by Bill White
Apartheid exists in Israel. There's no denying it. And anyone attempting to deny the evidence denies history.
Temple Mount, (הר הבית), 'Har HaBayit' or "Mount of the House of G-D". The term "Temple Mount" was first used in the Book of Micah (4:1).
והיה ׀ באחרית הימים יהיה הר בית־יהוה נכון בראש ההרים ונשא הוא מגבעות ונהרו עליו עמים׃
In the days to come, The Mount of the LORD’s House shall stand Firm above the mountains; And it shall tower above the hills. The peoples shall gaze on it with joy:
The First Temple was built by King Solomon, the son of King David, in 957 BCE, and was destroyed by the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 586 BCE. The Second Temple was constructed under the guidance of Zerubbabel in 516 BCE and was destroyed again by the Roman Empire in 70 CE. Islam and Christianity, idolatries practiced by a majority of the people of the world, accept this history without question. These facts form the basis for their 'faith'.
For millennia, Jews around the world have always prayed in the direction of this location. For some Jews, the area of the Temple Mount is too holy to even step foot on. For others, it’s the most important place to pray, from where all prayers gather and rise to G-D.
Fast-forward a few years and approximately 1,316 years ago, the Al Aqsa Mosque was built exactly atop the ruins of the site of the Temple, following the Islamic belief that the Mohammad, accompanied by the Angel Gabriel, arose to Heaven from the Temple ruins, making it a holy for Islam.
In 1922 the League of Nations established the borders for what would eventually become Israel, a Jewish State. The territory included Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria as well as what is now called Gaza. International law, the principle of Uti Possidetis Juris, establishes the borders of a newly created nation as the borders of the last known top-level administrative area.
In 1948, the modern state of Israel was established and the Jordanians immediately attacked and seized Jerusalem, and then forcefully removed all the Jews living there. After years of Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem, in 1964, the Arabs created the PNC/PLO and the notion of an Arab Palestine was born.
Three years later, in 1967, Israel was able to retake the area, and the Arabs were forced out of the region, but in an effort to make peace, Israel foolishly allowed the Jordanian Islamic Waqf administrative control of the Temple Mount, while Israel maintained security control (in a non-official agreement, referred to as “the status quo”).
To this day, the Islamic Waqf does not allow Jews, or any non-Muslims, to pray on Temple Mount. Entry is often restricted due to Arab riots, and when Jews do enter, they usually need armed security for their safety.
Not only are Jews forbidden from praying at our holy site, but the Islamic Waqf only allows Jews to enter through a bridge that is at risk of collapsing any second. The Mughrabi Bridge was hastily built as a temporary solution 15 years ago when the old earthen bridge was at risk of collapsing. The wood is old, dry, and full of cracks. Recently, an inspection by engineer Ofer Cohen found it in immediate danger of collapse. His recommendation was to build a new metal bridge.
Temple Mount: A historical and holy site for Jews, established in 1922 as part of the future modern State of Israel and a focal point for Judaism, is a place where only Muslims are allowed safe entry and where only Arabs are free to pray. For Jews, it’s a deadly bridge, followed by enforced law against even moving their lips in what might appear to be prayer.
Yes, apartheid is alive and well in Israel. And Jews are the victims.
Bill White is a Sephardi Jew and CEO of WireNews