Israel’s Sovereignty Over Jerusalem Eroding
Jerusalem’s famed Old City is experiencing “an ongoing undermining of Israeli sovereignty,” according to Knesset member Eli Gabbai. As Arab violence against Jews increases, it is becoming clear that there are two laws in the nation of Israel: one for Arabs and one for Jews.
On a recent tour of the city, Gabbai realized that Arabs are routinely allowed to break the law without consequence. At the same time, Jews living in areas densely populated with Muslims are subjected to stricter laws than typical. For instance, 800 Jews living in the Muslim Quarter were forbidden to leave their homes in the evening hours during Ramadan without prior coordination; school field trips to the area were also prohibited.
While Jewish residents are subjected to these more extreme laws, Arabs routinely undertake illegal construction projects, stage events without a license, operate unauthorized sellers’ stands, and blare prayers from mosque loudspeakers “at unusual times and at high volume,” according to Jewish residents (IsraelNationalNews.com, October 25).
Another telling example occurred in the city of Acre: In the period just before Simchat Torah (an annual celebration when the cycle of reading the Torah is completed), there was “a marked rise in Islamic incitement of the Arabs in the neighborhood,” according to Yossi Stern, a prominent Acre rabbi (Jerusalem Post,October 16). As Islamic flags were hung, posters of mosques on the Temple Mount went up and a speaker began “blasting the muezzin’s calls to prayer five times a day,” Rabbi Stern became concerned about the possibility for violence and requested a police escort for his students during the upcoming holiday—an escort that never came.
For two nights, as Stern’s group celebrated Simchat Torah, Arab residents attacked them in the streets with rocks and firecrackers. No arrests were made.
On the second night, as the students returned to their yeshiva (an institution for Torah study), about 100 Arabs surrounded the 60 or so students—including one soldier on leave who was carrying an M-16 rifle. The aggressors were touching his rifle and striking him and his friends. Feeling that his life was in danger, he pulled the gun and fired into the air.
Finally, the police took decisive action: They detained the soldier, confiscated his weapon and interrogated him for several hours before turning him over to military police for further scrutiny—minus his rifle.
Meanwhile, the Arabs had surrounded the yeshiva. Rather than arrest any Arabs, the police ordered the students to leave through the back with a police escort, which the students refused to do. Three hours later, the students were escorted out the front door and to the bus station with not one of the attackers in police custody.
Such examples point to a disturbing trend: The Israeli government is losing control of the country. The reality is, the law—at least in execution—favors people who wish to push the Jews out of their homeland. That truth is perhaps best seen on the Temple Mount itself.
Last month, a Jordanian official informed the public that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government has approved the construction of a fifth minaret—a spire found on Islamic mosques—on the Temple Mount. Jerusalem Post explained the issue:
The problem is that the Islamic Wakf, which effectively acts as the sovereign on Judaism’s holiest site, has for years been systematically destroying the remains of Jewish temples on the Temple Mount and intimidating the police and political authorities not to apply Israel’s law—which mandates free access and religious worship by all religions to sacred sites—on the site. The construction of a fifth minaret is a clear attempt on the part of the Wakf to fill the Temple Mount with mosques and so prevent all Jewish worship and block any attempt to build a synagogue on the site.
Rather than deny the request, or condition its approval for the construction of a fifth minaret on the parallel construction of a synagogue or, at the very least, the permanent opening of the Temple Mount to all worshipers from all religions in accordance with Israeli law, the government has apparently agreed to the building request.
Long story short: The law favors the Arab populace in Israel, even on the Jew’s holiest site, where both the first and second temple were located—and even when Arab actions clearly demonstrate a desire to control the Temple Mount.
This attitude of appeasement does not work; the tension between the Israelis and the Arabs, no matter how much the Israelis bend, is only growing worse. That tension is worst regarding Jerusalem itself.
The Trumpet’s editor in chief has said that Jerusalem could be split in half by the Israeli-Arab conflict as early as this year, something that would most likely happen only through violence—even war—since neither side will willingly give up the Temple Mount. He warned, “The Palestinians could—and, I believe, will—conquer the Temple Mount and refuse access to anybody else.”
This is one action that would finally bring Europe against the Palestinians. The Roman Catholic Church has ambitions toward Jerusalem as well; being denied access to the Temple Mount is a push that no one would find acceptable.
As we see Israeli law breaking down—Israel failing to apply law to stop criminals that assault its citizenry—and violence between Arabs and Jews increasing, realize that we are watching the early stages of World War iii. For more information, please read our booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy.