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In Munich, a Callous Memorial to Slain Israeli Athletes

Sept. 11 2017

Last week, on the 45th anniversary of the massacre in Munich of eleven Israeli Olympians by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September, the German president, together with his Israeli counterpart, unveiled a monument to the Israeli athletes. A nice gesture, writes Liel Leibovitz, but one that is rendered “meaningless and offensive” by the lack of acknowledgment of Germany’s own behavior at the time:

Nowhere on the new memorial does it say that the Germans were tipped off about the pending attack three weeks before it happened by a credible source in Beirut, but failed to do anything.

Nowhere is it recorded that, as Der Spiegel uncovered five years ago, German officials met with Black September’s Abu Youssef, the attack’s mastermind, just months after the massacre in order to “create a new basis of trust,” agreed to upgrade the group’s status from terrorist organization to resistance group, and allowed the PLO to send a colleague of the Munich murderers as its emissary to Bonn. . . .

Nowhere does it indicate that, as we’ve learned from the testimony of Tzvi Zamir, the head of the Mossad at the time of the attack, the German authorities made no effort whatsoever to save the lives not only of the Israelis but of their own police officers as well. . . .

These are not minor gripes. They indicate a systemic pattern of neglect before, during, and after the attacks, putting innocents at risk and appeasing the perpetrators. It’s a pattern that ought to trouble anyone, but should resonate particularly in Germany. If the Germans want to pay meaningful tributes to those Jews slaughtered, yet again, under the watchful eye of their government, let them begin by acknowledging these failures, and by taking concrete steps to assure they never happen again. Anything less is just a meaningless pile of rocks.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Germany, Israel & Zionism, Munich Olympics, Palestinian terror

The Movement to Return Jewish Worship to the Temple Mount Has Gone Mainstream

Sept. 25 2017

During the eruption of violence against Israelis in Jerusalem this summer, and the subsequent struggle over metal detectors, the Islamic authorities briefly boycotted the Temple Mount. As a result, Jewish visitors, normally prohibited from praying there, immediately began to do so. Meir Soloveichik puts the episode in context and describes its meaning:

The Temple Mount is fast becoming a pilgrimage site for religious Jews. In the past, most abstained from visiting out of concern that they might enter a sacred area in a state of ritual impurity, but many now believe that, with a knowledge of the layout, history, and religious laws pertaining to the location, it is permissible to visit certain parts of the Temple Mount plaza. They thus visit the site under religious guidance—immersing first in a ritual bath, or mikveh—and tread only in specific areas. What was once a trickle of pilgrims has become a stream, and this year they numbered in the many thousands. . . .

[Indeed, a] sea change has taken place in the past fifteen years: . . . the segment of Jews visiting the Temple Mount is becoming more and more mainstream, supported by rabbis noted for their liberalism in social or religious affairs. . . .

Visiting Jews were, for a brief and brilliant moment [this summer], able to utter several words of prayer without interference. The Israeli media published photos of a diverse group of Jews standing on the Temple Mount reciting the kaddish, so close to where their ancestors, on Yom Kippur, had once stood listening to the high priest pronounce the Name of God. Soon after this kaddish, the [status quo ante] returned; Jews again were no longer free to pray at the site toward which all Jewish prayer has been directed for thousands of years. But images of that one unimpeded kaddish remain; to study them is to look back on the miraculous and heartbreaking past half-century in Jerusalem, to celebrate what has been achieved, and to mourn what might have been.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Judaism, Palestinian terror, Religion & Holidays, Temple Mount