Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An open letter of complaint to the Israeli Police

Jewish date:  19 Kislew 5772 (evening) (Parashath Wayyeshev).

Today’s holidays:  New Year for Ḥasidhuth (Judaism), Feast Day of John of the Cross (Roman Catholicism), Whiny Victimization/Co-Dependency Day (Church of the SubGenius).

NOTE:  This letter has not been sent to the police, because they do not seem to have any publicly listed E-mail address, and their complaint-submission software will not run on a Macintosh.  It is being sent, however, to the Prime Minister’s office, the Ministry of Public Security, several political parties, and the Jerusalem Post, as well as being posted on my blog, Divine Misconceptions (

I write this letter with great sadness, but it is necessary to do so.

On Tuesday, 6 December 2011, I tried to visit the Temple Mount.  Most people were waived through with little scrutiny.  I was not.  Not only did the police object to me taking Jewish religious items up on the Temple Mount, which I expected, but they opposed to me taking a pad of paper with me to take notes on.  They did not even want me taking notes at the entrance building.  They wanted to know why I was visiting the Temple Mount.  I had to be stubborn to avoid being turned away immediately, and I was forced to wait for half an hour while they considered whether to admit me.  They ultimately refused, and they best I managed was to guilt-trip a handful of change out of them for wasting the money I spent on bus fare.

Israel has obvious security concerns.  Had the police given me reason to believe that anything I was bringing with me was dangerous or that my presence was somehow dangerous, I could accept their refusing me admission.  However, they refused to give me any reason other than “Because”.  To make things worse, one of the officers suggested I was crazy and that the Western Wall might be a more relevant site to me.  It is very difficult not to interpret this as discrimination against me for being an observant Jew.

Sadly this is not an isolated case.  The second time I visited the Temple Mount, I had to go through the same security procedure.  I was told a list of things I could and could not do on the Temple Mount, and I was followed the entire time I was up there by a police officer and a Waqf official.  Contrast this with the first time I visited the Temple Mount, when I disguised myself as a tourist; the police admitted me without scrutiny and permitted to go practically anywhere and do anything without interference or supervision.  Discrimination similar to what I have experienced has been reported by other observant Jews, too.

This may be more than just anti-Semitism or bowing to Islamic supremacism.  I am also aware of a recent incident in Me’ah She‘arim in which the Seriqriqim, a group of Ḥaredhi thugs, terrorized the owner of a bookstore into acceding to their demands.  In both cases, the police failed to stop people who were willing to use violence to get what they wanted rather than enforce tolerance.  Giving the violent what they say they want may stop the violence in the short run, but it also teaches that violence works, thus making it more likely that they will use violence again.  The policy of appeasement failed long ago; Muslims have rioted repeatedly on the Temple Mount ever since Mosheh Dayyan decided to place it in the hands of the Waqf.  Even if appeasement did work, it is inherently unjust to the victims of appeasement and thus has no place in a just society.  In most of Yerushalayim, the police do their jobs and anyone can go anywhere in safety.  Surely they can do the same on the Temple Mount (and in Me’ah She‘arim) as well.

Dr. Aaron Solomon Adelman

Further reading:

Description of my first trip to the Temple Mount:

Description of my second trip to the Temple Mount:

Description of a failed trip to the Temple Mount:

Discrimination against Jews visiting the Temple Mount: ,

The Seriqriqim incident: