The belief itself calls for extraordinary arrogance or extraordinary hope in the believer...
It follows that one must never speak critically of one’s country in the hearing of other nations or write against its policies in foreign newspapers.
No matter how vicious and wrong the conduct of a member of the 'good' nation may be, one must assume his good intentions.
This ideology abets raw self-interest in justifying many actions by which the United States has revealingly made an exception of itself -- for example, our refusal to participate in the International Criminal Court. The community of nations, we declared, was not situated to understand the true extent of our constabulary responsibilities. American actions come under a different standard and we are the only qualified judges of our own cause.
Unconditional love of our country is the counterpart of unconditional detachment and even hostility toward other countries.
Uri Avnery & The Tribal Cult
During the last few centuries, European-American Judaism became more and more a religion imbued with a universal moral message. Jewish thinkers believed that it was the “mission” of the Jews to bring universal ethics to the nations of the world, seeing that as the real substance of Judaism.
Avnery was born as Helmut Ostermann on September 10, 1923, in Beckum, Westphalia...
In 1938, just before turning 15, he joined the Irgun underground (Irgun Tzwai Leumi - National Military Organization), in order to take part in the fight against the British colonial regime. He served for three years, but left the Irgun in protest against its anti-Arab and reactionary social attitudes and terrorist methods. Later he explained his attitude in a booklet entitled "Terrorism, the infantile disease of the Hebrew revolution" (1945).
The New Age of Ideology
"The post-September 11 era in the US has heralded in a new age of ideology whose discourse and world views have served not only to accommodate such extremist views as those held by Sharon, but also to provide him with a platform and an influence that were unthinkable only a year ago.
"Being a warrior is the role of my generation. It was and remains the role of my generation. And it is also the role of the coming generations. It is everyone's role." (Haaretz, april 2001)
"Sharon is making hypocrites of us, and we are cowards for permitting it." (The American Conservative, 1-3-2004)
- Q – Israeli authorities have recently announced severe measures they hope will quell the unrest, including passing a law that calls for prison terms of up to 20 years for stone throwing. Do you think these attempts to suppress discontent will succeed?
- IJG – “As already mentioned, this policy, which is reminiscent of the ‘iron fist’ and ‘breaking bones’ policy of the Israeli government in the first intifada, results in a deep sense of insult and humiliation, in addition to the usual oppression and daily hardship... More Israeli repression is a recipe for more inter-communal violence by private individuals and groups, Palestinians and Israelis.”
- Q – The US has been critical of recent settlement announcements in Jerusalem, but has refused to spell out any consequences for continued Israeli disregard for American concerns and policies. Do you think this lack of American resolve emboldens Israeli hardliners?
IJG – “Yes, of course. As long as Israeli politicians and the public will believe that there is no price to be paid for settlement expansion in terms of international relations and economic cooperation, settlement expansion will be supported by the Israeli public, political parties and governments.”
Arab MKs are among the Israeli Arabs readying to protest in Umm Al-Fahm Friday, as frustrations build in the Arab city over the Temple Mount and the shooting of terrorist Hir Alhamdan in Kafr Kana.
Participants not only include Umm Al-Fahm residents, but also MKs Hanin Zoabi (Balad), MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad), and MK Afu Agbaria (Hadash) - as well as Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked northern Islamic movement.
Speaking to reporters Friday afternoon, Hanin Zoabi deifantly stated, "we are not afraid of Israel, the terror state."
Jamal Zahalka, meanwhile, encouraged the total closure of the Temple Mount - Judaism's holiest site which Muslims claim under the label "the Al-Aqsa Mosque" - to Jews.
"Al-Aqsa is a tangible reality, while the [first and second Jewish] Temple there is a myth," Zahalka claimed. "Any attempt to damage Al-Aqsa will bring greater escalation."
"Anyone who wants tensions to calm [there] should allow [Muslim] prayer there [to resume] and stop pyromaniacs and provocateurs of all sorts from ascending to it," he added.
"We are part of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance in Gaza, which failed all Israeli targets, both military and political," Zoabi boasted to reporters at the scene. "The Palestinian people is still occupied, however, and we cannot break it by force - only through a just political solution and ending the siege and the occupation."
Flashback: Bill Clinton, a true believerDuring the Camp David conversations with Bill Clinton in 2000 Yasser Arafat expressed doubts that the ancient Jewish temple actually lay beneath the Islamic-run compound in Jerusalem containing the holy Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. This was a critical point of dispute, since the Western Wall, a remnant of the temple's retaining wall, is the holiest site in Judaism and one the Israelis were intent on maintaining sovereignty over. "I know it's there," Clinton said he told Arafat." (Michael Hirsh, Newsweek, June 27, 2001)
The Temple & Fort Antonia
"When Romans took control, they built a huge fortress, which is now mistakenly called the temple mount, north of the city of David, which enclosed 35 acres — about three times as much as the entire City of David. This was the Tower of Antonia. This fortress follows the same pattern as Roman fortresses and camps in other places in the world." George Wesley Buchanan
Josephus, a Jew who was an eyewitness of the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome in 70AD and the author of "The antiquities of the Jews" and "The Jewish wars"(available online) said the Temple of Herod was built high up on a platform that had four walls around it forming a precise square of 600 feet on each side. Josephus said the wall of its southeast corner had its foundations directly in the deepest part of the Kidron Valley (in the streambed itself) and that its height was 300 cubits (450 feet, or about the height of a modern 40 story building). This description in no way fits the dimensions of the Haram.
Near the northwest corner Josephus said this external Temple wall was connected to Fort Antonia by two side-by-side colonnade roadways (each 600 feet long).
Josephus then said that Fort Antonia itself was built around a notable "Rock" that was viewed as the centerpiece feature of the interior of the Fort (which was also known as the Praetorium).
"I will not go to the other extreme, out of opposition to those men who extol the Romans nor will I determine to raise the actions of my countrymen too high; but I will prosecute the actions of both parties with accuracy.
Yet shall I suit my language to the passions I am under, as to the affairs I describe, and must be allowed to indulge some lamentations upon the miseries undergone by my own country. For that it was a seditious temper of our own that destroyed it, and that they were the tyrants among the Jews who brought the Roman power upon us, who unwillingly attacked us, and occasioned the burning of our holy temple.
Titus Caesar, who destroyed it, is himself a witness, who, during the entire war, pitied the people who were kept under by the seditious, and did often voluntarily delay the taking of the city, and allowed time to the siege, in order to let the authors have opportunity for repentance."
Titus (Latin: Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus) was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81. Prior to becoming Emperor, Titus gained renown as a military commander, serving under his father in Judaea during the First Jewish-Roman War. In 70, he besieged and captured Jerusalem, and destroyed the city and the Second Temple. For this achievement Titus was awarded a triumph; the Arch of Titus commemorates his victory to this day.
As emperor, he is best known for completing the Colosseum and for his generosity in relieving the suffering caused by two disasters, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and a fire in Rome in 80.
"Oh most wretched city, what misery so great as this didst thou suffer from the Romans, when they came to purify thee from thy internal pollutions!
For thou couldst be no longer a place fit for God, nor couldst thou longer survive, after thou hadst been a sepulchre for the bodies of thine own people, and thou hast made the Holy House itself a burying-place in this civil war of thine. Yet mayst thou again grow better, if perchance thou wilt hereafter appease the anger of that God who is the author of thy destruction.
But I must restrain myself from these passions by the rules of History, since this is not a proper time for domestic lamentation, but for historical narrations. (The Lamentation of Josephus, War 5.1.4 19-20)
The entire country is now aflame. East Jerusalem is already a war zone, with daily demonstrations, riots and bloodshed. In Israel proper, since the Kafr Kanna killing Arab citizens are also mounting daily strikes and demonstrations. In the West Bank, there were some demonstrations and a fatal stabbing, after which an Arab was shot and killed.
Mahmoud Abbas is doing everything in his power to prevent a general uprising, which might quite well endanger his regime. But pressure from below is mounting. Abbas refused to meet Netanyahu in Amman.
Popular wisdom in Israel has already found a name for the situation: "Intifada of Individuals". For the Israeli security chiefs, that is a nightmare. They are ready for an organized Intifada. They know how to quash it by force, and, if necessary, by more force. But what to do with an Intifada which is entirely made by isolated individuals, with no orders from any organization, with no grouping that can be infiltrated by the collaborators of the Shin Bet net of informers? ...
The center of the storm is the Temple Mount..
For decades now, a group of Israeli zealots has been busy planning for a new Jewish Temple to be built in place of the al-Aqsa and the magnificent Dome of the Rock. They are stitching garments for priests and making the necessary preparations for animal sacrifices.
Until recently, they were considered simply a curiosity. Not anymore.
Several cabinet ministers and Knesset members have entered the holy enclosure to pray, contrary to the status quo. Throughout the Islamic world, this has aroused alarm. Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and in Israel proper are furious.
Netanyahu promised King Abdallah II to restore quiet. But he is doing the opposite.
Jesus turned water into wine. Netanyahu is turning water into gasoline and pouring it on the flames.
Scores of young Palestinians took to the streets Wednesday in East Jerusalem, after Israeli security forces demolished the home of a terrorist who plowed his car into a crowd of people waiting at the Ammunition Hill station of Jerusalem's Light Rail on Oct. 22...
"The intifada has started," a 17-year-old told Ynet. "We won't remain quiet about what happens in East Jerusalem and inside Al-Aqsa. We will continue to struggle and support terror against Israel, that is the only solution we have to save ourselves."
While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu points an accusing finger at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Israel's top secret security service said Tuesday he did not believe Abbas was responsible for the current round of terror and violence.
"Abbas is not interested in terror and is not inciting to terror. He's not even doing so behind closed doors," Shin Bet head Yoram Cohen told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
According to the Shin Bet head, the central factors behind the current violence, was the murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir - who was killed by Jewish vigilante in retribution for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens last June - and attempts by Israeli legislators to change the status-quo on the Temple Mount.
According to Cohen visits by right-wing MKs and attempts to introduce legislation which would change the status quo on the flashpoint holy site were the main factors for rising tensions in East Jerusalem.
Sources present at the meeting said Cohen told MKs that public officials should refrain from going on the Temple Mount in the current tense climate, as it incites anger among the Palestinians.
Asked about Cohen's comments, Netanyahu insisted Tuesday night that "there are no gaps between myself and the Shin Bet chief." The prime minister said that while Cohen "clarified Abbas is indeed not launching terrorist attacks or directly encouraging terror attacks," there is still incitement in the Palestinian Authority, which is headed by Abbas.
Yoel Marcus: Why don't we put the blame on Moses?
Blaming someone else for our failures is the standard practice in these political climes...
Sitting pretty for 20 years, the Likud led this country from bad to worse. When settlement was imperative in the pre-state days, Herut never lifted a finger, but the Likud has covered the West Bank with a blanket of settlements and outposts to ensure its irreversible annexation.
The Likud dragged us into 300 percent inflation and bought votes for cash, following Begin's famous directive "to do right by the people." It entangled us in the 18-year Lebanon War, which eroded the IDF's power of deterrence, spawned Hezbollah and paved the road to two intifadas.
If Netanyahu is looking for a fall guy, what about Moses? After all, isn't it his fault we're here and not in America? (Ha'aretz 22-7-2003)
Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon & the “Al-Aqsa Intifada”
In late September 2000, Israeli, Palestinian, and other officials received reports that Member of the Knesset (now Prime Minister) Ariel Sharon was planning a visit to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Palestinian and U.S. officials urged then Prime Minister Ehud Barak to prohibit the visit. Mr. Barak declined to prohibit it.
Mr. Sharon made the visit on September 28 accompanied by over 1,000 Israeli police officers. Although Israelis viewed the visit in an internal political context, Palestinians saw it as highly provocative to them.
On the following day, in the same place, a large number of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators and a large Israeli police contingent confronted each other. According to the U.S. Department of State, “Palestinians held large demonstrations and threw stones at police in the vicinity of the Western Wall. Police used rubber-coated metal bullets and live ammunition to disperse the demonstrators, killing 4 persons and injuring about 200.” According to the GOI, 14 policemen were injured.
Similar demonstrations took place over the following several days. Thus began what has become known as the “Al-Aqsa Intifada” (Al-Aqsa being a mosque at the Haram al- Sharif/Temple Mount). (From the Mitchell Report, 30-4-2001)
Israeli Army & The Settlers
A symbiosis has taken place between the army chiefs and the settlers. The generals see themselves as the patrons of the settlements.
The military that was supposed to be a "small, smart army" for the defense of the state is becoming more and more like a colonial militia for the defense of the settlements. It has become more and more estranged from large parts of society.
The best and the brightest do not remain in the army, they go to high-tech and the universities. Their place is being taken by the fanatical "hesder" yeshivot, a kind of modern version of the Templar order of the Crusaders.
A simple question: When did the State of Israel ever consciously decide to sacrifice itself on this altar? When was this choice ever put clearly before the people? When has the public, the Knesset or the government ever made the decision to take this road?
The answer: never. This way was imposed on the state by a small, fanatic, messianic-nationalistic sect, which was joined over time by opportunists, gold-diggers and villas-for-nothing seekers. They have dragged the state on their way, step by step, and now it’s they who decide the destiny of the State of Israel. (Uri Avnery, 17-3-2001)
Sharon & the Palestinian pastrami sandwich
“What is to become of the Palestinians?”
“Oh,” Sharon said, “we’ll make a pastrami sandwich of them.”
I said, “What?”
He said, “Yes, we’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlement, in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlement, right across the West Bank, so that in twenty-five years time, neither the United Nations, nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart”.
Winston S. Churchill III (journalist) at the National Press Club, October 10, 2001, recalling his conversation with then-General (res.) Ariel Sharon in 1973
US Vice President Joe Biden gave Thursday a powerful speech about creating the right conditions for successful entrepreneurship and Washington’s initiatives to boost young talents in Morocco at the fifth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit held 19-21 November in Marrakech.
“People everywhere in the world are hungry for economic opportunities. The challenges ahead of all of us are immense: Developing economies and rapidly growing populations.
"How do we help entrepreneurship take even deeper route? Entrepreneurship is about creating an entire climate for innovation and ideas,” he noted.
The US Vice President says that it takes an education system that is universal and open to all, including girls and women in order to prosper in the 21st century.
Biden called for young entrepreneurs to challenge orthodoxy in order to succeed and thrive.
You cannot think free where you cannot challenge orthodoxy. You cannot think different where you cannot speak your mind.
Those who think the same do not hold promise to progress because the only way to change commons is to think different.
He warned against corruption which “is not only a threat to economic growth but also to security and sovereignty.
'Orthodoxía' is defined as “conforming to the approved form of any doctrine, philosophy, [or] ideology,” including conventional or generally accepted beliefs.
Imagination is defined as “the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful,” which includes the capacity for fantasy.
We all know that the Western Wall, the Kotel,is the last remnant of our Temple. We also know that Jews from around the world gather here to pray. People write notes to G-d and place them between the ancient stones of the Wall.
In the year 37 BCE, Herod was appointed king in Jerusalem and he soon initiated a huge renovation project for the Temple. He hired many workers who toiled to make the Temple more magnificent and to widen the area of the Temple Mount by flattening the mountain peak and building four support walls around it.
The Western Wall is the western support wall built during this widening of the Temple Mount Plaza. What makes the Western Wall (and not one of the other three remaining support walls) the most special is its proximity to the location of the Holy of Holies in the Temple.
The Second Temple was destroyed in the year 70 CE. Despite the destruction that took place, all four Temple Mount support walls remained standing.
Throughout the generations since the Temple’s destruction, the Western Wall was the remnant closest to the site of the Temple’s Holy of Holies that was accessible to Jews.
David Roberts, a Scottish-born artist, rose from poverty to become one of the most popular painters of the 19th century. He traveled extensively in the Middle East in 1839, creating well over 250 paintings and drawings beautifully depicting majestic and historic scenes of this ancient land.
And now Herod, in the eighteenth year of his reign, and after the acts already mentioned, undertook a very great work, that is, to build of himself the temple of God:
"I am at amity with and well regarded by the Romans, who, if I may so say, are the rulers of the whole world, I will do my endeavor to correct that imperfection, which hath arisen from the necessity of our affairs, and the slavery we have been under formerly, and to make a thankful return, after the most pious manner, to God, for what blessings I have received from him, by giving me this kingdom, and that by rendering his temple as complete as I am able."..
Herod took away the old foundations, and laid others, and erected the temple upon them, being in length a hundred cubits (45 meters), and in height twenty additional cubits, which [twenty], upon the sinking of their foundations 23 fell down; and this part it was that we resolved to raise again in the days of Nero.
Now the temple was built of stones that were white and strong, and each of their length was twenty-five cubits (11 meters), their height was eight (3.5 meters), and their breadth about twelve (5.5 meters); and the whole structure, as also the structure of the royal cloister, was on each side much lower, but the middle was much higher...
The temple had doors also at the entrance, and lintels over them, of the same height with the temple itself...
He encompassed the entire temple with very large cloisters... There was a large wall to both the cloisters..
The hill was a rocky ascent, that declined by degrees towards the east parts of the city, till it came to an elevated level. He built a wall below, beginning at the bottom, which was encompassed by a deep valley.
And at the south side he laid rocks together, and bound them one to another with lead, and included some of the inner parts, till it proceeded to a great height...
The hill was walled all round, and in compass four furlongs, [the distance of] each angle containing in length a furlong...
In the western quarters of the enclosure of the temple there were four gates; the first led to the king's palace, and went to a passage over the intermediate valley; two more led to the suburbs of the city; and the last led to the other city, where the road descended down into the valley by a great number of steps, and thence up again by the ascent for the city lay over against the temple in the manner of a theater, and was encompassed with a deep valley along the entire south quarter..
Now on the north side [of the temple] was built a citadel, whose walls were square, and strong, and of extraordinary firmness.
This citadel was built by the kings of the Asamonean race, who were also high priests before Herod, and they called it the Tower, in which were reposited the vestments of the high priest, which the high priest only put on at the time when he was to offer sacrifice.
When Herod the king of the Jews had fortified it more firmly than before, in order to secure and guard the temple, he gratified Antonius, who was his friend, and the Roman ruler, and then gave it the name of the Tower of Antonia.
Wikipedia info: In around 19 BCE, Herod the Great extended the Mount's natural plateau by enclosing the area with four massive retaining walls and filling the voids. This artificial expansion resulted in a large flat expanse which today forms the eastern section of the Old City of Jerusalem.
The trapezium shaped platform measures 488 m along the west, 470 m along the east, 315 m along the north and 280 m along the south, giving a total area of approximately 150,000 m2 (37 acres).
Antiquities 18.4.3, Bellum 1.21.1 and 5.5.8:
picture left: Antonia Ford, as the Jews see it, a small building for 6000 soldiers
picture right: a standard Roman armycamp
But on the corner where it joined to the two cloisters of the temple, it had passages down to them both, through which the guard (for there always lay in this tower a Roman legion = 3600-6000 soldiers) went several ways among the cloisters, with their arms, on the Jewish festivals, in order to watch the people; for the temple was a fortress that guarded the city, as was the tower of Antonia a guard to the temple; and in that tower were the guards of those three.
The hill on which the tower of Antonia stood was the highest...; it was the only place that hindered the sight of the temple on the north.
In another sign of increasing efforts to Judaize the occupied Palestinian territories, the Israeli cabinet has voted in favor of a controversial motion aimed to anchor what it calls a "Jewish state" in law.
Following a stormy cabinet meeting on Sunday, 14 Israeli ministers voted in favor and six against the proposal. The bill will be sent to the Knesset (parliament) to be discussed by legislators...
Two centrist parties, one led by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and the other by Finance Minister Yair Lapid voted against, media reports said.
At a heated debate on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Livni’s “weak” stance on a nation-state, saying, "We wouldn't be here if Livni had conducted herself differently. A weak stance doesn't serve the current reality."
That was in reference to Livni’s comments over the weekend that she would only support a softened version of the bill in which "the state" will maintain “equality for all its citizens.” The Israeli premier’s version has avoided using the word “equality.”
The new development has been seen as an extension of Israel’s efforts over the past decades to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni warned Monday that the so-called nationality bill would not pass and trying to force it could destroy the coalition. The bill, if passed, would result in a new basic law defining Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. It critics, who include the attoney general, claim that the bill is redundant at best and anti-democratic and discriminatory at worst.
Livni made it clear in an interview to Ynet on Monday morning that the bill will not pass in a Knesset vote Wednesday.
"If the prime minister wants to anchor the position of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, it can be done," she said. "But to take a radical bill that is contrary to the declaration of independence, which harms democracy and would subject the Israeli population to a theocracy - will not happen."
A letter by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel listed some tangible examples it says illustrate how the bill could hurt the Arab population...
"The bill seeks to nullify the understanding of democracy laid out in Israel's definition," said the letter by ACRI's lawyers. They noted that the bill makes no reference to national equality rights. "The possible consequences are of the utmost seriousness, and could constitute a threat to the human rights of all citizens."
Dr. Mohammed Mustafa of Haifa University told Ynet that the bill was a dangerous attempt to limit Israeli Arabs' citizenship.
"This bill is another erosion of Israel's democratic aspects and its goal is to limit the Arab population's citizenship as well as distort their rights."
"The politicians who attempt to pass the bill preach about Israel being the only democracy in the midst of nations that legislate according to Sharia law. Is there a difference between this bill and the laws of Arab countries who base their legislation on scripture?"
"Little time left to make peace with the Arab national movement"
by Uri Avnery, CounterPunch, 6-9-2014
For six decades my friends and I have warned our people: if we don’t make peace with the nationalist Arab forces, we shall be faced with Islamic Arab forces. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will turn into a Jewish-Muslim conflict. The national war will become a religious war.
National conflicts are basically rational. They concern territory. They can usually be solved by compromise.
Religious conflicts are irrational. Each side believes in an absolute truth, and automatically considers everybody else as infidels, enemies of the only true God.
There can be no compromise between True Believers, who believe that they are fighting for God and get their orders straight from Heaven.
The Zionist movement was created by secularized Jews... Before the creation of the State of Israel, the Zionist enterprise was remarkably free of religious dogmas...
The Arab national movement was always decidedly secular. Some of its most outstanding leaders were Christians. The pan-Arab Baath (“Resurrection”) party, which came to dominate both Syria and Iraq, was founded by Christians. The great hero of the Arab masses at that time, Gamal Abd-al-Nasser, though formally Muslim, was quite un-religious. Under the leadership of Yasser Arafat the PLO remained a secular body with many Christian ingredients.
So what has happened? How did nationalist movements turn into violent, fanatical religious ones?
The US should mind its own affairs, Economics Minister and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett stated Tuesday - especially regarding the proposed "Jewish State" law to concretize Jewish values in Israel's legal system.
"I say to the Americans that the affairs of the State of Israel - we will manage [ourselves]," Bennett stated... "We have to deal with the implications of [the law and] what kind of country we want."
"At the end it is our problem," he added. "This is an internal issue and I think that no one has the right to intervene with it."
Bennett's remarks surface after a statement from the US State Department implied that the "Jewish State Law" would undermine Israel's dedication to equal rights.
The 'Jewish State Law' is comprised of two bills by three MKs: Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), Yariv Levin (Likud), and Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home). Both bills, which are similar in their principles, effectively raise the Jewish influence on the legal system.."
Naftali Bennett: "The Temple Mount is the basis of our existence" (Arutz Sheva 19-11-2014)
"The Temple mount is the holiest place in the world for Jews." (CNN, 4-11-2014)
In February 2014, Naftali Bennett, leader of the extreme right-wing Jewish Home party and Minister of Religious Services and of the Economy, told a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations that Israel was attempting to exercise greater control over the Noble Sanctuary, stating that he had already taken measures that would "ultimately influence the eastern side of Jerusalem, and that will include the Temple Mount.”
Housing Minister and settler Uri Ariel, from the Jewish Home, regularly visits the Noble Sanctuary and has publicly called for the construction of a Jewish temple in its place.
In November 2013, during a parliamentary debate on a bill that would allow Jews to pray in the Noble Sanctuary, Knesset member Orit Strock from the Jewish Home party called Palestinians “savages,” stating: “When King David bought the Temple Mount you were savages in the desert. You have no rights on the Temple Mount, that’s a historical fact. Nothing will help you. Even now you are savages.”
POURING FUEL ON THE FIRE
Arab Israeli's are people without a National Home
“Israel is the . . . state of the Jewish people, and their only state...
National rights [in Israel] are for the Jewish people only.” Benjamin Netanyahu
•Since the election of the current Israeli government in January 2013, Jewish extremists have significantly increased their efforts to assert Jewish control over the Noble Sanctuary.
In February 2014, Ir Amim, an Israeli NGO that focuses on Jerusalem, released a report noting that in recent weeks right-wing Jewish activists who advocate the construction of a temple in the Noble Sanctuary had “intensified their rhetoric.
•In February 2014, the Knesset held hearings to debate asserting Jewish control over the Noble Sanctuary, during which Deputy Speaker Feiglin declared: "I call on the government to apply the full sovereignty of the State of Israel in the entire Temple Mount. I call on the Israeli government to allow free access to any Jew to the Temple Mount through any gate, and allow them to pray."
•On February 21, 2014, a group of rabbis and heads of Jewish religious schools submitted a petition to the Knesset calling for Israel to take control of the Noble Sanctuary.
•On March 30, 2014, the Temple Institute, which is part of the Temple Mount Faithful coalition, held its fifth annual "International Temple Mount Awareness Day" with an Internet broadcast featuring Deputy Knesset Speaker Feiglin and others.
In an interview prior to the broadcast, the institute's "International Director," Rabbi Chaim Richman, told settler media: "Today we are witness to a tremendous increase... record numbers of Jews ascending the Temple Mount in purity... Especially today we see that even on a political level there are growing numbers of lawmakers and legislatures [sic] who are realizing that there's something very wrong with our accepting the status quo...
More than anything, International Temple Mount Awareness Day is an indicator of the tremendous change that's going on in this generation. It's the beginning of the Temple revolution."
Back to Ezra, the father of
political judaism (i.e. theocracy)
The Book of Ezra, Chapter 10
While Ezra prayed before the house of God, a very large assembly of Israelites gathered about him, men, women, and children; and the people wept profusely.
Then Shecaniah, the son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, made this appeal to Ezra: “We have indeed betrayed our God by taking as wives foreign women of the peoples of the land. Yet in spite of this there still remains a hope for Israel.
Let us therefore enter into a covenant before our God to dismiss all our foreign wives and the children born of them, in keeping with what you, my lord, advise, and those who are in dread of the commandments of our God. Let it be done according to the law!
A proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles should gather together in Jerusalem... All the people, sitting in the open place before the house of God, were trembling both over the matter at hand and because it was raining.
Then Ezra, the priest, stood up and said to them: “Your apostasy in taking foreign women as wives has added to Israel’s guilt.
But now, give praise to the LORD, the God of your ancestors, and do his will: separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign women.” In answer, the whole assembly cried out with a loud voice: “Yes, it is our duty to do as you say!
A Nation Apart
After the breakup of the mixed families, the people of the land knew that the returned exiles would not assimilate, but had come among them as a nation apart, a people that viewed themselves as superior to all other men on earth, a people who would not cooperate on projects of common welfare or "be reasonable" regarding social conventions of marriage, worship and government..." (racialpeace.org)
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' "This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
The word Pharisee means “pure,” or “separated”. In the time of Jesus, there were several thousand Pharisees in Israel led by two main schools of philosophy: The School of Shammai (ultraconservative Ezra-followers - friends of the Zealots) and the School of Hillel (liberal Ezra-followers).
1. The School of Shammai.
The most important group in Israel was the Pharisees who sat under the teachings of a rabbi named Shammai, who founded his school shortly before Jesus was born. The closest example in our world to understanding them would be to equate them with Mullah Omar and the Taliban, for they were ultra-conservative religious fundamentalists with a pathological devotion to obeying hosts of man-made traditions and commandments.
Most believed, among other things, that the Hebrew descendants of Abraham were the only people beloved of God, and that no other people were of value in His sight. Salvation was thus only available to Jews--and so, in their early days, the Shammaiites wouldn’t even welcome Gentile converts to Judaism. This attitude caused Pharisees from the school of Shammai to hate all Gentiles, and left them with little regard.
In the days of Shammai, so passionate was their hatred of Gentiles that around 10 AD, Shammai passed 18 edicts specifically meant to force separation between Jews and Gentiles... Because of Shammai’s influence, these edicts became laws of Israel...
The school of Shammai, which was politically proactive, also had close ties to the infamous zealots, a group of fanatics who favored armed revolt against Rome.
(Virtually every time you see Jesus or the apostles in strife against what the Bible labels as “Pharisees,” it is almost certainly referring to Pharisees or ex-Pharisees from the School of Shammai.)
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in." (Matth 23)
2. Of lesser influence in Israel was The School of Hillel.
The school of Hillel was far more liberal, and its founder was renowned for placing people and justice at the heart of Judaism, whereas Shammai stressed strict observance of religious laws. While Hillel’s followers acknowledged that the Jews were God’s special people, they willingly accepted Gentile converts to Judaism in the belief that the God of Abraham allowed all to worship Him who would turn from idolatry.
Modern-day Judaism traces its roots to the teachings promoted by the followers of Hillel who survived the destruction of Jerusalem and began codifying their teachings around 200 AD.
Two sayings we commonly attribute to Jesus were supposedly coined by Hillel before his death, and were being quoted by Jesus in the Gospels. These were the Golden Rule, along with the summary of the Law and the prophets (Love God with all of your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself)...
This is not to say that the school of Hillel was without problems. Among them was the fact that the Pharisees could not divorce themselves from the idea that they were righteous men because, in their view, they followed God's commandments--some sincerely, some hypocritically.
(Whenever you see Jesus interacting positively with the Pharisees - for instance, with Nicodemus or the rich young ruler- he is probably interacting with Pharisees from the school of Hillel.)
The word Sanhedrin refers to a religious court. In the time of Christ the Great Sanhedrin, was comprised of 70 elders with a president. The Great Sanhedrin functioned much like a combination of the Senate and Supreme Court, and most of its members were Pharisees from the school of Shammai.
“I am truly concerned about the future of the Zionist project. I am concerned about the critical mass of the threats against us on the one hand, and the government’s blindness and political and strategic paralysis on the other..
I am concerned that for the first time, I am seeing haughtiness and arrogance, together with more than a bit of the messianic thinking that rushes to turn the conflict into a holy war...
This right wing, in its blindness and stupidity, is pushing the nation of Israel into the dishonorable position of ‘the nation shall dwell alone and not be reckoned among the nations’ (Numbers 23:9).”
Shavit said Israel should launch a peace effort, based on the Arab peace initiative, which calls for full peace for full withdrawal. (Thomas Friedman, NYT 26-11-2014)
"Can a blind man lead a blind man?
Will they not both fall into a pit?" Luke, 6:39-40,