Tonight begins Yom Yerushalayim — Jerusalem Day — a time for honoring and celebrating our holy city. In 1967, we liberated the eastern part of the City, with its place of greatest sanctity, the Temple Mount. United Jerusalem, ours, for all time.
In the spirit of the day, I share some links.
From Aish, a lovely short video with great shots of Jerusalem liberated, and “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav” — “Jerusalem of Gold” — as background:
From the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a very nice quiz, to see how much you know about Jerusalem, and perhaps to learn:
Before I go on to news, I share one more link. This is to an article of mine that went up on YNet today. It contains important facts. Please, share widely.
Forty-three rabbis ascended the Temple Mount yesterday, to mark our victory in recovering it 43 years ago. Lovely.
The statement from the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation said that this ascent was meant to “express the deep bond with the holy site.
“It is also significant in terms of public awareness. The presence of rabbis visiting the site together shows…the value and importance of visiting the Temple Mount in holiness and in purity.”
Very often, the Kotel (the Western Wall) is alluded to as Judaism’s holiest site. It is not: the Mount is.
The Wall is a retaining wall that closed in the Mount, upon which our Temples were built. It’s important to understand this, for any notion that we should have the Kotel and the Arabs should have the Mount — where they have a mosque and the Dome of the Rock — is completely and totally unacceptable. It would be to relinquish the heart of our sacred heritage. We had Temples on that Mount before there was an Islam.
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat — a good guy in my book — said yesterday, in response to the news about Ramat Shlomo, that construction would continue in all parts of the city. And, most significantly, he says, “The real test is the test of action.” Indeed. My sentiments yesterday.
Accompanying the JPost article about this is a picture of a crane in the Har Homa neighborhood, where a new development is being established. The establishment of Har Homa a few years ago, which is in the south east of Jerusalem, caused a huge furor, which has since dissipated. If the caption of this picture is accurate (and I’m trying to check it) it means construction is going on in Jerusalem past the Green Line, as I write.
Meanwhile, Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), which misses no opportunity to cause trouble, reports that this week initial construction began on 14 housing units in Ma’aleh David, a planned housing complex inside of the Ras el-Amud neighborhood that is slated to become the largest Jewish residential complex past the Green Line.
The property in question is privately owned by the Bukharian Community Committee. Headquarters for the Judea and Samaria police had been on that site, but the police have now relocated. According to the Peace Now charge, the renovation currently being done required no permits because it was taking place inside this private compound.
But larger plans, which were submitted by the Bukharian Committee to the municipality last summer, call for the complete razing of the police building in that compound and construction of seven buildings that would house 104 apartments. In light of this, the charge that the current building was being renovated is confusing. The plans that were submitted have not been approved, reportedly because they do not conform to “city planning policy for that area.” This may be legit, as the mayor has laid out a plan for the city.
I rather like the Peace Now description of Mayor Barkat: “he has emerged as one of the most faithful allies the east Jerusalem settlers (sic) could have.” May the mayor go from strength to strength as he recognizes the right of Jews to be resident in all parts of our city.
As we work to keep our city united — in the face of pressure from Obama, who frowns on our building in Jerusalem anywhere past the Green Line — it is important to remain vigilant and not be too quickly mollified.
Of late, the president has been doing a full court campaign to woo the Jewish community — to which I give next to no credence. Actions, in the end, are what he must be judged by. And what I’m seeing of late is action such as the new US push to get Israel to sign on to the NPT, which is to Israel’s severe detriment.
Why do I mention this now? Because Elie Wiesel — who wrote an open letter to Obama in the Wall Street Journal last month, in which he referred to Jerusalem as “heart of our heart” — was invited to lunch at the White House. Emerging from this auspicious kosher luncheon, Wiesel told journalists, that “The tension [between Jerusalem and Washington] I think is gone.” Now, he said, the ties between Israel and the Obama administration were “good.”
Well, it would be hard to prove this. The insistence by Obama that we should not build in Jerusalem, even in solidly Jewish neighborhoods past the Green Line, has not changed.
I am certain that Wiesel intends well, and equally certain that the president charmed him thoroughly. Please, do not use the considered opinion of Elie Wiesel on this matter as a gauge of the situation.
(With a nod to Reisa S here.)
Moving away from the subject of Jerusalem, to New York City:
I ask with bewilderment and horror what is going on. For the news has reached me that a mosque is to be built a stone’s throw from Ground Zero. Precisely how far can political correctness be taken?
Writes Gadi Adelman, in his article,”Spitting in the Face of Everyone Murdered on 9/11″ :
“I read about this last December, plans for a mosque at Ground Zero, but like a fool, I assumed that New Yorkers would never let this come to pass. A mosque just 600 feet from where the World Trade Center towers once stood. I thought to myself; no way will New York or anyone with a heart or soul, not to mention just plain common sense, ever allow a mosque to be built anywhere near Ground Zero. But, as I said, I am a fool.
“The project of a community center /mosque is being proposed by two organizations, the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) and their sister organization, the Cordoba Initiative. [On May 5] they made their presentation to the Community Board of lower Manhattan (CB1). Twelve people sit on the board and would you like to guess what the final vote was? Get ready to grab a barf bag … the 12 members voted unanimously to support the project. Yes, it’s not a typo, it was unanimous, all were in favor and, to give you an idea of how excited the board members were, they applauded during the presentation.”
Concludes Adelman: “…it’s official, we have all lost our minds.”
“As Youssef M. Ibrahim wrote in his article ‘It is an established fact that a significant percentage of the mosques built in the USA in the past two decades are receiving a disproportionate amount of their funds not only from the Saudis, but also the UAE, Qatar and Iran — all problematic Islamists activist nations.’
“Does anyone have the sense to connect the dots and follow the money trail? Is it not enough that the terrorists who were responsible for 9/11 are from the same country that is funding mosques all over our country, that we have to allow them to fund the building of a mosque in the very location where they committed the most heinous act in American history?
“…Currently, in the U.S. there are over 1200 mosques, with at least one in each state. I don’t see the need to build a new mosque at the same location where nearly 3000 people were murdered by terrorists who followed an Islamic ideology that will be preached inside this new one.”
The same sort of garbled thinking was apparent with regard to Faisal Shahzad, who is charged with attempting to blow up Times Square. Evidence has emerged that he was working with the Taliban in Pakistan. Yet, somehow no one seems panicked by this. People don’t want to see it.
Daniel Pipes argued recently, with solid reason, that, “When news comes of Muslims engaging in violence…, the triad of politicians, law enforcement, and media…should begin with a presumption of jihadi intent. That is, the default expectation should be ideological passion.”
But this is not the case. Pipes documented some of the outlandish speculations that were offered — by journalists, politicians and the like — to explain the explosives in the SUV:
 “somebody with a political agenda who doesn’t like the health care bill or something. It could be anything.”
 “likely to me [he] was either a lone nut job or a member of some squirrely branch of the Tea Party, anti-government far right.” (a libel on Tea Party members and anti-government people)
 “…you of course don’t want to speculate on why someone ‘really’ did something. The hearts of men are opaque, and motives are complex.”
Fouad Ajami, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, writing in the Wall Street Journal, has this to say about the situation:
“‘A Muslim has no nationality except his belief,’ the intellectual godfather of the Islamists, Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, wrote decades ago. Qutb’s ‘children’ are everywhere now; they carry the nationalities of foreign lands and plot against them. The Pakistani born Faisal Shahzad is a devotee of Sayyid Qutb’s doctrine, and Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, was another.
“…What can we make of a young man like Shahzad working for Elizabeth Arden, receiving that all-American degree, the MBA, jogging in the evening in Bridgeport, then plotting mass mayhem in Times Square?
“The Islamists are now within the gates. They fled the fires and the failures of the Islamic world but brought the ruin with them. They mock national borders and identities.”
“…This is a long twilight war, the struggle against radical Islamism. We can’t wish it away. No strategy of winning ‘hearts and minds,’ no great outreach, will bring this struggle to an end. America can’t conciliate these furies. These men of nowhere—Faisal Shahzad, Nidal Malik Hasan, the American-born renegade cleric Anwar Awlaki now holed up in Yemen and their likes—are a deadly breed of combatants in this new kind of war. Modernity both attracts and unsettles them. America is at once the object of their dreams and the scapegoat onto which they project their deepest malignancies.”
Who hears this in America? “The Islamists are now within the gates.”