Joseph Farah Links Peres and Olmert to Nazis: "Final Solution" to Temple Mount Dispute
Richard Bartholomew printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 06:35:05 AM EST
It's usually considered the grossest bad taste to compare Israel with the Nazis - but apparently we can make an exception if we want to attack left-of-centre or insufficiently right-wing Israelis in the name of Christian Zionism. Case in point, Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily:

While the Muslim zealots who administer the Temple Mount continue to excavate the site without a thought or care as to the integrity of the most sacred ground in Judaism, not to mention an archaeological treasure trove, the Israeli political elite is secretly working out a "final solution" for what they consider a troublesome, burdensome stone in their shoe.

Farah calls this an "unholy alliance" of

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israeli President Shimon Peres, most of the rest of the Israeli political elite and the sworn enemies of the Jewish state, those who would finish the work of Adolph Hitler if they ever got the chance.

Farah goes on to argue that the only reason the Third Temple has not been built is because of Israel's "political elite". This is in fact a gross distortion of Jewish religious tradition; possibly Farah, who affects to write "G-d" rather than "God", is simply ignorant, but he also has a motive to spread disinformation: his readership consists largely of fundamentalist Christians, and stories involving the Temple Mount can always be relied on to whip up Christian apocalyptic fervour.

Farah continues:

Olmert, Peres and the inner sanctum of the Israeli political elite fear the Temple Mount. They always have. In fact, ever since Israel captured the site in June 1967, fools like Olmert and Peres have been skulking about trying to figure out a way to rid themselves and their country of it.

...Because they know if it remains in the possession of the Jewish people long enough, the Jewish people will obey their G-d and rebuild the Temple. This would be unthinkable to the Israeli political elite. They believe the Israeli government is the one, true G-d of the Israeli people. The Israeli political elite does not recognize the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They do not recognize the G-d who gave the Jewish people the land deed for their nation. They do not recognize the G-d who promised the Jewish people would be restored to the land. And they do not recognize the G-d who restored them to the land after 1,800 years in exile.

This is actually a repudiation of mainstream religious Jewish thought, which has long argued that the building of the Temple will be an eschatological event undertaken by the Messiah. David Bleich's Contemporary Halakhic Problems explains (p. 246):

The rebuilding of the Bet ha-Mikdash itself is precluded until the coming of the Messiah. Rashi, in his commentary on Sukkah 41a and Rosh ha-Shanah 30a, states that the third Temple will not be a human artifact but shall miraculously appear as a fully built edifice. According to Rashi's opinion, the verse "The sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established" (Exod. 15:17) refers to the future Bet ha-Mikdash. Rambam, on the other hand, enumerates the building of the Bet ha-Mikdash as one of the 613 commandments...However. He states explicitly that this Bet ha-Mikdash will be rebuilt only with the advent of the Messiah himself. Not only will be Temple be built by the Messiah, but this construction will serve as substantiation of the messianic claim.

A footnote adds:

Rashi's view is implicit in the nahem prayer of the minhah service for the Ninth of Ab: "For Thou, O Lord, didst consume it [the Temple] with fire and through fire wilt Thou in future rebuild it." The text of the prayer is based upon the Jerusalem Talmud, Berakhot 4:3.

Maimonides's ("Rambam's") perspective provides some wriggle-room for those who want to take matters into their own hands, but only a fringe of Jewish fundamentalists have chosen this route - although egged on by thousands of Christian Zionists (Bruce Wilson recently showed us one example of this). Further, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel warns pious Jews not to enter the site of the Temple Mount at all, due to its holiness. So, Farah's claim that the Temple has not been rebuilt simply due to the atheism of Israel's "political elite" is just not true.

Of course Olmert and Peres "fear" Jewish religious fanatics taking over the area, for two rather obvious reasons - firstly, it would cause considerable international strife, and secondly, it would pitch Israel towards an ultra-orthodox theocracy. Neither problem bothers Farah, though, because Christian Zionists like him don't give a damn about actual Jewish lives. Further conflict in the Middle East is inevitable, not just because Muslims are evil to the core, but because God, acting like some kind of puppet-master, has future wars planned out in advance. And Israel ought to be theocratic because Jews should fit the sentimental stereotype of Christian Zionist fantasy.

But what of the actual "excavations" (in fact, the digging of a trench to lay some cables) which have provoked Farah's wrath? There is indeed cause for concern - the waqf's track record in these matters is not encouraging, and its bizarre denial that there was ever a biblical Temple on the site suggests that any work undertaken will be done recklessly. It is also interesting to note that a petition against allowing the work to continue includes the archeologist Israel Finkelstein, who can hardly be accused of having a religio-nationalist agenda. However, there is some hypocrisy here. Back to WorldNetDaily, and a report by Aaron Klein:

Rabbi Chaim Richman, director of Israel's Temple Institute, was among those on the Mount last month...He told WND he attempted to take pictures of the damage the bulldozers are allegedly wrecking on the wall, but his digital camera was confiscated by Israeli police at the direction of Waqf officials...Richman charged the Waqf was "trying to erase Jewish vestiges from the Temple Mount."

Klein, who always whitewashes his Israeli far-right contacts, fails to tell us that Richman is also involved with the "Sanhedrin", a Kahanist theocratic organization founded in 2005, to the excitement of Christian Zionists like Hal Lindsey (as I blogged at the time). Again at WND, Lindsey argued that some of those involved believed that a new temple could be built on the site without damaging the Dome of the Rock:

The second theory (which I am convinced is the most accurate) is that the Temple was built north of the Dome of the Rock. Dr. Asher Kaufman developed this theory, using certain archeological evidences that he found before the Muslim's [sic] destroyed them... The Temple can be rebuilt and stand alongside the Dome of the Rock without disturbing it. And since the outer court, also known as the Court of the Gentiles, is given to the Gentiles in this period just before the Messiah comes, it infers that there would be a Gentile building there, i.e., the Dome of the Rock.

How such a building - which would require access for thousands of visitors and animals, plus drainage for the blood from all the animal sacrifices - could operate without "disturbing" the adjacent structures is not explained; and at any rate, this is a minority view among Richman's associates. According to the Sanhedrin website (square brackets except first in original):

The majority of the committee support the idea that the site is where the Dome of the rock [is]. The steering committee of the Sanhedrin sat as a subcourt [earlier this year] and the majority vote [of the judges based on a detailed presentation of evidence by the architects, archaeologists and historians ruled that the current evidence most convincingly indicates] that the exact place is the where Dome of the Rock currently stands.

It goes without saying, of course, that the new structure has to be on the site of the original. Chaim Richman is also the co-author of several books with Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who is also a Sanhedrin member and Temple Institute director. Timothy Weber's On the Road to Armageddon gives us some background to Richman's colleague and collaborator (pp. 260-61):

Ariel is a doer who is not afraid to justify violence in the achievement of his ends. During the mid- and late 1980s, he was the leader of Tzfiyah ("expectation"), a right-wing group organized to support members of the Jewish underground who had been jailed after their attempt to blow up the Dome of the Rock. Ariel was furious that some members of the Gush Emunim had condemned the actions of the underground. He argued that "thou shalt not kill" applied only to killing fellow Jews, not non-Jews...he condemned all Jews who did not support the building of the third temple and declared that since Christians and Muslims were idolators, they should not be allowed to live in Israel [sourced from Gershom Gorenberg, End of Days].

So, while Farah denounces Israeli leaders for failing to protect the remains currently being uncovered by the waqf, he is willing to puff a group which wants to destroy another ancient structure on the site - and which despises his own Christian religion.

Farah ends darkly:

Olmert and Peres and the rest of those unprincipled cowards and wolves in sheep's clothing have sold out their own people. They are now bed partners with the Islamo-fascist fanatics they have entrusted with the holiest site in all Judaism, not to mention Western Civilization's richest archaeological treasure.

Let me make a little prediction: No matter how hard Olmert and Peres work in conjunction with the Muslims to destroy the Temple Mount, it will never come to pass.

In fact, I will predict that their actions will lead to a rising chorus among Jews in Israel and around the world to rebuild the Temple.

And let me make "a little prediction" of my own. I lived in Jerusalem in 1993-94, and I remember seeing dozens of right-wing fly-posters showing Yitchak Rabin's head placed above a Nazi uniform. The consequence, of course, was that Rabin ended up being murdered by an Israeli fanatic. Should the same fate befall Olmert or Peres in revenge for their plans for a "final solution" and links to "Islamo-fascists" and "those who would finish the work of Adolph Hitler", I predict that Farah and Klein will follow the example of a certain non-Jewish Biblical figure, and wash their hands of responsibility.

(PS: I recently re-vamped the index page on my blog for Christian Zionism)

...I thought my Joe Farah story might be of interest.

In the late '80s, we both worked for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, me on the editorial page, he in features.

I wrote an editorial noting that the contras of Nicaragua were terrorists who blew up health clinics (set up for the first time in rural areas by the Sandinistas). A Nicaraguan nurse who was a friend of mine had been killed in one of these terrorist attacks.

Farah had a conniption. Went to the publisher to complain about my obvious bias and demanded to know where I had obtained my information. As it turned out, besides my personal experience, it was the AMA that had studied the contra terrorism against the clinics.

So, for once, though only a short while, Farah had to shut his fat mouth.

by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 11, 2007 at 12:46:03 PM EST

on the latest Christian Zionist campaign.  I have heard of World Net Daily before; but I am not familiar with its role in the Christian Zionist network in America.

by Rusty Pipes on Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 02:22:47 PM EST

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