Likud leaders to go to Al-Aqsa, call for “cleansing” Jerusalem and building Jewish temple on mosque’s “ruins”

Submitted by Ali Abunimah

Original post

Leaders and members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party are leading an incursion and rally into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound – which Israel calls the “Temple Mount” – in eastern occupied Jerusalem this Sunday to call for its destruction and building a Jewish Temple on its “ruins.”

A flyer circulated online states:

The Likud
Members of the Likud Center
Along with the thousands of party members

Led by Reb’ Moshe Feiglin
Chairman of the Likud Leadership

Are invited to make aliyah to [go up] the Temple Mount. To thank and praise the Creator of this World. To declare that healthy leadership. [sic] Its beginning is in the complete control of Temple Mount.

Cleansing the place of the enemies of Israel, the land thieves, and building the Temple on the ruins of the mosques.

Without Any Fear Whatsoever

We shall meet on Sunday, 19 Shvat, near the top of the Maimonides Gate at 8:00 a.m.

Yearning for destruction of Muslim holy sites

An image distributed by the Israeli army chief rabbinate in December depicts the Al-Aqsa compound with the Dome of the Rock removed.

Once the preserve of Zionist fringe groups, destruction of the Muslim holy sites in occupied Jerusalem has become an increasingly “mainstream” call in Israel, now coming from leaders of the ruling party.

A few weeks ago it was revealed that the Israeli army rabbinate had distributed pamphlets depicting the Temple Mount without the famous Dome of the Rock, one of the two mosques, along with Al-Aqsa, that have existed there for centuries.

While Feiglin recently ran against Netanyahu for the leadership of the Likud Party, there is little reason to think that Netanyahu himself does not sympathize with or at least tacitly support the increasingly loud calls for the destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque, calls which he has never condemned.

In 1996, during his first premiership, Netanyahu colluded with a group called Ateret Cohanim, which is dedicated to the destruction of Al-Aqsa, to open a tunnel that was seen by Palestinians as furthering the goal of a settler take over of the Al-Aqsa compound and aimed at undermining the mosques. Fifty-eight Palestinians and 15 Israelis died in violence sparked by Israel’s provocation.


blog post from a website called “Bayt HaMikdash” (Temple) adds more information about the rally. It is notable that this rally is not merely a transgression of occupied territory calculated to offend Palestinians and Muslims by calling for the destruction of their shrines and heritage, but also a violation of traditional Jewish edicts.

It has long been forbidden by Israel’s Chief Rabbis for Jews to “make aliyah” to the Mount on the grounds that they could inadvertantly violate the “Holy of Holies.” Nationalist religious Zionism is increasingly pushing these prohibitions aside and creating unprecedentedly dangerous provocations.

Here’s the text of the post at “Bayt HaMikdash”:

Members of the Likud Center will make Aliyah to Temple Mount on Sunday, 19 Shvat

Participating: the chairman of the Likud leadership, Mr. Moshe Feiglin: tens of members of the Likud Center along with the thousands of members will make Aliyah to the Temple Mount, in holiness and purity, in order to give thanks and praise for their having entered the Likud | Didan Netzach!

By Gershon Kassif – Mikdash [Temple] Website

Tens of members of the Likud Center, activists for the Temple and the Temple Mount, including the Chair of the Foundation for the Legacy of the Temple Mount and the Temple, Yehuda Glick, along with the thousands of Likud party members who are loyal to the Temple Mount and to the Temple, will make Aliyah on Sunday, 19 Shvat, along with the Chairman of Jewish Leadership in the Likud, Reb’ Moshe Feiglin, and Michael Pua.

To thank and praise the Creator of the world for having had the privilege of bringing tens of new Likud Center members to make Aliyah to the Temple Mount, to make requests for the future and to pray the peace be upon Israel, to cancel the terrible decree of the evacuation of Migron and the rest of the settlements in Eretz Yisrael.

We shall meet on Sunday, 19 Shvat, near the top of the Maimonides Gate at 8:00 a.m.

Due to the holiness of the place

  • it is REQUIRED that one purify oneself in the Mikveh ritual bath, as per [Jewish] law
  • it is REQUIRED that one bring Yom-Kippur footwear – not made out of leather
  • it is REQUIRED to enter only to the places permitted to us, as we have been instructed by the Great [Teachers/Rabbis] of Israel
  • due to the terrible decrees of the police, it is required to bring identification

Temple Mount opening times for Jews: Morning: 7:30 through 10:00. Noon: 12:20 through 13:30

Update: Feiglin denial?

The flyer above and the rally was reported by Israel’s Channel 10 “Nana” website, however that report has now been deleted.

Meanwhile the Israeli forum Rotter quotes a statement, allegedly from Feiglin:

Here is Feiglin’s full response to the matter
With regard to the announcement disseminated by Nana: this is a classic case of libel, I have no idea who wrote that ad, if such a person even exists, or if it may be a provocation. In any event, the people who publicized it did not bother to make sure that I had set my hand to the matters before publishing them. The matter will be handled further in the legal channels. I make Aliyah to the Temple Mount on the 19th of every [Hebrew] month, and have done so for many years. I will also do so next Sunday, and as always, I send reminders before that in the weekly Jewish Leadership update, for anyone who may want to join. The rest of the things stated in the article are entirely imaginary.

The quote appears to come from Feiglin’s Facebook wall.

In the discussion thread on Rotter, several observations emerge. “Ella K” notes that an original notice that went to activists stated:

On Sunday, 19 Shvat, we will make Aliyah to the Temple Mount with Moshe Feiglin. We will give thanks to G_d for the great success and pray for the coninuation thereof. All new members of the [Likud] Center, activists, volunteers, and voters are invited to the entrance gate of the Wailing Wall, at 7:30, after ritual bath and without leather shoes.

Ella K notes that the original publication does not call Feiglin Reb’, and that it does not call the Moghrabi Gate the Maimonides Gate – and that it gets the time wrong. What remains undisputed is that Feiglin plans to go up the mount on Sunday with followers in tow.

Dena Shunra observes:

What does this mean? I am not sure. Maybe someone in the Likud is trying to make Feiglin look bad (he competed against Netanyahu in the recent Likud primaries, and while Netanyahu won by a landslide, there was at least some analysis saying that it constituted a kind of win for Feiglin). If so, someone in the Likud is playing politics with fire. (It is somewhat reminiscent of the Likud tactics of threatening Iran with bombardment in order to contain the Obama administration.) Or it could be someone who hopes that it would truly be so. Or indeed, a signal. Or settlers flexing their muscles. Or a trial balloon.

There’s certainly no doubt that whoever published this flyer – which was taken as real by the Israeli media – is tapping into a history of calls and growing support for destroying Al-Aqsa. Feiglin’s supporters too are clear about their desire to take over the Temple Mount.

( / 10.02.2012)

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