to the Temple Mount. In addition, all entrances to the Temple Mount should be open to Jews. Israeli security officials are already in talks with the government on these matters.
Dear readers, you must understand that no Israeli government will ever abandon the Temple Mount – no left-wing and certainly no right-wing government. The Temple Mount was the site of the two Jewish temples, and is the biblical site of Mount Moriah where Abraham was ready to sacrifice his son Isaac. Jesus lived and worked in Jerusalem. For Muslims, this is the third holiest site in Islam, called al-Haram al-Sharif, with the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Temple Mount is under Muslim administration of the religious guardians, the Waqf, while Israel is responsible for security.
I understand that Muslims have their history as well. And I choose to believe biblical truth and not Palestinian truth. Everyone is free to believe Israel or the Palestinians. Itamar is just one more political player, and they come and go. With or without him, Jerusalem will always remain a sticking point in politics and religion. And that is a geopolitical and spiritual conflict that will forever accompany Israel as long as the Jewish state exists in the biblical homeland. I’m sorry, but there are no excuses and detours to escape from this conflict. The problem is not with Itamar Ben-Gvir, but rather with the people of Israel who elected a new government in Jerusalem. The international community should accept that. But that’s probably asking too much. Itamar is nothing but a convenient excuse to attack Israel.
Israel Today Membership
Save 18% Per Month.
Six Months Membership
Save 9% Per Month.