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Speakers at settlers conference in NY say Temple Mount ‘belongs to us’

on 13 Comments

Yesterday in New York there was a gathering of settlers and their supporters at a synagogue on the Upper West side. Many speakers made intolerant statements about Muslims and Palestinians.

The above speech was given by Ken Abramowitz, of American Friends of Likud and American Friends of Hebrew University, inside the West Side Institutional Synagogue on W. 76th Street. Alas, my video-recorder stopped before his last line, which was:

It [Judea and Samaria] protects all of us in the U.S. And without Judea and Samaria, the fall of western civilization will not be far behind.

Abramowitz was followed by Steven Goldberg of the Zionist Organization of America, who said:

I’m mad as hell that if any Jew tries to go up to the Temple Mount, we’re not allowed to walk there. That is very symbolic!… That [walking on the Temple mount] is the beginning of saying, This belongs to us.

Goldberg’s statement was one of many at the conference about the Jewish “right” to the Temple Mount in occupied East Jerusalem, the site of the Al Aqsa mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam. Aharon Pulver, an Israeli who heads the rightwing Israel Independence Fund, said that it was the “depth of humiliation” that Hashemite religious authorities from Jordan have the right to call for the arrests of Jews who seek to pray on the Temple Mount.

Pulver’s cause is shared by rightwing religious members of Israeli Knesset, who are also challenging Jordanian control over worship at the site. And there have been violent clashes at the site in recent months, pushed by religious zealots.

“We have to address the issue of Jewish control over the land,” Pulver said, and the heart of the matter is the Temple Mount:

The heartland of the land of Israel and the true heart of the Jewish people… of the cosmic universe… is the Temple Mount. We all know, we feel it in our bones… We know that the sacred space is… at the heart of who we are as a people… It is the heart and soul of all our dreams… it is everything we strive for.Today unfortunately in the land of Israel, we have squandered grace..We’ve squandered the grace of the God-given victory of 1967. We’ve squandered the grace given us on a silver platter by the heroes of Israel who fought and died to liberate the Temple Mount in 1967… when we allow others to dictate to us whether we can pray, where we can walk, where we can stand… whether we can use the facilities or not…

We’re not willing to see our rights… squandered…

If there cannot be shared sacred space on the Temple Mount then no one should be allowed to pray there. If the Jews cannot pray on their holy mount, no one should be allowed to pray there.

We don’t come to dispossess. We say very simply that there are existing circumstances on the Temple Mount. There’s a mosque there….Al Aqsa. Muslims pray there on a daily basis. And we don’t come to deny anybody the right to pray at an existing facility.

What we do say is simple and clear to the Israeli government, to the Israeli people and to anyone who will listen to us. The time has come to put an end to the humiliation of the Jewish people and the disregard for Jewish and civil rights in our own country… when it comes to  the heart of the issue and the heart of the issue is in fact our holy mount.

An anonymous leaflet that was handed out at the conference sounded a similar theme to Pulver’s but went further, calling for the removal of the Al Aqsa mosque (the same statement is ascribed at a Zionist site to a commenter called Yoel Larry):

[I]n 1967 … the Israeli Forces reclaimed all of Jerusalem but in a moment of weakness and misguided secular-Jewish largesse decided to allow the Muslim’s Al Aksa Mosque to remain undisturbed on Temple Mount…

Since 1967 the cancer of Radical Islam has metastasized world-wide, threatening every civilization with physical and spiritual destruction….The truth is that nothing can stop this Cancer from spreading. Not Armed forces, Drone assassinations, Civil laws or security checkpoints. These are nothing but band-aids on soon-to-be terminal cancer. Unless…The Jewish Nation will do what should have been done in 1967. Remove the Al Aksa from Temple Mount.

Thankfully, there was a robust demonstration against the settlers conference outside, and many of the speakers inside were jarred by the protest, and referred to it angrily.

Here are a couple of photographs of that demo, by Bud Korotzer.

Donna Nevel from Jews Say No!, one of the protest’s co-sponsoring groups, stressed to me that several of the speakers have ties to government– including US Congressman Michael Grimm (who was scheduled to appear; I missed him), Aharon Pulver, Gershon Mesika of the West Bank’s regional governing body, and David Ha’Ivri, master of ceremonies, who heads a tax-deductible charitable foundation. Nevel:

The settler movement cannot be viewed in isolation from the Israeli government. The Israeli government funds the settlements, supports their growth and their seizure of additional Palestinian land, protects them, and provides them with infrastructure. The government also stands by and watches while settlers carry out violent attacks, and then shields them from prosecution.


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13 Responses

  1. Bill in Maryland
    Bill in Maryland
    November 18, 2013, 12:36 pm

    Thanks Phil. Those well-heeled speakers who addressed the “Israel Advocacy Conference” in the Upper West Side synagogue seem to be singing from the same hymnal as extremist Yehuda Glick, American-born Israeli and the chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Fund, who entered the Al-Aqsa compound under police escort on Sunday. In this post Glick argues for settler access to the Al-Aqsa compound as a matter of “Jewish Civil Rights”.

    Rashid Khalidi, in the video you posted the other day from his recent talk in Brooklyn, alluded with some anger to U.S. taxpayer subsidies for settler enterprises that support the occupation and violate international law. I sure hope Glick’s “Temple Mount Heritage Fund” doesn’t have 501(c)3 status here.

  2. American
    November 18, 2013, 12:55 pm

    ”It [Judea and Samaria] protects all of us in the U.S. And without Judea and Samaria, the fall of western civilization will not be far behind.””

    Batshit crazies.
    I am reading a book about current day Yeman, ‘The Land that Time Forgot’. Then as coincidence would have it I noticed a news blurb about the US moving Gitmo to Yeman.
    Occured to me that would be the perfect place to transfer the zionist to instead.

  3. seafoid
    November 18, 2013, 5:04 pm

    “And without Judea and Samaria, the fall of western civilization will not be far behind.”

    We did fine without Constantinople. The West Bank would be no problem either.
    It’s hard to think that Itamar is in the vanguard of Western civilisation.

    • MHughes976
      November 18, 2013, 5:29 pm

      I began to make a flippant remark about claiming responsibility for the cosmic universe and then thought with deep foreboding of how our universe could be damaged or destroyed by these aggressive posturings.

    • piotr
      November 19, 2013, 11:27 am

      I would argue otherwise. First of all, you do not know how much better you would do with Constantinople.

      [piotr’s mind is drifting: the impact of the fall of Constantinople on the quality of life in Lisbon. Hit!]

      The most revered Sefardi sage, Joseph ben Ephraim Karo actually spent some time in Lisbon AND Constantinople:

      Karo was born in Toledo, Spain in 1488.[2] In 1492, aged four years old, he was forced to flee Spain with his family and the rest of Spanish Jewry as a result of the Alhambra Decree and subsequently settled in Portugal.[3] After the expulsion of the Jews from Portugal in 1497, the Ottomans invited the Jews to the Ottoman territory and Karo went with his parents to Nikopolis of the Ottoman Empire, and spent the rest of his life in the Ottoman Empire.

      So as a place to make the living and to engage in scholarship Istambul was as good as Constantinople, if not better. Was Karo a member of the West civilization or the East? Or was he born Mediterranean, and died Mediterranean (as Fernand Braudel would probably suggest)? Of course, there were also Ashkenazi Jews with such centers of Western (and not Mediterranean) learning like Slonim or Berdychev.

  4. Talkback
    November 18, 2013, 7:08 pm

    It is mine, I tell you. My own. My precious. Yes, my precious. We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little Arabses. Wicked, tricksy, false! Kill them! Kill them! And then we take the precious… and we be the master! Gollum, gollum.

  5. RoHa
    November 18, 2013, 11:55 pm

    “It [Judea and Samaria] protects all of us in the U.S. And without Judea and Samaria, the fall of western civilization will not be far behind.”

    What on earth do Judea, Samaria, and the U.S. have to do with Western Civilization?

  6. seafoid
    November 19, 2013, 8:12 am

    Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount is enveloped in Jewish paranoia.
    It is not the fault of the Palestinians that Zionism learnt the wrong lessons from WW2. Jewish peace will not come from war.

    Lil Quds al salaam

    • bintbiba
      November 19, 2013, 8:55 am

      wa ilayka aydan assalaam, ya azeezi seafoid!

      • seafoid
        November 19, 2013, 10:54 am

        Wa khalaas ma al bullsheet yahudi l’ajl al mustaqbal !

      • bintbiba
        November 19, 2013, 11:01 am


  7. seafoid
    November 19, 2013, 11:06 am

    “We know that the sacred space is… at the heart of who we are as a people”

    Which is why the cells in Jerusalem where we torture Palestinians are sacred. Torturing Palestinians is sacred. Indoctrinating the torturers is sacred . The fact that everyone hates us must also be sacred then, come to think of it…

    And if you rearrange the word sacred you get scared.
    Israel is actually the scared place.

  8. ymedad
    November 19, 2013, 11:48 am

    Before the conquest of Jerusalem by invading Arab tribes from a faraway land who then occupied the city, to whom did the Temple Mount belong?

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