Moshe Dayan caused the violence

Israel is trying to calm the latest round of violence atop the Temple Mount. Muslims call the top of the mount al-Aqsa because of the mosque built on top of the Temple Mount 650 years after the Romans tossed the Judeans (Jews) out of Jerusalem and the rest of the Jewish state of Judea.

The claims about why the violence started are all over the place. Some blame Hamas, the terrorist group which certainly helped to ramp up the violence. Others accused Jordan, a nation whose king is a Hashemite but is ruling a country with at least 60% Arab Palestinians. So he has no other choice than publically criticize Israel for what he knew wasn’t true. There is even a group claiming that Israel is changing the status quo of the Temple Mount. These and any other blame for the Temple Mount are not true.

The person at fault for the Temple Mount violence is Moshe Dayan. Yes, that Moshe Dayan, the guy with the eye patch, who is considered to be the Six-Day War hero.  Many people remember the picture of “hero” Moshe Dayan entering Jerusalem, signaling the return of Jerusalem’s “old city” to the Jewish nation. But what most people don’t understand is that Dayan was the villain, not the hero of Jerusalem.

A Model Of How The Second Temple Looked Before The Romans Destroyed It

Jerusalem became the capital city of the Jewish people in the time of King David. David conquered it and made it the seat of his monarchy in approximately 1000 B.C.E. After the Romans conquered the city in 70 C.E., the Jewish people mourned the loss of the city and the site of the Holy Temple in the city for the next nineteen hundred years.

After Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the Jewish State was in control of the newer half of the Holy City while Jordan controlled the older part of Jerusalem. On the third day of the Six-Day-War Israeli forces were able to reunify their capital.

Finally, after almost two millennia, the Jewish people could control the Temple Mount, the Holy Temples’ site. Well—they held the top of the Temple mount until Moshe Dayan took it upon himself to cede control of the location of the holy Temples back to the Muslim Waqf under the supervision of Jordan, one of the countries that attacked Israel the week before.

Moshe Dayan caused the violence

Moshe Dayan (L) and Israel’s Prime Minister Levi Eshkol (R)

Made Defense Minister just before the start of the June 1967 War, Israel’s quick victory in the war made Dayan an international hero. But if it were not for the progressive hubris of the man considered to be the hero of Six-Day-War, the Kotel (Wailing Wall or Western Wall) in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount would not be as divisive of an issue between Israel and its neighbors that they are today.

Jews were denied access to the Old City of Jerusalem since  Jordan gained control of the “Old City” during the 1948 War of Independence.

During the intervening 19 years, the Jordanians waged systematic destruction, desecration, and looting of Jewish sites in the part of Jerusalem under their control. But 55 years ago, the I.D.F. liberated the Old City of Jerusalem, and Jews were allowed to approach the Temple Mount.

IDF Soldier Praying At The Kotel

It’s hard to explain the joy and reverence as Jews approached the Temple mount for the first time since 1948. It wasn’t a military celebration or only an Israeli celebration. The entire Jewish people were unified. Jews across the world cried upon hearing the news.

According to accounts, Moshe Dayan did not believe that Israel should try to unify Jerusalem. He was worried that entering the Old City would result in a house-to-house battle which might be costly and might cause damage to the holy sites of other faiths, and “that will bring the whole world crashing down upon our heads.” Menachem Begin convinced then Prime Minister Eshkol to overrule Dayan. The recapture of the old city was much easier than Dayan warned, and returning the Temple Mount to Israel created incredible joy, not just for Israelis but for the entire Jewish people,  whether they lived in Israel or the diaspora. The whole Jewish nation was united in happiness.

It should be noted that despite what commentators and the mainstream media will tell you, the Kotel (the Wailing Wall) is not the holiest site in Judaism—it is the retaining wall for the most sacred site in Judaism, the Temple Mount. The Kotel is the closest place to the holiest spot where Jews are allowed to pray. Thanks to Moshe Dayan, Jews are not permitted to pray atop the Temple Mount (Christians aren’t allowed to pray there either).

When Israel gained possession of the Temple compound during the Six-Day War, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol wanted to create a multi-faith council to run the Temple Mount. The Muslim Mosque would not have been touched, but all faiths would be allowed up on top of the mount, and it would “belong” to all three Abrahamic religions.

Dayan didn’t like that idea. He thought the Temple Mount should remain in Muslim possession.  In his biography, Dayan clearly stated that he was worried that Jews would try to rebuild the Beit Hamikdash (the Jewish Temple), which was the last thing he wanted.

Of course, there was no way a third Temple could be built. Well… could be built then. By Jewish tradition, it won’t be built until the coming of the Moshiach (Messiah). And when that time comes, it won’t matter.

But Dayan thought he knew better than the Prime Minister, Rabbinical tradition, or the people of Israel.

Dayan took it upon himself to grant control of the Temple Mount back to the Muslims because he wanted to make sure that there wouldn’t be a third Temple.  And there was nothing that Prime Minister Eshkol could do about it.  After all, this Moshe Dayan was theMoshe Dayan caused the violence hero.

King David purchased the site 30 centuries ago. As was written in Chapter 21 of the first book of Chronicles,  “And David said to Ornan, “Give me the place of the threshing-floor, so that I may build thereon an altar to the Lord; give it to me for the full price, so that the plague be stayed from the people.”

Since that day,  the Jewish people have lost possession of the Temple Mount three times.  Only once was the site given away voluntarily. That was when Moshe Dayan gave it away 55 years ago. Moshe Dayan is still considered a hero. But he should go down in history as the man who gave away the Temple Mount and gave the Palestinians the opportunity to make the Temple Mount an issue. He turned the temple mount into a place for riots, another way to delegitimize the Jewish State. And he prevented the entire Jewish nation from praying at their holiest site, and a site that once hosted the Shechinah, the divine presence of God.

Thanks to Moshe Dayan, the most sacred site in Judaism is off-limits. That is what Jews call a shanda (a shame).

Moshe Dayan caused the violence

Moshe Dayan caused the violence

Moshe Dayan caused the violence