It seems like just yesterday, it's that fresh in my mind. Thankfully, God has used this horrible experience to further raise awareness of the plight of the Temple Mount suffering under Nazi-Muslim occupation, the daily religious discrimination against Jews and Christians upon the Temple Mount where they're illegally forbidden to pray or read the Bible, increasing calls by many for this deplorable situation to change.
For Zion's Sake,
American Detained in Jerusalem's Russian Compound
Nobody arrested me. I was DETAINED when I faithfully reported to the police office at 9 a.m. Monday morning, January 9, 1996 (day before my birthday) the day after The Jerusalem Post published on their front page an article shedding light on what they were doing in the dark.
After my initial interrogation of six and one half hours, the Thursday before, I reported, as demanded, to the police station Friday morning, Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and then Monday morning the fellow who had actually been nice to me, he said his name was Moshe, was ordered to serve me a deportation order. He expected me to sign it and, APPALLED, I purposely dropped the accursed paper from my hands and let it fall to the floor where it belonged! I refused to sign it.
They put me in that dungeon called the Russian Compound, built hundreds of years ago by the Turks, and which has since been toured by Israeli parliament members saying it should be torn down! I was in a cell made for ten and at one time we had twenty one people in it, with mats lying all over the floor and bed bugs crushed on the walls and everyone but me (by the grace of God) had welts on them from their bites!
We had one "bathroom" for all of us in that cell: it was a literal hole in the floor, and the shower pipe (no showerhead) was just over that hole, and a filthy sink, and everyone had to practically beg for toilet paper. I was there for over two weeks before my unjust deportation, after being brought before the Jerusalem magistrate (who refused to release me, being represented by famous Israeli lawyer Naftali Warzberger), and later before Israel's High Court who agreed there was no reason I shouldn't have been set free, that there was no risk of flight, but now they were just going to deport me since my citizenship request was denied.
The Temple Mount Faithful paid for all my legal expenses, recognizing the whole ordeal was politico-religious persecution against all of us, yet the Leftists targeted little ol' me!
Is it a crime to have an abiding love for Israel? To believe what's written in the Law and the Prophets concerning the Temple and our responsibility to construct it? To mourn that it hasn't been done yet? As the Jerusalem Talmud states: "every generation in which the Temple has not been built is as if the Temple were destroyed in it...." Isn't Israel's state emblem a gold menorah in between two gold olive branches?
Must I remain in exile, banished from the Land I love, because my hope, prayer, and dream is for Israel to fulfill what that symbol represents: the Temple and Israel's destiny to become a Light to all nations?
David Ben-Ariel, a Christian-Zionist writer and author of Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall, shares a special focus on the Middle East, reflected in hard-hitting articles that help others improve their understanding of that troubled region. Check out Beyond Babylon.