Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I met Ariel Sharon in Hebron

I wrote my American Jewish friends on a photocopy of The Jerusalem Post article, “International Christian Embassy starts drive to ensure rights in territories” by Liat Collins, Tuesday, October 17, 1995

The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem is beginning an international campaign to ensure Christian rights after IDF withdrawal from the territories.
On Sunday, some 1,200 Christians carrying banners proclaiming “Bethlehem will be Jewish Forever,” attended a solidarity and prayer rally at Rachel's Tomb.
International Christian Embassy spokesman Jan van der Hoeven stressed the need to keep Bethlehem open to all faiths and spoke against the rise of Islamic extremism.
He noted the growing number of Christian residents of Bethlehem who are asking the embassy's help in moving out of the city for fear of Moslem action against them once the IDF leaves.
The deadline for IDF evacuation has been brought forward to December 22.
Nearly all the participants at the rally were visiting for the International Christian Embassy's Feast of Tabernacles activities.
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, of Efrat, also addressed the crowd.
About 30 residents of Jerusalem's Gilo section attended the rally, noting the proximity between their neighborhood and Rachel's Tomb.
Yesterday, David Ben-Ariel, a Christian member of the Temple Mount Faithful, said he was harassed and detained by both Moslem Wakf guards and the police after he went up to the Mount to pray.
“It's not news that Jews can't pray there, even though everybody claims there is freedom for all faiths,” he said.
“But people don't realize that Christians can't pray there either,” he said.
Ben-Ariel was wearing a shirt with the Temple Mount Faithful slogan on it at the time of his arrest.

Oct. 19, '95

So many things to say
I don't know where to
begin. I was in Hevron
(during the signing of Oslo 2)
with Gershon Salomon & friends
from our Temple Mt. Faithful organization.
Busloads of people in their
“right” mind came from all over
Israel to show solidarity in
Hevron against this false peace.
I met Ariel Sharon twice,
inviting him to our demonstration
during Sukkot, as well as Geula Cohen
and Rav Levinger - all who spoke at the
rally. I also took part in the wonderful
opposition rally at Zion Square that held a torch-lit
parade to the Knesset, carrying our Temple Mt. Faithful flag
and helping to pass out thousands of adverts for our Sukkot demo.
During Sukkot we had High Court permission to enter the Temple Mount,
but after 4 of our people went up, we decided not to go up without
Gershon who they prevented. The newspapers lied & said 20-50 of us
went up. Later, when Professor Rakover (Deputy Attorney General) spoke at the Israel Center
(where the Root & Branch Association holds a lecture series), I was able to ask him why the government is punishing those who seek to do everything legally and rewarding Arabs who threaten to riot. He agreed there isn't any law forbidding Jews or Christians, but that basically not enough people care to exercise it yet to put sufficient pressure on the gov.
to change the status quo. Speaking of the government,
I must go back next wk. to the misrad haPenim. I was invited to
a beautiful home & family in Givat
Ze'ev for the first night of
Sukkot. The leader of a settler
organization, Eyal, has invited me
to Kiryat Arba for Shabbat
in about a month. I plan
on writing up in article form
some of these experiences.
I asked Carl to send you a
copy of The National Messenger.
I wrote a letter to the Jerusalem
Post about being arrested on the Temple
Mount, following the reporter's suggestion.
Aryeh Gallin, President of the Root & Branch
Assoc., is also planning on something for their
international newsletter (they publish & promote
Judaica). I'll write more later. I just
wanted to quickly update you. I hope
this finds you both well, having enjoyed
the holy days.
David (also signed in Hebrew)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Jerusalem Post letters

I sent a photo-copy of a page from The Jerusalem Post, Letters To The Editor section, Fri., Aug. 25, 1995 (Av 29, 5755) to American friends since it included a letter from me and one from a lawyer friend with this written at the top:

Howard Grief is a lawyer & one of
my Israeli friends to write a letter of recomm.
for me. I was one of Gershon's “loyal followers”
who was blessed to shield him from harm. David


Sir, - On Tisha Be'av, when we
mourn the destruction of both the
First and Second Temples, which
also symbolized the end of Jewish
statehood, I, like hundreds of others,
proceeded to the Mugrabi Gate, at
the Temple Mount, hoping to gain
entry, in accordance with the Su-
preme Court ruling rendered a few
days earlier. However, the sloped
narrow entrance was blocked by
dozens of police, who after a certain
while, upon signal, tried to break up
the assembly that had legally gath-
ered there.
To my horror and disbelief, I then
witnessed a series of acts that were
sheer and unmitigated police brutal-
ity that tarnishes and defames the
good name of the Jewish State.
In one instance, a policeman re-
peatedly beat and shoved an old
woman who refused to leave the
spot, where she had a perfect right to
be. When others in the crowd went
to her assistance, they too were at-
tacked. In another instance, a haredi-
dressed man was knocked to the
ground when he protested in a digni-
fied way the violent removal of an-
other person who was defending
himself against excessive police
force being used to eject him from
the site. Anyone who dared to open
their mouth to comment on what
was occurring before their very eyes
was immediately subject to police
Most shocking of all was the ill-
treatment accorded the leader of the
Temple Mount Faithful, Gershon
Salomon, whose persistence in se-
curing Jewish rights of prayer on the
Temple Mount finally won the en-
dorsement of the Supreme Court.
But this great accomplishment was
frustrated by what appeared to be
police “coordination” in advance
with Arab opponents of Jewish
rights of prayer on the Temple
Mount. Arabs were purposely incit-
ed to create the necessary “security
threat” which enabled the police to
close the Temple Mount to Jewish
prayer. Salomon, who was seriously
wounded in action in the Six Day
War on the Syrian front and as a
result suffers from a permanent
walking disability, had to endure the
gross indignity of being seized by
the police and dragged away by sev-
eral husky officers who then put him
down on the pavement where he
received a hard blow to his head that
caused him to lose consciousness.
By good fortune, he was saved from
being trampled upon by the milling
throng, by a few of his loyal follow-
ers, who helped to shield him from
further injuries. It is incredible that a
man of Salomon's stature should
have been subject to this kind of
vicious treatment by the police!
One wonders how Jewish police
in the Jewish State can behave in
such a cruel and savage fashion to
fellow Jews, which has no precedent
in the history of the state.

Sir- What is going on here?
Jews are forcibly prevented from
praying, undemocratically denied
free access to the Temple Mount,
and cruelly evicted by other Jews!
What a spectacle for the whole
world to watch! All this in a “Jew-
ish State.”
If this had happened anywhere
else, the Jewish community would
be up in arms. We would have wit-
nessed an outpouring of righteous
indignation and heard deafening
cries of antisemitism. But the double
standard does not end there.
If it had been Christians or Mos-
lems who received such shabby
treatment from Israeli policemen,
the UN would have quickly con-
vened to condemn such a callous
display of religious discrimination
and demand an immediate end to the
flagrant violation of religious rights
Israel has sworn to uphold.
It is all too evident that the Tem-
ple Mount is not “in our hands.” It
remains under a defiant Moslem oc-
cupation that continues to mock Is-
raeli sovereignty. The Temple
Mount is not in our hands because it
is not in our hearts and minds. This
is a terrible indictment against our
political and religious “leaders.” I
doubt Jews prayed for 2,000 years to
return to Zion and pray at a wall.