Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Temple Mount protest #1 and Silwan

Jewish date: 17 Tammuz 5771 (Parashath Maṭṭoth).

Today’s holidays: The Fast of Tammuz (Judaism), Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Dr. Doom/St. Thulsa Doom (Church of the SubGenius), Feast Day of the Magi: Krishna (Thelema).

Greetings.

Topic 1: Today is the 17th of Tammuz, a fast day commemorating the breaching of the walls of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), leading to the destruction of the Second Temple. You can find out more about it on the Orthodox Union’s Web-site.

Note: I am fasting, and it may show in the quality of my writing today.

Topic 2: A month ago, I wrote about my visit to the Temple Mount, which I was upset about, both in terms of what I had to do to get up there without being harassed and what I saw up there. This was not the end of the matter. As documented in “Protest: Stop Temple Mount Discrimination, Desecration”, last Thursday I took part in a demonstration against discrimination against Jews on the Temple Mount and of the Waqf’s treatment of the place. I am the guy with the sign saying אנחנו לא ד׳ימיים (“We are not dhimmis”), a refusal to accept Islamic domination. The protest took place at Gesher hamMesharim (the Strings Bridge) in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). I asked the obvious question why the protest was not taking place somewhere more relevant to the Temple Mount. According to the organizer, holding the protest at the Western Wall would likely get us arrested. Instead, we (something like ten people) stood at the side of a major road with signs, chanting and talking with interested passersby in Hebrew and English. The number of protesters may have been small, but at least we got news coverage. Another protest is planned this Thursday.

Topic 3: I spent Shabbath in Kefar hatTemanim/Silwan, an illegally built neighborhood in Yerushalayim. The place I was at was Beth Yonathan, one of the few Jewish-owned and -occupied structures in the neighborhood; it contains several apartments and a synagogue/kolel (a sort of organization for Torah study). The rest of the neighborhood was built by Muslim Arabs, and much of the building was done in a national park—land which belongs to the state. The lack of legality shows. Many of the buildings are in bad condition. The roads are too narrow, too steep, frequently missing sidewalks, and blatantly unsafe. I whole-heartedly support government plans to bulldoze the structures built in the national park.

There is the graffiti everywhere, predominantly in Arabic.

This picture was taken on Saturday night on the way out of Silwan. See that Arabic graffiti? That is Allāhu akbar (الله أكبر, “Allah is great”), a phrase made infamous for its use by Islamic terrorists. I also saw a circled swastika graffiti on Shabbath afternoon. (Sorry, no photographs from during Shabbath.)

The anti-Semitism was not limited to graffiti. The Jews in Silwan live under the constant protection of guards and police, and it is needed, even just to take a walk. A stupid kid actually threw a rock at the army vehicle which took me and some other Jews from a parking lot to Beth Yonathan. Beth Yonathan’s multi-layered windows have cracks and bullet holes.

So why are Jews voluntarily living in such a hostile place? Jews and Muslims are fighting a low-level war over Israel. One of the tactics Muslims are using in the West for expanding the dominion of Islam is the creation of no-go zones, places where only Muslims can enter safely. (See “The 751 No-Go Zones of France” and “Muslim Autonomous Zones in the West?” for examples.) Israel is no exception, with the short-term, self-professed goal of the Palestinian Authority being the creation of a State of Palestine, essentially a very large no-go zone, since Jews in “Palestine” is somehow anathema. Silwan is just a smaller-scale attempt. Since Zionist Jews hold they have a duty to settle the land, no-go zones are anathema to them. Their living in such a hostile place is a concrete denial of Islamic domination.

Also: One can tell that there a sizable number of Muslims in Silwan due to the regular calls to prayer from minarets, such as this one near the parking lot:

The call to prayer was easily hearable within Beth Yonathan. There were also a lot of fireworks set off on Shabbath night, which was explained to me—I hope I am getting this right—as that Ramaḍān is coming soon, and unmarried Muslims are trying to get married ahead of then due to a prohibition of marrying then; the fireworks are part of the celebration. (Anyone sufficiently knowledgeable about Islam, please let me know if this is correct or not.)

Peace and have an easy fast.

’Aharon/Aaron
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