Another puff moment…writes Michael Kuttner

May 23, 2014 by Michael Kuttner
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Since John Kerry. otherwise known as puff the magic dragon, popularized this descriptive expression, there have been many occasions on which it could usefully be applied.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

For example, in 1967 following the shelling of Jerusalem by the illegal Jordanian occupation forces, Israel in a momentous chapter of Jewish history, once again asserted sovereignty over the entire Capital. In a declaration which resounded around the Jewish world, the Temple Mount was in our hands and access for Jews to pray at the Western Wall and the Mount was guaranteed. From 1948 to 1967 Jews had been denied access to their most holy sites by the Hashemite occupiers and the international community showed total disinterest in this flagrant display of religious intolerance. A mere three years after the liberation of the concentration camps and in the aftermath of the Holocaust the world showed that the hate and incitement against Jews fanned by Islamic intolerance was of no importance and therefore need not be addressed..

In a poof moment of inexplicable stupidity, Moshe Dayan on behalf of the Israeli authorities handed back to the Islamic religious authorities the right to control access to the Temple Mount. Without doubt he and those who advised him believed that this demonstration of Jewish liberal benevolence would lead to an outburst of enthusiastic hallelujahs on the part of the media, the United Nations and Christian Churches. Nothing of course could have been more delusional given the sorry experience of the last two thousand years but then self delusion has always been and continues to be the hallmark of many politicians and experts right up to the present moment.

Anyone who had studied the inciteful pronouncements of Jerusalem Muftis should have realized what would happen. Mufti Husseini, that close bosom buddy of Hitler made it perfectly clear as to what the real agenda was. Accusing the Jews of planning to destroy the Mosque built on the site of the Temple, indeed denying the existence of the Temple itself while ironically condemning alleged plots to rebuild the 3rd Temple were clear hints that more of the same could be expected. So it has been proven ever since 1967. With ever increasing fervor the current Mufti and PA officials recycle the same old hate which back in the 1920’s and on other occasions since then resulted in pogroms against Jews by frenzied mobs who had been poisoned with these venomous libels. As in the past the world remains silent. However the biggest scandal is the silence of Israeli authorities and Diaspora Jewry in the face of continuing mob violence and denial of Jewish freedom of worship at Judaism’s most holy site.

The Western Wall has become for most the focal point of our prayers and photo opportunities. Even here however Jews are sometimes barred when Arab mobs fired up by inflammatory sermons, hurl rocks from the Mount at worshippers below. In actuality it is the Temple Mount itself which is far more holy than the retaining wall of the 2nd Temple. Whilst many Rabbis discourage visits to the Mount out of fear that people may trespass on areas which in Temple times were off limits, the fact is that increasing numbers of Rabbis and Jews are visiting those parts of the Mount which are clearly delineated as halachically permitted. Nobody is demanding entry to the Mosque or to pray there. All that Jews wish to do is to stand on the Mount and recite prayers.

What in actual fact transpires can only be described as a scandalous situation and one which must be rectified at the earliest possible opportunity. First, it is not a given that access to the Temple Mount for Jews will be allowed on any particular day. This is because at the slightest hint of Islamic mob violence, Jews are prohibited from ascending. Instead of banning those whose hate generates terror against those who wish to peacefully visit a Jewish holy place, the police prefer to ban the targets of this terror. Does this sound as though the Mount is in our hands?

Secondly, if by some chance you actually make it to the Mount you are humiliated and harassed before you get there and once you arrive. Non Moslems are only permitted to enter via a rickety bridge which everyone knows is a safety hazard but which cannot be replaced by a safer structure because once again the Moslem religious authorities have threatened mayhem. It seems that their lies about the Jews wanting to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque include providing safe access for pilgrims. Rather than exerting our authority we prefer to succumb to threats and thugs.

Next, one is likely to be kept waiting for a very long time as only a limited number of visitors are allowed at any one time and the security check must make sure that you do not carry anything as threatening as a siddur or book of psalms. After all these manifestations of Jewish prayer are deemed as instruments of incitement and an affront to the dignity of the peace loving Islamic population.

Having made it safely through to the Temple Mount itself you are shadowed by Moslem authorities and Israeli police who make sure that your lips do not move in any remote semblance of thanksgiving to the Almighty and that you do not bow or display reverence towards the site of Judaism’s most important relic of our past. At the slightest indication that a prayer is escaping your mouth you are likely to be arrested and escorted by force from the Mount and banned from returning. Moreover groups of Moslem youth stalk you and are likely at any given moment to unleash a barrage of rocks. This happens with regularity and results in Jews being barred again.

Finally and at long last there is a growing swell of outrage in Israel over this disgraceful state of affairs. It makes a mockery of Palestinian Authority promises to safeguard religious freedom if they were ever given control of half of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount. The sad thing is that those who are sucked into believing this remain oblivious and unmoved by actual reality on the ground. Like Moshe Dayan, there are still people who are sure that magnanimous gestures of liberal lunacy will be appreciated.

That accounts for a lack of interest on the part of certain politicians in particular and the international community in general.

Will the Pope condemn this blatant display of religious discrimination when he visits the Temple Mount next week? Based on past performance this is highly unlikely but I am always prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

But, wait all is not yet lost. In a stunning display of European DSD (double standards diplomacy) the European Union made a dramatic policy announcement today. In a firm and forceful move the EU has decided to ban eggs produced by Jewish chickens in Judea, Samaria and half of occupied Jerusalem. It seems that eggs from these places constitute a major threat to world peace and therefore whilst basically ignoring real threats and abuses of human rights in the rest of the world, the citizens of the EU will be denied the pleasure of eating Jewish pancakes because the eggs were produced and packaged in places where Jews have been living for thousands of years.

If ever there was a puff moment – this must be one of the best.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.

 

 

 

Comments

3 Responses to “Another puff moment…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. As the EU has classified chickens in these areas as settlers in occupied territory it is safe to assume that they must be of the “Jewish” (kosher) variety!!!

  2. Paul Winter says:

    Michael, the problem is that Israel’s leadership is still from the idealistic Ashkenazi elite who will not admit that they are dealing with Jew haters or for that section of the Sephardim who are tolerant of their erstwhile oppressor. The notion of Jew as the master is alien to the leadership and to most Jews. They forget Churchill’s shrewd observation: the Arab is either at your feet or at your throat.

    The Temple Mount must be retaken and the politicised police must be reformed. The violent Arabs must be put in their place and kept off the Mount until they can behave in a civilised fashion.

    With regard to Israeli eggs, the government should retaliate by taking the EU to court for violating UNSC 242 – international law – in taking action before a settlement is reached and by banning export of Arab goods from Judea, Samaria and Gaza. In other words, what the EU does to Israel on behalf of the Arabs, Israel in turn does likewise to the Arabs. And it should cease supplying them with water and electricity. The EU, UN and US can jump about as much as they like, action against Israel would take a lot longer that throwing a switch or turning a tap.

  3. Jewish chickens?
    I thought I misread your column.

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