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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 28, 2017 By Jonathan S. 'robin 21, with Israel facing the prospect of even JNS.org more violence that might get out of control, the metal detectors remained in place. To an objective observer, the crisis that How could putting metal detectors to pro- erupted in the aftermath of a bloody terror tecta holy site be considered a casus belli for attack near Jerusalem's Temple Mount makes what might, if the conflict escalated in the no sense, way the Muslim rioters promised, lead to a Three Arab terrorists used guns they had new holy war? smuggled up to the compound July 14 to kill The answer is that this isn't about metal two Israeli policemen, bothofwhomhappened detectors. It's about something much bigger: to be Druze rather than Jewish. In response, the right of Jews to be in Jerusalem. Israeli authorities set up metal detectors to This isn't another variation on the usual preventarecurrenceofthecrime.Theresponse theme sounded from Israel's critics about to this from Palestinianswas general outrage, the infringement of Palestinian rights. To violence and a promise of mass riots if the the contrary, Israel didn't change the status offending machines were not immediately quo at the Temple Mount, which denies Jews removed. Upon Friday afternoon prayers July the right to pray at the holiest place in Juda- Jim Shipley Science and religion--compatible There is an interesting documentary on suit their own purposes and ignore history YouTube about a recent archeological expe- and science. dition in Iraq and Iran--what was ancient Can religion and science exist together? Persia and before that Babylonia. Inancient Of course they can! Look at a spider web-- texts and evidence in excavations there are chimpanzees have 98 percent of our human stories about Sodom, Gomorrah and the DNA--how canyou notbelieve that aHigher big flood. Power, something beyond our own narrow That area of Persia/Iran was and is sus- experience had something to do with that? ceptible to flooding. They use round bottom In1844 when Samuel F.B. Morse sent the first boats of the type described in Torah in the telegraph message--what did he transmit? story of Noah. But, there is no history of a "What has God wrought." great flood--plenty of floods, but not one big I have failed over the years to picture some enough to bring penguins from Antarctica bearded figure, surrounded by a mystic light and giraffes from Africa. sitting on a high throne somewhere "up" in A lot of what we read in Torah was written heaven, handling every little problem--not during the Babylonian exile. Not that there is just on earth but in the billions and billions anything wrongwith that. But... like the song of stars that you can only see on a clear night says "The things that you're liable to read in away from civilization. the Bible, they ain't necessarily so." Much of William Shakespearewrote:"Thereare more our Torah and the New Testament consist of things in heavenand earth than are in our stories to illustrate the existence of a Higher philosophy." I believe there is a Higher Power Power and are necessary to get the reader's of some kind and perhaps even a grand plan. attention. And, maybe humans are just a teeny part of People need to believe in something greater that plan. If it is a plan for peace and goodwill than themselves to deal with life and what it we certainly are not the answer. throws at them. Without Faith, we would as Is there any question that religious wars a world, be in even worse shape than we are. have killed and are killing more people than But Faith, like Joseph's coat, comes in many all the plagues and floods in history? Every colors. At one time it was stone idols and fire. war has started through the will and purpose Faith. Without it we would not have electricity, of some "Strong Man." Too many times these Einstein's theory, automobiles or trips to the tyrants call upon religion to justify their moon. No, Faith should never be a problem, means. Religion, not Faith. Religion on the other hand... Could we have Faith without religion? Religious leaders take Faith and fashion Maybe. Probably. But humans tend to ques- it into a regimented program of belief and tion and seek simple answers. Jews? Vey! We discipline. Some of them throughout history are the greatest questioners of all. Go to any take off on their own route through Faith to city with a solid population of Orthodox Jews. religion. Sometimes, strong leaders--up to They (we) do not accept the word of any fellow dictators, use God to tell their followers what human just because he stands on a pulpit or God told them or what he meant, a speaker's podium. StUdy and discussion-- Sometimes, to do this, some religious lead- okay, argue~over Torah is going on as I ers have to defy reality to keep the Faithful in write and as you read as it has for centuries. line. Judaism startedwith a set of rules that all Interpretation of Torah or the New Testament these millennium later still make incredible is varied and difficult because it should be. It sense. The Ten Commandments by themselves is the reason we have seminaries to train our set rules that adjusted in their wording to rabbis and our priests and reverends. modern situations would make this a most They need that base. That base comes from delightful world in which to live.Human Faith. They read and study and inter- There is not, nor is there ever, a conflict pret.Butwhentheycarrythatinterpretationto between Faith and reality. God, whatever or reverse the actual facts ofhuman development, whoever he may be probably has a plan.., but science and evolution--facts tb, at aye more wenoranyreligiousleaderisprescientenough and more indisputable as science gains new to knowwhat that is. The problems arise when insights and modern tools--they are doing a the people who are appointed or in some cases disservice to their congregation, mankind as self-appointed start interpreting Scripture to a whole and to God--whomever he may be. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA, S INDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 45 Press Awards HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $37.95 per year to Florida ad- dresses ( $46.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Central Florida Jewish News, Inc., 207 O'Brien Road, Suite I01, Fern Park, FL 32730. Periodicals postage paid at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 emaih news@orlandoheritage.com Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Stare Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Office Manager Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kim Fischer Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley * Ira Sharkansky David Bomstein * Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman * Gil Dombmsky Joyce Gore ism. The Islamic Waqf was left in charge of Jerusalem's mosques, including the Temple Mount's Al-Aqsa, inviolate. Nor was the new security measure discrimi- natory. Any Jew or non-Jew who wishes to enter the Western Wall plaza below the Temple Mount compound must also pass through security, including metal detectors. The same is true for Muslims who wish to enter the holy places in Mecca during their annual pilgrimages. So what exactly is this all about? For a century, Palestinian Arab leaders have been playing the "AI-Aqsa is in danger" card. The cries that Jews were seeking to destroy the mosques or in some way harm Muslim rights led to a series of pogroms against Jews, including the riots of 1929 in which Jews were massacred in Hebron. But the appeal to holy war isn't only a vestige of the horrors of the distant past and the influence of the Nazi sympathizer Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem who incited those riots. It was the supposedly moderate Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), whose inflammatory statements helped incite the so-called "stabbing intifada" in re- cent years byalso claiming Jews were going to harm the mosques. It was Abbas, not just his Hamas rivals or other violent Islamists, who called on Palestinians to resist the Jewish presence in Jerusalem. It was Abbas who said "stinking Jewish feet" should not profane the holy places. Letter from Israel Abbas's motives were cynical, since he was waving the bloody banner of holy war to com- pete with his political foes. But the impact of his statements gave the lie to the notion--so prevalent on the Jewish left--that a peace agreement could be easily reached if Israel had the will to try for one. His rhetoric sought to remind Palestinians that the conflict wasn't over borders or settlements, but something far more basic: a religious war that mandates Arab opposition to the Jewish presence. This is why the PA goes to such trouble to foment fights at United Nations agencies like UNESCO intended to deny Jewish ties or rights to holy places, even those that are self-evidently proof of Jewish history like the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. This is also why the new security measures are merely the latest pretext for Arab violence intended to make the point that Jews should not merely have no say over the Temple Mount, but have no right to be there at all. The demonstrations and threats of more violence are just one more power play intended to remind the world that the only solution Palestinians will ultimately accept is one in which the Jews are excluded. So long as this is their goal, it isn't Al-Aqsa that is in danger, but any hope for peace. Jonathan S. Tobin is opinion editor of JNS. org and a contributing writer for National Review. Follow him on Twitter at: @jona- thans_tobin. By Ira Sharkansky Muslims and Druze, coming on the heels of two Druze policemen killed while patrolling It was best not to write about this right alongside the Old City. away. Need to see how it would percolate. It Let sleeping dogs lie is a decent policy for could have been massive or a momentary blip Israel to follow, except when pushed beyond testing the level of accommodation between a point. Israel, the Palestinians, and other Muslims. We can guess what that point may be, but Truth is, that it is still tense, with Friday can never be sure. .... , .... prayers posing a challenge to all sides. Closing the Temple Mount on: a Friday The initial story made the international morning, and shutting the gates of the Old news, and monopolized what Israelis were City were significant messages. The actions hearing for a day. not only provided opportunities for security Three Israeli Arabs, from the Galilee city personneltodowhattheythoughtappropriate, of Um al Fahm, exited the Old City from the but they kept tens of thousands of Muslims area of the Temple Mount and shot three from performing their Friday rituals on the policemen. They killed two, who were Druze, Temple Mount. Closing the Old City meant that one the father of a three week old child, and Arab shopkeepers did no business. the other about to become engaged. Then the Israel must expect criticism from Muslim killers retreated to the Temple Mount, where regimes, especially those like the Palestinians they exchange gun shots with other police that are chronically shaky. until they were killed. It's still not clear if we'll pass through this It was especially dramatic on account of without acrisis. Muslims havebeen more busy being early Friday morning. On such days, living their lives or killing one another than tens of thousands of Muslims come from East attacking Israel with anything more deadly Jerusalem, and on tour buses from elsewhere thanverbose threats. There have been protests in Israel to spill out from al-Aqsa and nearly and low to moderate level violence alongside fill the platform of the Temple Mount as they metal detectors now screening entrances to pray and listen to a sermon, the Temple Mount, as some Muslims pass The initial response of the police was to routinely through the check points and others close the Temple Mount, even to the head of object forcefully to their presence. the Muslim religious authority (Waqf) who Among those injured by police use of non- asked special permission to enter and say his lethal means of crowd control are prominent prayers, and shut the gates of the Old City. Muslim clerics. The prime minister announced that Israel Muslim religious and Palestinian political would honor the status quo after a short pe- figures are trying to make a case against any riod, and would assure access of Christians Israeli inspections of Muslims on the Temple and Muslims to their holy places. A Jewish ,JVlount.Somearethreateninganotherintifada. MK repeated his often-heard demand that Commentators include thosewho chide the Jews be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, cheap politics of fanning the political flames. but that passed without a response from the MuslimsatMeccaandJewsattheWesternWall PM. Netanyahu also worked the phones with have to pass through checkpoints similar to MahmoudAbbas and KingAbdullah of Jordan, those nowchecking Muslims wanting to pray asking for cooperation, at al-Aqsa. PalestinianandJordanianofficialssaidwhat There are also those who claim that Israel was expected, i.e., a condemnation of Israel shouldnothaveerectedthecheckpointswith- for closing the Temple Mount, demanding its out reaching agreement with Muslim leaders. immediate re-opening, and lamenting the loss Security personnel are urging that the prime of life. There's been condemnation of Muslim minister not dig in his heels on the subject violence on the Temple Mount, or ai-Aqsa as of metal detectors. Screening more than one they describe it, as well as condemnation of hundred thousand Muslims'wanting to pray Israel's closing the site, then erecting metal- on a Friday challenges credibility. sensing gates, and cameras to monitor the Perhaps the process can be altered in ex- flow inwardandwhat occurs beyond the gates, change from something from the Jordanians Muslims are anything but united on the and Palestinian leadership. issue, with differences in expression and Assuming Muslim leaders are willing to be demonstrations reflecting the patterns of identified as flexible with respect to Israel's bloodshed among the movements elsewhere concern for security. in the Middle East. Palestinians and Israeli Pessimists are worried about an escalation Arabs are divided on which militias they sup- to serious violence. Fridaywill be a significant port in the chaos, test. The Apocalypse hasn't occurred, yet. There's been an increase in tension between Sharkansky on page 15A